PILOT'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT
B. 31 December 1943
C. 343rd Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group
E. 30 miles north of St. Jean d'Angely over town of Niort, France.
F. Overcast to broken at 12,000 feet, clear above.
G. FW 190.
H. One (1) FW 190 destroyed, pilot killed.
I. While leading White flight of 343rd Fighter Squadron at 14,000 feet on withdrawal from target area north of St. Jean d'Angely, a flight of eight FW 190's were observed about to attack a box of B-24's from the stern. Lt. Bauer leading my second element gave my element top cover, while Lt. Fair, my No. 2 and I bounced the 190's. Two of the 190's were destroyed by tail gunners of the B-24's, and four others broke off before we could get in range. The other two FW 190's engaged our flight. Flying line astern these two 190's attempted to get on Lt. Fair's tail. By using combat flaps we were able to turn inside the 190's in about two turns. As I came up on the rear 190 I was slightly above. I pulled my sight through his ship, giving him about 2 1/2 radii lead at about 200 yards and fired a short burst. Strikes were observed in the cockpit. The 190 fell off in a spin out of control. I believe the pilot had been killed. Lt. Fair observed this combat as he was covering my tail. Lt. Bauer came down on the second 190 and hit it directly in the cockpit. It is my opinion that the pilot of this 190 was also killed as he fell down out of control. We reformed our flight and continued home alone. I claim one FW 190 destroyed and confirm Lt. Bauer's claim of one FW 190 as destroyed.
FRANK B. JAMES
Colonel, Air Corps
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