PILOT'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT
B. 4 March 1944.
C. 338th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group.
E. Over Zuider Zee.
F. About 7/10ths low cumulus. Tops at 6,000 to 7,000 ft.
G. Me 109's.
H. No claim pending assessment of films.
I. I was leading a flight of four ships returning early from the mission. I was having trouble with my oxygen regulator and Lt. Burns had a rough engine. Lts. Fruh and Buskirk were acting as escort. As we approached the Zuider Zee I saw a lone P-38 at about 29,000 feet orbiting. I then noticed two Me 109's at 24,000 directly under the 38, who were feigning combat apparently trying to lure the lone 38 down. I called to Lt. Burns to be cover with Lt. Buskirk while Lt. Fruh and I bounced the E/A. We dove on the E/A from 25,000 ft. and about 1,500 yards. As we came down, one Me 109 immediately turned south and split S'ed. The other one turned north and dove, I opened fire at about 900 yards and closed to about 600 yards as I followed the E/A down to 10,000 feet, where I had to pull out from my dive. Opening deflection was 10° decreasing to dead astern. No results were observed from firing except that the E/A dropped his belly tank shortly after the bounce. Due to the mechanical difficulties mentioned above no effort was made to follow the E/A back into enemy territory.
JOHN L. ODEGARD,
1st Lt., Air Corps.
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