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WWII Aerial Gunner Aces?

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RWJONES
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2003/08/05 19:01:47 (permalink)
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WWII Aerial Gunner Aces?

Fighter pilots with 5 kills were called aces. Did the same apply to aerial gunners who had 5 or more confirmed kills? Did any aerial gunners have 5 or more confirmed kills?
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    jpeters140
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    Re: [RWJONES] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/05 20:55:38 (permalink)
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    Aerial Gunners who were Aces.....there is a book called Aerial Gunners..The Unknown Aces of WW II.....I flew with the 99th BG 348th BS and one of the gunners in the 348th was awarded "Ace" status by General "Tooey Spaatz", in an Order that is printed in the book.

    He downed a total of 9 e/a .....7 on one mission....I think there were about 12 enlisted gunners...Army Air Forces. US Navy, Marine gunners etc who are creditied in the book with downing more than one e/a, and I think also that there were several who shotdown more than 5 e/a...

    Of course the Fighter pilots will not recognize the Aerial Gunners....Actualy according to the total e/a downed, the Aerial Gunners far outshone the Fighter Pilots,in total downed a/c.

    Jim :-) B-17 Top Turret 99th BG 348th BS 15 AAF, Foggia, Italy
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    Dave T
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    Re: [RWJONES] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/06 13:22:37 (permalink)
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    The story of the gunner who downed 7 e/a's on one mission is told in Martin Caiden's book Flying Fort. If I recall correctly, it occured in the Italian theater.

    Dave
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    jpeters140
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    Re: [Dave T] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/06 13:48:41 (permalink)
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    Dave..you are correct....S/Sgt Ben Warmer was the gunner...he later was Commissioned...at one time he was a Secret Service Agent guarding the President, if I have the story straight....if I can find my copy of the "Aerial Gunners...The Unknown Aces of WW II", I will excerpt the account.

    Jim :-)
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    RWJONES
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    Re: [jpeters140] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/06 15:29:49 (permalink)
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    Jim:

    Thank you for your service in WWII and thank you for your response. I assumed that some gunners would have downed 5 or more e/a, but it was always the fighter jockeys that got the press. Not to denigrate their courage or service. In my book it took a lot of guts to fly into enemy territory in any type of a/c and have the bad guys try to shoot you out of the sky with fighters and AAA.

    You served in Foggia. The land of the mud! I have actually been to Foggia and I lived in Bari for a short while in 1975.
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    tgharris
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    Re: [RWJONES] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/06 22:42:02 (permalink)
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    I believe Sgt. Warmer was a waist gunner. Also, if I recall correctly from the Caiden book, Warmer had wanted to be a pilot, but was considered too tall.
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    jhor9
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    Re: [RWJONES] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/11 12:40:14 (permalink)
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    The mission that Sgt Warmer got credit for shooting down 7 enemy planes took place on July 5th 43. From Tunis, the target was Gerbini A/D in Sicily. 99th BG had 28 planes over the target, they knocked out about 30 aircraft on the field. They were attacked by more then 100 enemy fighters, the Group got credit for shooting down 49 a/c plus probables. The 348th Sqn had 3 B-17's out of 6 shot down. I'm guessing that Warmer got credit for some of the planes credited to him that were shot down by airmen of the 3 downed B-17s. Shortly after the mission there was a ceremony whereby Generals gave Warmer a DSC, commissioned him a 2nd Lt., and he was immediately shipped out of the Sqdn. The Group also got a Presidential Citation for the mission.

    I was a pilot in the 348th, my crew and I were 1 of 3 relacement crews for the 3 downed B-17s. I was at the ceremony.

    Jules Horowitz
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    fijigmo
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    Re: [jpeters140] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/14 11:11:37 (permalink)
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    Thought you might be interested in this PRESS RELEASE by Capt. George Hutchinson, 348th Bomb squadron. Dated 6 July 1943.

    "Uncle Sam's largest Flying Fortress gunner, a six foot six inch, 275 pound hulk of boxing and football flesh, celebrated his seventh wedding anniversary monday by bringing down seven Axis fighters over Gerbini, Sicily."

    The story goes on to tell of Ben Warmer's family and his career in the USAAF, and the fact that he had two previous kills.\

    James: I have your mailing address. If you would like this story and other stuff about the 99th, I will forward you a CD with some 99th data. It is on the tail end of of a reel of 98th history I had converted from 16 MM microfilm to CD.

    Herb Harper, Historian 98th Vets.
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    jpeters140
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    Re: [fijigmo] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/14 11:33:44 (permalink)
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    Herb...I would defintely appreciate it....let me know what the cost is and I will reimburse you.

    Thank you,

    Jim :-)
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    tstel
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    Re: [RWJONES] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/18 18:34:24 (permalink)
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    Just as a point of interest, the P-38 fighter pilot Richard Bong was the leading American ace of the war, with 40 kills, a record which reportedly still stands today. He was killed over the Los Angeles area near the end of the war while testing a P-80, the first operational USAAF jet fighter. He is mentioned toward the end of the news article below, along with a few photos:

    [url "http://www.stelzriede.com/ms/html/mshwma23.htm"]http://www.stelzriede.com/ms/html/mshwma23.htm[/url]



    Tom Stelzriede

    [url "http://www.stelzriede.com/warstory.htm"]http://www.stelzriede.com/warstory.htm[/url]
    [url "mailto:tstel@yahoo.com"]tstel@yahoo.com[/url]
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    wdykes
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    Re: [jpeters140] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/19 19:56:17 (permalink)
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    Jim and all:

    I read something a while back(think it was an Air Force web site). It sort of upset me for it said" There are no official aces among gunners. Reason being that most times there were several shooting at the same target, and it wasn't possible to tell who actually brought the plane. I knew Ben Warmer. He gave me and about four or five gunners advanced gunnery practice while he was waiting for a ride home after completing his tour. Good man. God bless America!

    Bud
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    jpeters140
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    Re: [wdykes] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/19 20:28:22 (permalink)
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    Bud, If I am not mistaken, the book Aerial Gunners of WW II, The Unnown Aces...DOES have a GO order signed by General Spaaz which designates Ben as an ACE. Also, why are the Fighter Pilots designated a A FIGHTER ACE. If I can find my copy, and the General Order is in there, I will scan it and post it.

    Another subject....what do you think about having the 348th BS insigna used as an avatar..on postinfs by you, Jules Horowitz and myself ?

    Jim ;-)
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    wdykes
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    Re: [jpeters140] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/20 16:43:32 (permalink)
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    Jim:

    the 348th insignia sounds like a great idea. Take care.

    Bud
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    jhor9
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    Re: [RWJONES] WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2003/08/28 10:13:47 (permalink)
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    Jim,

    I have the 1 inch metal insignias of all 4 Sqns of the 99th. The 348 insignia shows a red devil sitting on some kind of a vee, and he is about to drop a bomb that he is holding in his hand. Jules H
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    VEWenneker
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    Re:WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2012/01/27 18:37:35 (permalink)
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    RWJONES

    Fighter pilots with 5 kills were called aces. Did the same apply to aerial gunners who had 5 or more confirmed kills? Did any aerial gunners have 5 or more confirmed kills?
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    VEWenneker
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    Re:WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2012/01/27 18:41:02 (permalink)
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    To my extensive knowledge exactly two WW-II aerial gunner's were deemed "aces"...from all Theater's of Operations.
    jpeters140
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    Re:WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2012/01/27 21:25:36 (permalink)
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    There is a book called "Aerial Gunners...the Unknown Aces of World War Two", by Charles A. Watry and Duanne L. Hall.. 1986..Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 85-91368 ISBN O-914379-01-1........and yes, there was more than just two.
     
    S/Sgt  Ben Warmer  15th AAF, 99th BG B-17 waist gunner shot down a total of Nine...Seven on the same mission.
     
    Another gunner was T/Sgt Arthur P. Benko who shot down seven Japanese fighters, in the CBI. (Group and Squadron unknown). Official CBI records credit Bebko with 18 e/a destroyed...nine in the airm and nine destroyed by strafing aircraft on the gorund.
     
    Another gunner was T/Sgt George Gouldthrite with five victories, all aerial kiills.
     
    Another ace gunner was S/Sgt John Quinian...tail gunner of Memphis Belle with five kills. 
     
    The fighter pilots will not recognize the aerial gunners as Aces, to my knowledge.
     
    Jim :-)

    James S. Peters Sr. T/Sgt B-17 Flt Engr, 27 missions 99 BG, 348BS, 5th Wing, 15th AAF Tortorella, (Foggia#2), Italy My Tour was from 12/03/44-06/19/45 M/Sgt USAF (Retired)
    buckeyeuk
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    Re:WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2012/01/29 16:13:56 (permalink)
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    Jan Safarik on his Air Aces site lists 22 AAF and 12 USN bomber/patrol gunner aces. Names and totals will vary depending on references.
    Nick
     
    www.aces.safarikovi.org/victories/usa-gunner
    www.aces.safarikovi.org/victories/usa-patrol
     
    cbidaughter
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    Re:WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2012/01/29 21:18:45 (permalink)
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    T/Sgt Benko was mentioned on pages 13 and 14:
    http://www.ex-cbi-roundup.com/documents/1959_april.pdf
    AlanStarcher
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    Re:WWII Aerial Gunner Aces? 2012/01/30 17:46:03 (permalink)
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    jpeters140

    Another gunner was T/Sgt Arthur P. Benko who shot down seven Japanese fighters, in the CBI. (Group and Squadron unknown). Official CBI records credit Bebko with 18 e/a destroyed...nine in the airm and nine destroyed by strafing aircraft on the gorund.

    Jim :-)

    Benko was top-turret gunner on "The Goon," a long-serving member of the original cadre of 308th Bomb Group aircraft, in the 374th Bomb Squadron.  He lost his life when he and six others parachuted from the stricken B-24 when the pilot was preparing to abandon the aircraft after losing two engines during a mission; he was believed to have been executed by the Japanese after being captured. 
     
    Carroll Glines, in his book "Chennault's Forgotten Warriors," describes Benko as "destined to become the all-time high scorer of all the gunners in the Fourteenth and possibly the entire Air Force" ending with a total of 18 kills -- he was a former Arizona pistol and skeet champion and winner of the state rifle championship. 
     
    -- Alan
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