CONFIDENTIAL

PILOT'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT

A. Combat. E. Augsburg.
       
B. 25 February, 1944. F. CAVU.
       
C. 343rd Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group. G. Me 410
       
D. 1430. H. One (1) Me 410 probably destroyed.

I.         Flying as Careful leader (3 flights), we made R/V, and as the bombers were not under attack, we weaved in the target area.   One Me 410 was reported and observed to be two miles away and 1,000 feet higher than our 25,000 feet, headed for the bombers 8 miles to the southwest of target run.  I took the flight and climbed to intercept the e/a, maintaining a straight course while attempting to outclimb.  I reached his level and started to close.  When about 500 yards distant the e/a started down to the left.  I closed to about 250 yards firing in this spiral and observed some small part fly off the left side of his ship.  The e/a increased the angle of his spiral dive at about 24,000 feet.  I was now doing 350 and starting to buffet slightly.  The e/a then flipped over past 90 degrees and went in a straight dive down.  As fifteen plus e/a were reported in overhead by our top cover, I broke off and climbed back up..  I claim one (1) Me 410 destroyed.
 

EUGENE E. RYAN,
Captain, Air Corps.

STATEMENT

            I was flying 2nd man in Capt. Ryan's flight on the escort mission of Feb. 25th, when an Me 410 was sighted climbing up to attack the bombers.  We were on the same level (25,000 ft.) as the e/a and turned cutting across his path.  We kept closing to approximately 400 yards when the e/a broke tot he left and down.  Capt. Ryan cut inside the e/a and followed him down.  We both reached buffeting at 18,000 feet and had to pull up.  The Me 410 kept going straight down and spinning slowly around.  When I last sighted the e/a he was at about 10,000 feet, still going straight down and spinning.  Because of the altitude of the [illegible], its speed, etc., the e/a appeared to me to be out of control.  At this time my right supercharger regulator stuck, and I was busy trying to get squared away, so I lost sight of the e/a.  I confirm one Me 410 probably destroyed by Capt. Ryan.

FRANK E. BIRTCIEL,
1st Lt., Air Corps.


CONFIDENTIAL

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