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Ace of aces is a title accorded to the top active ace within a branch of service in a nation's military in time of war. The title is most closely associated with fighter aces, though there are other types, such as tank aces, and submarine aces.

Fighter acesEdit

Ace of aces is a title accorded to the top flying ace/fighter ace of a nation's air force during time of war.

Persons accorded the title Ace of aces
Person Country of service War Time
Adolphe Pégoud 23x15px Third Republic (France) World War I 28 April 1915 – 31 August 1915 The first flying ace in aerial warfare history.[1]
Georges Flachaire 23x15px Third Republic (France) World War I
Jean Navarre 23x15px Third Republic (France) World War I – 17 June 1916 On 17 June 1916, Navarre is shot down and then grounded for the rest of the war due to injury.[2]
Georges Guynemer 23x15px Third Republic (France) World War I – 11 September 1917 [2][3]
Charles Nungesser 23x15px Third Republic (France) World War I 11 September 1917 – Succeeded Guynemer on his death.[3]
René Fonck 23x15px Third Republic (France) World War I – end of World War I All-time Allied Ace of Aces, with 75 confirmed aerial victories.[4]Script error[5][6]Script error
Max Immelmann 23x15px Imperial Germany World War I – 18 June 1916 Before his death, Boelcke and Immelmann swapped the title several times.[7]
Oswald Boelcke 23x15px Imperial Germany World War I 18 June 1916 – 28 October 1916 Before the death of Immelmann, Boelcke and Immelmann swapped the title several times. Succeeded Immelmann on his death.[8]
Manfred von Richthofen 23x15px Imperial Germany World War I – 21 April 1918 Known as the Red Baron, his 80 victories made him the highest scoring ace of the First World War.
Erich Loewenhardt 23x15px Imperial Germany World War I – 10 August 1918 [9]Script error
Ernst Udet 23x15px Imperial Germany World War I – end of World War I [10]Script error
Albert Ball 23x15px United Kingdom World War I – 7 May 1917 Was also the ace of aces and highest scoring ace for the Western allies.
Keith Park 23x15px New Zealand
(23x15px No. 48 Squadron RAF)
World War I 1917 Keith Park's ability as a fighter ace was overshadowed by his later successes as the commander of No. 11 Group RAF during the Battle of Britain and commander of the air defence of Malta. The Luftwaffe nicknamed him the "Defender of London".
Billy Bishop 23x15px Canada
(23x15px No. 85 Squadron RAF)
World War I 8 April 1917 – 19 June 1918 Billy Bishop was officially credited with 72 victories, making him Canada's all-time top ace, and according to some sources, the top ace of the British Empire.
Raymond Collishaw 23x15px Canada
(23x15px No. 203 Squadron RAF)
World War I 1916–1918 Raymond Collishaw was the highest scoring Royal Naval Air Service flying ace and the second highest scoring Canadian pilot of the First World War. First pilot of the British Empire to claim six victories in one day (6 July 1917).
Edward Mannock 23x15px United Kingdom World War I 12 August 1917 – 26 July 1918 Edward Mannock may have been the highest-scoring ace within the British Empire of all time and is regarded as one of the greatest fighter pilots of the war.
Raoul Lufbery 23x15px United States
(23x15px Escadrille Lafayette)
World War I October 1916 – 15 May 1918 [11]Script error[12][13]Script error[14]
Paul Frank Baer 23x15px United States
(23x15px Escadrille Lafayette)
World War I 15 May 1918 – 18 May 1918 Succeeded Lufbery on his death.[12]
Frank Bayliss 23x15px United States
(23x15px L'armee de l'air de France)
World War I 18 May 1918 – 12 June 1918 Succeeded Baer on his death.[12]
David E. Putnam 23x15px United States
(23x15px Escadrille Lafayette)
World War I 12 June 1918 – 12 September 1918 Succeeded Bayliss on his capture.[12][15]
Frank Luke 23x15px United States World War I – 29 September 1918
Eddie Rickenbacker 23x15px United States World War I 29 September 1918 – end of World War I Succeeded Luke on his death. Was the US ace of aces for overall aerial victories[12]
Francesco Baracca 23x15px Italy World War I The most successful Italian ace of World War I, with 34 confirmed victories; decorated with the Gold Medal of Military Valour.
Indra Lal Roy 23x15px India World War I 1917–1918 India's most successful fighter pilot, with 12 kills (2 shared). He remains the only Indian fighter ace to this day.[16]
Ivan Kozhedub 23x15px Soviet Union World War II 26 March 1943 – 16 April 1945 Credited with 64 victories, Kozhedub is the top scoring Allied ace of World War II. One of the few pilots to shoot down Messerschmitt Me 262.[17][18]
Alexander Pokryshkin 23x15px Soviet Union World War II 21 June 1941 – 14 January 1945 Second top scoring Allied ace of World War II.
Grigoriy Rechkalov 23x15px Soviet Union World War II 21 June 1941 – April 1945 Allied ace of World War II.
Edgar James "Cobber" Kain 23x15px New Zealand
(23x15px No. 53 Squadron RAF)
World War II October 1939 – May 1940 First RAF air ace of World War II during the Battle of France.
Josef Frantisek 23x15px Czechoslovakia
(23x15px 303 Squadron)
World War II September 1940; Credited as the top scoring RAF ace during the Battle of Britain. He refused to fly in formation but was allowed to fly as a "guest" of RAF 303 (Polish) squadron. In the air he would break off and patrol areas by himself where he knew enemy aircraft would be.
Eric Lock
(23x15px No. 41 Squadron RAF)
World War II September 1940; The top British ace during the Battle of Britain and along with Brian Carbury credited with the highest number of Bf 109 kills during this period.
Brian Carbury 23x15px New Zealand
(23x15px No. 603 Squadron RAF)
World War II September 1940; One of the Ace Of Aces during the Battle of Britain, scored the most kills (along with Eric Lock) against Bf 109s and shot down 5 aircraft in one day to become an Ace in a Day.
Witold Urbanowicz 23x15px Poland
(23x15px No. 303 Squadron RAF)
World War II September 1940; The top Polish ace during the Battle of Britain. 303 (Polish) Sqn entered the Battle of Britain later due to language barriers but went on to become one of the top scoring squadrons due to the Polish pilots' previous experience and determination.
Antoni Głowacki 23x15px Poland
(23x15px No. 501 Squadron RAF)
World War II September 1940; One of only two RAF pilots (along with Brain Carbury) during the Battle of Britain to become an Ace in a Day by shooting down 5 aircraft in one day.
James E. "Johnnie" Johnson 23x15px United Kingdom World War II September 1941–1945 – Top RAF ace of World War II.
William R. Dunn 23x15px United States
(23x15px Eagle Squadron)
World War II August 1941 – First American ace, First American to have a shot down another plane.[19]Script error
Joe Foss 23x15px United States World War II 1942–1944 The U.S. Marine Corps' "other" top ace, credited with 26 confirmed downed Japanese aircraft. Awarded Congressional Medal of Honor.[20]
Gregory Boyington 23x15px United States World War II Aug 1942–Jan 1943 The U.S. Marine Corps' top ace, credited with 28 Japanese aircraft during combat with the Flying Tigers (P40 Warhawk), and later in command of Marine Squadron VMF-214 (F4U Corsair). Awarded Congressional Medal of Honor.
Richard Bong 23x15px United States World War II 1942–1944 aka "Ace of Aces." U.S. pilot credited with at least 40 confirmed downed Japanese aircraft. Awarded Congressional Medal of Honor.
Hiroyoshi Nishizawa 23x15px Imperial Japan World War II 1942–1944 Japan's top navy fighter pilot ace, credited with at approximately 80 downed aircraft in the Pacific war.
Ilmari Juutilainen 23x15px Finland World War II 1939–1944 94 confirmed aerial combat victories.
Hans Wind 23x15px Finland World War II 1939–1944 Finnish fighter pilot and flying ace in World War II with 75 confirmed air combat victories.
Helmut Wick 23x15px Third Reich (Germany) World War II 28 November 1940 Credited with 56 aerial victories. Was the leading German fighter pilot for few hours until he was shot down and went missing in action.
Werner Mölders 23x15px Third Reich (Germany) World War II – 22 November 1941 First pilot to achieve 100 aerial victories on 15 July 1941[21][22]
Gordon Gollob 23x15px Third Reich (Germany) World War II First pilot to achieve 150 aerial victories[22]
Hermann Graf 23x15px Third Reich (Germany) World War II First pilot to achieve 200 aerial victories[22]
Hans Philipp 23x15px Third Reich (Germany) World War II 17 March 1943 With 203 aerial victories surpassed Hermann Graf as the leading German fighter pilot.
Walter Nowotny 23x15px Third Reich (Germany) World War II First pilot to achieve 250 aerial victories[22] Commanded one of the first Me 262 jet fighter squadrons.
Erich Hartmann 23x15px Third Reich (Germany) World War II – end of World War II Hartmann is the highest scoring ace, with 352 aerial victories, the first pilot to achieve 300 aerial victories (on 24 August 1944) and first to achieve 350 aerial victories (on 17 April 1945)[23]
Alfred Schreiber 23x15px Third Reich (Germany) World War II 28 October 1944 First jet ace in aviation history[24]
Kurt Welter 23x15px Third Reich (Germany) World War II – end of World War II Highest scoring jet ace the Second World War
Lydia Litvyak 23x15px Soviet Union World War II Highest scoring female ace in aviation history
Marmaduke Pattle 23x15px South Africa
(23x15px No. 80 Squadron RAF)
World War II 1914–1941 Pattle was a fighter ace with a high score of >50, and is sometimes noted as being the highest-scoring British and Commonwealth pilot of the Second World War.
Franco Lucchini 23x15px Italy World War II 1940–1945 Lucchini is reputed the highest scoring Italian ace of World War II with 26 confirmed victories and several unconfirmed kills; he served both in the Regia Aeronautica and in the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana.
James Jabara 23x15px United States Korean War 20 May 1951 – First American Jet ace for Jet-vs-Jet combat.[25]
George A. Davis 23x15px United States Korean War – Friday 13 March 1953 Was the ace of aces for Jet-vs-Jet combat.[26][27]
Royal N. Baker 23x15px United States Korean War Friday 13 March 1953 – Was the ace of aces for Jet-vs-Jet combat. Succeeded Davis on his death.[26][28]
Joseph C. McConnell 23x15px United States Korean War – end of Korean War Was the ace of aces for Jet-vs-Jet combat.[29]
Sergei Kramarenko 23x15px Soviet Union
(23x15px Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
Korean War 29 July 1951 – First Jet-vs-Jet ace of the Korean War.
Giora Epstein 23x15px Israel Six Day War, War of Attrition, Yom Kippur War 1956–1998 History's highest scoring jet ace, with 17 confirmed kills.
Saiful Azam 23x15px Pakistan Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Six-Day War 1958–1980 Saiful Azam remains the only fighter pilot who has flown for four Air forces (Jordan, Iraq, Pakistan and Bangladesh) and three air forces at war(Jordan, Iraq, Pakistan) along with honor of having kills against two different air forces (India and Israel). Minimum 5 claimed aerial victories in two different wars.
M M Alam 23x15px Pakistan Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 1960–1982 M M Alam,also known as the Little Dragon, claimed and is credited to have downed 9 Indian aircraft. In one combat he is credit to have shot down 5 Indian aircraft in 55 seconds first four within 30 seconds-establishing a world record, and thus becoming an ‘ace’ pilot in the 1965 war against India in the shortest possible time.[30]
Randy H. Duke Cunningham 23x15px United States Vietnam War 1968 – 1972 First American ace of the Vietnam War.[31]
Nguyen Van Coc Democratic Republic of Vietnam Vietnam War 1967-1969 A MiG-21 pilot of the North Vietnamese Air Force during the Vietnam War, he was shot down during Operation Bolo, and over the next year shot down 2 F-4's, 4 F-105's and an F-102.[32]

[33]

Shahram Rostami[34] 23x15px Iran Iran–Iraq War 1980–1988 Shahram Rostami was an Iranian flying ace in the Iran-Iraq War. He was an F-14 Tomcat pilot. He shot down 6 Iraqi fighters: 1 MiG-21, 3 Mirage F1s and 2 MiG-25s. He was the first fighter pilot in the world, who shot down a MiG-25.[35][36][37]
Jalil Zandi 23x15px Iran Iran–Iraq War 1980–1988 Iran's most successful fighter pilot ever, with 11 aerial victories (8 confirmed and 3 probable). The most successful F-14 Tomcat pilot.[38][39][40]
Mohommed "Sky Falcon" Rayyan 23x15px Iraq Iran–Iraq War 1980–1986 Iraq's most successful fighter pilot ever, with 10 (5 confirmed kills and 5 claimed kills) aerial victories. The most successful MiG-25 pilot.[41][42]

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Submarine acesEdit

Ace of the Deep is a title accordedScript error to the top subsea ace/undersea ace/submarine ace of a nation's submarine force during time of war.

Persons accorded the title ace of aces
Person Country of service War Time
Lothar von Arnauld de la Periere 23x15px Imperial Germany World War I 1915–18 The commander of U-35, de la Periere sank a total of 194 merchant vessels and gunboats totaling 453,716 gross metric tons.[43]Script error
Dudley W. Morton 23x15px United States World War II – September 1943 Died
Dick O'Kane 23x15px United States World War II – 25 October 1944 Was captured and made Prisoner of war.[44]Script error
Eugene Fluckey 23x15px United States World War II [45]
Malcolm David Wanklyn 23x15px United Kingdom World War II – 14 April 1942 Wanklyn was the British Ace of Aces in terms of tonnage, and he was the most successful British U-class submarine commander, with 17 ships sunk, 1 destroyed with charges and another 6 damaged, totaling 132,680 tons during a career of 26 patrols.[45][46][47]Script error
Benjamin Bryant 23x15px United Kingdom World War II – end of World War II Bryant was the British Ace of Aces in terms of the number of ships sunk, and he was the most successful British S-class submarine commander, with 27 ships sunk and another 8 damaged, totaling 41,521 tons during a career of 29 patrols.[48][49]Script error
Takakazu Kinashi 23x15px Imperial Japan World War II
Otto Kretschmer 23x15px Third Reich (Germany) World War II – March 1941 Kretschmer was responsible for the sinking of 47 merchant ships totaling 272,043 tons as commander of U-35, German submarine U-23 and U-99. He was captured in March 1941 and spent the rest of the war in the Bowmanville POW camp, Canada.
Reinhard Suhren 23x15px Third Reich (Germany) World War II A U-boat ace.[50]Script error
Gianfranco Gazzana-Priaroggia 23x15px Italy World War II The highest scoring Italian submarine commander, with 11 ships sunk for a total of 90,601 tons.[51]
Carlo Fecia di Cossato 23x15px Italy World War II With 16 sinkings, he is credited with the most kills in the Regia Marina, as well as the second most successful Italian submarine commander with 86,545 tons.[51]

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Submarine huntersEdit

Persons accordedScript error the title ace of aces
Person Country of service War Time
John Walker 23x15px United Kingdom World War II Walker sank more U-boats (12 Confirmed) during the Battle of the Atlantic than any other British or Allied commander.[52]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Aviation History, "World's First Ace", Jon Guttman, Volume 20, Number 3, January 2010, pp.19
  2. 2.0 2.1 New York Times, "Saw 40 Air Foes After Guynemer", Thursday 27 September 1917
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation, "Hispano-Suiza Aeronautical Engines", Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation, 1918
  4. Taylor & Francis, "The European Powers in the First World War", Spencer Tucker, Laura Matysek Wood, Justin D. Murphy, ISBN 0-8153-0399-8
  5. The Lowell Sun, "Record by French "Ace Of Aces" Never Equalled", Associated Press, Friday 21 June 1918
  6. Doubleday, "Ace of Aces", René Fonck, 1967
  7. New York Times, "Immelmann Fell 6,000 Feet To Death", 25 June 1916
  8. New York Times, "A Talk With Boelcke On The Day Of His Death", Sunday 28 January 1917
  9. Osprey Publishing, "Richthofen's Circus", Greg VanWyngarden, 2005
  10. University of Nebraska Press, "Impossible missions?: German economic, military, and humanitarian efforts in Africa", Nina Berman, 2004
  11. National Geographic Society, "Volume XXXIII", National Geographic Magazine, 1918
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Stokes, "Fighting the Flying Circus", Eddie Rickenbacker, 1919, (accessed 18 April 2009)
  13. Osprey Publishing, "American Aces of World War I", Norman Franks, 2001, ISBN 1-84176-375-6
  14. New York Times, "ALLIES ON SOMME TAKE 1,500 GERMANS; French Alone Captured 1,100 in Saturday's Fighting South of the River. BRITISH IMPROVE LINES Continue to Push Forward North of Thiepval and In the Region of Gucudecourt.", 15 October 1916
  15. New York Times, "Putnam, American Ace, Killed Near St. Mihiel", Associated Press, 20 September 1918
  16. http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/india/roy.php
  17. Polak, Tomas with Christopher Shores. Stalin’s Falcon – The Aces of the Red Star. Brub Street, London, 1999. ISBN 1-902304-01-2, p.189
  18. Николай Бодрихин. Советские асы. Очерки о советских летчиках
  19. "Fighter Pilot: The First American Ace of World War II", William R. Dunn
  20. The Telegraph (London), "Joe Foss", 2 January 2003, (accessed 17 April 2009)
  21. TIME, No. 1 Ace, 21 December 1942, (accessed 17 April 2009)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Toliver & Constable 1998, p. 385.
  23. Toliver & Constable 1998, pp. 385, 386. He later served in West Germany's air force, but resigned in protest of the adoption of a "dangerous plane."
  24. Foreman & Harvey 1995, p. 81.
  25. National Museum of the USAF, "LT. COL. JAMES JABARA", (accessed 17 April 2009)
  26. 26.0 26.1 TIME, "Ace of Aces", Monday 23 March 1953, (accessed 17 April 2009)
  27. TIME, "Fallen Ace", Monday 18 February 1952, (accessed 17 April 2009)
  28. The Canberra Times, "Air Ace Ends Task", 16 March 1953, (accessed 17 April 2009)
  29. TIME, "Ace's End", 6 September 1954, (accessed 17 April 2009)
  30. Script error
  31. Texas A&M University Press, "Striving for air superiority: the Tactical Air Command in Vietnam", Craig C. Hannah, 2002, ISBN 978-1-58544-146-4
  32. http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_245.shtml
  33. http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_246.shtml
  34. simple:Shahram Rostami
  35. http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_210.shtml
  36. http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_211.shtml
  37. http://www.cieldegloire.com/as_45_00_victoires.php
  38. Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, 2004, Osprey Publishing, pp. 23–24
  39. Imperial Iranian Air Force: Samurai in the skies
  40. Fire in the Hills: Iranian and Iraqi Battles of Autumn 1982, by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop, Sept. 9, 2003
  41. http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_404.shtml
  42. Arab MiG-19 and MiG-21 Units in Combat, by David Nicolle and Tom Cooper, (2004) Osprey Publishing, p.82
  43. Challenge Publications, "The U-Boat ACE of ACES", William H Langenberg, 2004
  44. Sutton Publishing, "The Bravest Man", William Tuohy, 2001
  45. 45.0 45.1 The Times (London), "Rear-Admiral Eugene Fluckey", 20 July 2007 (accessed 2009 April 20)
  46. Script error
  47. Naval Institute Press, "Soldiers Lost at Sea", James E. Wise, Scott Baron, 2003, ISBN 978-1-59114-966-8
  48. Script error
  49. Bantam, "Submarine Commander", Rear Admiral Ben Bryant, 1960
  50. US Naval Institute Press, "Teddy Suhren: Ace of Aces: Memoirs of a U-boat Rebel", Teddy Suhren, ISBN 978-1-59114-851-7
  51. 51.0 51.1 Script error
  52. http://www.unithistories.com/officers/RN_officersW.html#Walker_FJ

BibliographyEdit

  • http://www.acesofww2.com/
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  • Toliver, Raymond F. and Trevor J. Constable (1998). Die deutschen Jagdflieger-Asse 1939 – 1945. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-87943-193-0.
  • Samuel, Wolfgang W.E. (2004). American Raiders — The Race to Capture the Luftwaffe's Secrets. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-57806-649-2.


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