CONFIDENTIAL

PILOT'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT

A. Combat.
B. 13 November 1943.
C. 38th Fighter Squadron,  55th Fighter Group.
D.
E.  Target area.
F. Overcast below.
G. Two JU 88's and 2 ME 109's
H. One (1) JU 88 Destroyed,
     One (1) JU 88 Probably destroyed.
     One (1) ME 109 Probably destroyed.
     One (1) ME 109 Damaged.
(One JU 88 probably destroyed and One ME 109 probably destroyed shared with 2nd Lt. JOHN A. STACKER).
I. I was leading the second section of Swindle Squadron as Swindle Yellow Leader, when we crossed the top of the bombers just prior to reaching the target, about a thousand feet above the top of the second box of bombers.  Vapor trails were very heavy.  As we emerged on the port side, on which side we were supposed to provide close support, I saw my second flight, lead (sic.) by Captain Myers, being attacked by many ME 109's.  He was about 500 feet below.  As he went down to run into the attack, I went over to cover him and saw about 8 ME 109's coming down on us from 2 o'clock.  I turned into the attack and the 109's seemed to overshoot us.  However, one ME 109 approached me on the same level from 5 o'clock.  I took about 15 degree deflection and followed through firing all of the time as he passed.  I believe that Lt. Stacker, who was flying on my wing, was firing also.  I saw strikes, smoke and flame.  The E/A seemed to fall over on one wing and go into a dive.  I broke immediately upward.

In the course of this engagement my second element became separated.  I then noted a twin-engine aircraft coming down from above, closing in on the rear of the middle box of B-17's.  Turning in behind them, I held my fire until I had closed within 300 yards, and fired from dead astern.  I saw two great flashes of flame and pieces flying off, and what appeared to be a JU 88, now smoking heavily, did a very flow half turn and began to spin to the right.  I broke upward and saw some ME 109's coming down on us from two o'clock.  I turned into them and fired a deflection shot from about 300 yards at 10 degrees, at the last plane as he passed, noted strikes, but no further results.

I then realized that I had lost my second element and found myself and my wingman toward the rear of the bombers.  We started to head across the bombers path to the forward section of the formation in an attempt to join up with someone, when I noted three twin-engine fighters coming down from above on the tail end of the bomber formation to attack.  All three of them appeared to be carrying rockets.  I looked around and as I saw nothing above, I decided to attack the last one, and closed in to about 250 yards.  Began firing and noted strikes on engine and rudder.

I then looked in my rear vision mirror and saw a twin engine fighter coming down from 7 o'clock and about half a mile away, apparently intent on attacking my wingman.  I called to him several times, telling him to break, but he apparently didn't hear.  I wanted him to break first in order to get the enemy aircraft between him and myself.  As he did not break, I pulled up to the left in a steep Chandelle, hoping he would follow me.  The JU 88 that we had been firing at by this time had broken to the left and headed down in a steep dive, smoke and flame coming from one engine.  Lt. Stacker apparently tried to follow the first E/A down further, because when I got to the top of my Chandelle, I saw that he had not followed me, but was in a dive with a twin-engine fighter closing on his tail.  Still calling to him to break, I turned to try to close on the twin-engine fighter.  At that moment Lt. Stacker pulled up, turning to the left at the same time.  The fighter on his tail seemed to pull up inside of his turn.  At the same time I was able to pull my turn tighter and close within 300 yards of the enemy fighter.  I fired with about ten degree deflection, but my guns fired only about five or ten rounds and stopped.  I saw Lt. Stacker's airplane turn over on its back at the top of his climb, smoke coming out from both engines with pieces falling off.  A large black object came out of the cockpit, which I assumed was the pilot.

I looked behind me and saw five 109's about to attack me from out of the sun.  I gave it full throttle, and broke downward in an attempt to run away and join up with the other ships in the area.  The ME 109's seemed to be closing on me so pulling about 55 inches I pulled upward in a very steep climb, and after about 5,000 feet they seemed to give up as they were falling back all the time.

Before I could join any other P-38's, I noticed one ME 109 coming out of the sun (this was at 30,000 feet from about 5 o'clock about 500 yards behind me).  With throttles open and my nose slightly down, I finally managed to out-distance him after about 10 minutes.  I lost 5,000 feet, and the ME 109 had closed within range of me, and at one time managed to get a hit on my propeller with 20 MM.  I finally lost him flying straight and level at 26,000 feet, pulling 60 inches, and indicating 300 miles per hour.  Each time that the E/A fired I skidded the plane violently and corkscrewed. I could not do anything else as I was out of ammunition, and was afraid that if I turned into him, I wouldn't have gas enough to get back home, even if I did evade him.

I joined six p-38's at the Dutch Coast.  Upon landing I found that I had had stoppages in two machine guns and also in the cannon.  My right prop had been pierced by a 20 MM shell about one-half the distance from tip to hub.

MILTON JOEL,
Major, Air Corps.

CONFIDENTIAL

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