Here are the optimal ten American aces based upon their recorded kills or opponent planes that they shooting down.

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10 – Robert M. Hanson


As Hanson’s posthumous Medal of respect citation says without reserve, he was a bold, fearless, and also aggressive fighter pilot that shot under a full of 25 opponent aircraft. Hanson, who had spent most of his youth in India as the son of Methodist missionaries, got his wings and a marine Corps commission in February 1943, at the age of 23.

In the next year, prior to being shot down by Japanese flak on February 23, 1944, a day prior to his birthday, Hanson took the end 25 Japanese aircraft. In one mission, that shot down 4 Mitsubishi A6M Zeros. In a six-day stretch, he shot 20 adversary planes the end of the sky.

9 – Joseph J. Foss

United States marine Corps Captain (CPT) Joseph Jacob Foss, is shown wearing the extremely prized Medal of respect bestowed upon him by chairman Roosevelt for impressive gallantry against the Japanese in the Solomons. Official Portrait.

Foss, v 26 evidenced kills, ranks number nine on the list of U.S. Fighter aces of people War II, however he holds the honor of gift the Marine’s number one ace that the war. Foss functioned harder than many to become a pilot, helping operation the family members farm after his dad died, working side jobs to get through high school, college, and flight training, and also having to fight the Navy and also Marines’ age restriction to becoming a fighter pilot at the age of 26.

Foss, serving v the VMF-121 maritime fighter squadron, led eight Grumman F4F Wildcat fighters, which ended up being known as Foss’s paris Circus. His squadron was critical to the U.S. Success over Japan in ~ Guadalcanal, wherein his plot earned him the Medal the Honor. That later came to be governor of south Dakota.

8 – Gregory Boyington

Official Portrait that US marine Corps (USMC) sublievenant Colonel (LTC) Gregory

Medal of Honor and Navy overcome recipient Gregory “Pappy” Boyington likewise had 26 evidenced enemy craft shot down throughout duty v the U.S. Marines in civilization War II. However, interestingly enough and also perhaps why Foss is attributed as the top maritime fighter pilot that the War, Boyington likewise served v the 1st American Volunteer Group, recognized as the flying Tigers, fighting Japan because that the Republic that China before the U.S. Gotten in the war. As a paris Tiger, he shot under two shown enemy aircraft.

Boyington to be a pilot for the Marines, then saw fight in China, and then joined the Marines again come fight for the U.S. In the Pacific. The Navy and also Marines were in require of knowledgeable pilots and also Boyington deserve his nickname “Pappy” together he was around a te older than most of his other fighter pilots.

7 – George Preddy

Maj. George E. Preddy Jr. The the 352nd Fighter Group. (U.S. Air force photo)

Preddy, the an initial U.S. Military Air force pilot top top our perform comes in in ~ number seven with 26 kills. Preddy served in the defense of Darwin, Australia, damaging two Japanese aircraft. The was moved to Europe whereby he ended up being the height U.S. Ace flying a P-51 Mustang.

In one day, Preddy shot down six German Luftwaffe fighters. Top top Christmas Day, 1944, while chasing a Focke-Wulf Fw 190, just over the ground, Preddy to be accidentally shot by U.S. Anti-aircraft fire and killed. His brother, William, who was also a pilot, was killed virtually four months later and buried together him.

6 – Charles H. MacDonald


With 27 kills, MacDonald rings in in ~ number 6 all around and also number 3 in the pacific theater of U.S. Fighter aces. MacDonald join the U.S. Military Air Corps in 1938 and was stationed in ~ Pearl Harbor as soon as the Japanese assaulted on December 7th, 1941.

MacDonald flew a P-38 Lighting, the exact same kind the versatile, long-range airplane sent on the mission come shoot down the airplane of the infamous Japanese Admiral Yamamoto.

5 – Robert S. Johnson


Johnson was the an initial U.S. Fighter pilot operation in Europe come beat the U.S. Word war I ace record set by Eddie Rickenbacker the 26 kills. It was his last mission on may 8th, 1944 that he broke this record and accomplished his final full of 27.

Johnson was an Oklahoma boy Scout who had actually wanted to end up being a fighter pilot due to the fact that the period of eight. He arisen a reputation as a lone wolf who would break away from his squadron to communicate German fighters. His squadron commander was the next highest ace on ours list, Francis Gabreski.

4 – Francis Gabreski


With 28 shown kills in human being War II, Gabreski was the top U.S. Ace in the european Theatre. Much more than that, he became one of 7 U.S. Fighter pilots to achieve ace condition in 2 wars ~ combat missions in jet fighters in Korea.

The kid of polish immigrants, Gabreski argued to the U.S. Military Air pressure that he spend time through the British royal Air Force’s polishing Fighter Squadrons, who had acquired much experience and also had a lot of to market the relatively inexperienced U.S. Fighter pilots. The flew 20 objectives with the Poles and even helped bring a pair of their pilots into the USAAF when they to be still brief on knowledgeable pilots.

3 – David McCampbell


McCambell was the optimal U.S. Navy fighter ace of human being War Two v 34 enemy aircraft shoot down. The Alabama-born Medal of honor recipient flew Grumman F6F Hellcats and in one aircraft alone score 23.5 that his victories.

McCambell additionally holds the all-around U.S. Record for number of kills in one day at nine. He achieved another 7 kills in one day during the fight of the Philippine Sea on June 19th, 1944, the aerial arena of which was dubbed by U.S. Pilots as the good Marianas Turkey Shoot, due to the lopsided thrashing they provided Japanese pilots.

2 – thomas B. McGuire

Thomas B. McGuire Jr. V Pudgy (V), his continual P-38L-1-LO, S/N 44-24155, although that was killed in an additional aircraft (P-38L S/N 44-24845). (U.S. Air force photo)

McGuire, simply shy that the top spot ~ above the U.S. Fighter ace list through 38 kills flew in the 475th Fighter Group, commanded by other ace Charles M. MacDonald because that 20 months start in late 1943. The team was well known for your squadrons the P-38 Lightings, the pilots of which were among the most successful U.S. Fighter aces of the war.

As proclaimed in his Medal of honor citation, McGuire ended up being well known for gallantly assisting his comrades. In one incident, McGuire saw seven Japanese Zero battle aircraft chasing a damaged P-38 and also swooped in come help. He shot down 3 of the Zeros yet was shot down himself. He endured the incident but was eliminated when his plane stalled and flipped during a very tricky, short altitude evasive maneuver on January 7th, 1945.

1 – Richard Bong


With 40 confirmed enemy plane shot down, major Bong is the U.S. Fighter ace that aces. By mid-1944, Bong had actually been supported to V Fighter Command staff and also wasn’t forced to paris combat missions, but did therefore anyways and soon earned the Medal the Honor. His assigned fighter architecture was the P-38 Lightning, which he scored every his kills in.

Bong, that admitted to negative gunnery, compensated with daring and pulling in as close together he might to a target prior to firing. And it was only pilots v the many daring selected by the U.S. To check the turbojet airplanes set to redefine flight for the rest of the century.

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On respectable 6th, 1945, while experimentation the very first operational jet plane for the U.S., the Lockheed P-80 shoot Star, the fuel pump malfunctioned and Bong was killed. His fatality was front page news, right under the command story the the atomic bomb to reduce on Hiroshima.