Richard Ira Bong – the most decorated American fighter pilot and Top Air Ace

Richard Ira Bong was a United States Army Air Forces major and Medal of Honor recipient in World War II. He was one of the most decorated American fighter pilots and the country’s top flying ace in the war, credited with shooting down 40 Japanese aircraft, all with the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter. He died in California while testing a Lockheed P-80 jet fighter shortly before the war ended. EarlyContinue reading “Richard Ira Bong – the most decorated American fighter pilot and Top Air Ace”

Billy Bishop, Victoria Cross – the top Canadian and British Empire Ace of all Time – 72 Air Victories

William Avery Bishop, VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED (8 February 1894 – 11 September 1956) was a Canadian flying ace of the First World War. He was officially credited with 72 victories, making him the top Canadian and British Empire ace of the war. He was a Victoria Cross recipient who rose to become an Air Marshal. During the Second World War, Bishop was instrumentalContinue reading “Billy Bishop, Victoria Cross – the top Canadian and British Empire Ace of all Time – 72 Air Victories”

French Colonel René Paul Fonck – The Highest Scoring All-time Allied Ace of Aces – 75 Victories

Colonel René Paul Fonck (27 March 1894 – 18 June 1953) was a French aviator who ended the First World War as the top fighter ace and, when all succeeding aerial conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries are also considered, Fonck still holds the title of “all-time Allied Ace of Aces”. He received confirmation for 75 victories (72 soloContinue reading “French Colonel René Paul Fonck – The Highest Scoring All-time Allied Ace of Aces – 75 Victories”

Günther Rall – Third Highest scoring Air Ace of All Times – 275 Victories

General Günther Rall was a highly decorated German military aviator, whose military career spanned nearly forty years. Rall was the third most successful fighter pilot in aviation history, behind Gerhard Barkhorn, who is second, and Erich Hartmann, who is top scoring air ace of all times. Rall flew combat missions in the Battle of France, and Battle of Britain. He wasContinue reading “Günther Rall – Third Highest scoring Air Ace of All Times – 275 Victories”

German Air Ace Gerhard Barkhorn – Second Highest Scoring Ace of All Times

Gerhard “Gerd” Barkhorn (Gerd being short form for Gerhard) was the second most successful fighter ace of all time after fellow Luftwaffe pilot Erich Hartmann. Other than Hartmann, Barkhorn is the only fighter ace to ever exceed 300 claimed victories. Barkhorn flew his first combat missions in May 1940, during the Battle of France and then the Battle of Britain without shooting down any aircraft. His firstContinue reading “German Air Ace Gerhard Barkhorn – Second Highest Scoring Ace of All Times”

Finnish Ilmari Juutilainen – The Double Fighter Knight – Highest Scoring Non-German Ace – 94 Aerial Victories

Eino Ilmari “Illu” Juutilainen was a fighter pilot of the Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force), and the top scoring non-German fighter pilot of all time. This makes him the top flying ace of the Finnish Air Force, leading all Finnish pilots in score against Soviet aircraft in World War II (1939–40 and 1941–44), with 94 confirmed aerial combat victories in 437 sorties, though he himself claimed 126 victories.Continue reading “Finnish Ilmari Juutilainen – The Double Fighter Knight – Highest Scoring Non-German Ace – 94 Aerial Victories”

Iranian Air Ace Jalil Zandi – 11 Aerial Victories. Highest-Scoring Pilot ever on F-14 Tomcat

Brig. General Jalil Zandi was a fighter pilot in the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force who served during all of the Iran–Iraq War. His combat record qualifies him as one of the most successful pilot of that conflict in air-to-air combat, as well as one of the best Iranian Aces ever. It also made him the highest-scoring pilot in the history of the F-14Continue reading “Iranian Air Ace Jalil Zandi – 11 Aerial Victories. Highest-Scoring Pilot ever on F-14 Tomcat”

Israel’s Giora “Hawkeye” Epstein – Ace of Aces of Supersonic Fighter jets – 17 Aerial Victories

Brigadier General Giora “Hawkeye” Epstein (also called Giora Even) of the Israeli Air Force (IAF), is a fighter ace credited with 17 victories, 16 against Egyptian jets, making Epstein the “Ace of Aces” of supersonic fighter jets. Epstein was an active IAF pilot from 1956 until May 26, 1997, when he retired at age 59. Like many retired IAF flyers,Continue reading “Israel’s Giora “Hawkeye” Epstein – Ace of Aces of Supersonic Fighter jets – 17 Aerial Victories”

Highest Scoring Night Ace – German Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer – 121 Victories

Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer was a German Luftwaffe night-fighter pilot and the highest-scoring night fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare. All Schnaufer’s 121 victories were in World War II, and mostly against British four-engine bombers. For his excellent combat record, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, Germany’s highest military decoration at the time,Continue reading “Highest Scoring Night Ace – German Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer – 121 Victories”

Japanese “Zero” Fighter Air Ace Tetsuzō Iwamoto “Tiger Tetsu”- 94 Aerial Victories – Greatest Japanese Fighter Ace of All Time

Lieutenant Junior Grade Tetsuzō Iwamoto was one of the top scoring aces among Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS) fighter pilots. He joined the Imperial Navy in 1934 and completed pilot training in December 1936. His first combat occurred over China in early 1938. He emerged as one of the top aces of the Imperial Japan during WWII, credited with at least 94Continue reading “Japanese “Zero” Fighter Air Ace Tetsuzō Iwamoto “Tiger Tetsu”- 94 Aerial Victories – Greatest Japanese Fighter Ace of All Time”