The Claims

 

The claims listed within this site cover all air to air combat claims made by RAAF pilots during the Pacific war in WWII. Also included are claims made by other Commonwealth pilots attached to RAAF squadrons, and RAF squadrons under RAAF control (SQ.54 RAF).
Claims not included are those made by gunners and observers, however these may be mentioned in text if the pilot of the plane hit an enemy aircraft with his fixed forward firing guns.
Also not included are claims made by RAAF pilots flying with foreign squadrons, unless those units were under RAAF control.

As no official list of victory credits, or credits review board has ever existed for documenting victories in this theatre. Reliance on squadron operational record books, casualty reports, aircraft crash reports, and other associated air force archives has been essential. Even these provide fragmented information at times. Especially early in the war, when desperate defence was more important than record keeping. Although better later in the war, the records would at times list aircraft shot down but not the claimant. Other records, as with 75 Squadrons defence of Port Moresby, listed pilot claims with no date attached to the claim. Making a difficult process of elimination to decipher the combats. Normally after a contact with the enemy, a pilot would be required to fill out a Combat Fighter Report. These provide the best record of the action involved and of claims made. However precious few of these remain in official archives. In many instances original claims of damaged, or probable destroyed, have over time been upgraded to destroyed. Rarely have destroyed claims been downgraded. New evidence during, and after the war may explain many of these but also embellishment of the action over time cannot be discounted. With the passing of time deciphering what is fact and what is fiction becomes increasingly difficult.

 There is no doubt that all air forces suffered from over claiming during WWII. In the heat of battle what a pilot thought had occurred, and what actually happened could differ dramatically. For this reason and because of the many varied accounts of the aerial actions, I have included every possible claim found. The claims status, whether destroyed, probable, or damaged in the supplied lists, has been determined on the balance of probability based on the available evidence. Where doubt over the claim or an alternative opinion exists, it will be listed in the claims notes. It is inevitable that the lists will contain errors. I welcome any corrections if they can be backed up with supporting evidence.

 

 

A guide to the claims tables

 

Name

  • Pilots surname.
  • Surname with asterix indicates that pilot did not survive the war. This may have been due to combat, accident or illness.
  • Claims listed as a number are squadron claims where research has yet to find the claimants name.
  • Link to pilot biographies on hyperlinked names.

Init. (Initials)

  • Pilots known initials.

Rank

  • Pilots rank at time of claim.

Dest. (Destroyed)

  • Destroyed claim. Seen to have crashed or broken up in the air. Usually confirmed by other pilots.

Prob. (Probably destroyed)

  • Probably destroyed claim. Seen to be out of control when last sighted, or so heavily damaged as to have little chance of a safe return.

Dam. (Damaged)

  • Damaged claim. Strikes observed or damage inflicted on aircraft. Those seen to have been simply straddled by tracer have not been included.

Date

  • Date of action listed in the following format. YY/MM/DD
  • Link to combat narratives and combat fighter reports on hyperlinked dates.

Squad. (Squadron)

  • RAAF squadron with whom the pilot was attached at the time of the combat.

Aircraft

  • Type of aircraft flown during the action.
  • Hyperlinks to photos and colour profiles of the actual aircraft flown by the claimant during the action.

E/A (Enemy aircraft)

  • Type of Japanese aircraft claimed.
  • Links to aircraft photos.

Location

  • Approximate location of action.
  • Links to Google Maps.

Area

  • Country, state, island , territory or sea in which action took place.

# (Notes)

  • Numbered notes on actions, displayed at the bottom of each page.


 

Glossary

A/A Anti aircraft fire
A/Comm Air Commodore
Ace Pilot who has destroyed five or more aircraft in aerial combat
AFC Air Force Cross
BAR Second award of same decoration. As in DFC & Bar
Bogie Unidentified aircraft
CdeV Polish Cross of Valor
CFR Combat Fighter Report
CR Combat Report
D.N.G Dutch New Guinea
Deflection shot Firing at an aircraft from an angle while leading the target
DFC Distinguished Flying Cross
DFM Distinguished Flying Medal
DOA Died of accident
DOI Died of illness
DSO Distinguished Service Order
E/A Enemy aircraft
F/Lt Flight Lieutenant
F/O Flying Officer
F/S  Flight Sergeant
F/Sgt Flight Sergeant
Flak Anti aircraft fire
Flight A sub unit of a Squadron comprising 3-4 aircraft
G/Cap Group Captain
IJN Imperial Japanese Navy
JAAF Japanese Army Air Force
Jumped Surprise attack
KIA Killed in action
MIA Missing in action
MID Mentioned in Despatches
N.G New Guinea
N.T Northern Territory
OBE Order of the British Empire
ORB Operational Records Book
OTU Operational Training Unit
P.N.G Papua New Guinea
P/O Pilot Officer
POW Prisioner of war
QLD Queensland
RAAF Royal Australian Air Force
RAF Royal Air Force
RNZAF Royal New Zealand Air Force
S/L Squadron Leader
S/Ldr Squadron Leader
Sgt Sergeant (Flight Sergeant)
Squadron RAAF unit of a size able to maintain at least 12 aircraft
SS United States Silver Star
Tracer Bullet which leaves a smoking trail to track its trajectory 
W.A Western Australia
W/C Wing Commander
W/O Warrant Officer
Wing RAAF unit comprising 2-4 Squadrons

 

 

 Japanese aircraft types

Common aircraft types encountered by the RAAF in combat.

 

Allied Code Name Japanese Designation Type Crew Production
Betty Mitsubishi G4M Twin engined medium bomber 7 2,466
Claude Mitsubishi AM5 Single seat naval fighter 1 1,094
Dinah Mitsubishi Ki-46 Twin engined strategic reconnaissance 2 1,742
Hamp Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero See Zeke (variant) aka Hap by allies 1 903
Hap Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero See Zeke (variant) aka Hamp by allies 1 "
Helen Nakajima Ki-49 Donryu Twin engined medium bomber 8 819
Jake Aichi E13A Reconnaissance floatplane 3 1,418
Kate Nakajima B5N Naval bomber-torpedo bomber 3 1,149
Lily Kawasaki Ki-48 Twin engined light bomber 4 1,977
Nate Nakajima Ki-27 Single seat light fighter-bomber 1 3,399
Nell Mitsubishi G3M Twin engined medium bomber 7 1,046
Nick Kawasaki Ki-45 KAI Toryu Twin engined ground attack-fighter 2 1,701
Oscar Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa Single seat fighter-bomber 1 5,919
Pete Mitsubishi F1M Reconnaissance floatplane 2 1,118
Rufe Mitsubishi(Nakajima) A6M-2N Single seat floatplane fighter (Zeke variant) 1 327
Sally Mitsubishi Ki-21 Twin engined medium bomber 5 to 7 2,064
Sonia Mitsubishi Ki-51 Ground attack and tactical reconnaissance 2 2,385
Tony Kawasaki Ki-61 Hein Single seat fighter  1 3,078
Val Aichi D3A Naval dive bomber 2 1,495
Zeke Mitsubishi A6M Zero Single seat naval fighter-bomber 1 10,976