PILOT’S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT
B. 31 Dec. 1943
C. 38th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter grp.
E. 2 Mi. north of “Blaye et Ste. Luce”
I. I was leading Swindle Yellow flight escorting a box of B24’s which were at the rear of the bomber formation. One B24 was straggling to the rear and left of the formation at approximately 16,000 ft, or about 5,000 ft. below the main box. I observed an Me109 at the straggler’s level start an attack upon him from 6 o’clock position and about 5,000 ft behind.
I called for top cover, swung around behind the Me109 and dove down upon him
from 21,000 ft. I used full power and gained quite rapidly upon the E/A. When
the e/a was about 600 yds from the bomber he started firing and fired 5 distinct
3 second burst with many hits upon the bomber. I had closed to within 300 yards,
when the e/a broke sharply in a level turn to the left. I fired a 2 second burst
without results when another P38 passed about 10 yds in front of me, going 90˚
to my flight path. I was using maximum power and closed to within 100 yds. When
the e/a tightened his turn up and dropped approximately 20˚ of flaps to out turn
me. We were indicating around 350 MPH, and I was easily able to lead him by 1¼
radii. I fired a 3 second burst and knocked off his right flap off as well as
observing many strikes around his coolant radiator. He started emitting a very
thick white smoke, straightened out into level flight and I fired another 5
second burst observing many hit on the tail and wing roots accompanied by many
pieces flying from his airplane. The e/a then half-rolled and immediately did a
skidding barrel roll to the left but I rolled with him and closed to about 40
yards behind. As he barrel rolled I also rolled and fired during the entire
manuever. The e/a started disintegrating and the pilot crawled out. This time I
was dangerously close to him and narrowly missed hitting the pilot as he jumped.
The oil from the e/a completely covered my windshield, blinding my forward
vision. I broke away from him and started a spiralling climb into the sun until
I was again able to rejoin the squadron which had covered the entire attack.
I claim this Me109 was destroyed by my attack.
CAPTAIN – Air Corps
I was flying Swindle Blue 3, escorting bombers near Bordeaux, when Capt. Myers, leading swindle Yellow flight, observed a Me109 attacking a B24 straggler about 6,000 ft. below us. Capt. Myers led his flight down to attack, while our flight, Swindle Blue led by Lt. Leve, gave him top cover. Capt. Myers got on the 109’s tail and commenced firing. The enemy plane broke into him and attempted to out turn him; upon finding he could not do so, he attempted a skidding barrel roll with Myers following him around in the manuever. I observed pieces flying off the plane and his left coolant was smoking. The pilot was seen to jump out with his parachute opening immediately.
1st Lt. Air Corps
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