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Рубрики WWII; ВВС; Версия для печати

Поскольку опять всплыла тема уч.налета истребителей США аж в 290 часов

То положу два скана и распознанный текст этих сканов из которых видно реальное положение дел в 42-43 гг. Особо обращу внимание на жалобу из строевых частей на присылаемое пополнение, которое мало того что ничего не умеет, так и не имеет ни одного часа налета на боевом типе самолета (даже устаревшем).




P>38’s in the OTU’s became less and less adequate. In order to receive the necessary hours of training, it became necessary for student pilots to do part of their flying in P-39’s. At the end of 1943 students had to take up to sixty hours of instruction on the P-39 before they could fly the plane which they were to use in combat. The OTU’s were unable to discard this expedient of mixed training, with its obvious disadvantages, until March 1945, when an adequate supply of P~38’s was on hand.27

Less vital than the shortage of aircraft, though equally persistent, was the lack of sufficient equipment and supplies. The deficiencies were in items necessary for flying, such as oxygen equipment, and for ground training as well. Production of high-octane fuel fell short of the over-all demand during part of 1943 and 1944, and this forced a sharp curtailment of flying hours, especially at high altitude, in the continental air forces. The lack of adequate airfields also seriously handicapped operational training, especially during the early years of

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the war; both fighter and bomber groups often operated from airdromes too few and too small, or poorly loeated for a particular type of training. These problems, as well as a host of others which sprang from the unprecedented demands of World War II, were not fully solved until the final year of the conflict.28

The overseas air forces were quick to complain to Washington if the units they received did not measure up to required standards of proficiency. These complaints were natural enough, because the combat air forces desired to relieve themselves of all unnecessary training of newly received units. In the early period of the war the most common criticisms of fighter units were on their gunnery and high-altitude flying. In September 1942 the VIII Fighter Command reported from England that very few of the new pilots had received any air-to-air gunnery practice against high-speed targets or any practice at customary combat altitudes. Weaknesses were reported also in navigation, in the assembling and maneuvering of large formations, and in instrument flying. A more exceptional complaint came in from the Southwest Pacific, where the Fifth Air Force asserted that in one fighter group the pilots had flown only advanced trainers or obsolete pursuit types before shipment overseas—not one had flown the airplane assigned to the combat group.29

Deficiencies in gunnery and high-altitude experience were found in bombardment nnifs also. A further r.ririrism of bomber units was

that the crews often lacked the smooth coordination needed for locating and striking a target successfully. Additional complaints specified shortcomings in instrument and formation flying, and a failure of pilots to understand their command responsibilities with reference to other members of the crew. Such reports from theater commanders were confirmed by answers to questionnaires frequently given to crews when they arrived at their overseas destination. As late as 1943 a substantial number of flyers declared that they had received neither air-to-air gunnery practice nor high-altitude experience. Some stated further that much of their flying in OTU’s had no training purpose and had served merely to build up a minimum total of hours in the air. When reports of such deficiencies reached Headquarters, AAF from overseas, the responsible continental air forces were directed to take immediate steps toward correcting these faults. As the war progressed, criticisms of both bombardment and fighter units became less severe. Although complaints persisted, they were generally restricted to minor points of training. The achievement of the domestic air forces is confirmed by the fact that after 1943 the period of preliminary training in a combat theater could be substantially reduced.30

The improvement of fighter and bombardment operational training was achieved by better teaching, by specialization according to the peculiar needs of the several theaters, and by lengthening the period of instruction. Assignment of combat returnees to parent groups, which began on a token scale late in 1942, linked training more closely with the requirements of actual air fighting. Some of these veterans were not suited to become instructors because of attitudes growing out of their war service, the narrowness of their experience, or their lack of teaching aptitude. But by 1944 satisfactory methods had been developed for the selection of returnees best suited for teaching. After a course in the appropriate Training Command instructor school, they brought to the training program the dual advantage of combat experience and systematic preparation for instruction.81

During the summer of 1943 the experiment was tried of using part of a flight echelon on leave in the United States from the South Pacific theater as the nucleus of a new unit being trained for that theater. The experiment proved so successful that it was decided to adopt the practice as an aid to greater specialization in operational training. At regular intervals thereafter a war-wearv cadre was returned to the United States, where, after a leave, it became the core of a new group destined for the same theater upon completion of training. By late 1944 the policy of training for specific theaters was made standard for all air forces. Certain basic phases of instruction were retained, but beyond that, each air force modified its training program to suit the needs of a designated area. Certain CCTS’s of the Third Air Force, for example, were directed to prepare their crews exclusively for operations against Japan. Subjects and tactics related to the European theater were accordingly deleted, and full attention was given to the conditions and problems of the air war in the Pacific. Specialization on this basis made operational training more pointed and better satisfied the desires of the individual theater air forces.32

While fighter pilots during 1942 had usually received only about 40 hours of flying time in operational units, students in the same category received 60 to 80 hours by the end of 1943, and at the close of 1944 fighter replacements were flying more than 100 hours. There was a comparable increase in the amount of instructional time given to bombardment crews; this extension of training permitted a substantial improvement in all-around proficiency. The increase in hours was accompanied by a redistribution of emphasis among the various phases of instruction and the addition of some new phases in response to combat developments. Fighter units placed increasing stress 011 gunnery, instrument flying, navigation, and formation flying. As the war progressed, special attention was also given to offensive actions against surface targets, such as strafing, rocket firing, and skip bombing. Other fighter crews concentrated on long-range escort, while omitting the low-level offensive tactics. In the bombardment program as a whole there was growing emphasis upon gunnery, long navigation flights, high-altitude formation, and practice bombing. One of the most important developments toward the end of the war was the increasing use of radar equipment in heavy and very heavy bombardment training.33

Reconnaissance Training

In every theater of combat accurate and extensive aerial observation, especially through photography, proved essential to the success of air and surface forces. The advances in techniques were startling by comparison with the methods of World War I, and these technical developments were accompanied by radical changes in the concept