not a dogfight, a seek and destroy mission

The above image was on Vintage Everyday last week: they post images without much explanation, but a lot of their material seems to come from Life magazine files, and this image was in a set with what appeared to be US WWII pictures.  So, what are these planes?  A Messerschmidt and a Spitfire? not quite, according to various aircraft spotting posters.  So, while I think the rounded wings could be a Spitfire, the other stick-like plane resembles nothing I can find in either German, British, American or Japanese aircraft recognition manuals. It has a strange tail.

However, on the way to discovering that I know nothing about aircraft, I found a wonderful site: Collect Air, Friend or Foe? Museum, vast and detailed with everything one would want to know about aircraft recognition models, manuals, diagrams, board games, playing cards, cartoons, kits.  For example, below, pocket recognition models at 1:432.  How did they pick that scale?

1:432 plastic "pocket" recognition models, manufactured by Cruver, 1943 to around 1993.Nonetheless I still haven't been able to find the plane that looks like it is constructed out of steel strap.  But, life is short; must move on.


22.02.2012: Tim Atherton has identified the stick insect as a V1 flying bomb.  See his comment to this post.