PILOT'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT
B. 3 September 1944
C. 38th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group
D. Approximately 1300
E. Vicinity Antwerp
F. Light haze. 7/10 cloud cover at 8-10,000 feet, Cumulus 3-5,000 feet.
G. FW 190
H. One (1) FW 190 destroyed.
I. I was leading Hellcat Red Flight at 10,000 feet and approaching Antwerp from the southeast when I saw two unidentified aircraft on the deck going northwest. I called them in to Lt. Col. Kelley, the Group Leader, and we peeled off in a wide orbit to starboard, making our approach on the tails of the E/A. These planes, about 10 to 12 in all, turned out to be FW 190's each carrying a belly tank. They were flying roughly in string at less than 100 feet, apparently having just taken off from a camouflaged grass airport a few miles southwest of Antwerp.
I picked out two of the Huns flying away to the north of the A/D. One of these was slightly to the rear and port of the other, so I chose him and closed in. At first he was in a slight turn to starboard, but he soon straightened out and flew straight and level, apparently confused by our surprise attack. At 800 feet I opened fire with a 20 degree deflection, closing to 500 feet, zero deflection. I fired a continous (sic) burst from dead astern for about six seconds, before I was at point blank range and had to pull up. During this time I could see strikes on the fuselage and canopy, and pieces of the E/A breaking off. As I went by I got oil on my windshield from the E/A, so I did not see him hit the ground. But a member of my flight Lt. Matney, confirmed seeing the plane crash. As a result of this combat I claim one FW 190 destroyed.
Captain, Air Corps.
I was flying Number 4 position in Hellcat Red Flight during the above combat. When Captain Clark was firing at the above FW 190 I was flying in a position above and behind him to witness many strikes all over the E/A - and after Captain Clark was forced to pull up, I saw the 190 turn on its back and go into the ground and explode.
FRANCIS M. MATNEY,
2nd Lieut., Air Corps,
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