PILOT'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT
B. 26 November 1943.
C. 343rd Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group.
E. 15 miles northwest of Bremen.
F. 3/10 clouds low.
G. ME 210.
H. One (1) ME 210 destroyed.
I. I assumed Group leadership after two leaders had aborted and was setting course to meet bomber force on target. Approaching the bombers' course they were sighted at 8 o'clock about five miles distant. At the same time I noted E/A queueing (sic) up ahead of them and up-sun, so I began a climbing turn into the sun, which would give us an advantage in attack on the enemy. At a point parallel with the queue I turned left to gain the advantage of "bouncing" with three flights instead of one, at the same time assuring us of top cover. I went into the attack at about 30 degrees, and as I approached gun range, one E/A half-rolled, the others scattered individually. I picked one at about 375 yards, closing to about 175 yards with a good three second burst. It appeared that my strikes were concentrated on the cockpit, and as I broke to the left I saw smoke and fragments coming from it. I saw no return fire. The pilot seemed to be in the process of half rolling, but he never got over. His nose eased off downward as though control was lacking, and the plane started into a spin as white and gray smoke poured from the engine. I cleared my tail and started reforming the flights.
It appeared that the enemy planes were surprised by the direction of our approach and were concentrating on their own attack of the bombers which were coming in head-on at about 15 degrees. They were not aware of our presence until we opened fire. This rocket equipped twin-engine flight was supported by FW 190's and ME 109's whose sole purpose was protection of the rocket ships, for they declined engagement, rolling out when we pressed attacks.
My decision to attack this small enemy force rather than to attempt furnishing escort for the bombers was made because of the small number of planes under my leadership - a group of planes so small that bomber escort would have been impossible.
On the basis of my observation of the encounter, I claim one ME 210 destroyed.
DALLAS W. WEBB
Major, Air Corps.
While flying Whiteman White 3 about 15 miles west of Bremen, Major Webb, leading the flight, bounced six ME 210's from the sun. I was behind and was unable to make the bounce. I saw him attack one ME 210 - black smoke came out and the ME 210 fell off to the right in a dive. We were forced to break off attack because of being bounced out of the sky by single engine E/A.
EDWARD B. GILLER
Captain, Air Corps.
West of Bremen at about 29,000 feet, I was number four man in Whitman (sic) White flight. Major Webb, leader of the flight, made a turn to the left, and coming out of the sun we made a pass on several ME 210's. I saw my leader, Major Webb, attack a two engine ship, which started going down to the right in a steep turn, leaving a trail of very black smoke. My element leader, Major Giller and I broke off to the left at this time.
CLAIR A. PENNERS,
2nd Lieut., Air Corps.
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