USAAF Procedures when hit

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by ww2instc, May 6, 2020.

  1. ww2instc

    ww2instc Member

    Hi everybody

    I'm new to this forum, and this is my first post.
    I hope somebody can help me with some questions I have:

    - What was the exact procedure when a plane got hit, and the pilot know he was going down. What exact did they had to tell to the Ground Control? How would a conversation go?
    - How many people were on Ground Control (and what was the exact chain of command,...)?
    - Would an American pilot be able to fly a Japanese Zero, or are the controls to different?
    - How did the uniform of a pilot of a Grumman F4F Wildcat in the Pacific looked like?

    I know these are a lot of questions, but I would be very gratefull if someone can help me with this.

    Thank you so much in advance for answering!!
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    You may want to post on the sister site via the below link. It deals more with American ww2 matters whilst this forum is more about British & Commonwealth (old Empire) forces.

    WWII Forums

    Good Luck

  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Welcome to the forum.

    I'll just speculate wildly on some of your questions.

    A plane getting hit assumes he is in combat and for the USAAF in Europe that meant they were over enemy territory. I don't think individual pilots would have been able to talk to any ground support people when they were over the continent. Think about a mission with several hundred bombers and escorting fighters. That would be a lot of chatter.

    It would be pretty dangerous for an American pilot to jump into a Zero without any instruction but I'm sure they'd be able to fly just about any plane if they had someone to teach them how to do it. I don't think any would jump at the chance to try a Me 163 though. Plenty of Americans and Brits flew many captured Zeros and other types. The instruments labels are in Japanese and they're there for a reason in a high performance plane like the Zero.

    Please update the thread when you get better answers. I'd like to know too.
    ww2instc likes this.
  4. ww2instc

    ww2instc Member

    First of all, thank you for responding.
    I assume the Grumman F4F Wildcat also in the Pacific always operated in group to attack some targets, or protect bombers?
    If a Wildcat was separated from the group (for example because he was shot by Anti Aircraft), would you (or somebody else) know what he would communicate to Ground Control, and what ground control would do to rescue him?
    (I'm sorry for those weird, detailed questions).
  5. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    'Operated in a group' made be smile since I knew it would let me to bloviate a bit on the Wildcat. The reason the F4F was eventually so successful against the Zero was the American tactic of teamwork, teamwork, teamwork. Check out Thach Weave - Wikipedia.

    I read that one pilot told his group to never fight a Zero one on one because 'you'd be outnumbered', but that four Wildcats could handle eight Zeros. The Americans were really able to exploit the macho individual warrior spirit of the Japanese pilots and use it against them. When added to radios, armor and self sealing tanks this meant that the Zero's early dominance in the East was through.

    Sorry, I don't know anything about ground control.

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