PILOT'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT
B. 29 November 1943.
C. 38th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group.
D. About 1430.
E. West of Bremen.
F. CAVU above 25,000 feet.
G. ME 109.
I. I was flying wing man to Captain Ayers, who was leading Swindle Red Flight. After engaging with enemy aircraft and completing three 360 degree orbits, we started for home. Captain Ayers and myself were two of five P-38's at the rear of the group. We observed three enemy aircraft catching us from the rear. At this time I was at 33,000 feet. Captain Ayers called for help and Captain Franklin and Lt. Gilbride of the 343th (sic.) came back. At this time one enemy aircraft came behind Captain Franklin and two behind me. we broke left, I completed my turn and came down on the second ME 109 and fired observing hits on wings and near canopy. These two immediately rolled and dove for the clouds. Captain Franklin had to feather his engine in the middle of his break and Lt. Gilbride presumably was shot down. I then broke off my attack as the ME 109's dove and flew back to cover. Captain Franklin was then on one engine. At this time four more enemy aircraft were tailing me so Captain Franklin unfeathered his engine and got as much power as he could out of it and we came home together. The enemy aircraft dropped off either because of fuel shortage or we outran them. This action took place between 31,000 and 33,000 feet.
ROBERT E. ERICKSON,
2nd Lieut., Air Corps.
Return to Capt. Robert E. Erickson's page
Return to the Encounter Reports page