PILOT'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT
B. 5 November 1943.
C. 38th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group.
G. ME 109.
I. Upon making R/V with the last box of the B-24 formation we dropped our auxiliary tanks and immediately after doing so we were attacked by a flight of four FW 190's. At the time of the attack the second section of our squadron, consisting of eight P-38's were the only friendly fighters on the box due to the fact that our squadron was the only one which made successful R/V with the bombers and therefore the other eight ships of the squadron had proceeded to escort the first box of the B-24's we were ordered to cover. Upon turning into the E/A they came head-on to us and pulled up high into the sun. When we got turned around to where we could see them again, I saw that they did not intend to be aggressive towards either us or the bombers, at least for the time being; so I started down after four ME 109's which were coming into the front part of the bomber formation in line astern. At the time we started down we were approximately 1500 feet above the E/A and the E/A were coming in on the same level as the bombers. Due to their fast closing speed, and close proximity to the bombers I made a steep diving turn to the left, out of the sun. At the time the attack was started I realized it would be very doubtful if we would be able to shoot down any of the E/A, but at least I wanted to get down there and break up the attack. As we neared the E/A I was pulling the turn fairly tight, but managed to get about a two radii lead on the last of the four E/A, so I let go a one-half second burst. I thought I saw two strikes on the outer panel of the wing, but I know there could have been no material damaged done so I make no claim whatsoever. After we pulled up off the E/A and started to regain our original position of approximately fifteen hundred feet above the bombers and a mile to the starboard side I saw the four E/A circling below the bombers, about three thousand feet.
The E/A seemed to lack aggressiveness towards the bombers and also towards the fighter opposition. Due to the tightness of the turn no consistent deflection could be held.
MARK K. SHIPMAN
Captain, Air Corps.
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