PILOT'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT
B. 31 Jan. 1944
C. 38th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group.
D. 1515 hours
E. North of Venlo
F. 2-3/10th low cloud, Hazy
H. No claim pending film assessment.
I. I was leading Swindle Yellow section on a fighter sweep near Venlo, when we were jumped by 13 single engine E/A from above. We were at 22,000 ft. and the E/A were approximately 5 to 6,000 ft. above us.
At the same time other S/E E/A jumped us from our own altitude. Our squadron immediately started climbing to get above them, but they made repeated bounces upon us. I fired 4 or 5 bursts of 2 to 3 seconds duration at numerous E/A mostly in head on attacks, but could not observe any results due to my windshield becoming clogged with smoke residue from the guns. This obstruction would last from 5 to 10 seconds and then seem to dissapate [sic.]. I believe some of it on the glass was due to the heated air from the gun blast condensing and forming a fog.
I finally manuevered [sic.] onto the tails of 5 Me109's who were about 4000 ft. above my flight and 900 yds. ahead of us. They were climbing in a left circle, so by using more than war emergency power I was able to overtake them. At 33,000 I was 100 ft. below and 300 yds. behind the last plane.
I started firing at the E/A but as soon as the guns would fire my windshield would frost up and a reddish brown smoke residue would cut my forward visibility to absolutely zero. After waiting 10 to 20 seconds it would clear up some what and again I would fire with the same result.
My entire cockpit enclosure was covered on the inside by a thick frost. The only place I could see out was the spot on the windshield where the defroster tube blows hot air on the windshield.
As I was pulling away from the entire squadron, the squadron leader called and said to break off the attack. As I did so, the E/A immediately turned and our positions were reversed.
We then started a tight spiral to the left intending to lose altitude and rejoin the rest of the Squadron, but the E/A closed on us quite rapidly and seemed able to (continued)
(pg2, combat report - 31-1-44)
scallop their turn sufficient to get in a fairly good burst.
This caused us to break formation to get maximum turn from our planes.
I dropped manouver [sic.] flaps and was able to out turn the E/A, getting on the leader's tail but had to break away in a roll toward the ground when one of the other 109's started firing at me from behind.
I could not make nay claims during the combat because of my windshield being obstructed as I fired. This trouble has always existed with our particular equipment and in the past has caused serious difficulties during combat.
Captain, Air Corps
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