In the aftermath of WWII, Germany turned to former Luftwaffe officers to rebuild its air force under NATO and help counter the Soviet threat.
During Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France in August 1944, Observation Fighter Squadron 1 (VOF-1) pilots Ensign Alfred Wood and Lt. (j.g.) Edward Olszewski took turns flying the same Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat, shooting down a total of four German aircraft.
Four Grumman F6F-5 Hellcats swept in from the sea, hunting enemy aircraft attempting to get out from under the U.S. Navy’s aerial umbrella. Heading inland, the fighter leader spotted two twin-engine bombers bearing enemy markings on their wings.
The son of a sharecropper, Mississippi-born Jesse Leroy Brown would do whatever it took to become a pilot and break the navy's color barrier
Designed as a carrier-based torpedo bomber, the Fieseler Fi-167 ended up hunting Yugoslav Partisans when its ship never materialized.
During Gregory Boyington's brief, tempestuous career with the AVG, he was responsible for losing more airplanes than he shot down.