page generated: June 14, 2002
My web site is essentially a series of lists primarily consisting of fighter pilots who for the most part are aces. The pages contain pilot names, scores, units and other miscellaneous information, divided into different conflicts, and nationalities.
A few years back, I returned to the hobby of my youth - plastic airplane modeling. I wished to model aircraft of the aces, but I found that information on which pilots were considered aces was scattered everywhere: in books, magazines, on the web, you name it. And I found that quite often the references differed in who they considerd aces and their tallies. After some time I decided that it was in my best interests to maintain a separate repository of ace info gleaned from what I had found in these disparate sources. The accumulation of more and more data, forced me to create a database to record my findings, since it was getting too large to keep track of on paper. Then I finally decided to put what I had on a web site, where I hoped that more information on aces would be directed my way and make my database/web site more accurate and informative to not only myself, but others.
The term ace, has its origins in World War One. The First World War was the first conflict to feature extensive combat
between aircraft. As the war progressed, the importance of the airplane as a tactical and strategic weapon was realized. And
it was also realized that it was necessary to obtain air superiority over the enemy to gain the most effective use of
observation and bombing activities.
Various attempts were made by both the Allies and Axis forces to disprupt the activities of the others air observation and bombing, but nothing was effective until the advent of the airplane with a fixed forward firing machine gun - the fighter plane. In due course, numerous pilots were able to shoot down multiple aircraft. With the ground war stagnant in trench warfare, political and propaganda interests were keen to maintain public morale, and the fliers of the time, especially the successful fighter pilots, were promoted as heroes.
The tradition of recognizing those who are successful in air-to-air combat is still maintained. Though most conflicts today do not have the potential to create aces, the shooting down of enemy aircraft is still one of the more newsworthy events.
So, as far as my web site is concerned, an ace is someone who shoots down 5 or more enemy aircraft.
No. As in all human endevours, there are exceptions and different interpretations to what "shooting down an enemy aircraft" means, and how to keep track of a pilot's successes. Some notable execptions I would like to highlight are:
Most of the Allied airforces in World War Two and in subsequent years awarded fractional credits for half, third, quarter and sometimes lesser amounts, based on the number of participants involved in the downing of an enemy aircraft. Awarding victories in this manner, could technically give someone aces status who never actually shoots down an enemy entirely on their own.
I eventually realized that by limiting my site to strictly aces, I was neglecting some conflicts where there was little or no chance of a pilot making ace status. Also, I would be neglecting those pilots from more obscure nations that had pilots that never made ace in a conflict. In my opinion it would be interesting to know about them, along with the more familiar names and countries involved. And there were the neutral nations, who usually weren't involved directly in the fighting, but sometimes had to defend their air space. Their pilots really never had the opportunity, nor the wish, to become an ace.
In addition, some pilot may have fought in more than one conflict, claiming a victory or two here and there, and eventually becoming an ace over the course of many years or conflicts.
You will see a pilot listed more than once on a page when he/she has victories with more than one airforce. For example, many World War Two Polish fighter pilots fought the Germans, then joined the French to continue the fight, and finally moved to the RAF, USAAF or VVS to continue the fight.
To me a claim and a victory are one in the same. All aerial battles go through a similar process. First there is the actual fight. Once the pilot returns, there is the intial claim for enemy aircraft shot down. Then there is some form of finalization, where the pilot's claim is upgraded to an "official" victory. But in reality, the "official" victory is still only a claim, because there is no way of looking through the enemy's losses for the day and making a correlation between the enemy's actual losses with the usual over claiming by the victors.
Hardly! For example, I have seen references stating that there may be up to 5,000 aces for the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) in World War Two alone, of which I have only some 2,000+ names at present. So there are still many more name to be found, just for the Luftwaffe alone, and with mankind's propensity to fight over most anything, the lists will never be complete.
I welcome all information that others are willing to send. Please do remember that I will be slow in replying at times. Also remember that the web is a dangerous place filled with many "evil doers", and that I will not accept unsolicited attachments. Please go to my email page if you wish to contact me.
Many things affect the score of fighter pilots and the research therof.
Yes and no. This is a judgement call on my part. I list gunner/observer aces for the combatants in World War One because the aircraft in that war were very evenly matched regardless of it being a fighter, or a bomber or an observation airplane, and records were kept for the gunner/observer victories. By the time World War Two was fought, bombers were more or less strictly bombers, and not really designed for aerial combat and maneuvering, except for those converted for night fighter duty. Most daylight fighter operations were by single seat fighters, and victories were credited to the pilot. For two seat fighters and night fighters, most air forces also credited victories only to the pilot. Records were usually not kept for observers/gunners/radar operators. Now modern aerial fighting involves jets, which are quite potent as either single or two seaters, and many air forces will credit both occupants with a victory when one is awarded.
At present, I do not have a separate list for V-1 aces or claims on my site. I think that someday I will do this, but it is not in my immediate plans. You will find some V-1 claims in the comments of those pilots in the lists that claimed V-1 victories along with their other air-to-air fighting claims.
I try my best to ensure that a pilot's nationality is correct. I do make errors, so if you have information regarding the nationality of someone, please let me know. But, keep this in mind. Just because a pilot is born in a certain country does not automatically qualify him as a citizen of that nation. I often see what I consider pointless discussion and arguement on nationality because of this, when common sense should prevail.
Yes I do. I try to keep the pages as up to date as possible with the current research.
Probably because they are using different sources, or different criteria from what I use.
I do not as a rule keep track of where pilots currently reside or whether or not they are still alive. If you send me a request for this type of information, the chances are very slim, to none, that I will be able to help you.
I do not as a rule maintain biographical info on pilots, but as a by-product of my research, I do have some information scattered through my various references. Answers from me regarding requests for bio info will be slow to non-existant. If I can find some biographical info without having to scour through everything I have, your request will get answered when I have time, which may take weeks or months. If I need to search through a large number of references, then your chances of hearing from me are close to zero. Also, I receive many requests regarding pilots that are not on any of my pages. All I can say is, if the name you're looking for is is not on my site, then you can be assured that I will probably have nothing regarding him/her in my references.
I can suggest that you post your questions regarding biographical info to one of these sites. The people who frequent them are very knowledgable and you should get more info than what I can supply.
Please follow the link to the Abbreviations and Notes page.
My lists are derived from a variety of sources, and I try to keep abreast of any new information regarding aces, and make updates to tallies when I have time. It is quite possible that I may have missed this individual. On the other hand there are some ligitimate reasons why he/she is not found on my site, such as...