WWII War Birds

Select the axis or ally flag then choose the plane for a brief description and larger image

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P-38 Lightnings took a particularly heavy toll on enemy bombers and fighters in the Pacific Theater. In 1945, a pair of Lightnings, escorting a B-17 Flying Fortress, were the first Allied fighters to land on Japanese soil following Japan's surrender.

World War II Allied & Axis Airplanes
 Interceptors, fighters & bombers

P51 Mustang

The drop-tank innovation gave the North American P-51 Mustang long-range capability. This made it ideal for bomber escort, which allowed a maximum number of bombs to hit targets, and bring the war to a conclusion.

F4U Corsair

Although designed as a carrier-based fighter, the bent-wing Chance Vought F4U Corsair did not fill that role for the U.S. until after it had successfully done so with Britain's Royal Navy, in 1944.

Supermarine Spitfire

The Spitfire was a short-range, high-performance interceptor much loved by its pilots. A legend in British air history with the Hurricane, it successfully defended England against the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, and saw service on every major front.

Hawker Hurricane

The Hawker Hurricane never quite achieved the notoriety of the Spitfire even though it was responsible for 60% of the downed aircraft during the Battle of Britain. It was was favoured by many pilots for it’s extraordinary versatility.

Avro Lancaster

Regarded by many as the best bomber of either side in the Second World War. Responsible for well over 150,000 bombing raids it was a true warrior armed with no fewer than eight defensive machine guns. The Lancaster outshone all.

Messerschmit Bf 109

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was designed on the principle that later defined muscle cars: small frame, enormous powerplant. The formula worked for this, perhaps the finest of all World War II fighter planes.

Heinkel He 111

Carrying over two tons of bombs in the Battle of Britain, the Hurricanes and Spitfires cut them down, leaving no recourse but to arm them but it went from being a fast, effective machine to a seriously outclassed death-trap... but too late 7,000 were made.

Messerschmitt Me 262

Unrealized potential, the Me 262 Schwalbe ("Swallow") delayed to 1945 in the bureaucracy of the Third Reich. A swept-wing turbojet with air-to-air rockets only 300 were ever made but those were the masters of the sky. What if, you know? They had the long range "Amerikan" bombers ready to go.

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