Military

The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time  

Polar Bear
3.9k votes 703 voters 11k views 39 items
1
Erich Hartmann is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

Downing not less than 352 Soviet aircrafts, he was the most successful fighter ace for all time. In his entire career he was never shot down himself. Was captured by the Soviets and send to Sibiria after the war. After his release, he served in the Bundesluftwaffe.

 Planes flown in combat: Bf-109E
2
Manfred von Richthofen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

The "Red Baron" was the most famous aerial ace for all time. With his red Fokker triplane, he shot down 80 Allied aircraft. Was killed in action towards the end of the war.

 Planes flown in combat: Fokker Dr. I triplane
3
Hans-Joachim Marseille is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

"Star of Africa", also joined the Battle of Britain. With 158 aerial victories against Western pilots he is remembered as one of the greatest and most courageous fighter pilots ever.

 Died by an accident in 1942.Planes flown in combat: Bf-109E, Bf-109F
4
Günther Rall is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

Third most successful German fighter ace in WW2. 275 aerial victories, most of them a the Eastern Front. Served in the Bundesluftwaffe after the war.

 Planes flown in combat: Bf-109
5
Adolf Galland is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time
Adolf Galland

Great German fighter ace, 104 aerial victories at the Western front. General der Jagdflieger since 1941. Flew the Me-262 at the end of the war.

Planes flown in combat: Hs-123, Bf-109E, Fw-190, Me-262
6
Muhammad Mahmood Alam is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time
Muhammad Mahmood Alam

Best Pakistani aerial ace in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965. He shot down 9 Indian aircraft, 5 of them at a single mission in less than a minute.

 Planes flown in combat: F-86 Sabre
7
Hans-Ulrich Rudel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

Despite he was not a fighter pilot but a Stuka dive bomber airman he still shot down 9 enemy aircraft, which is very impressive for a non-fighter pilot. As a Stuka pilot he is well known for his destruction of 519 tanks, over 150 artillery pieces, 70 landing crafts, 4 trains, a battleship and 3 other ships as well as several bridges, bunkers and over 800 vehicles. Was shot down 30 times himself.

 Planes flown in combat: Ju-87G, Fw-190
8
Gerhard Barkhorn is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

Second best German ace with 301 aerial victories, most of them at the Eastern Front. Was shot down 9 times himself.

 Planes flown in combat: Bf-109E, Bf-109G, Fw-190D-9
9
Walter Nowotny is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

One of the most famous German fighter pilots. Gained 258 aerial victories, 255 of these at the Eastern Front. Was killed in a Me-262 while landing.

Planes flown in combat: Bf-109E, Fw-190, Me-262
10
Ilmari Juutilainen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time
Ilmari Juutilainen

Best Finnish fighter pilot in the Winter war, shot down not less than 94 Soviet planes.

Planes flown in combat: Fokker D.XXI, B-239, Bf-109G
11
Hiroyoshi Nishizawa is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

Most successful Japanese fighter ace during WW2, 87 aerial victories against American and Australian pilots. Died during a ferry flight in 1944.

Planes flown in combat: A6M Zero
12
Richard Bong is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

Best American flying ace in the WW2 pacific war theatre. 40 air victories, all in a P-38. Was killed during a ferry flight in 1945.

 Planes flown in combat: P-38 Lightning
13
Hans Wind is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time
Hans Wind

Great Finnish fighter ace, downed 75 Soviet planes, most of them were fighters.

 Planes flown in combat: B239, Bf-109G
14
Ivan Kozhedub is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time
Ivan Kozhedub

Achieving 62 aerial victories in WW2, including one Me-262, he was the most successful Soviet fighter ace ever. Also fought in the Korean war. Although he was not allowed to take part in combat missions, he probably shoot down 17 American F-86 in that war too.

 Planes flown in combat: La-5, La-7, MiG-15
15
Erich Rudorffer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time
Erich Rudorffer

Great German fighter ace with 222 aerial victories, fought in France, Russia, Africa and Finland.

 Planes flown in combat: Bf-109E, Fw-190
16
Alexander Pokryshkin is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time
Alexander Pokryshkin

Second best Russian fighter ace of WW2, shot down 88 German planes. Known as a great tactician who changed the obsolete Soviet aerial war tactics.

Planes flown in combat: MiG-3, Yak-1, P-39, allegedly P-63 too
17
René Fonck is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

Most successful Allied fighter ace in WW1 with 75 aerial victories.

 Planes flown in combat: SPAD VII, SPAD VIII
18
David McCampbell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

With 34 aerial victories, he was the leading ace of the US Navy in WW2 pacific war theatre.

 Planes flown in combat: F6F Hellcat
19
Julius Arigi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

Most famous Austrian flying ace of WW1 with 32 aerial victories. Also sank an Italian steamboat. When he became a prisoner of war, he escaped by using the stolen limousine of Prince Nicholas I of Montenegro.

 Planes flown in combat: Hansa-Brandenburg C.I, Albatros D.III, Aviatik D.I
20
Marmaduke Pattle is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time
Marmaduke Pattle

Most successful Commonwealth fighter ace of WW2. He shot down 50 German and Italian aircraft.

 Planes flown in combat: Gladiator, Hurricane
21
Gabby Gabreski is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

Important American pilot, ace both in WW2 European war theatre (28 air victories) and Korean War (6 1/2 victories).

 Planes flown in combat: Spitfire Mk. IX, P-47, F-86
22
Saburō Sakai is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time
Saburō Sakai

Second-best Japanese fighter ace, shot down 64 American aircraft. After war, he became a buddhist and vegetarian. In 2000, he served briefly as a consultant for the Combat Flight Simulator 2.

 Planes flown in combat: A6M2 Zero
23
Giora Epstein is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time
Giora Epstein

His 17 air victories in three wars of Israel make him to be the best Israeli fighter pilot for all time.

 Planes flown in combat: Mirage III, IAI Nesher
24
Joseph C. McConnell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time

Best American fighter pilot in the Korean war. Shot down 16 enemies. Still the top-scoring American jet ace.

 Planes flown in combat: F-86 Sabre
25
Jalil Zandi is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Fighter Aces for All Time
Jalil Zandi

Best Iranian fighter pilot. Shot down 11 Iraqi aircraft in the Iran-Iraq war. Best F-14 fighter ace ever.

 Planes flown in combat: F-14 Tomcat