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World War II: Aces of the Western Front

World War II: Aces of the Western Front



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.
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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 Fighter - Hauptmann Hans Hahn, III./JG 2, Summer 1942 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 Fighter - Hauptmann Hans Hahn, III./Jagdgeschwader 2, Summer 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Butcher Bird", the Fw 190 was Germany's best air-to-ground fighter. Faster and more agile than the British Spitfire, it dominated the skies over Europe as a fighter and was the Luftwaffe's most important ground-attack aircraft.

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USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Capt. Leonard Kit Carson, Nooky Booky III, 362nd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, Europe, 1944 USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Capt. Leonard 'Kit' Carson, "Nooky Booky III", 362nd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, Europe, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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USAAF Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Fighter - Fred Christensen, 62nd Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, Rozzie Geth, Boche Buster, 62nd Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group USAAF Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Fighter - Fred Christensen, "Rozzie Geth/Boche Buster", 62nd Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Jug" for its bulky shape, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was considered a monster of a machine. Despite its size, the Thunderbolt proved to be a fast and maneuverable warbird able to hold its own in combat..

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German Messerschmitt Bf 109E Fighter - Hauptmann Wolfgang Lippert, II./Jagdgeschwader 27, 1940 German Messerschmitt Bf 109E Fighter - Hauptmann Wolfgang Lippert, II./Jagdgeschwader 27, 1940 (1:72 Scale)

Numerically the most abundant fighter produced by either side during WWII, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 formed the backbone of the Jagdwaffe on both the eastern and western fronts, as well as in the Mediterranean and North Africa.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A Fighter - Oberleutnant Otto "Stotto" Stammberger, 4./Jagdgeschwader 26, 1943 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A Fighter - Oberleutnant Otto "Stotto" Stammberger, 4./Jagdgeschwader 26, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Butcher Bird," the Fw 190 was Germany's best air-to-ground fighter. Faster and more agile than the British Spitfire, it dominated the skies over Europe as a fighter and was the Luftwaffe's most important ground-attack aircraft. Controlled by the skilled hands of aces like Oberleutnant Otto Kittel, the FW-190 gained the reputation of being one of the greatest fighters of all time.

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USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Maj. Louis Red Dog Norley, Red Dog XII, 4th Fighter Group, RAF Debden, England, 1945 USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Maj. Louis "Red Dog" Norley, "Red Dog XII," 4th Fighter Group, RAF Debden, England, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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German Messerschmitt Bf 109F Fighter - Hauptmann Hans von Hahn, III./Jagdgeschwader 2, 1941 German Messerschmitt Bf 109F Fighter - Hauptmann Hans von Hahn, III./Jagdgeschwader 2, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

Numerically the most abundant fighter produced by either side during WWII, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 formed the backbone of the Jagdwaffe on both the eastern and western fronts, as well as in the Mediterranean and North Africa.

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German Focke-Wulf Ta 152H Interceptor - Ofw. Josef Keil, Stab./Jagdgeschwader 301, Sachau, Germany, April 1945 German Focke-Wulf Ta 152H Interceptor - Ofw. Josef Keil, Stab./Jagdgeschwader 301, Sachau, Germany, April 1945 (1:72 Scale)

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 was a World War II German high-altitude fighter-interceptor. The Ta 152 was a development of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 aircraft, but the prefix was changed from "Fw" to "Ta" to recognize the contributions of Kurt Tank who headed the design team.

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RAAF North American Mustang Mk. IV Fighter - Warrant Officer Lewis Robert "Lew" Ranger, 3 Squadron, Europe, 1945 RAAF North American Mustang Mk. IV Fighter - Warrant Officer Lewis Robert "Lew" Ranger, 3 Squadron, Europe, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Fighter - Hans Dortenmann, 12./Jagdgeschwader 54, Oldenberg, Germany, 1944 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Fighter - Hans Dortenmann, 12./Jagdgeschwader 54, Oldenberg, Germany, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Butcher Bird," the Fw 190 was Germany's best air-to-ground fighter. Faster and more agile than the British Spitfire, it dominated the skies over Europe as a fighter and was the Luftwaffe's most important ground-attack aircraft.

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USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - "Sweet Arlene", 2nd Lt Arthur Reed Bowers, 334th Fighter Squadron "Fighting Eagles", 4th Fighter Group USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - "Sweet Arlene", 2nd Lt Arthur Reed Bowers, 334th Fighter Squadron "Fighting Eagles", 4th Fighter Group (1:72 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Captain Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson, Old Crow, 357th Fighter Group, France, 1944 USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Captain Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson, 'Old Crow,' 363rd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, France, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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USAAF Bell P-39Q Airacobra Fighter - Captain Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson, Old Crow, 363rd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, Tonopah, California, 1943 USAAF Bell P-39Q Airacobra Fighter - Captain Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson, "Old Crow", 363rd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, Tonopah, California, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

The P-39 was one of America's first-line pursuit planes in December 1941. It made its initial flight in April 1939 at Wright Field and by the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, nearly 600 had been built. Its unique engine location behind the cockpit caused some pilot concern, but this proved to be no more of a hazard in a crash landing than with an engine located forward of the cockpit.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Fighter - Josef Priller, III/Jagdgeschwader 26 Schlageter, Lille, France, 1943 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Fighter - Josef "Pips" Priller, III/Jagdgeschwader 26 "Schlageter", Lille, France, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Butcher Bird", the Fw 190 was Germany's best air-to-ground fighter. Faster and more agile than the British Spitfire, it dominated the skies over Europe as a fighter and was the Luftwaffe's most important ground-attack aircraft.

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RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XIV Fighter - Flight Leftenant H. D. Johnny Johnson, 91 Squadron, RAF West Malling, England, July 1944 RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XIV Fighter - Flight Leftenant H. D. 'Johnny' Johnson, 91 Squadron, RAF West Malling, England, July 1944 (1:72 Scale)

The Spitfire is the most famous British aircraft of all time. Although less numerous than the Hawker Hurricane, it is remembered as the sleek, thoroughbred fighting machine that turned the tide during the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire was among the fastest and most maneuverable prop-driven fighters of World War II, serving in virtually every combat theater.

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RAF Hawker Hurricane Mk. I Fighter - Wing Commander Bob Foster, Battle of Britain, No. 73 Squadron, Croydon, England, 1940 RAF Hawker Hurricane Mk. I Fighter - Wing Commander Bob Foster, "Battle of Britain", No. 73 Squadron, Croydon, England, 1940 (1:72 Scale)

The Hawker Hurricane was the first monoplane to join the Royal Air Force as a fighter aircraft, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 300-mph in level flight. Often compared with the sleek-looking Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane, in actuality, shouldered the brunt of the fighting during the "Battle of Britain", equipping more than three-fifths of the RAF's Fighter Command squadrons.

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RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I Fighter - R6885, Pilot Officer Eric Stanley Lock, Battle of Britain, No. 41 Squadron, Catterick, England, August 1940 RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I Fighter - R6885, Pilot Officer Eric Stanley Lock, "Battle of Britain", No. 41 Squadron, Catterick, England, August 1940 (1:72 Scale)

The Spitfire is the most famous British aircraft of all time. Although less numerous than the Hawker Hurricane, it is remembered as the sleek, thoroughbred fighting machine that turned the tide during the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire was among the fastest and most maneuverable prop-driven fighters of World War II, serving in virtually every combat theater.

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German Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 Night Fighter - G9+EF, Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, IV./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1, St. Trond, October 1944 German Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 Night Fighter - "G9+EF", Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, IV./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1, St. Trond, October 1944 (1:72 Scale)

The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was an aircraft of very mixed fortunes. It has often been criticized for its failure during the Battle of Britain, while its successes in other fields have been largely ignored.

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USAAF Lockheed P-38J Lightning Interceptor - Robin Olds, 434th Fighter Squadron, 479th Fighter Group, Europe, 1944 USAAF Lockheed P-38J Lightning Interceptor - Robin Olds, 434th Fighter Squadron, 479th Fighter Group, Europe, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

It was fast, heavily armed and extremely versatile. And many believe the Lockheed P-38 Lightning to be the finest American fighter of WWII. Its low-drag, aerodynamic shape and heavy weight enabled this twin-engine, twin-boomed aircraft to accelerate to high speeds faster than any previous warplane, making it a potent fighter and a superb fighter-bomber.

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German Messerschmitt Me 262A-1A Fighter - Franz Schall, White 1, Kommando Nowotny, 1944 German Messerschmitt Me 262A-1A Fighter - Franz Schall, 'White 1', Kommando Nowotny, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

The jet-powered Me 262 Sturmvogel ("Stormbird") has long since gained its place in the annals of international aeronautical history. With its sleek aerodynamic design and high performance jet engines, the Me 262 radically changed the way in which air combat was waged.

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RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IIA Fighter - American Ace William R. Dunn, 71 Eagle Squadron, North Weald, England, 1941 RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IIA Fighter - American Ace William R. Dunn, 71 'Eagle' Squadron, North Weald, England, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Avro Vulcan, sometimes referred to as the Hawker Siddeley Vulcan, is a delta wing subsonic jet strategic bomber that was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1953 until 1984.

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RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I Fighter - P9374, No. 92 Squadron, Duxford 2012 RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I Fighter - P9374, No. 92 Squadron, Duxford 2012 (1:72 Scale)

The Spitfire is the most famous British aircraft of all time. Although less numerous than the Hawker Hurricane, it is remembered as the sleek, thoroughbred fighting machine that turned the tide during the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire was among the fastest and most maneuverable prop-driven fighters of World War II, serving in virtually every combat theater.

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Limited Edition USAAF Republic P-47D-22 Thunderbolt Fighter - "Silver Lady", 61st Fighting Squadron Ace Captain, 56th Fighter Group, RAF Kings Cliffe, England, 1944 Limited Edition USAAF Republic P-47D-22 Thunderbolt Fighter - "Silver Lady", 61st Fighting Squadron Ace Captain, 56th Fighter Group, RAF Kings Cliffe, England, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Jug" for its bulky shape, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was considered a monster of a machine. Despite its size, the Thunderbolt proved to be a fast and maneuverable warbird able to hold its own in combat.

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German Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 Fighter - Oberleutnant Martin Becker, 3C+MK, 2./Nachtjagdgeschwader 4, Tavaux, France, 1944 German Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 Fighter - Oberleutnant Martin Becker, "3C+MK," 2./Nachtjagdgeschwader 4, Tavaux, France, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was an aircraft of very mixed fortunes. It has often been criticized for its failure during the Battle of Britain, while its successes in other fields have been largely ignored.

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German Focke-Wulf FW 190A-8/R8 Fighter - Hauptmann Wilhelm Moritz, IV/Jagdgeschwader 3, August 1944 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8/R8 Fighter - Hauptmann Wilhelm Moritz, IV/Jagdgeschwader 3, August 1944 (1:48 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Butcher Bird," the Fw 190 was Germany's best air-to-ground fighter. Faster and more agile than the British Spitfire, it dominated the skies over Europe as a fighter and was the Luftwaffe's most important ground-attack aircraft.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8/R2 Fighter - Unteroffizier Willi Maximowitz, 11 (Sturm)/Jagdgeschwader 3, Dreux, France, 1944 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8/R2 Fighter - Unteroffizier Willi Maximowitz, 11 (Sturm)/Jagdgeschwader 3, Dreux, France, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Butcher Bird," the Fw 190 was Germany's best air-to-ground fighter. Faster and more agile than the British Spitfire, it dominated the skies over Europe as a fighter and was the Luftwaffe's most important ground-attack aircraft.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190F8/R3 Fighter Equipped with Mk.103 30mm Cannon - Tank Buster German Focke-Wulf Fw 190F8/R3 Fighter Equipped with Mk.103 30mm Cannon - "Tank Buster" (1:48 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Butcher Bird," the Fw 190 was Germany's best air-to-ground fighter. Faster and more agile than the British Spitfire, it dominated the skies over Europe as a fighter and was the Luftwaffe's most important ground-attack aircraft.

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USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - "Petie 2nd," Lt. Col. John Meyer, 487th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, France, 1944 USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - "Petie 2nd," Lt. Col. John Meyer, 487th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, France, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Captain Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson Old Crow, 357th Fighter Group, France, 1944 USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Captain Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson, 'Old Crow,' 357th Fighter Group, France, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190F Fighter - White 6, I./Schlachtgeschwader 4, Northern Italy, 1944 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190F Fighter - "White 6", I./Schlachtgeschwader 4, Northern Italy, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Butcher Bird," the Fw 190 was Germany's best air-to-ground fighter. Faster and more agile than the British Spitfire, it dominated the skies over Europe as a fighter and was the Luftwaffe's most important ground-attack aircraft.

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