343 FIGHTER SQUADRON

PILOT'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT

A. Combat.
B. November 3rd, 1943
C. 343rd Fighter Squadron
D. 1255 - 1310
E.  Vicinity of Wilhelmshaven
F. Low cloud at 12,000 ft; scattered (illeg.)
G. Me 109
H. 1 Me 109 damaged
I. Soon after R/V with bomber formation, I noticed (illeg.) to (illeg.) Me 109's flying up at 2 o'clock at about 20,000 feet.  I took my four ship flight (illeg.) them up; made two passes, firing at two separate 109's with no results.  We started to return to the bombers, when we noticed another formation of 109's, 20 to (illeg.) ships, climbing up at 3 o'clock from the second box of bombers. (illeg.) down, made one pass and then noted three E/A coming in at 9 o'clock. I turned into them and started firing at about 500 yards.  I noted hits on the lead 109 which made a head on attack on me.  He closed in all the way, just missing me with his wing as he ducked underneath.  My numbers 3 and 4, Lt. Ryan and F/O Brown, drove off the other two attacking planes and we then returned to continue our escort.  Captain Franklin with his four ship flight served as top cover for both of my attacks.  Many 109's of both flights were observed to half roll, even though actually we were firing on only two or three of them.  They appeared to go down to the level of the low cloud and level out.

ROLAND M. MALMSTEDT
Captain, Air Corps.

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