Aviators who became ace in a day
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (November 2011)|
World War I
Arthur Rowe Spurling, a Bermudian pilot of 49 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, with his observer, Sergeant Frank Bell, On 23 August 1918, flying a DH.9 bomber, single-handedly attacked thirty Fokker D.VII fighters, downing five of them (three by Spurling, two by Bell). Two days later Spurling shot down another D.VII over Mont Notre Dame. The two crewmen shared each other's victories, each attaining ace status in a single mission.
World War II
Triple-Ace in a Day
To achieve this a pilot must have destroyed 15 enemy aircraft in a single day. This has been achieved by only four pilots, all from the Luftwaffe:
- Emil Lang shot down 18 Soviet fighters on 3 November 1943.
- Hans-Joachim Marseille was credited with downing 17 Allied fighters in just three sorties over North Africa on 1 September 1942. 10 of those claims have been connected to actual Allied losses that day.
- August Lambert shot down 17 Soviet aircraft on a single day in 1944.
- Hubert Strassl shot down 15 Soviet aircraft on 5 July 1943 near Orel.
Double-Ace in a Day
To achieve this a pilot must have destroyed 10 enemy aircraft in a single day.
- Erich Rudorffer is credited with the destruction of the most aircraft ever in a single mission when he shot down 13 Soviet aircraft on 11 October 1943.
- Erich Hartmann, the highest-scoring fighter ace in history, downed 11 planes on 24 August 1944, in two consecutive missions. In the process, he became the first 300-kill ace in history, and as a result of this, gained the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten (Knight's Cross of The Iron Cross with Swords, Oak Leaves, and Diamonds), by then Germany's highest military award for standard servicemen.
Ace in a day
- On 17 May 1940, Oberleutnant Max Buscholz of 1./JG 3 shot down four RAF Bristol Blenheims and 2 French Curtis Hawk 75A. These were his first victories.
- On 11 December 1940, Flying Officer Charles Dyson of No 33 Squadron destroyed six Italian Cr42s in a single sortie within 6 minutes
- On 6 January 1940 the Finnish pilot, Lieutenant Jorma Sarvanto destroyed six Soviet DB-3 bombers in four minutes on one flight. Sarvanto was the top scoring pilot in the Winter War with 12.83 kills. The wrecks of the bombers were found near Kuopio. 
- On 29 May 1940 Corporal Albert Lippett and his pilot, Flight Lieutenant Nik Cooke, claimed five Junkers Ju 87 bombers in their Boulton Paul Defiant during the Dunkirk evacuation.
- On 24 August 1940 Polish pilot Antoni Głowacki shot down three Bf 109s and two Junkers Ju 88 bombers over Ramsgate, to become the first "One-day Ace" of the Battle of Britain.
- On 12 August 1942 British pilot Lieutenant Richard John Cork of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm shot down five aircraft in a day during the defence of a Malta Convoy in Operation Pedestal. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions during the battle.
- On 12 June 1943 American navy pilot Vern Earl Graham shot down five Japanese Zeroes on one mission in the defense of Guadalcanal. 
- Hans Wind of HLeLv 24, Finnish Air Force, scored five kills in a day five separate times during the Soviet Summer Offensive 1944, a total of 30 kills in 12 days, of his final tally of 75.
- Clive Caldwell, the leading Australian ace of World War II, destroyed five German aircraft in North Africa in the space of a few minutes on 5 December 1941. He received a Distinguished Flying Cross for the feat.
- British ace Archie McKellar shot down five Messerschmitt Bf 109s in one day on 7 October 1940 during the Battle of Britain.
- During World War II, 68 U.S. pilots—43 Army Air Forces, 18 Navy, and seven Marine Corps—were credited with the feat, including Medal of Honor recipient David McCampbell, who claimed seven Japanese aircraft shot down on 19 June 1944 (during the "Marianas Turkey Shoot"), and nine in a single mission on 24 October 1944. Medal of Honor recipients Jefferson DeBlanc and James E. Swett became aces on their first combat missions in Guadalcanal, scoring five kills and eight kills respectively.
- US Navy pilot Stanley "Swede" Vejtasa, who during the Battle of the Coral Sea shot down two Mitsubishi A6M Zeros and dodged a mid-air kamikaze attempt (and shredding off the Zero's wing) with a Douglas SBD Dauntless, and managed to down seven Japanese planes in one sortie in the Battle of Santa Cruz flying a Grumman F4F Wildcat.
- The top P-51 Mustang ace, George Preddy, shot down six Bf-109s on 6 August 1944, setting the European Theater of Operations record for the United States.
- Hans Waldmann shot down six Soviet aircraft on 7 May 1944, taking his total to 120 aerial victories.
- Finnish top scoring fighter ace, Warrant Officer Ilmari Juutilainen, shot down six Soviet planes on 30 June 1944. His final score was 94.
- Richard Joseph "Dick" Audet of 411 Squadron RCAF, piloting a Spitfire IXe, destroyed two Bf-109s and three Fw-190s in five to seven minutes over Osnabrück, 29 December 1944.
- Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, night-fighter pilot, was credited with five victories on 25 May 1944 and nine on 21 February 1945.
- The last fighter ace in WWII, Lt. Oscar Perdomo, scored all of his five victories over the Japanese in a P-47N Thunderbolt on 9 August 1945.
Post World War II
On 7 September 1965, in air-to-air combat during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Muhammad Mahmood Alam of the Pakistan Air Force shot down five Indian Air Force Hawker Hunter Mk.56 fighters in less than a minute, four being in first 30 seconds. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat ("The star of courage") and bar for his actions.
- Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914-1918. Norman Franks, Frank W. Bailey, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1993. ISBN 0-948817-73-9, ISBN 978-0-948817-73-1.
- Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. Christopher F. Shores, Norman L. R. Franks, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1990. ISBN 0-948817-19-4, ISBN 978-0-948817-19-9.
- Air Aces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire 1914 - 1918. Martin O'Connor. Flying Machines Press, 1994. ISBN 0-9637110-1-6, ISBN 978-0-9637110-1-4.
- Battle for Pakistan: The Air War of 1965. John Fricker. I Allan, 1979. ISBN 0-7110-0929-5, ISBN 978-0-7110-0929-5.
- French Aces of World War 2: Volume 28 of Osprey Aircraft of the Aces. Barry Ketley. Osprey Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-85532-898-4, ISBN 978-1-85532-898-3.
- Over the Front: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the United States and French Air Services, 1914-1918. Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey. Grub Street, 1992. ISBN 0-948817-54-2, ISBN 978-0-948817-54-0.
- Bracke, Gerhard (1997). Gegen vielfache Übermacht—Mit dem Jagdflieger und Ritterkreuzträger Hans Waldmann an der Ostfront, an der Invasionsfront und in der Reichsverteidigung (in German). Zweibrücken, Germany: VDM Heinz Nickel. ISBN 3-925-480-23-4.
- Geissinger, Steve (October 15, 1997). "Manmade Thunder". The Argus-Press. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- Air Aces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire 1914 - 1918, pp. 190-191, 272, 324.
- Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914-1918, p. 70.
- Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920, p. 368.
- Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920, p. 390.
- Over the Front: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the United States and French Air Services, 1914-1918, p. 161.
- Weal, John (1995). Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Russian Front. Osprey. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-85532-518-0.
- Caldwell, Donald (2002). Walter J. Boyne, ed. Air Warfare: an International Encyclopedia: M-Z. ABC-CLIO. p. 395. ISBN 978-1-57607-345-2.
He once shot down 8 RAF fighters in 10 minutes, a day when he claimed 17 victories in three combat sorties
- Williamson, Gordon (2005). Knight's Cross, Oak-Leaves and Swords Recipients_1941-45. Osprey. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-84176-643-0.
- Sarvanto, Jorma: Stridsflygare under Karelens himmel, p. 202
- Ketley, Barry (1999). French Aces of World War 2. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 76. ISBN 1-85532-898-4.
- Stenman, Kari (2001). Lentolaivue 24. Osprey. p. 123. ISBN 978-1-84176-262-3.
- Holmes, Tony (2002). Tomahawk and Kittyhawk aces of the RAF and Commonwealth. Osprey. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-84176-083-4.
- Bracke 1997, p. 224.
- Air Cdre M Kaiser Tufail. "Alam’s Speed-shooting Classic". Defencejournal.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- Fricker, John. Battle for Pakistan: the air war of 1965. pp. 15–17.
before we had completed more than of about 270 degree of the turn, at around 12 degree per second, all four hunters had been shot down." -- "My fifth victim of this sortie started spewing smoke and then rolled on to his back at about 1000 feet.
- Polmar, Norman; Dana Bell (2003). One hundred years of world military aircraft. Naval Institute Press. p. 354. ISBN 978-1-59114-686-5.
Mohammed Mahmood Alam claimed five victories against Indian Air Force Hawker Hunters, four of them in less than one minute! Alam, who ended the conflict with 1 1 kills, became history's only jet "ace-in-a-day."