CONFIDENTIAL

PILOT'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT

A. Combat
B. 5 February 1944
C. 38th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group.
D. 1200 hours.
E. In vicinity of Chartres.
F. Low scattered clouds
G. Me109.
H. One (1) Me109 destroyed
I. I was leading Swindle Blue Flight home from the target area at an altitude of 20,000 feet, when Swindle Blue 3 called in two Me109's taking off from Chartres Airport directly below us.  Under my left wing I caught a glimpse of two flashes, apparently enemy aircraft, so I kicked it over and shoved the nose down.  At 15,000 ft. I lost sight of the Huns and leveled off.  After a 180 degree turn, I kicked it over again and dove straight out of the sun.  When I leveled off I was on the tail of two Me109's.  I picked the leader, who was on the left, so that my wingman, Lt. Watts, could go after the right one.  When three-fourths of my sight was filled I opened fire and held it until I had to pull up and over to avoid a collision.  I observed 7 or 8 cannon strikes at the root of the right wing and saw a large piece of the wing rip off.  When I last saw the E/A he was in a tight turn to the right, slipping off his right wing, at an altitude of 500 feet.  Black smoke poured from the plane and it was obviously out of control.  About that time I sighted more E/A coming in, so I told the flight to break off and hit the deck fro home.  I claim one (1) Me109 destroyed.

THOMAS BEAIRD,
Capt. - Air Corps

CONFIDENTIAL

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