Special Hobby 1/48 Fokker D.XXI (SH 48078)
Box cover and painting guide
Long waiting of Finnish modellers for better Fokker D.XXI has ended when Special Hobby announced this brand new kit with Mercury engine at the begining of 2008. Fokker D.XXI was very important fighter for the Finns and sadly there has not been a good kit of it in 1/48 scale, only the old Classic Airframes kit which is full of errors. I have Pentti Manninen's drawings of Fokker D.XXI series III in 1/48 scale and I compared the Special Hobby's main parts against the drawings immediately I got the new kit home, I found that they matched almost perfectly!
The kit is moulded in medium grey and soft plastic. There is four sprues of injection moulded parts and one sprue for glear parts. Engine is mouded in resin. There is also one PE-sheet for small parts, mainly to the cocpit. The kit is moulded with finely engraved panel lines and details, unfortunately too slight for wash, which I clearly found out when finishing my kit. Fabric covered rear fuselage and control units are nicely captured in plastic like other surface datailings too. There is no aiming pins in the kit (short run kit). Painting guide is excellent and in full color. It consist painting guides for three different Finnish planes. For one plane there is three different painting and marking options in different time period. Kit's decal sheet inclue's markings for all the three planes. Unfortunately the Finnish swastika's are split in parts due to the legislation of one Central Europe's country. Although the kit's main components fits to the plannings and are well detailed there is also some imperfection and flaws in the kit:
- back portion of upper rear fuselage which is a little too angular
- access door is missing on right side of front fuselage
- small antenna mast is missing at top of the fin
- antenna mast on top of the cocpit is 3 mm too long
- small brackets for control wires are missing on the bottom of the rudder (there is a notice of them on instruction sheet but you have to make the parts by yourself)
- blisters where the rudder wires come through in the rear fuselage are too big
- intake pipe (parts B9 and B10) is about 2 mm too long
- prominent attachment points for tailplane brackets have to be removed at the rear fuselage
- exhaust pipes between cylinders and exhaust collector ring are missing
- engine intake pipes behind cylinders are missing
- flame tubes of the fuselage machine guns are missing between the cylinders
- pitot-tube is too long (right lenght is 9 mm)
- base of the telescopic sight is a little too high
My copy of the kit had C-sprue covered with sticky mould wax. I washed all the kit sprues with washing liquid to get rid of the wax, but the C-sprue was still sticky after the wash. To be sure that the paint adheres well to the parts of the C-sprue I sanded all it's parts slightly. I started building from wings. In my copy of the kit wings lower surface has bended downwards at wingtips. I bended up the lower wingtips under hot water. From time to time I compared the part against scale drawings. Before I glued wing halfs together I sanded trailing edges thinner. When I had glued the wing halfs together I noticed that the top side of the right wing had a slight hollow in just of the aileron. It was a casting fault. I tried to repair wing profile with putty but I succeeded in it poorly. Finally I decided to order a new kit from Tmi. Kuivalainen web store and took wings from it to my model. Also this copy of the kit had the same problem as my previous copy, wing's lower surface has bended downwards at the wingtips. Upper surface of the wing was in order. I heated wings lower surface cautiously with hair dryer and bended the wings straight.
Casting of the pilot's seat was badly failed at my copy of the kit. The seat was in two halves, there was a hole at the back of the seat and some material was missing from the sides. I glued the parts together and patched up the imperfections with styrene sheet and finally filled the notches with putty. After some filing and sanding it turned out a very usefull pilot's seat. Next I started put together fuselage's framework. According to instruction sheet it seemed quite complicated, actually it's a small kit itself! Building the framework wasn't as hard as I had thought. You just have to follow the building instructions very carefully, more carefully than I did. I first glued together the cocpit floor with the sides of the framework and after that finished the framework. The better way is glue the cocpit floor to the framework when the framework is totally ready. When the framework was ready I tried to fit it between the fuselage halves without success! It was too broad. I thought for a while what to do now, should I demolish whole structure and build it again. No and no again!! It wasn't very tempting idea. Finally I decided to file from outside of the framework so much that it would fit properly inside the fuselage halfs. I also sanded lower the frame structure inside the fuselage halfs. Lastly the framework fit perfectly between the fuselage halves!
Next I glued all small parts to the framework. I also glued the triangular tube structures aside pilot's seat, control column and rudder pedals with PE-parts in place. Now it was time to paint the cocpit. According the book SIH 23 "Sotamaalaus" cockpit's of Finnish Fokker D.XXI's were painted with light bluegray color, FS 6270. I used this color when painting the fuselage framework, pilot's seat, rudder pedals, control column and insides of the fuselage halves. Suitable model paints are for instance XtraXolor X3, Humbrol Hu 165 or Gunze H335. On my model I used XtraColor X3. I painted the cockpit's small parts according the instructions. Tips of levers and switches I painted red, yellow and blue just like real planes had their control units colorcoded. I added wires and actuator rods to the leavers and trimwheel to give more "life" to cocpit. When the cocpit was ready I sprayed it with matt varnish. Then it was time to glue kit's PE seat belts in place. Instrument panel was painted with "scale black" and gauges with black. I then drybrushed the instrument panel with medium grey and lastly made gauge's glasses with Johnsson's floor wax. You can also use clear varnish instead of the wax if you wish.
After I had glued the fuselage halfs together I noticed that back portion of upper rear fuselage is a little too angular. That can be seen on photos of real planes. I sanded the back portion of upper rear fuselage to make it more roundish and scribed panel lines that had disappeared. Next I glued wings to the fuselage. There was a little gap between the wing and fuselage joint which was filled with thin Evergreen plastic strip which fit well in the gaps and made also dihedral of the wings accurate. To the tips of the wings I made grips of thin brass wire, I think that they are more three dimensional than kit's PE parts. There are two types of pitot-tubes to be used, on my model I used the older style L-shaped tube wich has too thick tip, it should be sanded thinner. I also scribed a missing access door on upper front fuselage behind engine and replaced a small tube with a scatch made at the right side of the front fuselage behind the engine. I didn't use kits parts D20, on photos of the SIH 3A book those parts are absent on most planes.
Under the red cross symbol at the left side of the fuselage is a hatch that according of Pentti Manninen's drawings of Fokker D.XXI series III sould'nt be there. Although I found few pictures from the book "SIH3A" of planes that had the hatch. My model was totally painted and was waiting for decals when I noticed the hatch so I ignored it. It is possible that some of the series-III planes had the hatch retrofitted.
Cockpit's canopy and rear window are thin and clear plastic and well moulded. The canopy didn't fit perfectly but stayed too high so I had to sand a little off from underedge. After that the fit was perfect. Before I painted the canopy frames I first brushed it with Johnson's floor wax.
At the tip of the fin I drilled a hole for small antenna mast which I made of thin brass wire. I also used brass wire to make entry steps to front of the landing gear legs. At this stage I drilled holes for stringing wires to the tailplane. On a real plane there is two thin wires very near each others. Looking the wires from farther off it looks like there is only one wire. So I desided to use only one stringing wire on my model. I added small brackets for control wires to the bottom of the rudder and decreased size of the blisters where the rudder wires comes through at the rear fuselage. I also removed the prominent attachment points for tailplane struts at the rear fuselage. Check your resources well because part of the planes had one strut and part of the planes had two struts under the tailplane. Later all Fokker's got their tailplanes strengthened and they had two struts.
The kit includes a Mercury VII engine casted in resin. The engine has a body part, nine cylinders and streamlined covers for push rods and some small parts. There is also PE-parts for supporting rods between the engine and exhaust collector ring. Unfortunatelly exhaust pipes between cylinders and exhaust collector ring are missing like engine intake pipes behind cylinders too. There are two intake and exhaust pipes/ cylinder. I made the missing tubes of 0,8 mm tin wire. I drilled holes to cylinder heads and glued piece of tin wire to the hole with CA-glue. At the end I cut off the exhaust and intake pipes to proper lenght with sidecutter. First I glued tin wire to cylinder head, cut it to proper lenght, bended it to profile and glued the other end to its place. Some might think that there's too much work with those pipes, but I think that on Fokker D.XXI you can easily see engine's back gear from opening between cowling and fuselage from behind. I painted the engine separately before I glued it inside the cowling.
As I mentioned before kit's painting guide is exellent and in full color. It includes painting instructions for three Finnish planes. For one plane there is three different color and marking options during differend time periods. My model depicts lieutenant Jorma Sarvanto
The painting guide and the colors given in it are right for Sarvanto plane except propeller and telescope sight. Antiglare painting behind the propeller blades didn't reach base of the propeller blades and the telescopic sight wasn't olive green, my gues of it's color is medium grey. There's good reference pictures of the propellers and the sights in the book SIH3A. I primed my model with Hubrol's Hu 28 light grey and when it was dry the panel lines were sprayed with matt black. I used XtraColor's X702 to bottom of the plane and X701 olive green to upper surfaces. I lightened the both colors with 10 % of white to get right scale effect. To get little life to the monotonous olive green upper surface I sprayed blotches and streaks with nontinted paint to irregular places over the wings. With this color I also painted access doors and hatches made of metal and walking areas on the wing root and panel lines of the fuselage and ailerons. Engine is painted with gloss black and cylinders are dry brushed with XtraColors gunmetal. Valves arms with their springs are painted with light metallic grey color. Frames of the canopy are bluegrey inside and olive green outside.
The tripod type struts inside cowling were painted XtraColors silver wich was tinted a little darker. To the propeller I used Humbrols MetalCote Hu 27002 tinted with a little blue. When the paint was dry I polished the propeller with a softh cloth. Backside of the propeller is Revells matt black tinted with a drop of white. I sprayed engine's black parts with satin varnish. Bottoms of the skies were bakelite plywood which was dark brown/ dark reddish brown in color. I used WEM AII Brown to paint the ski bottoms. Fokker D.XXI's had a pretty shiny paint finish when the were new and Sarvanto's plane was just one year old during the Winter war so I left my model satin gloss and kept weathering quite minimal.
Paints used on the model:
The first figure which indicates the level of sheen of FS number is dropped off. (Between brackets alternative paints).
|Olive green||FS -4096||Xtracolor X701 (Humbrol 116, Revell 361)||Upper surfaces|
|Light grey||FS -6440||Xtracolor X702 (Humbrol 166)||Lower surfaces|
|Light bluegrey||FS -6270||Xtracolor X3 (Humbrol 165, Gunze H335)||Cockpit|
|Black||FS -7038||Revell 7 (Xtracolor X404)||Engine's body|
|Black matt||FS -7038||Revell 8 (Humbrol 33, Humbrol 85)||Antiglare painting of propeller|
|Reddish brown||FS -0059||WEM AII Brown||Bottoms of skies|
|Polished aluminium||FS -||Humbrol Metal Cote Hu 27002||Propeller|
|Light grey||FS -6375||Humbrol 127||Telescopic sight|
I used Aero Master Decal's "Fokker D XXI Collection" (48-203) sheet from where I took swastikas and some small markings. Kit's decal sheet don't include red borders for footsteps although they are drawn on instruction sheet. Font of the plane's registration number is a little thin but however they are usable. I took the registration number and tactical number from the kit's sheet. Aeromaster decals are much better in quality than the kit decals which didn't react properly with Micro Set and Sol. There's one mistake on the painting guide. Location between register number and national insignia is illustrated wrong. Upper edge of characters FR- should be at same line with swastika's cross bar upper edge (the line of blue and white colors). This can be seen on photos of the SIH3A book also.
There was many casting defects on the kit (at least on my copy). Fuselage framework, cockpit and corrections of engine imperfections takes much time. The model took many hours to complete. Despite of some faults and imperfections this is good kit. The most important is that this Fokker D.XXI kit is accurate in shape and scale.
Photos from different stages of the work
Hold the mouse cursor over thumbnail for a while before clicking !
The story of the Fokker D.XXI begins in May 1934. The Dutch Colonial Office offered a request to Fokker for building a simple and easy care fighter which would replace Curtiss Hawk P-6. The specification didn't underline speed and climb performance. Armament consisted one 12,7 mm mg in fuselage and two 7,62 mm mg's in wings and also light bombs. Two offers were compiled under the guidance of the main designer Erich Schatzkin. The first was a bi-plane designated Fokker D.XIX and the other was a low wing monoplane which had a working title "112". The Dutch Colonial Office chose the low wing monoplane "112" which became Fokker D.XXI in November 1934. Fuselage of the plane was constructed of steel tubes and wings were wooden. The 645 hp aircooled Bristol Mercury VI.S engine was chosen to place of the original liquid cooled Roll-Royce Kestrel engine.
The first flight of the prototype took place in Eindhoven airfield on the 27th of February in 1936 Emil Meinecke at the controls. The first tests went well and by mid of March in 1936 the plane was flown to Chiphol for additional testing. The doctrines of the Dutch Colonial Office changed soon after the prototype was ordered and it's intrest towards the Fokker D.XXI program faded out. The Dutch Colonial Office announced that the Ministry of Defence would take possession of the whole program and would produce planes for homeland's air defence. The commander of the Dutch air force announced to the Ministry of Defence that the air force need's at least 18 top quality fighters. The Fokker D.XXI didn't reach the affirmations of the air force and the Ministry of Defence freezed the whole program. However Fokker continued the developing test flights and marketing to foreign countrys. In the autumn of 1936 the Dutch Ministry of Defence started again the developing test flight program of the D.XXI despite of the stunning statement of the air force commander. In January of 1937 the Chief of the Material Center of the air force wroted to the Ministry of Defence that there was no obstacles to acquire Fokker D.XXIs. Some changes was asked for the structure of the plane and for the lay-out of the instruments however.
Finally on the 31st of December in 1937 the Dutch air force ordered 36 planes for two squadrons when the situation got worse in Europe. At the same time more advanced fighters were waited for. When Germany invaded Netherlands in May of 1940 the Dutch had only 28 Fokker D.XXI's and 23 Fokker G.1's to put against Luftwaffe. The Dutch Fokker D.XXI pilots scored many victories during three days. The Dutch air force lost almost all of it's planes on the battles, only a few Fokker D.XXI was on duty when the air force run out of machine gun cartridges. Netherlands surrendered after five days battles.
Fokker's active marketing to foreign countries brought some success too. The first customer was Finland, Fokker's old customer. Finland decided to purchase Fokker D.XXI fighters to it's air force as early as September of 1936 although developing of the plane was unfinished and not a single example was sold to other customers. Fokker had offered the plane to three countries and discussions with three additional countries were in progress. Besides Finland the Spanish Republicans bought the manufacturing licence of the plane. Denmark also bought two planes and a licence in 1938. Denmark had two Fokkers when Germany occupied the country in May of 1940.
The Staff of the Finnish air force decided to recommend Fokker D.XXI to the Finnish air force in late summer of 1936. The decision was made after the Staff of the air force had asked offers from 26 manufacturers and only seven answered within the deadline. Advantages of the Fokker D.XXI was it's pretty cheap price and the possibility of licence manufacturing. A Finnish manufacturer Tampella had a licence for Mercury engine and the easiness of a ski assembly also influenced the decicion. The plane wasn't a top fighter of it's time but it was calculated that it was effective enough against the Russian bomber types. Finland bought seven planes ready made (FR-76 - 82, series I) and a licence for 14 planes (FR-83 - 96, series II). Unlimited manufacturing licence was acquired on the 15th of June in 1937 (FR-97 - 117, series III).
On the 9th of September in 1939 an order was made of the series IV (FRw-118 - 167). American Pratt,@Whitney R-1535 Twin Wasp Junior was chosen for it's engine because Mercury engines were needed for Bristol Blenheim bombers which were ordered in April of 1939. Performance of the series IV planes was much worse than that of their Mercury-engined sisters. Compared to a Mercury engined plane from a year 1939 over 400 kg heavier weight and smaller power of it's engine dropped it's performance to trainer class. Although modifications made to Mercury engined Fokkers dropped their performance too compared to the planes used in the Winter war. During the Continuation war two more series of Wasp-Fokkers was ordered (series V and VI). Both series consisted of five planes. The series V (FRw-171 - 175) was built from spare parts and the series VI was halted when the war ended.
Because at the time when the Fokker D.XXI was acquired it was primarily a prototype which was under development so in Finland a large number of changes had to be done. The most important and visible changes were strengthening of the stabilators (amount of the struts doubled), slat wings and a small rear view window which was added to initial series of the planes. Long Brewster type canopy was added and fuselage machine guns were moved to the wings on the series IV and V planes. Also the nose was differend. Cowling's diameter of the Twin-Wasp engine was smaller than the diameter of the Mercury engine. In addition to the above-mentioned things also many modifications were made which were not visible, for instance engine, armament, structure of the rear fuselage, tailwheel, gunsight etc. At first there was no self-sealing fuel tanks and armoured pilot's seat on the plane. They were added to all planes during 1940 - 1941.
Fokker D.XXI was the best fighter of the Finnish air force during the Winter war although it's worse agility and climbing speed compared to I-16 and I-153 fighters put it often in trouble with them. Often Fokker pilots only way to get rid of the pursuer was to put the plane to vertical dive and shake off the enemy. Soviet fighters couldn't follow Fokker in high speed dive. Because pilots didn't have armoured seat or self-sealing fuel tanks a small amount of hits could have had disastrous effects. Although Finland could achieve better planes from abroad during the Winter war Fokker D.XXI was responsible for Finland's fighter interception. During the Winter war the plane was used by Fighter Squadron 24 (LeLv 24) and Fokker Flights of Fighter Squadron 26 (the Flights were subordinated to Fighter Squadron 24). Fokker's achieved 127 victories during the Winter war, own losses were eight pilots and 12 planes. Lessons learned from the war showed that the tactics and the training doctrines were right. Fokkers kill to loss ratio was 16:1 (planes shot down in air battle : own plane losses in air battle). This has to be considered very good specimen of skill of the pilots, having a fixed landing gear Fokker was slow when intercepting bombers and clumsy in air battles with fighters.
During the Contunation war the plane was used by Squadrons 30, 32, 10, 12 and 14. In the summer of 1941 the plane still had an interceptor role but after that it was used mainly on reconnaissance and ground attack duties. The plane was used also in fighter training duties in complement squadrons. During the Contunation war 60 victories were recorded, own losses were 43 planes (including the short peace time between Winter war and Contunation war). 28 pilots were lost. After the war the plane was used by the Flying Training School. Finnish air force had totally 97 Fokker D.XXI planes.
Fokker D.XXI (Mercury) technical data
|Engine||840 hv Bristol Mercury VII 9-sylinder aircooled radial engine|
|Dimensions||Span 11,00 m; lenght 8,20 m; hight 2,95m; wing area 16,7 m2|
|Weights||Empty weight 1594 kg; flying weight 1970 kg|
|Performance||Max. speed 418 km/h ( 5000 m at height ); Cruising speed 330 km/h; climb to 3000 meters 3'27"|
|Ceiling||10100 m||Range||950 km|
|Armament||4 x 7,7 mm Vickers machine guns, (two synchronous in fuselage, two in wings)|
|Production||145 all versions|
Jorma Sarvanto and six kills in five minutes.
Written by Ossi Juntunen
The Winter War was being fought and it was the 6th of January 1940 at Utti air base. At dawn (about 8:30) the weather was fairly favourable for enemy bombers. The cloud cover at 300 to 400 m was ragged, providing enough visibility for orientation, and then haze up to 4000 m.
Four Squadron 24 Fokker D.XXI fighters with ski undercarriage were located at the base. At 9:30 the air surveillance reported enemy planes. The Fokkers were sent to intercept, but due to poor visibility the enemies could be encountered by chance only.
Lieutenant Per-Erik "Pelle" ("Clown") Sovelius was returning from an unsuccessful search at Lappeenranta to the base as he heard in his headphones: - 'Enemy planes north of Hamina at 3000m!'. He intercepted eight DB-3 bombers, which were flying in a line abreast formation, and shot down one, spending all his ammunition on it. The remaining bombers continued northwards, and bombed Kuopio (situated deep inland). The Fokker pilots at Utti kept their flying gear on and waited for the returning bombers. Lt. Sarvanto ordered his ground crew to warm up his Fokker D.XXI, coded "FR-97", "white 2", which was painted forest green on top surfaces and sky blue below.
Message was received at 11:50 - '7 bombers flying south following the northern railway!'. The pilots from 4./Sqn 24 (Lentolaivue - Fighter Squadron) climbed in their fighters, warmed up the engines and turned their radios on. Lieutenant Jorma Sarvanto listened to the radio traffic, soon he and his wingman (constituting one patrol) were ordered to take off. After take off the wingman found that he had an engine problem (snow had clogged the engine air intake during take off) and he had to return. Lt. Sarvanto continued alone at the optimum rate of climb, direction North to meet the enemy.
The second patrol took off after noticing that Lieutenant Sarvanto had to go alone, but Sarvanto had a good head start. Now the clouds had disappeared from the sky at Utti, and Sarvanto discovered the handsome formation of DB bomber bellies lit by dim sun shining through the haze. He counted seven silver coloured DB-3 bombers. To the left - a wedge of three, to the right - four abreast, all no farther than one plane length from each other. There was no fighter escort.
Sarvanto continued climbing, turning right to south. For a moment he was within the range and sector of the bomber nose gunners, but remained unnoticed due to sun glare. When he was at the same altitude of 3000 m with the bombers, he was about 500m behind them. Sarvanto pursued the enemy at full power. He decided to attack the leftmost wing bomber, although the third from left was closest to him, to avoid getting into cross-fire from the rear gunners. At a distance of 300 m his plane vibrated unpleasantly - he had flown in a bomber gunner MG salvo.
The fighter pilot kept on approaching the bombers. At a distance of 20 (twenty) meters he aimed at the fuselage of his victim, the left wing bomber, and pressed the trigger riefly. The tracers hit the target. Next, he shifted his aim at the rear gunner of the tail bomber, and shot him. Lt. Sarvanto then carefully aimed at the right engine of the first bomber and fired a brief burst. The bomber's engine caught fire. He repeated the same maneuver at the tail bomber with similar result. Two burning DB-3 bombers were leaving the formation.
Jorma Sarvanto cheered aloud and attacked the right wing of the formation while the bomber rear gunners blazed at his Fokker. He fired at each engine of the nearest bomber, making them smoke and forcing the bomber to leave the formation. Then he engaged the other bombers at a very close range. Each victim caught fire after two to three brief bursts of MG fire. Sarvanto glanced back - the smoking bomber was now in flames and diving to the ground.
Now Sarvanto decided to destroy every aircraft of the DB-3 formation. Some burning bombers made a slow half-roll before diving down, another pulled up before diving down. All the time they were flying south, the sun shone red through the haze low in southern horizon unless dimmed by smoke from a burning enemy plane.
Bomber no.6 was much more resistant to his bullets. The Fokker wing guns were out of ammo by now, but finally the DB-3 caught fire, and Finnish pilot could engage the last bomber. He had already eliminated the rear gunner, so he could fly close to the target. He aimed at one engine and pressed the trigger. Not a single shot. Sarvanto pulled the loading lever and retried shooting, but again in vain. He had spent his ammunition. There was nothing to do but leave the bomber alone and return to the base.
Columns of black smoke hung in the air and burning bomber wrecks could be seen on the ground. Sarvanto checked his instruments, there was no damage to vital parts, but his radio was dead and the Fokker's wings resembled Swiss cheese. When preparing for landing he found that the hydraulic pump for the landing flaps did not work, but he landed successfully despite that.
Lt. Sarvanto felt very satisfied as he parked his Fokker, but he did not quite get out of the cockpit before his cheering ground crew grabbed him and threw him in the air. The flight lasted 25 minutes and the actual battle 5 minutes, during which he shot down 6 DB-3 bombers belonging to the 6th DBAP of the Soviet Air Force. Two Soviet airmen bailed out and were taken prisoners, but the sources do not mention their names. The mechanics counted 23 hits from the bomber rear gunners in FR-97, some of them near the cockpit, necessitating several weeks' repairs at the State Aircraft Factory. The patrol that took off afterwards pursued the surviving bomber and finally Lt. Sovelius shot it down in the Gulf of Finland East of Suursaari. The same day the commander of 3./Sqn 24, Lieutenant Eino Antero Luukkanen, scored another single SB-2 bomber.
This feat received tremendous publicity in the word press, who considered it a world record at the time. Most major Western newspapers published a photo of Lt. Sarvanto holding a large greased sheet of aluminium with a big "5" on it, a trophy from one of the victims.The reasons for this unusual success were: accurate shooting at a close range; the bombers were passive and lacked fighter escort; and the armourers had disregarded the regulations and had loaded the Fokker's MG belts with a larger proportion of scarce and expensive incendiary and armour piercing ammunition (Lt. Sovelius had spent all his ammo on just one bomber of the same formation in the morning).
Jorma Kalevi Sarvanto was the top Finnish ace of the Winter War, credited with 12 5/6 victories. During the Continuation War he downed four Soviet planes more, flew the Brewster B-239 ("2" on BW-357 and "2" on BW-373 callsign), then his total rose to 16 5/6 kills in 251 war missions.
Originally published at: WW II ACE STORIES
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