The Spitfire IX was a Spitfire VC modified to incorporate a two speed, two stage version of the Merlin engine. This engine, the Merlin 61 initially, replaced the single speed, single stage Merlin 45 or 46 installed in Spitfire Vs. The conversion from Spitfire V to Spitfire IX also required new engine cowlings, a four-bladed Rotol propeller, and two thermostatically controlled radiators.
Deliveries of the Spitfire Mk IX began in June 1942 with No. 64 Squadron of the Hornchurch Wing the first to go operational with the type on 28 July 1942. Success followed quickly as on the 30th 5 FW 190s were destroyed. No. 611 squadron began taking deliveries of Spitfire IXs on 23 July 1942 while at Redhill, a satellite field to Kenley. Their first operation took place on 5 August covering the 308th FS USAAF to Le Touquet, with the first success, a FW 190 destroyed and 2 damaged coming on the 17th. No. 401 (RCAF) squadron started taking deliveries of Spitfire IXs at the end of July, fully converted with the move to Biggin Hill 2 August, performed their first operations with the Spitfire IX on 6 August 1942 and met with their first success on the 17th when they claimed 1 FW190 destroyed, 5 190 probables with 1 damaged. No. 402 (RCAF) squadron fully converted to Spitfire IXs by 2 August at Redhill with the first operations taking place on 13 August. They moved to Kenley on the 14th with their first claim in the type of 1 damaged coming on the 17th. The principle opponents facing these squadrons were the Fw 190s of JG 2 and JG 26. The only Me 109s on the channel front in August 1942 were about 30 Me 109 Gs belonging to 11.(Höh.)/JG2 and 11./JG 26, the high altitude squadrons of the Geschwaders. Its notable that 64, 611, 401, and 402 squadrons, acting in concert flying their Spitfire IXs, escorted USAAF B-17s on some of their first missions; to Rouen on the 17th, Abbeville on the 19th, Amiens on the 20th, Le Trait on the 24th, Rotterdam on the 27th, Meaulte on the 28th, and Courtrai on the 29th. This signified a change in the air war in the European Theater of Operations.
These early Spitfire IXs were equipped with the Merlin 61, giving 1565 hp at +15 lbs./sq.in. boost and 3,000 rpm (5 minute combat). Maximum level speed was 403 m.p.h. at 27,400 ft. Maximum rate of climb was 3860 ft./min at 12,600 ft. The Merlin 61 was phased out early in 1943 in favour of the Merlin 63, 66 and 70. These new engines had increased power resulting from engine improvements and engine limitations of +18 lbs./sq.in and 3,000 rpm (5 minute combat). The Merlin 63 engined Spitfire IXs first entered service in February 1943 with the Hornchurch and North Weald Wings, but most initally were shipped to North Africa and Malta. Maximum power of the Merlin 63 was 1,710 b.h.p. at 8,500 ft. Maximum speed of the Spitfire F.IX was 408 m.p.h. at 25,000 ft. The LF IX, equipped with the Merlin 66 and frequently referred to as the Spitfire IXB, first went operational in March 1943 with the Biggin Hill Wing, comprised at the time of Nos. 611 and 341 Squadrons. This type was by far the most produced of the Spitfire IX varients. Maximum power of the Merlin 66 was 1,720 b.h.p. at 5,750 ft. Maximum speed of the Spitfire LF.IX was 404 m.p.h. at 21,000 ft. The HF IX, equipped with the high altitude specialized Merlin 70, also entered service in the Spring of 1943, being divvied up amongst the Spitfire IX squadrons in 11 Group with No. 64 squadron amongst the first to put the type to use. Maximum power of the Merlin 70 was 1,710 b.h.p. at 11,000 ft. Maximum speed of the Spitfire HF.IX was 416 m.p.h. at 27,500 ft. All-up weight was about 7,450 lbs. irrespective of varient.
The Spitfire performance results shown below were obtained by the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down. The results given in the reports were corrected to standard atmospheric conditions by the methods of report No. A.& A.A.E.E./Res/170 or A.& A.E.E. Memorandum dated 27.8.42. The level speed results were corrected to 95% of the take-off weights, while climb results were based on all-up weights. Level speed tests were done with radiator flaps closed while climb tests were done with radiator flaps open.
The ME 109 G differed from its predecessor, the Me 109 F-4, primarily in the replacement of the DB 601 E engine with the the DB 605 A. A total of 167 Me 109 G-1s were built. They entered service with elements of JG 2 in June-July 1942. Prien & Rodeike write "It appears that a total of 1,585 G-2s were built... Deliveries of the G-2 to the Jagdgeschwader began in June 1942. The first mention of a G-2 in loss reports appears in July 7, 1942.” and “The G6 began reaching the front-line units in February 1943. … The first G-6 fighters were delivered to Jagdgruppen in the Mediterranean area in February 1943 and saw action with JG 53 and JG 77, as well as II./JG 27 and II./JG 51. The first recorded loss of a G-6 occurred on March 4, 1943". The DB 605 A engine equipped the G-1 through G-6 during the mid war years of 1942-43. The engine limitations were 1.3 ata/2600 rpm in accordance with VT-Anweisung Nr.2206 through 1942 and most, if not all, of 1943. The BF 109 G-2, G-4, G6 Service Instruction from June 1943 states:
Evidence points to the DB 605 A not being fully cleared for 1.42 ata/2800 rpm before spring 1944 (Bf109 G-4/R3, G-6/R3 Bedienungsvorschrift-F1 Ausgabe Februar 1944). Flying weights of the G-1 through G-6 were about 6,834 to 6,944 lbs.
The results of the German trials were corrected to standard temperature and correct setting of the supercharger regulator. Level speed tests were done with radiator flaps in minimum drag position (approximately 50 mm) while climb tests were done with radiator flaps partly open as necessary to maintain proper coolant temperatures (approximately 85° C). The DB 605 A engine limitations during the performance trials were 1.3 ata and 2600 U/min.
The charts below reflect performance representative of the mid war period 1942-43.
It will be noted that the various German level speed trials results, primarily from Messerschmitt's Flugerprobung (flight testing) Department, are in good agreement and correspond reasonably well to the GL/C-E2 figures for the Me 109 G-6. The "average basic model" curve comes from a report compiling data from 25 different flight trials comprising 90 different aircraft, corrected to standard conditions, with the results adjusted to the basic model Me 109 G-1 (Grundausführung). Die Kurve ist ein Mittelwert aus den umgerechneten Leistungsmessungen. The full throttle height (FTH) in level flight of the Me 109 G-1 using 1.3ata/2600 RPM is shown as 20,997 feet (6.4 km) on Rechlin's Kennblatt while that of the Me 109 G-5 and Me 109 G-6 at the same boost is listed on the GL/C-E2 Aircraft Description Sheet as 21,325 feet (6.5 km). The FTH obtained from flight testing at Messerschmitt averaged 21,654 feet (6.6 km) using 1.30 ata and 2600 RPM.
The varying full throttle heights of the three Merlins can be readily seen. See the Spitfire Mk IX portion of this web site for transcripts of the Spitfire trials charted above. For the Spitfire's official "Final" figures see the Aircraft Data Sheets linked above.
The Me 109 original curves, derived from german flight tests and used in the above charts, are as follows:
Me 109 G-1 14026 Versuchs-Bericht 109 19 L 42. 19.9.42, Messerschmitt AG, Augsburg
See also: Me 109 G Flight Tests
Other non-German Me 109 G trials of aircraft in mid-war condition are of passing interest. Russian data on Me 109 G-2 Wk. Nr. 14513 shows 414 mph at 22,965 feet. While the conditions of the test and aircraft are unclear, the results can be partially understood when the abnormal engine powers (1300 ch at 19,029 feet) and the unusally high full throttle height of 22,965 feet are taken into account. Perhaps the Russian figures exceed the German results due to differing methods of reducing the raw data, compressibility was not accounted for or the data was not corrected to standard conditions. Finnish trials of a Me 109 G-2 obtained results rather stronger at low altitude and significantly weaker above full throttle height as compared to the German figures. Maximum speed reached was 395 mph at 21,062 feet, which is close to the German figures. The Finnish climb results exceed the German results by better than 550 ft/min. at sea level and full throttle height (18,700 feet FTH for Finnish and German). While this degree of separation is likely due to different test protocols and correction methods, the spike on the Finnish curve, exceeding German figures by 1,410 ft/min and readily apparent when superimposed on the German curves, must be dismissed as aberrant.
The conclusions of a February 1947 Air Ministry report on Air Fighting Tactics Used By Spitfire Squadrons, summing up the experience in Western Europe, demonstrates that the comparisons charted above with respect to the Spitfire IXB, held in battle:
Flying Limitations of the Spitfire IX (from Pilot's Notes)
|Between||S.L. and 20,000 ft.||-450|
|20,000 and 25,000 ft.||-430|
|25,000 and 30,000 ft.||-390|
|30,000 and 35,000 ft.||-340|
Flying Limitations of the Me 109 G (from: Technical Instructions of the Generalluftzeugmeister, Berlin, 28th August 1942.)
Reference Me 109 - wing breakages. Owing to continually recurring accidents caused by wing breakages in Me 109 aircraft attention is drawn to the following:
(1) The maximum permissible indicated airspeeds in the different heights are not being observed and are widely exceeded. On the basis of evidence which is now available the speed limitations ordered by teleprint message GL/6 No. 2428/41 of 10.6.41 are cancelled and replaced by the following data:
|Up to 3 km||(9,842 ft.)||750 km/h.||(466 m.p.h.)|
|At 5 km||(16,404 ft)||700 km/h.||(435 m.p.h.)|
|At 7 km||(22,965 ft)||575 km/h.||(357 m.p.h.)|
|At 9 km||(29,527 ft)||450 km/h.||(280 m.p.h.)|
|At 11 km||(36,089 ft)||400 km/h.||(248 m.p.h.)|
These limitations are valid for the time being for all building series including the Me 109 G. A corresponding notice is to be placed upon all air-speed indicators in aircraft.
(2) Yawing in a dive leads to high one-sided wing stresses which, under certain circumstances, the wing tip cannot support. When a yawing condition is recognised the dive is to be broken off without exercising force. In a flying condition of yawing and turning at the same time correction must be made with the rudder and not the ailerons. The condition of wing tips is to be examined and checked with TAGL. Bf 109 Nos. 5/41 and 436/41.
(3) Unintentional unlocking of the undercarriage in a dive leads also - especially if only one side unlocks - to high wing stresses.
Observation and the carrying out of TAGL. No. 11/42 and the following numbers is, therefore specially important.
.......The dive speed limits listed above are also to be found in Vorläufige Fluggenehmigung BF 109 G-2 and G-6
Dive: Adjust trim in such a way that the airplane can be held in a dive.
The elevator forces and tailplane loads become great at high speeds.
The tailplane adjustment must work perfectly; otherwise shifting of the tailplane is possible.
Maximum diving speed 750 km/h. Hard aileron manipulation while diving leads to failure, particularly when pulling out. Höchstzulässige Sturzfluggeschwindigkeit 750 km/h. Harte querruder betätigung im Sturz und besonders beim Abfangen führt zum Bruch.
.......AFDU tactical trials determined that the Me-109G was quicker in dive accelereation than the Spitfire IX.
Merlin engines, Leading Common Particulars: Bore - 5.4 in., Stroke - 6.0 in., Capacity - 1649 cu.in./27.02 litres, Compression ration - 6.0 : 1
Merlin 61: Basic high altitude fighter type. Two piece cylinder blocks. Coffman starter crankcase to accomodate cabin blower, electric starting, pressure cooled, A.V.T. 44 float type or R.A.E. anti-'g' carbueretter. 15 lb. /sq.in boost maximum power rating. 734 built.
Merlin 63: High altitude fighter type similar to Merlin 61, but no provision for cabin blower drive. Incorporates strengthened supercharger quill drive shaft to deal with the 18 lbs./sq.in. boost maximum power rating. 1,375 built.
Merlin 66: Fighter engine similar to Merlin 63 but with improved low altitude performance; larger diameter first stage supercharger rotor, with altered rotating guide vanes and diffusers. Has Bendix Stromberg injection carburetter, intercooler with separate header tank, and strengthened supercharger drive quill shaft. 6,396 built.
Merlin 70: Improved performance high altitude engine, basically similar to Merlin 66, except for supercharger gear ratios and has the large diameter first stage supercharger rotor with modified rotating guide vanes and diffuseres, strengthened supercharger drive quill shaft and Bendix injection carburetter. No provision for cabin blower. 1,000 built.
|Merlin 61||.42 or .477||6.39|
DB 605 A: Weight 1,663 lbs., Bore 154mm., Stroke 160mm., Capacity 35.7 litres. Compression ratio 7.3/7.5
|Take-off and emergency||1.42 ata/2800 U/min.||1475 PS at Sea Level||1355 PS at 18,700'|
|Climb and combat||1.30 ata/2600 U.min.||1310 PS at Sea Level||1250 PS at 19,029'|
.......The following notes relate to the DB 605 A engine limitations:
|Max. Speed||Weight Lb.||Service Ceiling|
|Spitfire F IX||Merlin 63||1,710 @ 8,500' |
1,520 @ 21,000'
|382 mph @ 12,500' MS|
408 mph @ 25,000' FS
|Spitfire LF IX||Merlin 66||1,720 @ 5,750' |
1,595 @ 16,000'
|384 mph @ 10,500' MS|
404 mph @ 21,000' FS
|Spitfire HF IX||Merlin 70||1,710 @ 11,000|
1,475 @ 23,250'
|396 mph @ 15,000' MS|
416 mph @ 27,500' FS
S/L Colin Gray, with No. 81 Squadron flying Spitfire IXs in North Africa, commented on a 3 April 1943 combat:
F/Lt. Irving "Hap" Kennedy did a stint with No. 185 flying Spitfire IXs from Malta in June 1943 and wrote:
Johannes Steinhoff, Sicily, Commander JG 77 (July 1943):
The Malta Spitfires are back again... They're fitted with a high altitude supercharger and at anything over twenty-five thousand feet they just play cat and mouse with us.
Günther Rall commented on the Spitfire, having had the opportunity to fly various captured allied aircraft, as well as the Me 109G:
The Spitfire, too (referring to the P-38 with power ailerons), was a very maneuverable aircraft, very good in the cockpit."
Alan Deere, Biggin Hill, Wing Commander Flying (March 1943):
The Biggin Hill squadrons were using the Spitfire IXBs (Merlin 66), a mark of Spitfire markedly superior in performance to the FW 190 below 27,000 ft. Unlike the Spitfire IXA, with which all other Spitfire IX wings in the Group were equipped, the IXB's supercharger came in at a lower altitude and the aircraft attained its best performance at 21,000 ft, or at roughly the same altitude as the FW 190. At this height it was approximately 30 mph faster, was better in the climb and vastly more manoeuvrable. As an all-around fighter the Spitfire IXB was supreme, and undoubtedly the best mark of Spitfire produced, despite later and more powerful versions.Alan Deere, Nine Lives, (Crecy Publishing, Manchester, 1999), p. 258.
Pierre Clostermann, flew Spitfire IXs out of Biggin Hill with No. 341 Squadron during the summer of 1943. He wrote of a 26 September 1943 encounter with a Me 109 G over France:
Three minutes, and the dot had become a cross, about 2,500 feet immediately above me. At that height it was probably one of the new Messerschmitt 109 G's. He waggled his wings...he was going to attack at any moment, thinking I had not seen him. In a trice solitude, poetry, the sun, all vanished. A glance at the temperature and I pushed the prop into fine pitch. All set. Let him try it on!
F/L Donald E. Kingaby DFC of 64 Squadron achieved the first kill in a Spitfire IX recording in his Combat Report for 30 July 1942:
We sighted approx. 12 F.W. 190s two thousand feet below us at 19,000 ft just off Boulogne proceeding towards French coast. We dived down on them and I attacked a FW 190 from astern and below giving a very short burst , about ½ sec. from 300 yds. I was forced to break away as I was crowded out by other Spits. I broke down and right and caught another FW as he commenced to dive away. At 14,000 ft. approx. I gave a burst of cannon and M/G, 400 yds range, hitting E/A along fuselage. Pieces fell off and E/A continued in straight dive nearly vertical. I followed E/A down to 5,000 ft. over Boulogne and saw him hit the deck just outside of Boulogne and explode and burn up. Returned to base at 0 ft.
F/L M. Donnet (Belgian) of 64 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 30 July 1942:
I was flying Blue 1 in 64 Squadron on the Circus. Over the North of St. Omer Forest my section dived down on 15 F.W. 190's. I got a squirt to the 3 last of a section of six in line astern without noticing any result. When I pulled out I sighted two F.W. 190 at 4,000 feet below me. My height was 14,000 feet. I dived down on those two F.W. who were climbing. I closed very quick on them and opened fire on number 2 at 300 yards range. The 2 F.W.190's, sighting me, rolled on their backs, and as I closed to 200 yards and saw strikes round cockpit, the second F.W.190 burst into flames. I kept firing and went down after the blazing a/c, which I left diving on its back at 6,000 feet. I did not see the pilot baling out but the a/c was out of control
P/O J. Stewart (Rhodesian) of 64 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 30 July 1942:
I was flying as Blue 3 and during the engagement I saw 4 F.W. 190's flying below me in the opposite direction and attacking four of my squadron. I shouted a warning and stall-turned to port to attack the rear two F.W. 190's. They broke and turned with me but I could easily out-turn them and I got several bursts at the rear one. The leading one then broke off and the rear one started to dive towards France, taking slight evasive action. The dive started at about 10,000 feet and I got many bursts from astern at ranges from 200 to 400 yards. I saw cannon strikes, and his tank burst. Then, after about another second, black smoke and flames poured from his tail. At 2,000 feet my ammunition gave out and I saw him slowly carry on his dive to the right, flaming and smoking, until he crashed in a field (This, I think, was just S.E. of St. Omer). I came back at zero feet.
S/L D. Smith of 64 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 30 July 1942:
I was leading the Squadron as Red 1, and midway between Gravelines and the target at 14,000 ft., I was told that a formation of e/a were following the Wing and slightly above them. On looking back I sighted e/a, took the Squadron in a right-hand turn round, slightly up sun, and gave the order to follow me down to attack. There were about 15 e/a in various formations. I took the left-hand one, opening fire at 300 yards, closing to 200 yards, giving first a 6 secs. burst, observing no results. After further 2 secs.burst there was a violent explosion in the port wing root, followed by a puff of black smoke. The e/a turned slowly on its side, diving, and then spiralled down, with flame coming from underneath the port wing. I pulled up into the sun and orbitted, climbing to 14,000 feet, and then made my way to the target with Red 2, where I saw the main formation on its way home, and followed out behind it. Midway across the Channel I observed dogfights below and went down to investigate with Red 2. I saw a F.W. 190 being chased by a Spitfire, which fired at it and broke away. I dived in after, giving a 2 secs. burst before overtaking very fast. I observed a puff of white smoke from the port side of the cockpit and a thick stream of white vapour. I broke to the left and saw Red 2 attacking this a/c which took fire, and disappeared in a steep dive.
Lt. A. Austeen (Nor.) of 64 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 30 July 1942:
I was flying Red 2 to S/L Smith. On the way home half-way across the Channel at 14,000 feet, I saw a dog-fight going on 4,000 feet below. Red leader did a diving turn and attacked a F.W. 190, who dived towards the French coast. I followed 100 yards Behind. When Red leader finished his attack, I saw a thick cloud of white smoke, and pieces coming from the e/a. I closed from 250 yards to 100 yards and gave about a 2 secs. burst from astern. The white smoke changed to black and white and flames, and the e/a seemed to come out of control and went down in a vertical spin. This was seen by the French pilot, Lt. de Labouchere, from 340 Squadron.
F/L C. Thomas DFC of 64 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 August 1942:
Dived down from 25000 on to 3 F.W. 190's which immediately went below clouds so pulled up to 15000 and saw 109E on my port slightly below. Dived to port with No. 2 and opened fire at 400 yards closing quite rapidly. No result. Tried again with slight deflection from quarter and saw cannon shell strike behind cockpit. Continued burst from starboard quarter and saw strikes on wing. 109 half rolled gave out black smoke and dived vertically for cloud at 4000 feet which it went through absolutely vertically showing no signs of pulling out. Charlie 2 confirms seeing 109 diving quite vertically through clouds.
S/Ldr. D. H. Watkins of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 August 1942:
I took off at 0515 hours leading Charlie Section - arrived off Dieppe at 0540 jettisoning tank at 0537. I patrolled at 1500 to 2500 feet about 5 to 7 miles off shore. Heavy flak was only slight and mostly inaccurate - light flak nil. At 0600 hours I saw 2 FW.190's over Dieppe at about 5,000 feet which cleared away from the area to the south. At 0605 approximately a heavy shore battery probably Hess which had been firing all the time went up in a sheet of flames and there was no more firing. At 0610 I saw self destroying ammunition at about 5,000 feet N.W. of Dieppe and a FW.190 dived down to my height (1500) and swept round behind my No. 2. I throttled back and easily turned inside the enemy aircraft and fired a short burst at 45° deflection - I saw one cannon strike behind the e/a cockpit and he flew straight inland over the River Bethune at 100 feet. I had to break off my attack due to the intense light flak put up by our ships. The enemy aircraft apparently tried to make a forced landing on the high ground south-west of the mouth of River Bethune and hit the ground, bouncing into the air in a cloud of dust. I did not see it again. At 0620 hours I returned with my section on instructions from Operations.
S/L N. H. Bretz of 402 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 August 1942:
I was Red 1 on Circus 208 to Le Trait. After turing from the target we proceeded N.W. for about 10 miles when I noticed four F.W. 190's in line astern about 3,000 ft below the Squadron at 22,000 ft proceeding west. I led the squadron down to attack and when they saw us coming, two of the E/A immediately half rolled and dived away. I came in on the third almost line astern to within 200 yds and fired a 2 second burst with cannon only, seeing strikes on the port mainplane and fuselage. The E/A then began to emit black smoke and went into a steep dive towards Bolbec. I watched this E/A go down for some time and I had to weave away. When I looked back a few seconds later the a/c had crashed near Bolbec and was burning on the ground. This a/c was also seen burning by Red 2. Lt. Fowles (U.S.A.A.F.) and is claimed as destroyed.
F/Lt W. V. Crawford-Compton D.F.C. (N.Z.) of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 August 1942:
While leading Blue Section, 611 Squadron I was flying at 26,000 feet behind the Beehive on the way out from the bombing of Le Trait. When West of Fauville I saw 3 F.W. 190's below me climbing up to the bombers, i.e. flying North on my port side. I turned behind them, warned my Section, and came up underneath the port 190. I started firing at about 300 yards and kept on until I had to break away to avoid a collision. During this time I observed strikes under the fuselage and flames appeared underneath the front cowling and spread along the fuselage. The enemy aircraft veered to port and dived slightly away. The two remaining F.W. 190s broke to the right and were joined by two more which I had not seen approaching. All four attacked me. By this time I was separated from Blue Section and I endeavoured to work my way to the coast. I tried doing steep climbing turns but as they had the advantage of height they were able to take their turn attacking me. I went into an aileron turn using lots of rudder and was chased about 30 or 40 miles across the Channel. The F.W. 190 were using self destroying ammunition which was bursting in front of and around me. As this aircraft was well on fire when I had to leave I am sure it was destroyed.
F/Lt. J. Manak (Czech) of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 5 September 1942:
I was flying Red 3. Our Section was weaving behind the last bombers at 26,000 feet when we left the target. At about 5 miles N. of Rouen I saw 4 to 6 FW.190's approaching from above and behind us. At the same time Red 1 called up and warned his section. When I saw them diving down on us in line abreast, I warned Red 4 and did a sharp turn to the left. One of them got on to my tail. I avoided him by a left hand climbing turn and got on to the tail of another FW.190. I opened fire at him from nearly line astern at about 50-80 yards distance. I saw his right wing tip fall off. He flicked over and went into a falling spin, but I do not know what happened to him as another FW.190 came on to my tail and fired at me. I avoided him by steep climbing turn. He and the other FW.190's abandoned the attack, remaining milling around in the air. As I turned I saw an aircraft going down in flames below me but I cannot say wheter it as a Spit. or a FW.190. I claim 1 FW.190 as damaged.
P/O M. Graham of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 September 1942:
I was flying as Blue 3 in 611 Squadron on the morning of 16th September, 1942. The Squadron was engaged over Le Touquet at about 27,000 feet. During this operation I became separated from the rest of the Squadron and had a long fight with several 109's and 190's. I got away from this and headed for home. Crossing Le Touquet at 32,000 ft. I saw 5 190's flying north after the main body of our fighters. One of these was straggling and I dived on him from out of the sun. I opened fire at about 300 yards and closed to about 150 yards firing all the time. I saw cannon explosive strike just behind the cockpit and on the starboard wing-root. The enemy A/C started climbing very steeply and he eventually reached the vertical and stalled and spun. I watched him spinning for about 3000 feet and then I had to turn away. I think I may have hit the pilot as the A/C was obviously out of control. I claim this A/C as probably destroyed.
F/O. Walendowski of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 October 1942:
On return to base when I had been over Aus-le-Chateau, I saw down below four F.W. 190s. When one of them separated and chased a Spitfire, I dived on to it. I made a vertical attack from above and fired from 400 yards, a short burst between the Spitfire and the F.W. as my intention was to interrupt in this way the Enemy’s attack. Then I gave two long bursts attacking the E/A from 45º astern and below from a distance of 300 and 200 yards. During the last burst, the E/A made a full slow roll. I then attacked a fourth time from 50 yards, firing a long burst, during which I saw an explosion – bright fire on the Port Wing level with the pilot’s cockpit. The F.W made a slow turn on to its back and I saw the cockpit cover falling away followed by the pilot. The E/A reverted to a normal flying position in a straight and slow dive. At the very same moment Sergeant Rogowski attacked the E/A and it slowly down. I saw behind me something white and I suppose that the Hun had opened his parachute. About 15 miles from the Coast, over the Channel I found the Flying Fortresses, as at that time I was about 18,000 feet high and I saw behind me at about 400 yards distant five F.W.190s. which pursued me to Dungeness.
F/Lt. Gil of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 October 1942:
I was leader of the Port Section and I saw two Me.109Fs or Gs make to attack the Fortresses. I did a left roll dived and attacked the second one, firing a burst from 100 yards beam attack. The E/A turned over and vent into a vertical dive with two streams of white smoke coming from it. I claim this E/A as damaged. This E/A was not a M.E.109E but the silhouette of the wing was unlike the 109F. I climbed back and rejoined my Squadron on seeing Fortresses being attacked by five F.W.190s. I attacked one from 300 yards giving a short burst from astern and above, a second burst from dead astern at 70 yards and again from 150 yards astern and above. I saw a fire break out under the fuselage and the pilot baled out, parachute opening shortly afterwards. I claimed this E/A as destroyed. Landed at Northolt 10.30 hrs.
F/O Kedzierski of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 October 1942:
I was flying in the Port section in my Squadron when I saw five F.W.190s. climbing to attack the Fortresses. I dived on to the last F.W. of the formation, firing a short burst from 200 yards astern and above. I the got into position dead astern and again opened fire. A small explosion took place and the pilot baled out. I claim this E/A as destroyed. I landed at Northolt at 10.40 hrs.
F/O Pietrzak of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 October 1942:
I was in the starboard section when I saw five F.W.190s coming in to attack the bombers. I attacked the fourth whilst it was doing a turn. I attacked from astern and above giving a long burst, starting from 200 yards and closing to 30 yards dead astern. The E/A went into a vertical dive and I followed him down to 8,000 feet from which height I saw him crash on to the ground. I claim this E/A as destroyed. I landed at Northolt at 10.45 hrs.
F/Lt. Zulikoski of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 October 1942:
I was leader of the starboard section of the Squadron and, seeing four F.W.190s. going to attack the Fortresses I made to attack them. At that moment I saw another F.W.190 on my left and I made a Port beam attack giving a long burst of machine gun fire from 150 yards. Getting on the his tail I gave a short burst of cannon and machine gun from 300 yards, again from astern and above at 300 yards. I gave a long burst and I saw dark smoke coming from the E/A. My fourth burst was given from dead astern from 300 yards. The E/A was seen to go down out of control. This engagement took place between 21 and 28,000 feet and it was clear that the F.W. was trying to entice me down to its own best Operational height. I claim this E/A as a probable.
|306 (Polish) Sqdn pilots & Spitfire IX at Northolt in October 1942. Their sister squadron, 315 (Polish) Sqdn, followed their lead converting to Spitfire IXs at Northolt in November 1942.||332 (Norwegian) Sqdn at North Weald in July 1943. 332 had converted to the Spitfire IX in October 1942. The second Spitfire IX in line, LZ919, was equipped with a Merlin 63. 332 Squadron and its sister squadron at North Weald, 331 (Norwegian) Sqdn, were equipped with Merlin 63 engined Spitifre IXs beginning in February 1943.|
S/L "Tony" Gaze (Australian) of 64 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 October 1942:
15 miles inland from Dunkirk I noticed 4 F.W. 190's approaching the Wing at about 27,000' from the direction of St. Omer. I climbed up into the sun and led the Squadron down. Two of them immediately rolled over and dived away, the other two turned gently right, climbing. I easily out-climbed them and closed, the right hand E/A went straight ahead, whilst the left one turned left, I easily out-turned him and fired a long burst from the port quarter at about 300 yards hitting him on the starboard wing with H.E. (cannon) as the attack developed into a finer angle. Just as I got to astern I hit his slipstream but came back and fired a long burst closing from 300 yards to 50 yards dead astern seeing cannon strikes on the fuselage. I broke away to avoid a collision and immediately iced up. I think I must have hit the pilot for, after the first strike, the E/A took no evasive action whatever, merely going into a gentle dive in which I overtook him although I closed the throttle. Even when further strikes were seen he flew straight. The actual combat took place at 30,000'.
P/O D.G. Mercer of 122 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 31 October 1942:
I was flying White 1 on starboard side of the formation. Nearing Deal, I saw a FW.190 coming from the town at 700’ heading N.E. I turned on my back, went down, and, closing to 200 yds astern, gave a 4-5 sec. mixed burst – as a result of which, I saw pieces fly the wings of the E/A. Closing further to 100 yds., I gave another 5 sec. burst and saw more pieces fall off the Hun A/C. Finally, I closed to 30 yds. dead astern, and, in spite of difficulty with the E/As slitpstream and a stoppage in my starboard cannon, I got in a last burst. The FW blew up (the flames going over my cockpit) and dived into the water at Pegwell Bay 200 yds. offshore. I claim this FW 190 as DESTROYED.
S/LDR. Hugo Armstrong D.F.C. (R.A.A.F.) of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 November 1942:
I was leading 611 Squadron engaged on Rodeo 107 to Abbeville area. After orbitting Abbeville twice, plots were reported over Amiens, so we withdrew to the coast over the mouth of the Somme. At this time 340 Sqdn. jumped some FW 190's over Berck so we moved north from the Somme and joined the mix-up.
Comm. B. Duperier, D.F.C. of 340 (Free French) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 November 1942:
Near le Crotoy, the leading squadron, 611 after one section had unsuccessfully chased two e/a, was turning back towards England. At this moment 340 Squadron found itself in front and up sun of the leading squadron. I turned the squadron to take position down-sun and behind, and in this turn I saw two FW.190 climbing below a cloud layer approx. 3,000 ft below the Wing, slightly N.W. of the Forest of Crecy. I dived towards these aircraft and, trying to make use of cloud cover to approach them, I dived through this cloud layer. Coming out of the cloud I saw in front of me three FW.190’s one at approx. 150 – 200 yds traveling fast in the same direction and almost in my reflector sight. The two others were approx. 6/800 yds. traveling fast, also in the same direction, and 500 ft. below and climbing. I gave a short burst at the first one, from which a large piece immediately flew away – probably a jettisonable hood – and the pilot came out with the white parachute opening. I overtook the a/c and the pilot and could see what was happening. At this time the other two e/a in front sighted our section and began to dive towards le Touquet. Estimating that I would be unable to close nearer, I gave a long burst at the nearest one, which was approx. 600 – 800 yds. and a very long trail of blue – grayish smoke came out of the machine which dived steeply towards the ground. I was still following and firing when I received a warning telling me that there were some more FW.190’s diving towards us. Unable to look behind, I took violent evasive action in which I lost sight of the smoking FW.190 for a few seconds, but later I saw in the same area, a few miles south of le Touquet aerodrome, an aircraft crashing to the ground which a large explosion. No other aircraft were destroyed in this locality. All three FW.190’s had yellow tails. I claim two FW.190’s destroyed.
Adj. R. Gouby of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 November 1942:
I was Red 3 and was at 15,000 ft. near the Bale de la Somme when I saw Red 1 and 2 diving to attack 2 FW.190’s 3,000 ft. below us. Coming from behind, two other FW.190’s attacked Red 1. I made a 90 degrees beam attack on the nearest one of these e/a and fired at about 300 yds. range without observing any result. I followed him, however, and was closing up to about 300 yds. and was ready to fire when three FW.190’s attacked me from 15 degrees ahead at 500 yds. range. I made a head-on attack on the one flying in the centre and started to fire cannon and M.G. from 300 yds. I saw his top engine cowling fly away, and something else also cam away but I can not say exactly what it was. A few seconds later black smoke began to pour from the engine. I broke away between 30 and 50 yds. and saw the e/a dive at an angle of 30 degrees towards the sea. I then saw 2 FW.190’s attack me from behind and some more about 300 ft. above. I managed to evade them by diving and set course for base. On landing I found my port wing damaged by a M.G. bullet.
S/Lt. A.R. Moynet of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 November 1942:
I was flying as Blue 2, and as we were over the Baie de la Somme we saw a FW.190 below us flying towards the French coast. Capt. Schloesing, who was Blue leader, dived on the e/a which made a flick roll and dived. At the same time, under the fire of Blue leader, the FW.190 started smoking white, and then the smoke became black, issuing in large quantity. As Blue leader was breaking away on the left, I closed in and gave a long burst – 4 to 5 seconds – from 200 yds. astern. I could see the tail plane blow up into pieces and the FW.190 went on down still pouring out much smoke. I then broke away because four other e/a were above me.
S/Lt. A.R. Moynet of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 7 November 1942:
I was flying at about 30 miles S. of Beachy Head in an E.N.E. direction at 2,000 ft., just below the clouds (height varying from 1,000 to 3,000 ft) when I saw two FW.190’s flying towards the north at sea level in close echelon to starboard formation. I dived to about 600 ft. above the No.1 and opened fire from quarter astern at about 400 yds. range.
F/Lt W. V. Crawford-Compton D.F.C. (N.Z.) of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 November 1942:
While leading Blue Section, 611 Squadron, we had just turned back into Frannce after being told that E/A were approaching from St. Omer, when I spotted eight FW 190's about 4000 ft. below me. I warned the squadron and dived on them. They split up in all directions and I fired a burst at a No. 2. The Section climbed almost vertically, and as the E/A stalled turned off the top, I fired a good burst right into him. The E/A's elevators and part of the rudder came away, the E/A turned on its back and flew for about 4-5 secs. this way, then dived vertically to the ground. The pilot bailed out about 10,000 ft. below. P.O Lindsay closed in on the No. 1 and I saw hits on this machine.
S/Lt. M. Bouguen of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 December 1942:
I was flying as Yellow 3 over the St. Omer area at 22000 feet when we were told that enemy aircraft had been sighted behind and below us. Immediately Yellow 1 shouted “Yellow section going down”. When diving I saw about 15 FW 190’s at 5000 feet below me. Following the section to the attack I chose a FW 190 which appeared to be separated from the rest. I gave it a burst and missed and then noticed that only my starboard cannon was working. Coming out of my dive and looking around to see how things were going on, I found myself within 200 yards, right behind and a little below 3 FW 190’s. As a result of my dive I had a greater speed than they, and closing to about 70 yards behind the one on the starboard side I fired a 3 to 4 second burst. I saw the shells from the only cannon I had striking the e/a in the belly. The e/a suddenly caught fire, with flames coming from the engine and was soon completely enveloped in flames from nose to tail. The last I saw of it, it was diving through the clouds. Being attacked myself, I dived at full speed through the clouds. I claim 1 FW 190 destroyed.
Adjudant R. Gouby of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 December 1942:
I was flying originally as Blue 3 but as Blue leader was no longer in the formation I had become Blue 2. E/A were announced by Biggin Hill operations and I heard Yellow section call that they were attacking. I was then at 22000 feet and saw at about 5000 feet below and on my left, about 20 FW 190’s flying in a northerly direction. While I was making up my mind about them, Blue 2, who had taken over the leadership of the section, reduced his speed and I almost collided with him. To avoid the collision I turned sharply to the right but, as a consequence, lost contact with the formation. I climbed to about 27000 feet at full throttle and tried catch up with a section of 4 Spitfires when I saw 2 FW 190’s attack them. As I was flying very fast I dived to attack one of the e/a and followed it through a layer of cloud. On emerging from the could the FW 190 had disappeared but on my right were three FW 190’s going down gently toward the interior of France and flying stepped up in echelon to port. I made a 20 degrees astern attack on the No. 3 and opened fire at about 400 yards closing to 50 yards. I saw strikes on his engine and on the front part of the cockpit, the engine catching fire. I disengaged, breaking away to the right, climbing but keeping the e/a n view. My I.A.S. at this moment was 320 m.p.h. and my height 16000 feet. A could obscured my view for a moment an then I saw a parachute going down. The other 2 FW 190’s tried to attack me but I evaded them. I claim 1 FW 190 destroyed.
S/Lt. A.R. Moynet of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 December 1942:
I was flying as Yellow 3 at the time of the engagement, in the neighbourhood of St. Omer. We were at about 20000 feet when the section dived on some FW 190’s below. At about 12000 feet I saw Yellow 1 attack a section of FW 190’s in vic formation, and I attacked a section of FW 190’s in line astern, I fired from 200 yards, three quarter astern on the No. 4 and saw my shells striking the fuselage. The nos. 1, 3 and 4 of the enemy formation broke away but the no. 2 continued diving. I dived behind him and fired a very long burst dead astern from 300 yards. I was losing on him but I continued behind him until I saw him crash near a wood. At this time I was fired on by 3 FW 190’s who hit one of my propeller blades. A dog fight followed near the ground until I succeeded in getting into the cloud cover at about 7000 feet, when I set course for base. I claim 1 FW 190 damaged and 1 FW destroyed.
P/O D.G. Mercer of 122 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report 6 December 1942:
I was flying Yellow 1 on the port side of the Squadron, we had just left the French Coast at Calais at 23,000 ft., W/C ordered Squadron to turn to port, there being many enemy aircraft about. I had been watching several aircraft which I could not identify, about 5,000 ft. above and behind. During the orbit I lost sight of these aircraft and when next I saw them they were diving down from the left quarter from behind. I gave my section orders to break left. My No.2 (P/O T. Parker) turned after me, but not tightly enough, and I saw him go straight down with two 190’s after him – his aircraft didn’t appear then to be damaged in any way. I came round on my turn and attacked the second of the two 190’s from the port side at a point blank range of 50 yds., I gave a one-second mixed burst and saw the Hun’s tail unit break off in pieces. He immediately went into a spin and I last saw him at about 17,000 ft, still going down. After breaking off, four other F.W.’s had come down on me, but by evasive action and full out climbing to 30,000 ft I avoided them, during all this time six more F.W. 190’s were above me. I claim this F.W.190 as Probably Destroyed.
S/Lt. M. Boudier of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 12 December 1942:
I was flying as Blue 3. The Squadron was flying north over Les Andelys at 24,000 ft. and was turning to port to join the Fortresses, when I noticed on my starboard an FW 190 flying towards us. I turned sharply to starboard and came head-on to the E/A which turned 180° without apparently seeing me. I was then dead astern with him. I started to fire with my machine guns and afterwards cannon. I saw some pieces flying off the E/A and the pilot baled out. The aircraft and pilot disappeared afterwards into cloud. I then flew to join up with my squadron. I claim one FW190 destroyed.
P/O H. Pietrzak of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 31 December 1942:
The Squadron split up and dived on some 12 E/A flying 4,000 feet below us at 22,000 feet. I attacked one of the last pairs and getting on his tail I opened fire from 100 yards closing to 30 yards. I saw black smoke and flames and the E/A did a half roll and went into a dive. I followed it down to 18,000 feet and the plane was still burning so I pulled out and rejoined my Squadron which was forming up off the Coast at Berck. Here I saw six F.W.s. make a climbing attack on a Spitfire flying by itself some 400 yards to the left of the Squadron. We turned towards it but it went into a gentle dive with white smoke coming from it. The F.W.190s. dived away into cloud. I landed Northolt 15.25 hrs. I claim 1 F.W.190 as destroyed.
F/O. Z. Langhamer of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 31 December 1942:
I was leader of my Section and we dived onto some F.W.190s. 4,000 feet below us flying at 22,000 feet. I did a diving turn, and singling out a F.W. turning away from me I gave a burst from 300 yards. The E/A straightened out, made two quick rolls and slid away nearly upside down. I make no claim for this E/A. I saw another E/A turning away to the right and, giving plenty of deflection at 200 yards, I fired three bursts my last bursts from 100 yards, and I saw my bullets hitting his wing. It turned on to its back and broke away. At that moment another F.W. crossed my sight so I was unable to follow this first one, which I claim as damaged. This second one was also turning to the right, and giving plenty of deflection I opened fire with a long bursts from 200 yards closing to 100. I had to break away as there was another one on my tail. This F.W.190 was seen by my No. 2, F/O. Gorniak, to burst into flames and I claim it as destroyed. As I broke away I saw the F.W.190, that my No. 2 had fired at, going down with a stream of black and white smoke. My section come back by itself and landed at Northolt at 15.25
F/O K. Gorniak of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 31 December 1942:
I was No. 2 in my Section and we dived onto some F.W.190s. flying 4,000 feet below us at 22,000. My No. 1 F/O. Langhamer, fired at three aircraft, the third of which I saw burst into flames. I attacked an F.W.190 which was following the one attacked by my No. 1. Getting onto his tail I opened fire 3/400 yards, giving several short bursts. The E/A turned over out of control and dived straight down with black and white smoke coming from it. I had to pull away immediately and could see nothing further. My No. 1, F/O. Langhamer, saw this aircraft going down with a long stream of black and white smoke. I claim this a/c as a probable.
F/O. W, Szajda of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 31 December 1942:
I attacked the last F.W.190 of a pair that crossed in front of me, going from right to left. As I got onto his tail he did a quarter roll and went into a gentle dive, weaving all the time. I gave him a burst from 150 yards. He stopped weaving and I gave him another burst. I saw a cloud of black smoke come from him, but at this moment my engine hesitated and I lost a little dictance. The E/A went into a steep dive and I fired again from 200 yards. My speed was so great that it was all I could do to hold the controls. As at 5,000 feet, he was still in this dive I started to pull out. I came back by myself being unable to locate the Squadron and landed at Northolt 15.25 hrs. I claim this F.W.190 as a probable.
F/Lt. E. Rheihac of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 January 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1 with 340 Squadron. When the Wing arrived about 10 miles west of Abbeville, The Wing Leader reported some FW190’s over the Foret de Crecy and told us that we were in a good position to jump them. I saw the FW’s a few seconds after. I was them at 15,000 ft. with Yellow 2 and Yellow 3, and the FW’s at about 8 or 10,000 ft., so I went down. We got some flak from Abbeville, which obliged Yellow 3 to take violent evasive action. Then Yellow 3 lost me. I wasn’t aware of it until a bit later. I attacked an FW190 head-on and closed to 50 yards. I saw bits of what I think ws the cowling fly off. I claim this E/A as damaged.
F/Lt F. F. Colloredo-Mansfeld of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 January 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1. When south of Abbeville the C.O. reported that the bombers were being attacked. The squadron turned sharp to port and continued orbitting, sections crossing over. While flying south at approximately 12,000 ft. I saw three FW190's about 5000 ft. below and to port. Having warned the C.O., I cut across sun and dived onto the E/A from out of the sun. I fired a short burst from 500 yds. as I was not sure of overhauling. Two FW190's then broke to away port and I continued after the third who took no avoiding action. Started firing at 300 yds. and continued till I had to break to avoid collision, breaking upwards to starboard. The FW190 continued diving steeply with black smoke pouring from him, and I followed him to about 5000 ft. I did not see him explode, but this was witnessed by S/Ldr. Armstrong (Red 1). I therefore claim one FW190 destroyed.
F/Lt. E. Rheihac of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 January 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1. When we were about 7 miles west of Abbeville, south of the Estuary, at 23,000 ft., my Section was attacked by 4 FW190’s. I warned my people and turned sharply to the right and attacked one of them. I saw it going down with white smoke, but it might have been smoke trails, so I make no claim. Then I found myself all alone and went on orbiting the Estuary.
S/Lt. R. Gouby of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 January 1943:
I was flying as Green Leader on a standing patrol in the area of Rye. I was about 1 mile west of Rye when Operations warned White Section of a bandit in the area of Dieppe. A few minutes later Operations said the bandit was at Dungeness and then over Rye. I was then 2 miles south of Rye when I saw a big red splash in the sea. At that moment I saw two FW 190’s flying south at 0 feet. I chased then with my throttle fully open. Two minutes later I was at about 800 yards behind the neared E/A, overtaking very slowly (A.S.I. 330) when I saw flying on my port at about 800 yards and 200 yards behind, another FW 190. I kept an eye on it while trying to close up with the other two. When about 35 miles south of Rye the two FW 190’s turned east. I cut the corner during the turning and I closed up to 300 yards. The other FW ( I think he mistook me for an FW) kept flying parallel to me, at the same distance. I opened fire on the one in front of me and I saw my bullets hitting the sea just behind him. After correcting my aim I saw strikes all over the E/A and the FW 190 just disappeared into the sea. Then I attacked the FW flying on my port side, starting a 15° starboard attack 0 feet at 150 0 200 yards. I saw cannon and bullet strikes all around the plane and five or six tracers getting home on the starboard wing and very near the cockpit. As I was three miles west of the mouth of the Somme and having exhausted my ammunition, I turned back and set a course for home at full speed. In mid-Channel I climbed to 1000 ft. and then saw two A/C flying at zero feet in a northerly direction. Thinking they might be E/A, I turned towards then to make my presence known, when I identified them as two Spitfires with square cut wing tips.
Lieut. T. Strand of 332 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 January 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 2 on the above mentioned operation. When 2 F.W. 190’s were observed at 4000 feet off Walcheren flying E.S.E. I climbed with the rest of Flight. When at 12000 feet my No. 1, Lt Mollestad, broke away and dived to attack E/A. I followed him. Yellow 1 attacked leading E/A from astern and enemy pilot took evasive action by shaking his aircraft and finally pulling up. I pulled up and as my speed was greater than that of Yellow 1, I got into position before him. I opened fire from 200 yards with M.G.’s and cannons, just as E/A turned over to dive away. E/A at this moment had very little speed and was an excellent target. As a result of this attack fires broke out in front and aft of cockpit and E/A dived steeply with parts falling off it. I did not see E/A hitting the ground as I was attacked by No. 2 E/A when breaking away to the right after having fired on the first E/A. Coming in head on this E/A opened fire from a few hundred yards. I answered attack with M.G.’s and cannons and E/A finally passed me less than 3 – three – yards below. No hits were observed during this attack. Yellow section then joined rest of flight and course was set for home.
Lieut. P. Mollestad of 332 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 January 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1 on Rodeo 150. Flying at 3000 feet off Walcheren 2 F.W. 190’s were seen flying E.S.E. at approx. 4000 feet. The Flight made a port turn and climbed to gain height for attacking the E/A. When at about 12000 feet, I dived to attack followed by my No. 2, Lt. Strand, I came into position astern of leading E/A and gave him several bursts with M.G.’s and cannons, observing hits on fuselage. E/A took evasive action by shaking plane violently and pulling up. I followed him up. E/A then turned over on his side intending to dive away. At this moment my No. 2, having greater speed as he had not fired, got into position and opened fire. As a result of his attack fire broke out around cockpit of E/A and it dived steeply. Pieces were falling off E/A as it dived and it finally hit the ground on NOORD BEVELAND burning furiously. I later fired a short burst at No. 2 E/A which had attacked Yellow 2. No result was seen and E/A dived away inland when Yellow section had to join rest of Flight.
S/LDR. Hugo Armstrong of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 January 1943:
At 12.30 hrs. we were scrambled from the lunch table and took off in pairs as pilots arrived.
S/L W. V. C-Compton (NZ) of 64 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 January 1943:
While leading 64 Sqdn we were informed by Ops. of 2-3 enemy aircraft over ship off Calais. I dived down under a layer of cloud about 7,000 ft. and searched for the Enemy aircraft for 2 or 3 minutes. I could not see them so called up to say we would attack the ship. I had started my dive when I saw 7 F.W.190's about 2 miles away coming from Gris Nez. I pulled up sharply and managed to get above and behind without being seen. I fired a very short burst at the No. 4 but they went into the cloud and I saw no hits. I was attacked and broke away. 1 F.W 190 then closed in on my port and did not see me. I fired a second burst from slightly aside and below and saw hits on the fuselage and starboard wing root. I was using armour piercing incendiary which when they hit, left a streak of flame about 18" long. I fired another short burst and saw hits. The enemy aircraft caught fire and hit the water about 100 yards off shore ½ mile east of Calais. I broke away and experienced heavy flak from the shore and ship. About two minutes after this, I saw another FW.190 heading inland with grey smoke coming from it. We came back to mid-channel at zero feet and then climbed to cloud height.
S/Lt. R. Gouby of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 January 1943:
I circled base for a minute or so, then set course for Beachy Head. I was flying at 4000 ft. about 3 or 4 miles S.E. of Beachy, just below a thin layer of cloud, when suddenly an FW190 came through the cloud, flying S.E., about 200 yds. in front. I was dead astern and slightly below him, so I gave him a short burst with cannon and m/g and saw strikes on the belly and just underneath the cockpit. The pilot baled out and I gave a “M’aidez” for him.
S/L D. E. Kingaby of 122 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 January 1943:
I was flying “Dettol” Leader and when in Dover area I sighted an a/c flying below broken cloud heading towards French coast. I dived down after the a/c and identified it as an Me.109F. I was at about 900 yds. range at 4,000 ft. and the intial speed of my dive enabled me to close to 500 yds. I could not get any closer and about 2 miles off Griz Nez I had almost decided to give up the chase. I decided however, to give a short burst from 500 yards in the hope of slowing him down. I gave about ½ second burst 2 can. 2 m/g and a lucky shot hit his port radiator. He slowed down slightly, but took no evasive action than to go into a very shallow dive. I gradually closed, holding my fire till 250 yards, when I gave a 2½ - 3 second burst from astern slightly above. I saw hits all over the e/a which gave forth thick black smoke and then burst into flame and rolled and dived to the left and crashed into a wood south of Guines. I came out over the coast at 0 feet and experienced a considerable amount of light flak which I evaded by hearty weaving. I reformed the Squadron over Hawking just below cloud to deal with possible further attacks, but none materialized and we returned to base. I claim this e/a DESTROYED.
S/L D. E. Kingaby of 122 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 January 1943:
When over Gravelines I sighted 8 e/a climbing up through cloud towards us, about a mile South and 2,000 feet below. I ordered Squadron to climb above a small patch of cloud formed by our smoke trails a few minutes before, and thus arrived behind the huns, and above them, without them being aware of it. I went down on a F.W. 190 and opened fire at 400 yards astern, with cannon and m/g fire, closing very fast, until I had to break away to avoid hitting the e/a. I saw hits all over the fuselage of e/a, and then a sheet of flame, but had to break away to stop colliding with him. F/Lt. Haw, S/Ldr. Kain and others saw the e/a spinning down in flames. I claim this e/a DESTROYED.
S/Ldr. Rutkowski of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 January 1943:
When East of Abbeville, flying N.W. at 28,000 ft I saw five F.W.190’s flying North 2 to 3 miles behind any to my right at approx. 24,000 ft. We turned left, which enabled us to attack them out of the Sun from behind and above. The E/A were flying in rather a broken formation three line abreast and two stragglers behind. I attacked the left hand one of these last two opening fire from slightly to one side, on account of his slipstream, and slightly above. Range 150 yds closing to 75 yds with three seconds bursts. I was unable to see any results for I was afraid of running into him, and had to break left: he disappeared from view under my aircraft. My No. 2 Sgt. Szwaba saw this E/A turn on to its back and go vertically down with smoke pouring from it. Sgt. Bondarczuk also saw it disappear into the clouds 4,000 feet below still out of control, in a vertical position, with smoke pouring from it. I claim this E/A as probably destroyed, and landed at Northolt at 16.20 hrs.
F/O. Szpakowicz of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 January 1943:
We were warned over the R/T of E/A. to port and we made a diving turn to the left to attack 15-20 F.W’s flying in lose formation. I attacked the last E/A from the Starboard rear quarter. I gave a 2 seconds burst from 200 yards, closing to 150 yds and I saw my fire striking all round the cockpit, the cover of which flew off and large pieces of the a/c flew off in all directions. The E/A turned on to its back and started to fall away at an angle of 45 degrees, clouds of smoke were coming from it. At 100 yds. I gave another burst of ½ second, closing to 50 yds, and the E/A fell completely out of control spinning wildly. I followed it down some 2,000 feet. As the smoke was so intense, and the E/A spinning so much, I concluded that the pilot was dead and broke off to rejoin the Squadron. I claim this E/A as destroyed.
Sgt. Szwaba of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 January 1943:
I was No. 2 to S/Ldr Rutkowski, and seeing Five F.W. flying below and behind us, we made a turn to the left, which enabled us to attack them out of the Sun and from astern. I attacked the right hand one of the last pair, firing from 200 yds, above and behind and clossing to 100 yds. I saw strikes and the E/A turned on its back and went down in a vertical position out of control with smoke pouring from it. Sgt. Bondarczuk also saw the E/A go into the clouds 4,000 ft below still in a vertical position, out of control, and with smoke pouring out of it. I therefore claim this aircraft as probably destroyed. I saw my No. 1 S/Ldr. Rutkowski attack a F.W.190: this E/A I saw turn on to its back, go down vertically, with smoke pouring from it. I landed at Northolt at 16.20 hrs.
2/Ltn. H. Grundt-Spang of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 January 1943:
I was flying Yellow 4 with 2/ltn. Jorstad and a few minutes after we crossed the France coast I saw two Huns flying North several thousand feet underneath us. I reported then twice, all the time keeping my eyes on them, but got no answer. After much hesitation I decided to turn after them and kept well in under a layer of cloud. The Huns crossed the coast south of Ostend and continued on a Northeasterly course along the coast flying almost line abreast. When they were just off Knocke I decided to go down and started diving down. The Huns were flying at sea level without weaving and eventually I ended in a stern chase, which I had intended. I opened up everything, but contrary to what I had thought I did not overtake then until we were just off Westhoffd. When I was about 500 yds. behind them I pulled up to about 500 feet and made an attack from above and behind on the Hun on the starboard side which was still flying line abreast but a few yds. behind the other. I gave him a 3-4 secs. burst with cannons and M.G. and noticed his pulling up to the right with black smoke pouring out. The other Hun broke to the left in a steep turn which I had no difficulty at all to follow and gave him all the ammunition with 75 M.P.H. deflection. Then Hun had an explosion in the cockpit and he rolled over on his back and straight into the sea. I looked around for the other a/c and saw it spin into the sea about 2,000 yds. away. Almost at the same time I saw a parachute open at very low altitude and the Hun landed in the sea just off the coast. Well satisfied, I set course for home but steered a bit wrong course and had still not seen the English coast when I had 6 gallons left. My transmitter was U/S so I could not call for mai-day. I saw land at Felixstove and landed with my fuel gauge at zero at Bradwell Bay, where I informed North Weald what had happened and filled up my aeroplane and flew back to base.
P/O G. A. March of 64 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 26 January 1943:
I was flying Blue 1 and just after passing over Audruicq and turning towards the coast the C.O. reported 3 a/c behind us at our height. Blue section was then flying on the left and I could not see any E/A at my height but saw a rather straggly formation about 8-10,000 ft. below flying from N.E. to S.W. I led the section round in two quick orbits to see if there were any E/A about and warned the C.O. I was going down. I took the section down from an up-sun position being fairly confident they wouldn't see me as 122 sqdn who were trailing would divert their attention. On the final turn I ordered the section into line abreast and made our approach from dead astern closing rapidly. Blue 4 had previously returned reporting engine trouble. The bandits of which there were 12, were flying straight or level but fairly open in two lots of 6. I led the section to attack the nearer lot of E/A taking one of the middle ones myself. I opened at about 700 yards owing to rapid closing rate and when I was about 200 yards away the E/A turned very slowly starboard giving him a deflection shot out of his slipstream. I finished up dead astern of him and saw flames from the port side below the cockpit and from the port engine cowling. I broke away upwards, my No. 2 closing in on his target on my right. My No. 2 confirms that he saw the flames coming out from the port side of the cockpit. After breaking away we climbed with the section in line abreast leaving France at 20000 ft. just east of Dunkirk climbing rapidly to obtain top cover protection from 122 Squadron as I could see 8 F.W. 190's behind and about 10,000 ft. above approaching from the east which subsequently tried to get up-sun of 122 Squadron but failed.
Lieut. Svein Heglund of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 February 1943:
I was flying Yellow 1 when the squadron after having climbed through clouds was flying level at 25,000 feet on a southerly course. About 10 minutes after having crossed the French coast at Dunkerque we met a single a/c flying opposite course 2000 feet below. I reported the a/c in the R/t, half rolled and dived down behind it. Yellow 2 and 3 followed and we caught quickly up with it. At about 100 yds. still unobserved by the a/c I recognized it as a ME 109F. I opened fire with about 10 degrees deflection and after a short burst I saw an explosion in the cockpit and heavy black smoke and fire coming out. The ME 109 turned over to the left and into a dive. I believe the pilot was killed before he knew what happened, and when I pulled up I saw Yellow 3 fire and 2 explosions in the ME 109 with pieces falling off.
Ltn. Martin Gran of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 February 1943:
I was flying as Blue 3.
Capt. Berg of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 February 1943:
I was flying as Yellow One with 331(N) Sqdn. on a Rodeo, when the Squadron was attacked by four FW 190’s coming out of the sun behind us. After having warned the Squadron, I broke away with my No. 2 into the attack and followed them as they turned away to starboard, and started a dive inland.
Lt Massart of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 February 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 2. The Squadron crossed out over Hardelot at 26/27,000 ft. At five o’clock and above I saw six plus FW190’s trying to get behind us in the sun. We started a climbing turn to starboard, making a complete orbit. Heading west again, I saw 4 FW190’s below and climbing nearly head-on. I picked the last one which had its nose down, heading east. I fired a long deflection burst, diving from fine quarter, the distance varying between 300 and 400 yards. The E/A jerked, went on its back and I saw the pilot bale out. I then had to pull out and climb again with a few FW190’s following me from the sun.
F/L M. Donnet (Belgian) of 64 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 February 1943:
I was flying in Charlie 1 position on the port side of 64 Squadron in Circus 267. We were flying at 23,000 ft. When 10 miles W. of Manston on the return journey some F.W. 190 were reported attacking the Liberators from below. I started diving and saw three F.W. 190 pulling away after having fired at the Bombers. I picked up the last of these F.W.190 who was flying alone, and opened fire from 400 yds in a starboard quarter to astern attack. I closed in very quickly and as I came to 250 yds the F.W.190 did two climbing barrel rolls to fox me. I closed my throttle and pulled up on his tail, sitting at 50 yds off the E/A who was stalling. I kept on firing with one cannon only, and saw strikes on the fuselage. As I pulled away from him I saw him pouring black smoke out. A few seconds later the E/A hit the sea at 10 miles W.N.W. of Dunkirk. I rejoined the two last Liberators who were flying by themselves and escorted them back to Manston, crossing the coast at 6,000 ft.
S/L K. Rutkowski of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 February 1943:
I saw about 12/20 F.W.190 in two formations line abreast one behind the other. These e/a were flying North and climbing. We followed, rather behind and to the East of them, flying at 22,000 ft. North of Calais we turned slightly to the left to get between them and the sun; they spilt up, one group turning West and the other East. I followed those turning East and got on the tail of one as he was making this turn at approximately 19/20,000 ft. I gave a burst of 2 secs. allowing 1 ring deflection from 100 yards. Owing to both our a/c turning, he disappeared under my wing and I could not see results, but W/O Smigielski says that he saw this e/a blow up in the air. F/O Szajda also says he saw an a/c several thousand feet below spinning down to the sea. I therefore claim this e/a as destroyed. I landed Northolt 15.10.
W/O. Smigielski of 306 (Polish) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 February 1943:
I was behind and to one side of S/Ldr. Murkowski, and saw him get on the tail of. An F.W.190. I fired well ahead of this F.W. so as to put him of. As I fired I saw him explode in the air. I turned right and fired a short burst at a F.W. that dived across in front of me from right to left. I fired from 200 yards with plenty of deflection but saw no results. Getting on to his tail I gave another short burst from 100/150 yards and saw white smoke come from the engine, followed by black smoke and flames. I claim this e/a as destroyed. I landed Northolt 15.05. hrs.
Capt. Lundsten of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 February 1943:
I was flying as Blue 1 and when about 20 miles South-East of North Foreland escorting the bombers back home, I saw five FW 190’s driving back towards France, and about 12000 – 15000 ft, I made a sharp turn to the left and started to fire. I gave one short burst at long range, then I saw my Nos. 3 and 4 passing above and to the left. I was on the point of breaking off being unable to get nearer when a FW 190 pulled up 100 yards in front of me trying to attack my No. 3. I gave the E/A a few seconds burst and it went over its back, diving steeply. As I pulled up I saw another splash about 1000 yards in front, which I think must be the one claimed by No. 3.
2Lt. Grundt-Spang of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 February 1943:
I was flying No 3. in Blue Section and escorting the Bombers back home, when about Mid-Channel the E/A were reported coming towards us and below. I went down with my Section to attack five FW 190’s. I got a little in front of No. 1 and No. 2 and a little to the left. I got one E/A in my sight but although I had 500 m.p.h. on the clock, I closed in very slowly to 300 yards firing short bursts. It was a very difficult to get in a good deflection shot, as he was using his rudder very hard, and skidding from one side to the other, until I saw a vivid flash in his cockpit. The E/A then dived steeply down and I then realized that I was on the point of diving vertically into the saw and managed to pull out with nothing to spare. The E/A made no attempt to pull out and went straight in.
2/Lt. Gilhuus of 332 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 February 1943:
I was flying as No. 2 to the W/Cdr. And when at 25,000 ft. over Dunkirk went down to attack a FW.190. I attacked one firing a short bursts from 400 yards, closed into 200 Yards and fired again but saw no strikes. My Leader then climbed and I followed, following him again in an attack on two FW 190’s which were behind some Spitfire. I fired at one of these E/A from very close range; Saw hits with cannon and machine gun on the cockpit and engine cowling. Black smoke poured from the E/A which burst into flames and broke up.
2/Lt. Erickson of 332 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 February 1943:
I was flying as No 3 to the W/C and followed him down to attack five FW 190’s just west of Dunkirk. I got on the tail of one of them as it dived steeply to Port without taking any evasive action. I closed in to 300 yards and fired two or three short bursts from ten to fifteen degrees deflection. The E/A immediately burst into flames, making very little smoke, and a large piece of the Port wing broke off. It went down in a fast spiral dive but I had to break away to avoid another FW 190.
S/Ldr Al Deere, attached to 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 February 1943:
I was flying Yellow 3, when at 17,000 ft. just inside Calais I spotted 15 FW 190's orbitting below the Biggin Hill Wing at about 10,000 ft. I gave a "Tally-ho" to the Wing Leader and then followed Yellow Leader down to attack. The enemy observed us when we were still 2000 ft above, and they immediately broke up. The four leading aircraft broke up and to the left, the remainder in no particular direction. One of the four aircraft which broke upwards stalled into Yellow Leader's tail just as he commenced shooting at another FW 190. I positioned myself on the tail of this A/C who, when he saw me, pushed his stick forward and dived very steeply westwards down the coast. It was some time before I could get within firing range and there was 480 I.A.S. on my clock when I opened with a short burst from dead astern 200 yards. Pieces flew off the fuselage, and two further bursts produced many more pieces. By this time I had struck the bumps near cloud and being unable to hold my sights any longer, broke to one side and followed the E/A down. He continued in his dive and went straight into the sea off Calais.
2Lt. H. Sognnes of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 26 February 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1, as the Wing was flying East towards St. Omer, when about 20/30 FW 190’s passed underneath us on an opposite course, and 8000 ft. below. The Squadron Leader gave the order to go down. I went down, but in the first attack the speed was too high and I could not give enough deflection. As I broke away in a climbing turn to the left, I saw two FW 190’s flying line astern just in front of me.
2Lt. B. Bjørnstad of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 26 February 1943:
Flying between Boulogne – St Omer, at 31000 ft. as Red 3, I saw about 25-30 FW 190’s 25000 ft. practically straight under us. Whole Red Section broke immediately down on them.
S/L L.S. Ford, DFC & Bar of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 February 1943:
I was flying red 1, leading Sunrise Squadron, when a gaggle of 6 F.W.190’s, which had been about 1500 yards from Hoboe Squadron and seemingly preparing to attack them, started to climb rapidly to behind Sunrise Yellow Section. I called Yello 1 (F/L P.T. O’Leary) not to break till I said so and he answered “All right”.
S/L Robert Oxsbring, DFC of 72 Squadron wrote of his combat of 1 March 1943:
One 109 climbed away east of the mêlée and I followed it with my wingman, Red Hunter. As it gained height at full bore we were just about at maximum firing range, but not noticeably catching up; Red fired a long burst without effect and ran out of ammunition. We hung on until around 19,000 feet the supercharger cut in sending me close underneath the 109’s tail. I let fly and white glycol streamed from the engine as the canopy peeled away and the pilot baled out. He dropped to my left and I saw his parachute blossom. A second later he fell out of the harness and careered earthward leaving a flapping canopy behind.
F/Sgt. K. Bache of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 7 March 1943:
I was flying as Blue 2, scrambled to 27000 ft. east of Clacton at 1320 hrs. Blue 1 reported a/c at 12 O’clock above. I turned and gave chase to a Me 109 going on a course 150 degs. E/a dived to about 5000 ft. I followed but could not close. After awhile he dived to sea level. I was still unable to close. Finally he throttled back and I closed to about 250 yds. and gave him 2 short bursts when he started smoking from the engine. E/a could not have seen me as he took no evasive action at all. I then gave a long continuous burst, dead astern all the time; a large piece broke off his tail unit and he went straight into the sea. I pulled up in a sharp turn and got a glimpse of the French coast. On my way back I saw one a/c going vertically into the sea about mid-channel, with a Spitfire above it. I lost this Spit. in the sun and returned to base alone.
Maj. K. Birksted of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 7 March 1943:
I was on readiness as Red 1 in 331 for a wing Sweep when 331 Red flight was scrambled at 1320. I took off with the flight and we were first told to go to 20 miles east of Clacton, 30000 ft. We were changed to Channel C. and vectored onto 2 ME 109F’s approximately over the Naze, “Steward” controlling us. When the e/a were sighted -1343- they were approx. 1000 ft. above us at 11 o’clock. We were then at 28000 ft. on 090 degs. I turned starboard up sun climbing flat out. When on the same level and turning into the e/a they suddenly saw us, turned onto their backs and dived for home, Red section following one, Blue section the other. I lost my No. 2 as the dive was very steep to begin with. My hun dived to approx. 25000 ft. and then pulled up again to 27000 ft. By this time I was approx. 1000 yds. behind. I got about 500 ft. below and directly behind him and with everything forward stalked him. He was loosing height slowly and weaving very gently. When at 23000 ft. I was approx. 250 yds. directly behind and 300 ft. below. I was closing slowly and pulled up to about 50 ft. below him, giving a short burst at approx. 200 yds. he appeared to explode as I saw a great cloud of oily smoke that enveloped me completely, leaving my windowscreen thick with oil.
S/L W. V. C-Compton of 64 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 March 1943:
While leading Sateen Squadron we had just crossed in over the coast of France when we saw about 10 plus F.W.190's at 9 o-clock; They turned away from the bombers and when about a couple of miles in front turned for a head-on attack. I immediately told the Squadron to get down in front of the bombers and was slightly above and in front when they came in. I fired a short burst (1 sec.) at the third F.W.190 and saw a large flash in the engine. He passed very close under me, broke left and went down in flames. This was seen by Charlie 1. We got back in position in front and above the bombers when another 9 F.W.190's attacked. I took the second last enemy aircraft head-on and fired a burst (About 1½ secs.) and saw hits in front of the cock-pit. The enemy aircraft passed under me and I broke sharp left. About 15 seconds later a parachute opened up 5-7000 feet below which was seen by me and my No. 2 (F/O Draper) a few seconds later. The enemy aircraft attempted 3-4 more head-on attacks but as soon as the Squadron turned towards them they veered off. The job was rather big for the few aircraft we had and absolutely no help was given by the Top Cover.
S/L D. E. Kingaby of 122 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 March 1943:
The Squadron flew in two sections. I was Red leader. Shortly after bombers had turned for home Red section was attacked by 6 to 8 F.W. 190 and 109’s from starboard quarter above. I ordered section to break right and climb and as enemy aircraft went past I stall turned down behind the last one and chased him down from 24,000 to 19,000 but could not catch him. I tried to climb up again but was attacked from above and behind by five or six more F.W.’s. As I was climbing and they had the speed on me, they out climbed me when I broke into them, so I went into an aileron turn and dived at full throttle. The aileron turn threw them off and with over 500 m.p.h. on the clock I climbed like a rocket at 18 lbs. boost and 2,900 revs in a steep climbing turn. I arrived slightly below and just below bombers as an F.W. finished a (?) attack on them. I came right underneath (?) rolled out of my turn finishing about 150 yds. (?) He evidently did not see me owing to my unusual approach and I opened fire with 2 sec. burst cannon and M/G and I saw strike on the tail end of the fuselage. Then one elevator buckled up and tore away. Enemy aircraft flicked into a vicious spin and the other elevator departed. I did not follow him down as I was getting a long way from the bombers but I saw a parachute open out beneath me a few moments later. I claim this F.W. 190 as destroyed. I opened up to full bore again and caught up with the bombers and accompanied them home.
F/Lt. H.C. Godefroy of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 March 1943:
I was flying as Sunrise Yellow 1. Shortly after meeting the bombers one F.W. 190 flew under my section from behind and to port climbing towards the bombers. I waited until I was up sun of him and attacked from above and on the port. I opened fire at about 200 yards closing to about 50 yards while delivering about a 3 sec. burst of cannon and m.g. There were strikes on the cockpit area and the port cannon exploded. The 190 rolled over and spun down. I was by this time at about 20,000 feet and I watched it until it reached about 5,000 feet. Straightening out and doing a turn made me lose sight of it. Sunrise Blue 1, F/L Magwood, however reports seeing it crash about two miles East of Isignly. I therefore claim 1 F.W. 190 destroyed.
F/O. H.D. MacDonald of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 March 1943:
I was flying Sunrise Red 3 at 25,000 feet when two F.W. 190’s approached us from 3 o’clock swinging in behind us. Red 1 (S/L Ford) broke to starboard and the 2 F.W.’s turned away and started to climb. I climbed up above Red section in order to give them protection. One F.W. broke away to starboard and I followed him. He then made a turn to port, climbing up towards the sun again. At this time I closed to about 50 to 100 yards and gave a short burst of cannon and observed strikes on the cockpit.
S/Lt. R. Gouby of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 March 1943:
I was flying Blue 3 in the squadron. We had been vectored to a squadron of E/A by Appledore. When about 15 miles south of St. Omer, Blue 1 announced E/A at 12 o’clock well below. Then I saw at 1 o’clock, about 6000 ft. below and flying south, about 10 FW 190’s in loose vic formation – 5 FW 190’s at the apex, another 3 to port and 200 yards behind, and 2 to starboard about 400 yards. Blue 1 and 2 started to attack the centre box and I attacked the starboard two. I went for the leader, but he turned very quickly to port, so I fired at the second from 15° port astern, from 350 yards. I saw no strikes. He had been turning, but now flew straight on a level course. I closed in very quickly, and fired a long burst from 200 yards. Then I saw the starboard aileron fly off and the tip of thw wing; a moment later there was a big red flash almost in the middle of the starboard wing. By now I was so close that I had to pull violently on the stick to avoid collision and pieces flying off. As I was turning to port I saw the E/A going down in an uncontrolled spin minus most of his starboard wing. I consequently claim this FW 190 as destroyed.
F/Lt. P. F. Kennard of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 March 1943:
I was flying in “Turban” squadron as Red 3, when we bounced a batch of E/A south of St. Omer. Following Red Leader in a very tight turn, I saw two FW 190’s diving and followed them for a few seconds, when I noticed another FW 190 on my tail. I immediately took evasive action, weaving and diving, when I spotted another E/A not far behind the first. I dived for cloud cover to the north, towards the sea, and reached the coast (I believe east of Calais) with the two E/A about 2000 yds. behind. Suddenly, coming out of a patch of cloud at 4000 ft. I met an FW 190 coming straight towards me. We both opened fire at about 700 yds., closing rapidly. I saw a piece fly off his port wing and a large hole appeared in my starboard wing, and I was forced over onto my back. I saw the E/A spin into the sea and the pilot fell out, but his parachute did not open.
Lieut. T. Strand of 332 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 10 March 1943:
We were going out between Flushing and Knocke at 26,000 feet when a number of F.W. 190’s appeared at 3-O’clock slightly below. Two of then passed about 2,000 feet below me on nearly opposite course. I made a half a roll and dived after them. I opened fire at 250 yards with cannons and m.g. from dead astern and saw strikes all over the fuselage. Just afterwards, the cockpit seemed to explode with pieces falling from it and thick black smoke came from behind the engine. At this time, both my cannon and m.g. has stopped and as I broke away steeply to starboard two F.W.190’s came in behind me about 8-900 yards away. They broke away when I tightened the turn and climbed up. When at 30,000 feet, I joined up with the C.O. and came home with about nine other Spitfires.
2/Ltn. Bjornstad of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 12 March 1943:
I was White 1 and was detailed off to engage the enemy rear support. I got in behind one e/a and gave a short burst from about 450 yds. whereupon much black appeared. My No. 2 overshot me and fired at the same a/c. I was then about 600 yds. behind several other e/a, when I saw some more crossing in front of me. I turned behind them and fired a short burst from astern about 200 yds. at the rearmost e/a. I then used all my ammunition in a deflection shot after he had broken right and saw many hits on the port wingroot and saw several explosions. The starboard wingtip broke off and a shower of pieces came off the fuselage. The tail unit broke off and the e/a went into the sea.
Sgt. F. Eitzen of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 12 March 1943:
I was Blue 2 and followed Blue 1 against the “Hornchurch 190’s”, going flat out at zero ft. I overtook a straggler and attacked from astern and slightly above. My first burst hit the water behind it so I fired again and hit the e/a in the cockpit. It pulled up with clouds of black smoke pouring from it, made a few slight turns and went straight into the sea.
2/Ltn. R. Engelsen of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 12 March 1943:
I was Green 2 and attacked a FW. 190 after my No. 1 had broken off. I fired one short deflection shot and then getting in astern I fired several long bursts, closing from 300 to 150 yds. seeing many hits in the fuselage. The e/a was climbing steeply and I had to break away when at about 2 – 2000 ft. to avoid a large object that came from the e/a. This proved to be the pilot as his parachute opened, and at the same time the e/a went into the sea. I gave several Maydays and then continued for awhile with my No. 1 toward the Belgian coast but seeing not more e/a returned to base.
2/Ltn. E. Fossum of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 12 March 1943:
I was Green 1 and when the “Chelmsford 190’s” broke up I attacked a straggler and fired short bursts at very close range seeing pieces fall off and brown smoke pour from the engine. I broke off and my No. 2 attacked. The e/a pulled up sharply and I saw a big object drop out. After a few moments I saw a parachute open and the e/a hit the sea.
Capt. S. Lundsten of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 12 March 1943:
I was leading Blue Section and was detailed off to attack the “Hornchurch 190’s”. I chased these e/a, flying out to within a few miles of the French coast and was about 6-700 yds. behind a formation of about 10. They seemed to throttle back because I closed in very quickly and fired at one of them from about 100 yds. and after a few seconds burst it exploded and went into the sea. I then fired at another FW 190 which had been flying line abreast with the first. I gave him a short burst and saw strikes on the fuselage followed by clouds of black smoke. He pulled up sharply and I had to break away because the remaining e/a were preparing to make attacks on me. I consider the second e/a would have been destroyed but I was unable to see its finish.
Ltn. H. Sognnes of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 12 March 1943:
I was flying Yellow one and chasing the “Chalmsford 190’s”. On instructions from the Squadron commander I fired a short burst from 500 yds range at the rearmost e/a. The e/a started to turn and I closed in to 400 yds. and fired five or six short bursts. The e/a was down at sea level and it was easy to direct my fire. I saw cannon strikes and pieces fall off and this e/a was later seen by Maj. Birksted to crash into the sea. During this combat three other 190’s came in from 8 o’clock. They turned port and I came in astern and fired at the first with a little deflection. I saw cannon strikes on the tail, then fired at another one from dead astern, range 150 yds. and saw explosions all over it. I then had to avoid one e/a just beneath me but as I got in on his tail I had to break away as I was fired at from behind.
S/L L.S. Ford, DFC & Bar of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 March 1943:
I was flying Red 1, leading Sunrise Squadron, acting as high cover at 27,000 feet to the rear box of bombers. Shortly after our turn, while heading northwesterly toward Amiens, I saw, and Yellow 1 (F/Lt. Godefroy) reported, five or six FW 190’s making a port beam approach toward the bombers at about their height, 2,000 feet below our Squadron. I ordered Yellow Section to attack and followed down to give cover. The 190’s must have seen us and immediately dove away to port.
S/Lt. R. Gouby of 340 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 March 1943:
I was flying as Blue 3 of 340 Squadron with P/O Walmesley of 611 Squadron as Blue 4. Over the channel Blue 4 reported he was in trouble and losing height so I broke formation. I saw him 10000 feet below and heard he was alright so I flew on towards Hardelot. I heard the wing leader ordering the wing to attack and shortly after, near the coast, joined up with Yellow 3 and Yellow 4 of 611 Squadron at 23000 feet. I then broke off to try and find my own section. Near Le Touquet at 17000 feet I spotted 4 Fw 190’s 1000 feet below me flying South. I started to close in to attack but when about 600 yards away I saw 7 FW 190’s on my port side at the same height and turning to port in a vertical vic formation. I turned sharply to the left to get on the tail of the nearest and lowest Hun. I fired from 600 yards at 15 degrees port quarter. I saw a piece fly off his port wing and the E/A turned away in a dive. Three of the Huns then maneuvered to attack me from starboard. I broke away and climbed from 6000 feet. Two miles East of Hardleot I saw scattered FW 190’s between 5000 and 8000 feet. I started to join up with a solitary Spitfire but then spotted 2 Spitfires (Red 2 and Red 3 of 611 Squadron), 2 miles N.W. of Hardelot, with a FW 190 about to attack Red 3. Red 2 and I warned Red 3. The Hun was very close behind him and firing hard, so I fired at him from about 700 yards, closing in. I saw strikes on this tail and he broke towards Boulogne. I chased him in a dive, gaining slowly and firing in long bursts. I broke off at 500 feet and saw him crash in Boulogne harbour. Having exhausted my ammunition I returned to base over Dungeness. I claim 1 FW 190 destroyed and 1 FW 190 damaged.
2nd Lt. T. Johnsen of 64 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 March 1943:
I was flying as Charlie 1, 64 Squadron, and when at 37,000 ft. over a point approximately 10 miles south of Abbeville, the Squadron sighted 20 + FW.190s coming from the east, about 4,000 feet below. The Squadron made a turn to port into the sun and dived to attack.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading the Kenley Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 3 April 1943:
I was leading the Kenley Wing on Ramrod 49 and we were in the St. Omer area at 24/26,000 feet approximately 1500 hours. Appledore Control reported that Bandits were about and after some excellent vectoring they brought the Wing up sun and 3,000 feet above 16 – 20 F.W. 190s flying in line abreast. After making sure that it wasn’t a bait I led 416 down on the port Huns and ordered 403 to attack the starboard Huns. I attacked an F.W. 190 from astern using cannon and M.G. Opened range at 400 yards and closed to 200 yards. I saw cannon strikes on the wing roots and fuselage of the enemy aircraft which flicked over and went down smoking and burning. I claim this enemy aircraft as destroyed. Cine gun used.
S/L L.S. Ford, DFC & Bar of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 April 1943:
I was flying Sunrise Leader about 25,000 feet, above and slightly to port of Wing Commander and 416 Squadron. I saw about 12 F.W. 190’s at 10 o’clock 1,000 feet below. The Wing Commander said to stay above and then another 10 appeared in line abreast but grouped at slightly different heights. The W/C ordered Sunrise Squadron to take the starboard E/A and Blue section went down on three below and I with Red 2 and 3 took four F.W.’s a little above. Yellow Section remained above as cover.
F/O. H.D. MacDonald of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 April 1943:
I was flying Sunrise Yellow one, when Red & Blue sections attacked a formation of E/A. I stayed up with my section as protection at about 23,000 feet and then dived to attack 2 F.W.190’s that were closing in from slightly above and to port and behind Red & Blue sections.
F/Lt. C.M. Magwood of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 April 1943:
I was flying as Sunrise Blue 1 when Control vectored us on to Huns about 1000’ below and directly down sun. Our Squadron had a perfect bounce on a small gaggle of 7 F.W. 190’s and I took as my target the F.W. in the right hand lower corner of the formation, opened fire with 1½ sec. burst of cannon and m.g. from about 15° rear port quarter from 150 to 50 yds. From the opening of the burst there was a succession of long flashes and flames from cannon strikes all around the centre section of the fuselage and wings, chunks flew off and then the whole aircraft completely disintegrated, leaving only a big black cloud handing in the air.
S/L L.S. Ford, DFC & Bar of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 April 1943:
I was flying Sunrise leader at 24,000 feet with the Fortresses 2 – 3,000 feet below when I saw a few single 190’s above the bombers and then pairs and fours making head-on quarter attacks about the middle of the first box. I saw one Fortresses spin down and asked the Wing Leader if I could go down to help. He said “O.K.” and I told the squadron “We’re going down.” I and Red 2 (Sgt. Hamilton) went down and Yellow Section F/O MacDonald) followed above as cover. At this point a general melee started.
F/O. H.D. MacDonald of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 April 1943:
I was flying Yellow 1 at 25,000 feet, about 1,000 feet below 20 E/A flying east a few miles inland and parallel with the French coast and 10 miles behind the Fortesses.
2/Lt. B. Bjornstad of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 April 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1, weaving on top of the bombers coming out from Rouen, when 4 – 5 FW. 190 came in towards the bombers underneath me. I immediately broke down on them with my section. I got on the tail of one, range abt. 200 – 300 yds., and gave it several short bursts (slight port beam attack). I saw hits and many pieces fell off it, finally the rudder fell off, then the whole tail unit loosened and fell off. As I broke away, I saw it flicking down out of control.
2/Lt. B. Raeder of 332 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 5 April 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 3 on port side of the bombers when six F.W. 190’s approached from 9 o’clock, 2000 feet below. Letting the first pass, I dived down and fired a 2 seconds burst at 400 yards from line astern at one of the last in the formation. His hood went off and he broke away and dived for the sea. I fired several bursts on the way down closing to 150 yards and saw two explosions on both sides of the cockpit. Overshooting him in the dive, I flew abreast of him to see him go into the sea. He, however, pulled out at sea level and his prop was just ticking over. Giving him a final burst from astern, he splashed into the water. I returned and landed to refuel at Martlesham without further incident.
Sgt. K. Herfjord of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 5 April 1943:
I was flying as Blue 4 when we formed over the second box of bombers as they came out over Zuid Beveland. When 20-30 miles out from Haamstede, we were intercepted by 50 + F.W. 190’s and M.E. 109’s which operated in sections of 4 and 8 aircraft. The first section of e/a made a diving attack on the port side of the bombers, so Blue section dived to intercept as Blue 3 positioned for attack a further 3-5 e/a appeared on his tail so I went for a single F.W. 190 separated from its section. I positioned myself behind the F.W.190 which was firing on Blue 3’s tail and opened fire with 2 seconds burst at 200 yards and he flicked over to port enabling me to fire another short burst causing him to make a steep dive from 18,000 feet. I thought he would pull out from this dive so I followed him down to about 6,000 feet when I saw him go straight into the sea. The pilot did not bale out. As I pulled out I saw a Spitfire spinning into the sea about 8-10,000 yards on my port side. I was unable to see the markings on this aircraft and although I orbitted the spot for 5 minutes, no parachute or trace of the pilot was seen. I set course for base flying on the deck and landed at Bradwell at 1645 hours to refuel.
F/Sgt. A. Haynes of 611 Squadron was pleased with the Spitfire LF IX's (Merlin 66) that the Squadron had received in March noting in his Combat Report for 9 April, 1943:
I was flying as Blue 2 patrolling Cap Griz Nez to Boulogne. We had just completed a left hand turn off Griz Nez when I saw 2 FW 190's at 7 o'clock below flying in the opposite direction. I called to my leader to follow and that I was going down but he did not hear. Black section, whom I could only just see, heard me however but lost sight of me. I chased 2 E/A inland just North of Griz Nez and opened fire at 450-500 yards as I thought I was losing them. They turned left and I was unable to get deflection because I was turning too fast. There was black smoke coming from both E/A but the No. 2 was belching quite a lot more than the No. 1. The No. 2 then broke downwards and I thought he was going to hit the deck as we were only flying at about 1000-1500 feet - I fired 2 long bursts using all my ammunition. I then turned to come out over Ambleteuse, the flak was very heavy and I collected one small hole in the starboard wing. Just as I got out of the flak I was chased by 3 FW 190's. I dropped the jettison tank but they still seemed to close so I turned towards them and in one turn was on their tail but I continued turning and made for home at full throttle and although they still chased me they could not close - these are good aircraft. I claim 1 FW 190 damaged.
F/O G. R. Lindsay of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 April, 1943:
I was flying Yellow 1 on patrol at Dungeness when the Flight was ordered to join up with a Typhoon which would take us to some Huns. The Typhoon led us halfway across the Straits of Dover where there were several FW 190's circling a high speed boat. White and Red Sections attacked first and then I saw two FW 190's coming round onto either Red or White Section and one of them opened fire on the Spitfires. I closed in immediately and as I started firing they split and one went into a steep righthand turn. I followed this one, and still firing, I closed to point blank range. I first saw strikes on the tail and then a terrific red flash in the cockpit with large pieces falling away and smoke pouring from the engine. I throttled back and pulled up above it and I could see Yellow 2 firing at it. It crashed straight into the sea just ahead of the boat it was escorting. Yellow 2 (Sgt. Kay) and White 1 (P.O Walmsley) saw it hit the sea.
S/Ldr. B. Barthold of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 April, 1943:
'A' Flight was ordered to patrol Dungeness - Deal. I took off as Red 1 with five other A/C. We patrolled the Dungeness - Lympne area for 38 minutes when Control ordered us to change Channel and follow a Typhoon (No.1 Squadron) to some 'customers'. After a little difficulty (because there were two lots of Typhoons) we followed one who took us out to mid-Channel, then turned right where we saw an 'R' boat and two or three A/C over the boat. As the visibility was very poor I immediately dived to investigate. The two particular A/C I chose then made off towards France. I chased at full speed, looking back occasionally. Not being able to see my No.2, I called up saying there were two E/A making for the French coast. The two E/A, which I recognised as FW190's, were flying straight and level about 300 yds. apart, line abreast, and black smoke was coming from the righthand A/C who was probably going flat out. As I drew closer the A/C on the right hand started weaving, which allowed me to close quicker. At 400 yds. I started firing, but as the E/A was weaving I did not know what deflection to give, so aimed in the general direction of flight and blazed away until 200-300 yds. (probably 7 seconds.) I then saw strikes all over the A/C and a large ball of flame appeared on the right of the cockpit near the wing-root. During this time the other E/A was making tentative turns away and what appeared most strange, white tracer appeared to come from his cockpit at right angles. I looked back but nobody seemed to be firing at him. The first E/A being on fire and smoking, I moved over the attack the other. He also weaved and I fired a long burst without observing any results. I had closed to 150 yds., but my ammunition then ran out. I broke away and circled, and whilst circling saw my first E/A, still on fire and smoking, slowly turn right and disappear into the sea. The position was approximately 3 miles S.W. of Ambleteuse. I then returned and landed at base with the Flight, except White 1 who had already landed.
S/L Robert Oxsbring, DFC of 72 Squadron wrote of his combat of 11 April 1943:
Covering a squadron of Hurricanes bombing close support targets, 72 intercepted some Me 109’s which tried to interfere. We had the jump of them as Danny took his flight down on a formation of four. He and George Malan moved in to clobber a couple which crashed nearby. As the rest of the squadron gave cover another half a dozen 109’s appeared beneath and I led the formation down in a copybook bounce. It was a dream set up as we closed range and blasted our targets. Mine shed some bits and hit the deck east of Medjez as Alan Gear worked over another which spun away. The sudden impact split the rest of the enemy, and in the ensuing mill the squadron damaged three more.
Lt. H. Sognnes of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 April 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 3. As we turned over the target, 8 FW 190 dived underneath us towards the close escort. I attacked them together with my No. 2. I shot at one with deflection, and it started to dive. I followed and gave it a number of short bursts from 300 yds. closing in. At 3000 ft. it started to give off white smoke and lost speed. As I fired at it from abt. 50 yds. above and behind, the whole plane exploded and covered my plane with oil. I could not see anything through my hood, so I went home on the deck.
2/Lt. O. Djønne of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 April 1943:
I was flying as Blue 3 on escort cover to Venturas bombing Caen when the Squadron sighted two F.W.190’s at twelve o’clock which tried to get behind Yellow section. When they dived on this section I did a steep climbing turn to port – then a barrel roll and I got on the tail of these F.W. 190’s. I managed to give one of them two good bursts from astern. I saw my bullets hitting the fuselage, causing some red flashes. The e/a then went into a spin and I saw it crash in a little wood South West of Caen.
Sgt. F. Eitzen of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 April 1943:
I was flying as Blue 2 at 24,000 ft. over Walcheren Island when Red 3 reported some E/A below us. I followed Blue 1 down, closing in on the E/A to the right. I started firing at 200 yards range. The E/A turned on its back. I saw a big sheet of coming up from underneath the cockpit. He went straight down into the sea. I saw three big splashes in the water altogether.
2/Lt. H. Grundt-Spang of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 April 1943:
I was flying Blue 3 at 24,000 ft. over Walcheren, when Red 3 reported some E/A underneath us at about 12,000 ft. on a South Westerly course. Blue 1 went down with his No. 2, and I followed with my No. 2. There wee 3 huns flying almost line-abreast. I made for the port one, and had plenty of speed to overtake him. At a range of about 300 yards, I gave him a second burst and saw cannon-strikes on his starboard wing. He started to dive, but I half rolled and followed him quite easily though we had a colossal speed. After another 2 seconds burst, 30 degrees deflection being allowed, there was a terrific explosion in the FW. 190, a big orange flame came out of the cockpit, and big pieces flew in all directions. The rest of the E/A dived vertically into the sea. I went down to sea level, had to turn left to avoid a convoy just of Walcheren, went home and landed at base at 15.15 hrs.
Capt. L. Lundsten of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 April 1943:
I was flying as Blue 1 when over Walcheren Island, Red 3 reported some huns at 3 o’clock below us. I saw them, and the whole of Blue section went down to attack them. We saw 3 FW 190’s flying in line abreast, the port one a little below. This was at 12000 ft. I attacked the middle one I started firing at abt. 800 yds. closing in to abt. 400 yds., when the FW 190 had an explosion and started burning. He went straight down. I saw afterwards three big splashes in the sea just off Walcheren Island. Blue 2 & 3 also saw these splashes.
Major F. Thorsager of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 April 1943:
Flying as Red 1 with one Flight, as top cover for 331 (N) Squadron. After making a gentle starboard turn round Flushing, 331 Squadron saw some e/a beneath over the Flushing area. They went down after them and we stayed above as cover. As 331 Squadron went far down I lost sight of them and we made several port orbits over the Flushing area at 24,000 feet. Some e/a, about 15, came down on us from above, so we broke to meet the attack. Myself and my No. 2 (2/Lt. Gilhuus J.) attacked two F.W.190’s which started climbing, turning port into the sun. I fired at one of them from 350 yards, and saw strikes all over and in the cockpit. It flicked over quickly, started burning with black smoke pouring out and spun down. My No. 2 saw it spinning down burning for 5-6,000 feet. My No. 2 fired at another one and I saw white smoke coming out, but I had to break away owing to other e/a.
F/Lt. H.C. Godefroy of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 April 1943:
I was leading Sunrise Yellow Section at about 24,000 feet when I saw three F.W.190s climbing out to sea at about 20,000 feet. With the Wing Commander’s permission I took my section down on them. I dived down slightly below them and then climbed up dead astern of them, as they flew line abreast. They turned slightly to port and one saw me and half rolled. I picked the remaining one on the right and delivered a two seconds burst from about 10 degrees at about 250 yards. I immediately saw the port cannon magazine explode and hits on the fuselage in front of the pilot. It spun, and at about 2,000 feet below burst into flames. The pilot baled out. I then turned to port and climbed and saw another F.W. 190 go into the sea, with a parachute going down close by.
F/Lt. E.J.J. Charles (Candian) of 611 Squadron recorded in his combat Report for 18 April 1943:
I was flying Red 3 position in the original attack on 12 FW190's. The squadron broke up and Red 4 and myself then proceeded to the mouth of the Somme where we orbited to starboard and dived to gain speed. I saw two FW190's which were diving on a Spit. One FW190 broke down and the other broke into the sun. I was coming down-sun and attacked the FW190 head-on, opening fire at 300 yds. and closing to nil (1-sec.). The FW190 passed about 20 yards off my starboard wingtip. As I turned I saw him stall and dive down, flicking from one side to the other, until he hit the sea. The combat took place at about 16,000 ft. down to 12,000 ft. The position the E/A went in was in the mouth of the Bay d'Authie.
Ltn. N. Jorstad of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 May 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 3 on a Rodeo in the Walcheren area, having got as far as Tholen we turned to port to return. After we had crossed the coast just north of Domburg, I saw 2 F.W. 190’s beneath me and starboard. The main formation of the wing was then about 5 miles ahead of me. I dived on these two e/a, firing a 2 sec. burst at the one nearest to me. He flicked over and dived straight down going into the sea. His No. 2 broke to the left but I followed him, firing about a 3 sec burst and left him in a vertical dive at 12000 ft. in flames and leaving a column of black smoke behind him. About one-third of his starboard wing had broken off. I claim these two aircraft as destroyed.
Lt. H. Sognnes of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 May 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1 and fired at one F.W. 190 using large deflection, but I did not see any result. A F.W. 190 which attacked Blue section dived down in from of me and as he pulled up I attacked. He saw me and started diving again so I followed. From about 400 to 300 yards range, starting on the quarter and going in to dead astern, I fired several bursts. I saw cannon strikes on the fuselage and the aircraft started to smoke. I pulled out at 5,000 feet, when the E/A was diving vertically out of control. A few seconds afterwards, I saw a splash in the sea below me where the E/A would have gone in. This combat was at the northerly tip of Walcheren.
2/Lt. O. Djønne of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 May 1943:
I was flying as Blue 3 and on the way out this Squadron was attacked by F.W.190’s from astern and below. As Blue section broke to meet the attack, the section split up and I found myself alone and crossed the coast just N. of Nooderhoofd and seeing the wing make a port orbit off the coast, I tried to join up with it. When about three miles off the coast, I saw 2 F.W.190’s coming in from the sea and I turned to attack them. As they dived down, I got into position at about 450 yards range behind one of them and gave a long burst. White smoke started to pour from it and as it dived down I gave it a further burst, eventually pulling out about 12,000 feet, when the e/a was still going straight down. Shortly afterwards I saw a splash in the sea about three miles off the coast. As 2/Lt. Gilhuus J. saw this a/c burst into flames I claim this as destroyed.
2/Ltn. H. Grundt-Spang of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 May 1943:
I was Blue 3 and seeing two groups of Me. 109’s below told the squadron and they followed in the attack and chose the port side group of e/a. I closed in to 100 yds. and fired two short bursts about 10 degs. deflection. At the second burst the e/a exploded and went into the sea in flames. About 2 seconds afterwards I saw another e/a go into the sea about 1000 yds. from where my e/a went in.
Sgt. T. Larssen of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 May 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 4 and followed Yellow 3 down to attack the Me.109’s. Yellow 3 overshot the port section of E/A and as one of them broke to starboard I fired a long burst using about one ring deflection, followed by two short bursts. Throughout the firing I saw many strikes on the wing and fuselage and then trying to keep deflection with 450 m.p.h. on the clock I blacked out. When I next saw the E/A it was going down almost vertically pouring white smoke. This combat took place at the same time as Blue 3 who saw two E/A go into the sea. I therefore claim this E/A as destroyed.
F/Sgt. R. H. Olsen of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 May 1943:
I was Yellow 3 and diving on the port section of E/A, I overshot. When I pulled up I was above at about 23,000 ft. I then saw a Spitfire and flew to join up when a Me. 109 attacked me from port astern. I turned towards the attack and after about one-and-a-half turns I was in behind the E/A which started to go down in 45 degs. dive skidding from side to side. I followed and fired three short bursts. On the third burst there was a large burst of flame from the cockpit, lots of pieces thrown out and clouds of black smoke. It then went down vertically leaving a cloumn of black smoke. I followed and pulled out at 15,000 ft. my perspex then misted over. I wiped the perspex and looked again. The drifting smoke went down to the sea where there was a white foamy patch.
W/Cdr A. C. Deere, commanding the Biggin Hill Wing, recorded in his Combat Report for 4 May 1943:
One FW190 which was positionig itself to attack the bombers, was jumped and a 4-sec. burst was fired, opening at 300 yds. and closing to 100 yds. The overtaking speed was so great that I was forced to break to port. As I completed turn I saw an FW190 in flames and a pilot coming down by parachute. I therefore claim an FW190 destroyed.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading the Kenley Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 11 May 1943:
I was leading the Canadian Wing (403 and 416 Spitfire IX Squadrons) on Circus 295. I made a wide orbit off Dunkirk at 14,000 and at 1248 the Wing was recalled. Immediately afterwards, Appledore took over and vectored the Wing inland as there were Huns about. FW.190’s were sighted above when the Wing was at Gravelines, so we turned to engage in order to avoid an enemy bounce. 8 190’s flying in fours line abreast passed under my section, followed by a further three E/A and attacked No.3 from 10 degrees starboard astern, with cannon and m/g – range 300 yards. I saw a piece of E/A fall off mear the perspex hood, and E/A dived vertically down. I broke away and immediately afterwards searched below in order to locate this a/c. I saw an aircraft go into the sea about 2 miles off Gravelines. This was also witnessed by F/O. Wozniak (403 Squadron).
Sgt. G. Gram of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 May 1943:
I was flying as Blue 2 on Circus 296. After being vectored by Appledore we sighted the enemy and 331 squadron dived on them. I got on the tail of a F.W. 190 and fired a short burst from about 20 degs. above and astern. I saw his undercarriage come down. I gave him a second burst and the E/A caught fire. I saw the pilot bale out but his parachute did not open. At about the same time a parachute was seen by Blue 3 at 17,000 feet, still unopened, position approximately 15-20 miles south of Dunkirk.
2/Lt. E. Westly of 332 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 May 1943:
I was flying as Blue 3 and soon after the bombers had set course for the French coast after bombing, I saw 6 e/a (mixed F.W.190’s and Me.109’s) coming in from astern to attack the last box of bombers which I was orbiting above with Blue 4 (Sgt Hauge E.) as no other escort was in position. I turned towards the e/a, a F.W. 190, approaching from port beam and went after the leading one which had an orange coloured rudder. He swung away to starboard and I turned towards his No. 2 and closing in to about 300 yards dead astern gave him a burst with all guns seeing hits on wing roots and tail plane followed by smoke. Closing in further to 200-250 yards I fired another burst still from dead astern and the e/a exploded near the cockpit, pieces flying in all directions. It then rolled over, went down in spirals still burning.
S/L. C.M. Magwood of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 May 1943:
I was flying Yellow 1 when S.E. of St. Omer, four F.W. 190’s approached my section from 11 o’clock, 4,000’ below. I half rolled down out of sun and all but one of the E/A took evasive action as I pulled in behind. He didn’t see me until I was about 250 yards behind and as he started to break port I opened fire with cannon and m.g. The firest burst struck him and he straightened out so I closed in to about 250 yards, firing. His hood and bits of the wings flew back as the cannon shells struck him and he rolled over on his side and spun down slowly with flames billowing from his cockpit. I claim this E/A a destroyed.
W/CO. J. E. Johnson, commanding the Kenley Wing, recorded in his Combat Report for 14 May 1943:
As the Fortresses were nearing the coast on their return, I saw 4 F.W. 190s approaching from my starboard side preparing to attack the bombers. I closed in on the leader and gave him several short bursts from the starboard beam closing to starboard quarter, strikes being seen near his wing root. The enemy aircraft turned left and then flicked over. He dived down and I followed for three or four thousand feet. E/A flicked over twice more and I gave him a short burst although at this stage I was almost out of range. I then broke away and rejoined the bombers but my No. 3 (F/O Foster 416) followed the aircraft down and saw the pilot bale out. I therefore claim this enemy aircraft as destroyed.
F/Lt. H.D. MacDonald of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 May 1943:
I was flying Blue 1 at about 22,000 feet just west of Ostend when I saw 2.F.W.’s and 1 Me 109 flying echeloned starboard about 3-4000 feet below and 1500 yards ahead of me.
F/Lt. H.C. Godefroy of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 May 1943:
I was flying Sunrise Yellow 1, when I saw a F.W. 190 flying north three thousand feet below me. I was up sun at the time and remained there until he was directly below me. I half rolled and closed to about 200 yards and opened fire dead astern. His cannon magazine exploded, his coop top feel off and I lost sight of him completely in the black smoke. He spun down and crashed about seven miles south of Ostend. I claim one F.W. 190 destroyed.
S/LDR. E.J.J. Charles (CAN.) of 611 Squadron recorded in his combat Report for 14 May 1943:
I was leading 611 Squadron. Just after the bombers had turned from the target I dived down on a single FW190 and came up from underneath and opened fire at 200 yds., closing to 50 yds. The FW190 flicked over on his back whilst I was firing. I was overtaking very quickly when I broke away upwards; the E/A was still on his back. When I turned to see what happened to him I saw the FW190 going straight down. I then had to withdraw my attention as there were several other E/A in the vicinity.
S/LDR. E.J.J. Charles (CAN.) of 611 Squadron recorded in his combat Report for 15 May 1943:
I was leading Yellow Section, 611 Squadron. I saw two FW190's at 3 o'clock starting to dive on the bombers. I crossed over to them, approaching from slightly underneath. I opened fire on the second E/A (4-sec. burst) at 250 yds., clsong to 50 yds. Bits came off the wings. A strike went the length of the fusleage on the right side. The underneath of the E/A went on fire. I continued overtaking and crossed over to the leading E/A who had started to turn right. I opened fire at 180 yds. (5-secs.) ¾ ring deflection. There were strikes on the wings and then an explosion around the cockpit. The E/A slewed to the right and went diving down. I broke left and saw a parachute over where the first combat took place. This is confirmed by F/Lt. Checketts (Yellow 3) who saw the pilot of the first E/A bale out, and the second aircraft dive straight in.
Major H. Mehre of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 May 1943:
I was leading Wing and when E/A were sighted passing just behind and 6/7,000 ft. below, I ordered 331 to dive down and 332 to follow. Red Sec. 331 being a little ahead dived on the starboard side of the first box of 8 E/A. E/A apparently saw us when we were about 800/1000 yds. away. 4 E/A to port broke left while of the 4 to starboard two dived straight down after rolling over. I attacked No. 2 on starboard side which tried to take evasive action by using ailerons only. I opened fire at 400 yds. range from 5/10 degrees astern. E/A started pouring white smoke and later black smoke and I saw a small flame from underneath fuselage. I then had to break owing to other E/A coming in from behind. Yellow 1 (Capt. Ryg) of 332 Sqn. Saw an E/A explode in mid-air at the time of my attack and the pilot was not seen to bale out.
Capt. J. Ryg of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 May 1943:
I was leading Yellow Section on the above operation. When flying at 26,000 feet on Amiens area, I saw 10 e/a flying line abreast on a southerly course 5,000 feet below. I dived down with my section to attack these e/a which I recognized as F.W.190’s. I closed in to ?00 yards from dead astern, and then seeing that e/a had seen us, I opened up with M/G and cannon, as e/a lifted port wing slightly, observing numerous around cockpit and fuselage. e/a turned over very slowly and started to spin. I went after it and closing to 350 yards gave two more bursts and then pulled up. When I again saw the e/a it was going down burning furiously. Just after this incident had taken place, I saw another Spitfire attacking an F.W. 190 resulting in e/a exploding in mid-air. As Wing Leader then gave order to reform up sun, I climbed up and joined 331 Squadron.
F/Lt. H.D. MacDonald of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 May 1943:
I was flying Blue 1 when Red 1 turned port onto two 109’s three or four minutes after the bombing. I told red Section I’d give them cover, turning to port and above him and then saw two 109’s on my starboard wing about 1500 feet below and 1500 yards out. I was then at 22,000 feet
Comm. R. Mouchotte of 341 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 May 1943:
I was leading 341 F.F. Sqdn., flying due west about 10 miles S.E. of Caen at 23,000 ft., when Control reported some Bosche immediately below us. The wing Commander ordered 611 Sqdn., who were below us, to dive and asked me if I could see anything. I replied that I could not and continued on the same course for about two minutes, then turning hard to starboard with the intention of bouncing any Bosche who might have been split up by 611 Sqdn.s attack. On seeing nothing I completed the turn onto my original course and saw a lone Hun flying level on a westerly course about 4000 ft. below. I dived sharply and started firing at 300 yards from dead astern and slightly above, continuing firing in the dive up to 250 yards, seeing strikes on the cockpit and wing roots. At this point the Hun suddenly climbed vertically and blew up in mid-air, forcing me to climb rapidly to avoid the debris which was flying in all directions. Nothing else being seen I reformed with the Wing and proceeded home.
Comm. R. Mouchotte of 341 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 May 1943:
I was leading 341 (F.F.) Sqdn., and had just crossed the French coat at Cabourg at 23,000 ft. and was about halfway from the coast to Caen aerodrome, when an FW190 dived on us from slightly astern, passing just in front of me. I fired a short burst, but without any results as I must have used too much deflection. Shortly afterwards I saw four ME109’s in line astern coming from the southeast, who fired on my Yellow Section slightly below me; immediately I dived on the leader, ignoring the others who were by now at a disadvantage in relation to my Yellow Section, and he broke away in a dive, turning to port. I followed and fired from 200 yards dead astern, closing to 100 yards. Here he throttled back still turning; repeating the same tactics, I closed to within 50 yards, still firing, when he took no more evasive action, but dived sharply, crashing into the ground without any trace of smoke or flames. Having followed him down to 1000 ft., I turned back and recrossed the coast at Houlgate at Treetop height.
S/Lt. Bouguen of 341 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 May 1943:
I was flying as Blue 3 and returning home, having dived to 7000 ft., crossing the French coast at Houlgate, when I saw an FW190 flying east at the same height. He saw me at the same time and turned south towards me. I turned violently to starboard to try and get behind him, but he also threw his aircraft to starboard in order to get on my tail. When doing so he must have turned too tightly, lost control, made a flick roll and went into a spin. I throttled back in order to keep up with him and fired several short bursts, from 150 yards, whilst he was still spinning. I waited for him to come out of the spin, but he continued straight into the sea, leaving only a large patch of oil. I circled the spot where he went in at sea level and returned home, flying at zero feet.
Capt. M. Boudier of 341 (Free French) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 May 1943:
I was leading Blue Section at 25,000 ft., flying halfway between Cabourg and Caen aerodrome, when I saw smoke trails ahead slightly to starboard at 30,000 ft. I immediately warned the Wing, which turned to port shortly afterwards. My section was forced to continue on the same course as the E/A, which I had identified as 12 FW 190’s had started to dive on us. I turned towards them, climbing, and in the general dogfight which followed I found myself behind and a little bit above the whole formation; the Boche split up and I fired a short burst of m/g. from 200 yards on the port quarter of one of them, allowing 45 degrees deflection. I was unable to see any strikes as I was forced to break away there being by now two more Boche on my tail. Having shaken them off, I again positioned myself astern of another FW 190 and started firing from about 100 yards dead astern, closing to within 60 yards, seeing strikes on the wings, fuselage and tail. The aircraft burst into flames and large pieces flew off. It went into a spin and crashed into the ground, the pilot being unable to save himself. As I had followed him down, I started climbing and rejoined the rest of my Section in mid-Channel.
Ltn. M. Gran of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 May 1943:
I was flying Blue 3. We joined up with the last box of bombers flying at 22000 ft. and we were 5000 ft. above them. About 20 miles north of Guernsey I saw 1 F.W. 190 at 20,000 ft. diving south towards French coast. I called up and said Blue 3 and 4 are going down and I dived after e/a and as we closed in I saw another one about 100 yds. in front and slightly to starboard of first e/a. I opened fire at the first one at 500 yds. seeing no results. I then saw two more F.W.190’s in line abreast at 12000 ft. coming in from starboard and in front. I opened fire on the one to starboard from 300 yds. and saw strikes on engine and cockpit. E/A completed a flick roll and spun down and I saw it go straight into the sea. The other one started violent and evasive action in front of me flick rolling over on its back and diving. I managed to get in a short burst at it from 300 yds. and saw strikes on starboard wing. He disappeared before my nose and I lost sight of him. I pulled away and flew back independently landing at Bolt Head. My No. 2 saw the splash of the e/a that went into the sea and was also seen by Blue 1 and 2. Just after I had attacked the second e/a and was pulling away I saw another splash which was the e/a destroyed by Blue 4 (2/Ltn Bache).
2/Ltn. K. Bache of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 May 1943:
I was flying Blue 4 in 10 Group Circus 29 and when Blue 3 said he was going down after e/a I followed. I placed myself to starboard of Blue 3 and slightly below. By the time we got within range of about 400 yards of 2 e/a, I had overtaken Blue 3 so when he went for the 2 a/c which came in from starboard I continued chasing the nearest of the first two. I thought my chance of overtaking it was rather small so when I got within 400 yards I fired a short burst from dead astern followed by another 2 second burst. I saw no hits but believe I must have hit him as he slowed down enabling me to close in. He took no evasive action however. I then started firing 2 second bursts and had plenty of time to correct my shooting as he was still flying straight. My last burst of about ¾ sec. hit him right in the middle of fuselage and I saw a big flash just as my cannon ammunition was exhausted. Flames enveloped cockpit and it turned slowly on his back. As there were other e/a round I broke away in a shallow dive towards the sea looking over my right shoulder and finally saw him go into the sea. The splash was also seen by Blue 3 as well as Blue 1 and 2. I then flew back independently landing at Harrowbeer at 13.45 hrs. My right wing was splashed with oil from the e/a.
S/LDR. E.J.J. Charles (CAN.) of 611 Squadron recorded in his combat Report for 17 May 1943:
I was flying as Wing Leader. Just as we crossed the French coast I turned right into two FW190's. The No.2 FW190 started diving. I attacked the No.1, which started turning right. I opened fire at 250 yds., closing to 150 yds. (a 2-sec. 1½ ring deflection shot), then I had to break off as I was blacking out.
Sgt. V. F. Lancaster (Aust.) of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 May, 1943:
I was flying Red 4, when Red 3 (F/O. Lindsay) and myself saw two ME 109's passing behind and above. These E/A flew down behind and below us, passing beneath. I don't think they saw us. Red 3 attacked and I followed him down; both of us attacked the same E/A, but Red 3 makes no claim. I opened fire with m/g and cannon at 350 yds. with 30° deflection in a rate one turn to starboard, closing rapidly to 100 yds. I saw strikes all over the wings and fuselage; the starboard wing was seen to be on fire. I then broke to rejoin my No. 3, eventually joining up with my C.O.
Capt. W. Christie of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 18 May 1943:
I was flying as Blue 1. The Squadron was traveling north at 28,000 feet when I saw 6-8 F.W.190’s 5-7,000 feet below. I bounced them with my section and opened up at one of the F.W.190’s from about 4-500 yards using 10 degrees deflection and saw several strikes on the port side of the cockpit. The aircraft started smoking badly. I think this first burst killed or wounded the pilot - he took no further evasive action and fell out of the formation to the right as the other F.W.190’s climbed up to the left. I then closed in to 75 yards dead astern and saw several strikes again. The e/a then fell over to the right on fire. I was then at about 16,000 feet and pulled up and reformed with some of my Squadron. The engagement was seen by several pilots of the Squadron. I claim 1 F.W.190 destroyed.
F/O G. R. Lindsay of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 May, 1943:
I was flying Blue 3 and the squadron was vectored on to some Huns in the St. Omer area. I saw more than twelve of them about 5000 ft. below on the port side and I broke away immediately to attack. I got in about a 4-sec. burst on one, closing from approximately 350 yards to 150 yards, from ¼ port astern, and though I saw no major strikes on it, the E/A turned on its back and went down vertically. It was seen by W/Cdr. Deere and all members of 341 (top) squadron to catch fire and spiral down in flames.
2/Lt. O. Djønne of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 May 1943:
I was flying as Blue 3 on the above operation. When over the Belgian coast the Wing turned port as it was reported that some e/a were flying South from the Flushing area. Soon afterwards we sighted these e/a which did not appear to see us at first as we came out of the sun. With my No.2 I went down on two of them which turned port and tried to get up sun of us. At about 500 yards I fired a couple of short bursts at one of these e/a but I did not succeed. I then managed to get up sun from this a/c and as it went away on a straight course I dived out of the sun and gave it some good bursts from astern a little above from 350 to 300 yards range. There was an explosion around the cockpit of the e/a and I had to pull sharply up to avoid flying into large pieces of the a/c which had been flung into mid-air. I saw the u/c come down in the e/a as it went spinning down vertically. I then set course for home and climbed to 22,000 feet returning alone. This combat took place at 17-18,000 feet.
F/Lt J. Checketts of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 30 May, 1943:
While flying as Blue 3 to S/Ldr. Charles we saw numerous E/A, including FW 190s and ME109s. When S/Ldr. Charles warned me we broke into two sections as the top squadron was attacked, and flew inland and up sun. Two FW 190s attacked Blue 4 and myself but we outclimbed them and they lost sight of us evidently mistaking Blue 1 and 2 for us because they manoeuvred to attack Blue 1 and 2. I warned Blue 1 and he flew in front of me and I attacked the FW 190 from behind and below with a great overtaking speed. I opened fire from 200 yards with an angle off of from 10° to nil and saw heavy strikes on fuselage and wings. E/A appeared to stop and shed cowlings and pieces and smoke in dense clouds. I broke upwards and saw him spin down smoking. Blue 4 saw the Combat and S/Ldr. Charles also, and both saw E/A burst into flames. Blue 4 warned me that the second FW 190 was firing at me and I steepturned to port and Blue 4 flew up behind the Hun and shot him down. I claim 1 FW 190 destroyed.
Sgt. V. F. Lancaster (Aust.) of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 30 May, 1943:
I was flying Blue 4 with S/Ldr. Charles leading, when several FW 190s and ME. 109s were reported. S/Ldr. Charles climbed to cover Blue 3 (F/Lt. Checketts) who attacked two FW 190s while I acted as his No. 2 and covered him as he went down. F/Lt. Checketts fired at a FW 190 and I saw pieces flying off it, and it went down in flames. Then another FW. 190 came in behind Blue 3, and was so intent on shooting at him that he apparently did not see me. I closed in rapidly on him and opened fire from astern, and at about 100 yards. I saw a large hole appear in his port wing and pieces come off the E/A. I was closing on him so fast that I had to skid violently to avoid hitting him. Then he fell out of the sky. S/Ldr. Charles saw E/A going down smoking badly and F/Lt. Checketts saw it crash. I claim 1 FW. 190 destroyed.
S/Lt. P Laurent of 341 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 30 May 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 2 when our Squadron was attacked from above and behind by six FW 190’s. During the melee which followed I lost my No.1 and found myself with Blue Section of 611 Squadron who had climbed to our assistance. Continuing with them until just over the coast north of Deauville, they dived to attack some Huns, who were underneath and to starboard, in a slow turn. At this moment I saw an FW 190 about 800 yards to port at about the same height, who was maneuvering into a position behind 611 Squadron Blue Section. Breaking away to port I closed to within 250 yards and fired two long bursts while slowly turning and allowing a slight deflection of 5/10°. From the first burst I saw strikes on the starboard side of the cockpit, on the wing roots and fuselage, with white smoke coming from the port side of the aircraft. When within 175 yards I fired my second burst, using the same deflection, and saw an explosion near the cockpit with one particularly large piece flying off. Breaking off to have a last look behind, I saw the E/A going down in flames, and then rejoined 611 Squadron. I claim one FW 190 destroyed from this combat.
F/O N. R. Fowlow of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 31 May 1943:
I was flying Blue 1 at 22,000 feet when off Nieuport I attacked the first F.W. 190 from the port and astern with a three second burst but had to break away because of two F.W. 190’s coming in from the sun. I broke left and attacked another F.W.190 giving it a seven second burst from 250 to 200 yards range; it slipped slowly to port and when I last saw, it was going straight down. I was unable to observe what happened to it later on but because of evidence put forward by other members of the Squadron I claim this F.W. 190 as destroyed.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading the Kenley Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 1 June 1943:
I was leading the Kenley Wing (403 and 421 Sqdns.) on Rodeo 225. After engaging 30 plus enemy aircraft in the Doullens – St.Pol area, the Wing reformed and we headed towards the French coat on the outward journey flying at 23,000 feet. When 3-5 miles inland of Berck-sur-Mer I saw about 8 Me.109s behind 403 Squadron. We turned to engage and all enemy aircraft dived away except 2 Me.109s which went into a shallow dive towards Le Crotoy. Enemy aircraft were flying line abreast and I opened fire with cannon and m/g on the starboard aircraft from 500 yards closing to 300 yards. I saw several cannon strikes on the rear portion of the fuselage and on the tail plane. At 9,000 feet I broke off the attack as e/a was now diving vertically; he did not recover and I saw him crash on the north bank of the Somme. My No.2 (F/O Bowen D.F.C.) also fired at this enemy aircraft and I claim it as destroyed shared with F/O Bowen. Cine film used. (Ref. 421/CG17)
2/Lt. E. Westly of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 June 1943:
I was flying as Blue 3 when I saw two smoke trails coming from 1-o’clock 1-2,000 feet above. I started climbing to investigate and when 500 feet just below these two a/c, I recognized them to be Me.109’s. I climbed and turned in behind them when I saw another smoke trail coming directly towards them. These two evidently took this a/c to be hostile as they went over on their backs and dived approx. 4,000 feet and then leveled out and started to climb again towards a lone Spitfire. I followed all the time and as I began to climb in, the No. 1 must have seen me as he dived away but the No.2 went on climbing towards the lone Spitfire. I closed in to 300 yards and opened fire with short bursts, then closing in to 100 yards, fired again with a ling burst (3 seconds) and saw an explosion on the wing and a large piece of the wing dropped off. I saw more strikes around the engine where there was an explosion. He flicked over into a spin and started burning which my No.2 Sgt Hauge E. confirms. My No.2 gave a short burst as the e/a was spinning down. While this combat took place, another Me.109 came in behind the lone Spitfire above so I climbed and called over R/T for this Spitfire to break. He broke away to port and the e/a followed so I closed in to 300 yards and opened fire for 1-2 seconds when my ammunition ran out. This caused the Me.109 to break to starboard and dive down thus preventing any attack on the Spitfire. On the way back, I climbed to 30,000 feet and when 10 miles off the English coast, South of Dover, I saw 2 Me.109’s which had followed me turn back and dive down towards France.
1st Lt. Sylvan Feld of the 4th FS, 52nd Fighter Group recorded in his combat report for 3 June 1943:
While on patrol 20 miles NE of Cape Bon at 18,000 feet going West at 17:15 hours with Lt. Brown, we sighted 14 FW 190’s at 13,000 feet just West of us going toward Sicily. They were flying three 4 ship, line abreast elements with two ships lagging on the right. As we passed over them we attacked from above and behind in a dive out of the sun, the two ships on the extreme right. The ship I attacked evidently never saw me as he took no evasive action. I opened fire at directly astern at 200 yards and closed to 100 yards, noting cannon and m/g strikes on the fuselage and behind the cockpit. The e/a pulled up slightly, staggered and went into a tight spiraling dive emitting heavy black smoke. We broke right and made a climb almost to the stalling point above the other e/a. I could only follow his dive for about 2000 feet and saw the e/a in a tight spiral and smoking badly. The left element started to break towards us and then dove to the NE for Sicily, when they spotted us above them. The rest of the formation dove for the deck out of formation and never broke towards us. I believe I must have killed the pilot as the e/a looked absolutely out of control when I last saw it before leaving for base.
1st Lt. Sylvan Feld of the 4th FS, 52nd Fighter Group recorded in his combat report for 6 June 1943:
Lt. Cook and I scrambled at 19:20 hours. We were vectored toward Pantellaria Island. While patrolling over the Island at 25,000 feet, I saw six a/c take off and head for Cape Bon, climbing. We followed them West at 25,000 feet, a short distance behind and to the right. When they reached 20,000 feet on the Eastern tip of Cape Bon, we identified them a Me 109’s, camouflaged grey and black with white spinners and carrying one large bomb each. They were flying in echelon to the right. We made a diving attack at the rear plane from a slight angle without firing, breaking up and to the right as the e/a turned ninety degrees left towards the convoy. We then dove onto the rear e/a and the two rear e/a broke right one hundred eighty degrees toward us and jettisoned their bombs. I exchanged a short burst with them in a head on attack. I pulled up above the two e/a as they broke right towards Pantellaria and saw the other 4 e/a break left toward Pantellaria. All six e/a reformed in a six ship, line abreast, going into a shallow dive for Pantellaria. I dove on the right side and as the elements on the left started to pull up to turn toward me, I pulled up without firing. I then dove on the left elements, closed on one and fired several short bursts from 30 degrees astern from 300 yards allowing 1 ½ ring deflection. I saw cannon and m/g hits on the right wing and fuselage. The right hand elements broke up and left toward me. I turned inside of the closest e/a and was about 100 yards astern. I fired a second burst of cannon and m/g with sights directly on the prop and about ¼ ring deflection, closing in to less than 50 yards directly astern. I saw cannon and m/g strikes on his engine and fuselage. Flames flashed out of his engine and heavy smoke streamed back from the engine and fuselage. We were both on our backs and the nose of the e/a pointed down in a steep dive. I pulled back on the stick diving away toward home about ten to fifteen miles West of Pantellaria at about 8,000 feet. The action began at the tail end of the convoy and the four e/a that I did not see drop their bombs must have jettisoned them as I saw no evidence of burning or smoking vessels in the convoy on my way home.
F/Lt F. F. Colloredo-Mansfeld of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 10 June, 1943:
I was flying White 1. While orbitting to get into position behind the bombers, 2 FW.190s appeared about 1000 feet below. I attacked in a shallow dive throttling right back and fired a one second burst from 200 yards astern just as the last E/A started to break upwards. There was a sheet of flame from one wing root to the other across and ahead of the cockpit. The E/A dived away gently at first, then vertically, smoking badly. White 4 saw the pilot bale out. I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed.
F/Lt J. Checketts (N.Z.) of 611 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 June 1943:
While leading Black Section I saw 13 FW190's flying south in the opposite direction, about 5000 ft. below us, in line abreast. I warned W/Cdr. Deere and went into attack with Black Section. F/O Linday cut the turn and attacked the easterly section and the Hun A/C turned to starboard and F/O Lindsay in turn was attacked by the Huns. I took the leader of the second last section and opened fire at approximately 350 yds. with no visible result. I gave another burst at 200 yds. and I saw no strikes, but smoke came away. The third burst was fired from dead astern and I observed strikes all over the fusleage. Black smoke and debris was seen issuing from the E/A. Black 2 (F/O Branson, Aust.) and W/Cdr. A.C. Deere D.S.O., D.F.C., saw the E/A go down. Total length of bursts was 3½ secs.
F/O N. R. Fowlow of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 12 June 1943:
I was flying Blue 1 at 25,000 feet N/W of Rouen when I saw 3 Me. 190’s in wide vic formation in front of us flying North about 1000 feet below. I attacked the starboard man, giving a short burst from astern, closing from 200 to 100 yards or less. I saw strikes on the port side into the engine and cockpit and on the port wing. There was a big explosion in the port wing and the port wing seemed to fold up and half of it broke off. The e/a started to spin and when I last saw it, it was several thousand feet below still spinning with black smoke pouring from it. I claim this Me. 109 as destroyed.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading the Kenley Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 15 June 1943:
I was leading the Kenley Wing (403 and 421 RCAF Squadrons) on ramrod 95. We met other Spitfire Wings off Fecamp at 27,000 feet, and almost immediately afterwards Operations called up and said that the Bombers were returning, but that we could carry out a shallow penetration at my discretion. There was a lot of high cumulus cloud, but as there was little in the Rouen area I decided to fly in that direction. Operations then told me that bandits were climbing over Rouen and flying west. I se a course to intercept these bandits and flew at 24,000 feet in order to avoid making smoke trails. Shortly afterwards, we saw 15 F.W. 190s flying towards the coast in line abreast. I ordered 421 to remain top guard and led 403 to attack. I myself attacked the starboard 190 with cannon and m.g. closing to 200 yards. I registered several cannon strikes on this enemy aircraft, which pulled violently upwards almost to the stall. The hood was jettisoned and I saw the pilot drop out but I did not see his parachute open; this enemy aircraft is claimed as destroyed.
F/Lt. H.D. MacDonald D.F.C. of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 June 1943:
I was flying Red 3 at about 23,000 feet when red 1 (W/Co) spotted 2 e/a flying northwestwards at 22,000 feet towards us flying south. When they were about a mile they made a complete turn and as they turned I recognized them as 109’s.
S/L H.C. Godefroy D.F.C. of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 June 1943:
I was flying Red 3 behind the W/C when we saw about 35 to 40 F.O. 190’s two thousand feet below flying north east as two squadrons one acting as top cover. We bounced the extreme right hand section of the bottom cover The Wing Commander firing at the starboard man. I followed him but did not fire. The top cover instead of coming down turned away and up sun. We turned around behind them and I picked one on the outside closing to about 300 yards and fired a short burst of Cannon and M.G. There were hits all over the cockpit and wing roots and producing a slight trail of smoke. He turned port and rolled over on his back and spun obviously out of control. I followed the W/C around to port and watched my F.W. 190 crash some where north west of Rouen. I did not see the pilot bail out. I claim one F.W. 190 as destroyed.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading the Kenley Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 17 June 1943:
I was leading the Kenley Wing (403 and 421 (RCAF) Squadrons) on Rodeo 231, and at 1530 hours I patrolled the wing from Gravelines to Ypres. Sector Operations informed me that enemy aircraft were climbing up to Ypres to Dunkirk, and I slowly orbited the Wing in an endeavour to locate these enemy aircraft. Shortly afterwards I saw 30 plus 190s climbing up towards the coast about 10,000 feet below. I led 421 Squadron slowly down to attack the last 4 enemy aircraft, which were flying line abreast. I attacked No 2 on the starboard side, and as I commenced to fire with cannon and m/g he turned slowly to starboard. I closed into 150 yards range and saw cannon strikes on the cockpit and wing roots. As I was overshooting, I gave him a final burst and pulled steeply upwards, the enemy aircraft commenced to burn, caught fire and spiraled slowly down. This enemy aircraft is claimed as destroyed.
F/Sgt. R. H. Olsen of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 June 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 3 and we were flying S.W and right over Flushing area art 31,000 ft. The W/Cmdr ordered 332 Sqdn. down on a bunch of F.W. 190’s who were flying right over some sumulus clouds and were very plain to see. Another bunch of F.W. 190’s came back in of the first bunch, and Yellow 1 started t dive and I followed. I picked 2 F.W. 190’s and fired closing to a hundred yards, but missed. I then followed them in a turn and saw Yellow 1 on the tail of one F.W. 190 and saw him hit him on the wings and then in the fuselage, black smoke came pouring out and a perfectly square plate fell off. I then made an inside turn and came out on the tail of the other. I fired at about 400 to 300 yds. on him and saw two cannon hits on the fuselage and a small amount of black smoke came out. I then throttled back and fired a burst at about 50 to 100 yds. about 20 degrees deflection and got a hit on his port wing. I didn’t follow him as I had no more ammunition. This aircraft was flying very slowly and shot up so terrifically that even though the pilot was alright it is doubtful if he would get very far in this aircraft. I then looked at the first one I fired on and he rolled on his back jettisoned his hood and bailed out, he bailed out over the Island of Walcheren and was drifting east.
Major F. Thoreager of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 June 1943:
I was flying as Red 3. 20 plus e/a had been reported and we sighted them when flying at 28,000 feet. E/a were at 15,000 feet. I followed the W/Co. down when we dived to attack. Seeing two F.W.190’s climb away up sun, I broke followed by Sgt. Sandvik. I attacked one of these e/a and observed cannon strikes, and thick black smoke poured from it. E/a then flicked over and I had to break away. My No.2 Sgt. Sandvik then attacked this F.W.190 which finally exploded in mid-air. I was for sometime separated from my No.2 and had several engagements with single flying F.W.190’s and during these attacks, I came down to 8,000 feet. As an F.W.190 turned in front of me, I attacked him head on being slightly to starboard of him. I saw numerous cannon strikes on the fuselage and in the cockpit but was no left a chance to see what happened to this e/a as we passed each other at great speed. I crossed the Belgian coast South of Knocke at 7,000 feet and was joined by Sgt. Sandvik over the sea.
Captain R. From of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 June 1943:
I was leading Yellow section. Flying at 28,000 feet the Wing sighted e/a at 15,000 feet. The whole squadron dived down on these e/a, and as I saw one F.W.190 beneath to starboard, I followed it. I gave a 5 seconds burst with cannons and m/g closing into point blank range where I pulled away so as not to collide with the e/a. As I passed this F.W.190 I saw flames coming from it. My No.2 Sgt. Aarflot also fired at this e/a and it was seen to explode in mid-air. Just after this attack I got into position on the tail of another F.W.190. I opened up with cannons and m/g and observed numerous cannon hits all over e/a as I was firing. Then intense black smoke started to pour out of the e/a, and I continued firing until e/a completely covered in thick black smoke, went down vertically out of control. I later joined the rest of the Squadron and followed them to base.
Sgt. O. Gabrielsen of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 June 1943:
I was flying as Blue 2 when the Squadron dived down from 29,000 feet to attack about 8 F.W.190’s at approx. 15,000 feet below. I singled out one F.W. 190 and attacked from almost dead astern opening fire with a long burst with cannons and m/g from 500 yards closing in to 50 yards. I saw the e/a blew up and the starboard wing fell away. After this attack I joined up with the Squadron and returned to base. I claim 1 F.W. 190 destroyed.
Sgt B. Aarflot of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 June 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 2 when 20 e/a were reported below. I followed my leader down from 29,000 feet to 15,000 feet and attacked one F.W. 190 after it had been shot at by Yellow 1. I gave a mixed burst of about 3 seconds with ¾ ring deflection closing to 150 yards. While I was shooting the e/a burst into flames and exploded. I pulled up into the sun and later went home, joining my Squadron over the Channel. I claim 1 F.W. 190 destroyed – shared with Yellow 1 (Capt. From R).
Sgt. S. Sandvik of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 June 1943:
I was flying as Blue 4, but was ordered to take up position as Yellow 3. When the Squadron dived down from 29,000 feet to attack about 20 F.W.190’s flying about 15,000 feet below, I followed down. I then saw Major Thoreager attack and F.W. 190 resulting in heavy black smoke pouring from it. As Major Thormeager broke off his attack, I attacked the same e/a from astern. Opening up at 300 yards, I gave it a 1 ½ seconds burst with cannon and m/g observing hits all over the e/a. Flames came out of it and the next moment it exploded completely. As I broke off, I was attacked several times by single F.W. 190’s. I managed to get on the tail of one of these attackers and gave him several bursts from approx. 300 yards observing hits with cannon on fuselage and smoke came out from under the cowling. I later joined Major Thorsager and followed him to base.
S/Ldr R.W. McNair, D.F.C. of 421 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 June 1943:
I was flying Black one, leading 421 Squadron on Circus 313. The wing flew a course to Abbeyville – Amiens and then towards Poix. Shortly after turning wing was given a vector 010 which course we flew to the Doullens area. I saw six FW 190 pass under 403 Squadron who were flying about 1000 feet below at one o’clock to me. At the same time 12+ e/a were reported coming in behind us and someone said they were Spitfires. They turned out to be FW 190’s who fired at us. I fired at one from bead on in a starboard from quarter attack without seeing any results. Another cam around me and I delivered a ½ second from starboard rear quarter with no results. Put on more deflection, fired 2 second burst at 350 yards seeing strikes all over cockpit and fuselage. His undercarriage came down and parts broke off and he started to burn and go down. I them gained height to reform squadron.
W/Cdr. Al Deere, leading the Biggin Hill Wing, Spitfire IX (66), recorded in his Combat Report for 23 June 1943:
I was leading Green Section, 611 Squadron on Ramrod 100. When at 11,000 ft. just north of Berck I saw two FW.190s coming up behind and made a sharp turn to port to engage. The E/A broke violently up and to port and the Number 2 went into a high speed stall and spun violently to starboard. He did not recover from the spin and hit the ground about 3 miles north of Rue. I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading the Kenley Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 24 June 1943:
I was leading Kenley Wing on Ramrod 106 and was over the target area (Yainville) 17.25 hours. Operations warned me of E/A climbing up inland and I orbited the Wing, and shortly afterwards saw 40 E/A climbing up from Rouen towards Le.Havre. Although not possessing tactical advantage these E/A’s were immediately engaged in order to keep them from molesting the bombers, but with no conclusive results. The Wing was reformed and after trying to engage 3 FW.190’s headed from Rouen area towards Fecamp. At this time 2 FW.190’s were seen shadowing the Wing and obviously waiting to bounce the odd straggler. They were about two miles behind the Wing and I climbed both Squadrons steeply into sun and carried out one orbit to port. The FW.190 who were then down sun of us appeared to loose sight of the Wing and flew beneath us presenting an excellent target. They were seen 1000 ft, below my Section and 1 mile ahead. I ordered my No.2, S/L McNair to engage these a/c with me and the remainder of the Squadron were told to keep high in order not to scare the Huns.
Lt. N. K. Jørstad of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 June 1943:
I was flying as Rooster Yellow 3 on Ramrod 103. At 29,000 ft. approx. over St. Omer and whilst the Squadron was flying N. to N.N.E., Yellow 1 made a diving quarter attack to port on some F.W. 190’s about 10,000 ft. below us. I singled out one of the rear ones of that bunch and gave him a very short burst from dead astern, range 200 yards. I believe I hit his port wing with M/G but I make no claim on this E/A. I then pulled sharply up climbing in a westerly direction. At 17,000 ft. I made a half turn to port – 180° - . I saw several small formations of E/A at various heights below me, mostly bunches of 4. I continued to turn port and then sighted a section of 2 F.W.190’s flying in open line astern towards Le Touquet, 7,000 ft. below me. I dived from behind on these. It was my intention to fire on the rear E/A but as my speed was rather great I made a couple of S. turns. I next found myself in position astern and about 15° to the port of E/A No. 1 with E/A No. 2 300 to 400 yards to the left and slightly in front of me. I opened fire on E/A No. 1 closing from 350 yards and in front of the cockpit. That E/A went spinning down with large flames licking the whole fuselage and smoke pouring from it. E/A No. 2 then started to fire at me. I pulled up in a steep climbing turn to port; E/A followed me for a short while, then dived down again. I continued to climb and rejoined the Squadron over Calais at about 24,000 ft.
Lieut. E. Westly of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 June 1943:
I was flying as Blue 1 at 27,000 feet when we saw about 30 e/a below at 15-16,000 feet. We dived down but on seeing our attack, they broke towards us and I attacked one F.W. 190 head on with a one second burst but saw no results. (combat a) I made one complete orbit amongst them trying to position for an attack on any one. At this time I saw one F.W. 190 attacking a Spitfire from ahead and below so I attacked this e/a from 10 degrees head-on. I gave him a one seconds burst and saw a big explosion on the leading edge of the port wing root. He flicked over on his back and dived away. (combat b) I made another half orbit and saw 2 F.W. 190’s with a Spitfire astern. Turning inside them, I attacked one from 200 yards down to 100 yards and then another big explosion on the starboard wing root. I broke to starboard and chased the second F.W.190 and gave a 2-3 seconds burst from astern at 200 yards closing to 70 yards, seeing strikes on both wing roots. I had to break to avoid collision and climbed back up to a formation of Spitfires (Combats c & d).
S/Ldr R.W. McNair, D.F.C. of 421 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 June 1943:
I was flying Black 3 on Ramrod 106. Crossed French coast at Fecamp, proceeded to Yainville. When south of Rouen saw a gaggle of 15-20 F.W. 190s and Me.109’s. Attacked but did not get in a combat. After milling around for about 10 minutes chasing several enemy aircraft not able to get in range, turned for home and 2 F.W.190s appeared at 3 o’clock at same height and worked around to a position at 9 o’clock. We turned after them using full bore and caught up to them south of Fecamp at about 22,000 feet. W/Cmdr. Johnson was ahead of me and fired at E/a that I was going for so I swung over and went for starboard one. I opened fire at about 450 yards as the W/Cmdr. had already fired at his and I was afraid my hun would be scared off. I fired one burst of 2 seconds, with no results, fired another burst seeing strikes and flash on cockpit and after I had stopped firing there appeared to be an explosion in the aircraft. The last I saw of him he was going down on his back at a very steep angle.
F/Lt. H.D. MacDonald D.F.C. of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 June 1943:
I was flying Red 3 at about 22,000 feet when Yellow 1 reported some E/A below him. The W/C told Yellow Section to go down which they started to do in a diving turn to port. W/C, leading Red Section, started after Yellow Section and just then an A/C cut in between the W/C and me and I had to break starboard and up to avoid hitting him.
W/C W.G.G. Duncan Smith leading the Luqa Wing at Malta wrote of his combat of 26 June 1943:
I took off in a Mk IX with Jackson after first light. By this time we had received the first batch of Spitfire IXs destined for the Luqa Wing, so getting to altitude presented no problems. We cruised around for some time on reduced power to conserve fuel, and since Operations had nothing to report, I finally decided to go over to Sicily on the off-chance of making visual contact there. It was a lovely clear morning and, picking out Cape Passero soon after leaving Malta, we settled into a full-throttle climb towards the distant landmark. I had just turned on reaching land with the sun at my back, intending to cruise down the coast towards Gela when the controller called me on the R/T and said: ‘I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but there appears to be some activity low down off Gela.’ I acknowledged the message and looked down. The sea in the early morning light was a lovely dark blue and against it I saw a sudden long thin streak of white appear, like a cotton thread; even as I looked it was gone. I focused my eyes on the spot and picked out the shape of a largish aircraft. Around it I could see tiny spots – Me 109s. I gave Jackson a thumbs-up sign and down we went like a couple of hawks. With the sun behind us it was too good to be true, and as we approached I counted ten Me 109s escorting a Dornier flying-boat. The 109s were dotted about round the flying-boat in a very haphazard formation.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading the Kenley Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 27 June 1943:
I was leading the Kenley Wing on Rodeo 235 with the Hornchurch Wing on my port side, and after making rendezvous at Dungeness, I set course for Berck. When half way across the channel, Appledore gave me a vector of 090° but I had to swing starboard to avoid Boulogne. Appledore then warned me of bandits approaching and instructed me to steer 070°. Shortly afterwards in the St. Omer area I saw approximately 30 F.W. 190s approaching from the port bow at 25,000 feet with a high cover of 20 Me.109’s to port and above them. Kenley bottom Squadron was then at 23,000 feet. I asked Hornchurch to engage and 403 also turned into the high cover. I climbed 421 steeply under the 190’s who split up and carried out a moderate turn to port. Six F.W. 190s however, straightened out and flew in line abreast heading in the Nieuport/Ostend direction. I instructed my section to engage these six enemy aircraft but just as I was within range they all dived steeply down. I followed my aircraft and opened fire from 250 yards with cannon and M/G. Several strikes were seen on his fuselage, wing roots and tail unit and he commenced to emit thick black smoke, as I broke away I saw at least one half of a wing break away. This aircraft is claimed as destroyed. Cine camera used.
Major H. Mehre, Wing Commander Flying of the North Weald Wing, recorded in his Combat Report for 27 June 1943:
I was leading the wing, flying with 332 (N) Sqdn. at 22,000 feet with 331 Sqdn. 2,000 ft. above. When over Haamstede at approximately 0932 hrs. Ground Control reported six plus bandits in the Flushing area, no heights. The wing continued eastwards for about three minutes when about twenty plus bandits at 25,000 ft. in the Flushing area were reported by Control. Assuming the latter were probably friendly as we were in the area I turned 190° towards Goes. Immediately afterwards Control reported nine plus bandits climbing towards Flushing, about 15 miles south of the wing. The wing continued to climb into sun and a few minutes later, approx over Goes, huns were seen to starboard far below at about 14,000 ft. 332 (N) Sqdn. which was then at 29,000 ft. went down to attack, 331 Sqdn. following on top. The front lot of huns were flying five or six inline abreast a little behind to the left. As we approached the huns (all F.W. 190’s) they turned to port and I opened fire on one at approx. 300 yds. closing to 150, seeing cannon strikes all over the cockpit, engine and tail. Large pieces from the cockpit were soon falling off and then the entire hood and a round thing about the size of a mans hand came away. A piece of the tail also broke off. The A/C slowly went over on its back with smoke and flames and spun down. As I broke away I saw another F.W. 190 to the starboard and opened fire at approx. 350 yards with 30° deflection. A large piece broke off the tail. He turned away to port and as my speed was still very high I could not follow round so pulled up. A little later I ordered the wing to reform and went westwards. A few miles of the Dutch coast I led 332 (N) Sqdn. down to sea level and flew home in a wide line abreast, searching for the bomber crew previously reported in the sea. No sign of it was seen. The F.W. 190’s I saw had a light grey/blue camouflage with the usual black/white crosses.
2/Lt. R. H. Olsen of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 July 1943:
I was flying as red 4 and the W/Cdr. Who was red 1 ordered our squadron down on approximately 12 F.W. 190’s who were flying just above 10/10 cloud at about 15,000 ft. Red section dived down on the port Huns and I saw two F.W. 190’s take a climbing turn to starboard into the sun. I had a lot of speed from the dive down on them so I throttled right back and pulled around after the two F.W. 190’s. I lose my sight in the sun and when I gave of on the control column could see the two F.W. 190’s right in front of me. I fired a short burst but missed; I fired a second burst at about 30 deg. and one-and-a-half ring and saw cannon hits in the starboard wing root, hits in the fuselage in front of the tail and hits on his left wing. I fired a third burst but missed as the aircraft started to skid and dive to starboard in about a 60 deg. dive. I still had a little more speed than the F.W 190 and I closed right in to 100 yds. and he stopped skidding and just dived with the sun behind him. I was at an angle of 10 or 15 deg and I gave him half a ring deflection and saw the cannon shells blowing practically the whole of the right off his cockpit, and going into the cockpit from above and blowing the cockpit cover off. Flames started to come out of the cockpit and the aircraft went right into the cloud vertically after having done a quarter roll. The other F.W. 190 was flying about 50 yds. in front and to port of the F.W. 190 I was firing at and was now going too fast for me. I pulled up and started to climb into the sun to see my squadron but could not see them so I kept climbing to 30,000 ft. and went home.
Capt. John A. Carey of the 5th FS, 52nd Fighter Group recorded in his combat report for 1 July 1943:
On the morning of July 1, 1943, while on a scramble, my number two, (Lt. O'Conner) and I were vectored onto 3 E/A consisting of two FW 190's and 1 ME 109. It was at 0726 while following a vector of 090 degrees that I spotted a flash from a windshield at 2 o'clock to me and about 500 feet higher than myself. I was at 29,000 feet at the time. My number two and I turned into them and came up behind with our backs to the sun. I found myself about 50 yards behind the trailing FW 190 who was flying about 200 yards behind 2 E/A which were flying line abreast. In this line abreast section the a/c on the left was a ME 109 while the a/c on the right was a FW 190. I fired about a one second burst of cannon and MG and the trailing FW 190 blew up. I pulled up to miss the debris. I then pulled in behind the second 190, closed to within 400 yards, and fired a one second burst of cannon and MG. I was too far away to ascertain as to whether or not I scored any hits. However, hits were probably scored for the 190 half rolled to the right to about 19,000 feet and then into a straight dive with me following him. I closed to approximately 100 yards and fired 2 bursts of cannon and MG. On the second burst the 190 caught fire and a second later it exploded.
2nd Lt. Charles T. O'Connor of the 5th FS, 52nd Fighter Group recorded in his combat report for 1 July 1943:
On the morning of July 1, 1943, while on a scramble, I and my leader, Capt. Carey, were vectored onto three E/A. It was 0725 hours while following the last vector given us, when Capt. Carey spotted a flash from a windshield at 2 o'clock to him and about 500 feet higher than we. We turned into them and came up behind with our backs to the sun. I saw Capt. Carey pull in close behind the trailing FW 190 and fire at him. The 190 blew up in mid air. At this time I was drawing up fast to the ME 109 which was the a/c on the left of the two ship line abreast formation. The a/c on the right of the line abreast being a FW 190. The third and last a/c which was a FW 190, was trailing the line abreast formation by 200 yards. When I got within 120 yards of the 109, I fired a short burst of cannon and MG getting strikes on the left wing as the 109 did a dive to the right. I followed and closed to within 100 yards of the 109 and fired a one second burst of cannon and MG from dead astern. There was first a big puff of black smoke and then a long stream of white smoke. I then pulled up at about 20 yards giving a last burst of cannon and MG. The 109 fell off on his left wing. I overran him and as I passed the E/A I saw the pilot reach up as if to open the canopy and then slump over the controls. At this time the engine of the 109 was in flames. I circled and started to climb back up to the No. 1 Spit and as I looked back over my shoulder, I saw the 109 go into a steep spiral and then splash into the sea.
2nd Lt. Irwin Gottlieb of the 5th FS, 52nd Fighter Group recorded in his combat report for 1 July 1943:
While on a scramble on the morning of July 1, 1943, I was vectored to approximately 20 miles NE of Bizerte. At 0340 hours I spotted an a/c at about two o'clock flying SSW at about 22,000 feet. I was at about angles 30 and still flying a heading of 260 degrees. My number two and I had become separated, so thinking that the a/c might be my number two, I called him to wiggle his wings. The a/c made no attempt to wiggle his wings. I called my number two again and asked if he was wiggling his wings. He answered that he was, so I know definitely that I had something there. I made a dive to the right and then a turn to the left and came our about 120 yards from the FW 190. I fired a short burst at this range and kept firing as I kept closing in. At about the fourth burst the 190 blew up, the explosion seeming to center around the cockpit. I pulled up to miss the debris and headed for home.
F/O N. R. Fowlow of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 July 1943:
I was flying Blue 3 at 28,000 ft. when we attacked 4 ME.109’s flying in line abreast. I attacked the ME.109 second from the starboard side giving him a three second burst, 250 – 200 yard range. I saw strikes from the engine to the centre of the fuselage and a large explosion in the engine. The engine seemed to blow up and I last saw the aircraft doing a flat spin several thousand feet below pouring smoke just before he hit cloud. I claim this ME. 109 as destroyed.
S/L. H.C. Godefroy D.F.C. of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 July 1943:
I was leading Sunrise squadron as top cover to 421 Squadron. We had turned up sun and were flying towards Abbeyville when I saw 5 aircraft climbing up in line abreast in front of me. I ordered my squadron to attack. Yellow section remained as top cover while Red and Blue sections dived down slightly below the E/A and came up line abreast dead astern. I picked the leader. He must have seen me because he pulled up to the right and I followed him and at about 250 yards gave him a three second burst with cannon and machine guns. There were hits all around the fuselage and cockpit and it would appear that I killed the pilot. He stayed in this turn for a short while and then spun down and crashed North East of Abbeville.
F/Sgt G. M. Shouldice of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 July 1943:
I was flying Red 2 to S/L H. C. Godefroy at approx 28-29,000 feet in line astern when we saw four ME 109’s flying line abreast ahead of us at the same height. We climbed slightly and then positioned ourselves on the E/A’s. I took a short burst from 350 to 400 yards at the third from the Starboard but observed no results. The E/A started a climbing turn to fire at Red 1 and at this time I gave the E/A another burst from about 200 yards and observed explosions in and around the cockpit and pieces dropped off the E/A. While climbing up to rejoin Red 1 I observed this E/A spinning down and smoking. Because of this and evidence added by S/L. H. C. Godefroy (Red 1), I claim this 109 as destroyed.
Still from camera gun film, showing smoke billowing from a stricken Messerschmitt Bf 109G as cannon fire from a Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX flown by Flight Sergeant G Shouldice of No. 403 Squadron RCAF, explodes in and around the cockpit area. Three Bf 109s were destroyed by members of No. 403 Squadron during this dogfight over northern France. The victors were Shouldice, the Squadron Commanding Officer, Wing Commander H C Godefroy, and Flying Officer N Fowlow. (IWM)
Lt. Hans-Joachim Heinemeyer and Uffz. Albert Westhauser of 11./JG 26 were killed. The aircraft destroyed were BF 109 G-3's. The pilot of the third aircraft was not injured but the aircraft was a write off.
S/Ldr R.W. McNair, D.F.C. of 421 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 July 1943:
I was flying Black 1 and leading 421 Squadron on Rodeo 240. When in the Amiens area 8 – 10 Me.109s were seen coming from the north east. About 4 dived away and we climbed up to 27 – 28,000 ft in behind the remaining 5 or 6. Continued a slow turn to starboard diving down slightly. I got behind one and gave him three bursts of about 2 seconds each. Saw strikes on fuselage and cockpit and he took no evasive action. Followed him a way as he was going down. I was quite sure he was finished so I broke away. What was probably glycol came back from his aircraft and got over my windscreen. I called squadron to reform and on looking down saw 2 0 Me.109s going down, one with white and black smoke coming from it, and what I believed to be the pilot or his body going down near the other aircraft. As I was busy reforming squadron and there was 7/10 cloud below I was unable to further results.
F/Lt. H.D. MacDonald D.F.C. of 403 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 July 1943:
I was flying Blue 1 at 22,000 ft. due south of Abbeville when Blue 3 reported six a/c flying from 10 o’clock below us. The Squadron turned to port about 180° and the next I saw there were 12 ME.109’s 3000 ft below also turning around to port. We kept on turning around to port, going down on them. The Huns broke around to port and all but one dived down. This remaining one, which I believe was the leader, started to go around toward red Section. I was about 1,000 ft. above and dived onto him. He saw me then and started to dive away, but I was closing in quite fast. Just as I was about to give up the chase he straightened out for about two seconds and I fired from about 200 yards seeing two or three hits on the fuselage and white smoke poured out leaving a trail behind. I broke off the attack at about 10,000 ft. and saw the e/a dive right into the deck with quite a big flash as it hit.
S/Ldr R.W. McNair, D.F.C. of 421 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 10 July 1943:
I was flying Black 1, leading 421 Squadron on Ramrod 128. When we were coming back towards the French coast and in the Bernay area saw +12 E/A flying east at our height which was 26,000 ft. Another 12+ were seen off to the west at 8 o’clock 2000 ft. below us. No. 403 Squadron turned after these and my Squadron followed staying about 2000 ft. above 403. The original 12+ came down between us and 403 and about 8 Me.109’s came up out of cloud on 403. I sent my Green section down on these. Some more Me.109’s came up behind and I took my section down on them. Of these E/A only two remained above cloud. I closed on this pair, called to my No. 2 to take the starboard one and I closed on the port one. I fired a 4 or 5 seconds burst from dead astern and slightly below scoring hits throughout. E/A disintegrated as I kept closing and firing. I claim this E/A as destroyed.
F/Lt. H. W. Chambers, DFC of 242 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 10 July 1943:
I was Yellow One on patrol at 10000 feet and was leaving patrol line when I saw a Ju.88 flying North. I immediately turned and chased it, and was about to attack when I saw two aircraft above at about 8 o'clock to me. I sent my No. 2 in to attack the Ju.88 and covered him. The two Macchi 200 dived to attack my No. 2 and I attacked them. I closed to 300 yds and fired a 3-second burst. The e/a pulled up into a stall turn and burst into flames. I turned around but could not see the other Macchi 200 or the Ju.88.
F/O S. F. Browne of 93 Squadron recounted for his Sortie Report for 10 July 1943:
Formation of 88's made attack on shipping near coast. F/O Browne and P/O Richardson chased a formation of three J.U.88's out to sea. F/O Browne attacked the starboard plane with two 2 second bursts of cannon, from 150 yards closing to 100 yards from 10° starboard. He observed strikes on the forward part of the fuselage and the a/c broke up, large pieces falling from it, and it crashed into the sea about fifteen miles from the coast. No return fire was experienced. P/O Richardson confirms this statement.
F/O S. F. Browne of 93 Squadron recounted for his Sortie Report for 11 July 1943:
F/O Browne (Black 1) Arrived on patrol and immediately sighted 6 Ju 88's. Led the flight against 2 of them attacking the starboard one observing strikes & fire in starboard engine. At the same time Black 2 (P/O Fisher) attacked causing pieces to fall off starboard wing.
P/O Fisher of 93 Squadron recounted for his Sortie Report for 11 July 1943:
While on patrol P/O Fisher (Black 2 of a section of 4 A/C) observed a formation of bombers about to attack shipping. He reported the position to his leader and attacked. He selected a single Ju 88 & closed in from above and behind, firing repeated bursts of both cannon & m.g., to a range of below 50 yds. Strikes were observed and accurate return fire experienced, Black 2's A/C being hit in the motor. He then overshot the bandit repositioned himself and made a similar attack again closing to a very close range and observing strikes. As he had expended all his ammunition he then broke down and lost sight of E/A. Black 4 (Sgt Hooker) who had followed P/O Fisher, observed the starboard motor of the bandit explode and catch fire. In addition two of the crew bailed out. P/O Fisher claims one Ju 88 destroyed.
P/O Richardson of 93 Squadron recounted for his Sortie Report for 11 July 1943:
P/O Richardson (Acid Black 3) while on patrol at 8,000 ft a few miles South West of Syracuse observed a Junkers 88 diving away inland about 2,000 ft below. He followed and quickly overtook the enemy aircraft, opening fire at about 350 yards (when the e/a turned to port) giving a long continuous burst of about 8 seconds and breaking away at 75 yards. Strikes were first seen on the fuselage then on the starboard wing which burst into flames between the fuselage and the starboard engine. Pieces flew off the e/a striking P/O Richardson's aircraft and the e/a went into a steep diving turn, blowing up in a large cloud of black smoke when it reached the ground.
S/Lr. G. Hill, D.F.C. and Bar of 111 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 July 1943:
We were patrolling Acid at about 10,000 feet and were just leaving the patrol when enemy aircraft were sighted by W/Cr. Smith, who was flying with 126 Squadron. We turned back and saw about 5 190s going down to bomb what looked like a large building. I followed the last one of those down and caught him up in a dive, but was unable to close even though I was in a IX, because I forgot to release my jettison tank.
2nd Lt. Irwin Gottlieb of the 5th FS, 52nd Fighter Group recorded in his combat report for 12 July 1943:
In the late evening at approximately 1953 hours on July 12, 1943, while on a scramble and being vectored by Mixture, I followed my number 1 who had just yelled Tally Ho. We peeled off to the right and it was then that I saw 2 planes flying east at an altitude of 26,000 feet. We had been at 27,500 feet when my number 1 had sighted the Bandits. As we closed up on the ME-109Fs, I saw my number 1 get on the tail of the number 1 109F and I also saw the number 2 109F turn to get on the Spit’s tail. I turned with him and fired a 2 second burst of cannon and MG at 600 yards to scare the 109F off. This burst must have scored some hits for the ME-109F turned off to the left and started a step dive. I followed him down until he started to pull out. Then I fired another burst of cannon and MG at 100 yards. This burst hit the engine, for glycol started streaming. The E/A spun off on the left wing and I followed and fired cannon and MG again. This last burst was a 4 second burst at about 100 feet. More strikes were seen on the fuselage centering around the cockpit. At this, blinded by the glycol on my windshield, I overran him and split S’d out of my dive just as the ME-109F split S’d out of his and went into the sea.
F/Lt. Silvester of 242 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 July 1943:
Patrolling at 15000 feet S.E. of Gerbini and observed 10 aircraft to the N.W. flying S.E. I led section round behind them and attacked from the sun. Before aircraft were definitely identified as hostile, 4 red lights were shot from the last aircraft. I broke away and came astern and identified the aircraft as ME.110's. Closed to 50 yards and aircraft blew up after a one second burst of cannon and machine guns.
F/Sgt E. R. Morgan of 242 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 July 1943:
While flying as Blue 2 over Gerbini I attacked one Me.110 out of a formation of ten. The starboard engine burst into flames after a two second burst of cannon fire. The aircraft then dived and I followed down behind closing to about 100 yards and giving another burst of two seconds. The port engine burst into flames and the aircraft went vertically down. I followed to about 3000 feet before breaking away. As I did so I saw the enemy aircraft at about 1000 feet still going vertically downwards with both engines afire making no attempt to level off before going straight in.
F/Sgt. L. Courtney of 242 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 July 1943:
While sweeping the Gerbini area at 15000 feet we observed 10 ME.110's flying south just below us in line astern formation. We went round them to get sun up and attacked from astern. Before getting in range four red flares were fired from the last aircraft so we drew away. The No.1 of the section, F/Lt. Silvester then attacked again and the last aircraft blew up. The remainder broke left and dived most of them jettisoning their bombs I followed down and came to 300 yards astern of ME.110 dead over August harbour at 1000 feet just as I fired a burst he banked over 90 degrees but I saw strikes slong the port side of the fuselage. By this time the flak over the harbour was very intense and accurated both round the ME and myslef. The ME levelled out and dived inland - I then followed and gave chase. At about 2 - 300 yards I saw flashes from behind the pilot but felt no strikes on my aircraft. I closed in to 100 yards and fired until I was 50 yards away. I saw strikes all along the top of the fuselage and round the starboard engine which caught fire. The ME lost height rapidly and hit the ground. On landing at Ta Kali damge was found on one blade of the propeller and on the port engine cowling.
F/Sgt. J. J. Roney of 242 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 July 1943:
Encountered 10 enemy aircraft ME.110's flying in southerly course. Attacked as Blue 4 with entire Blue Section from out of sun. Saw Blue section Leader F/Lt. Silvester attack aircraft at rear of formation and saw resulting explosion and flames. Remaining enemy aircraft broke to port, diving towards Augusta and jettisoning bombs. I attacked one ME.110 opening fire at 150 yards and closing to 50 yards. There was an explosion in the port engine and black smoke poured out. I broke left and started to climb. On looking over the side I saw an enemy aircraft dive into the harbour of Augusta and crash inside the boom at the entrance. Anti-aircraft fire was intense. I positioned myslef behind a second ME.110 and fired several bursts from 100 yards range. Observed hits along port wing and starboard engine gave out white smoke.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading the Kenley Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 15 July 1943:
I was leading the Kenley Wing on Rodeo 245. Shortly after crossing the French coast at Hardelot, Appledore gave me vectors of 160° and 180° which took the Wing to the Poix area. Appledore warned me of bandits 5 miles ahead and almost immediately I saw 8 plus E/A orbiting directly ahead at our height. I turned slightly starboard to get advantage of the hun but all E/A except 2 Me.109’s climbed and were not seen again. These 2 Me.109’s flew head-on towards the Wing and when not more than 1,000 yds. away turned to port and away from the Wing. I lead my section to attack and when almost within range E/A started to climb steeply. We had the advantage of speed, after one dive, and so experienced no difficulty in overtaking the E/A. I instructed my No.2 to take the highest Me.109 and I opened fire on the lowest with cannon and M/G from dead astern, range 300 yards. I gave him a 4 second-burst strikes being seen on the port wing root, engine cowling, and fuselage. E/A at once started to pour thick glycol vapour and went down in wide spiral. His course was easy to follow as he left a strong trail of white glycol in the air. He was seen to crash in the Bangy-Senarpont area and continued to burn and smoke for some minutes. This E/A is claimed as destroyed. Cine film used.
S/Ldr J. M. Checketts of 485 (N.Z.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 July 1943:
When we were over the Foret de Crecy on our way back to England at 20,000 feet, I saw 5 F.W. 190’s at about 15,000 feet flying straight and level in the direction of Fecamp. They saw us and turned towards Gris Nez, and I ordered the section I was leading, Green Section, and White Section to go down on to them. We went down on to them and I fired at one of them from line astern without seeing any results. Immediately after this, we were jumped by 15-20 190’s and I asked my Black Section and 341 Squadron for assistance. We avoided the initial attack and I managed to get a shot at one of them from 300 yards astern. I closed to 100 yards and saw strikes on the port mainplane close to the fuselage. I continued firing and suddenly he rolled slowly over his back and went straight down with flames streaming from all round his belly. By this time we were down to 5,000 feet and were attacked again by 4 190’s and climbed rapidly up to 23,000 feet. My No. 2, F/Sgt. Kearins, did not climb hard enough and was hit and started to stream glycol. I called to him to climb and bale out but apparently he did not hear me for the F.W. 190 closed to very close range and shot him down in flames, blowing his tail off. I also saw a F.W. 190 hit the beach just north of the Somme Estuary. The pilot had baled out and was being guarded during his parachute descent by another F.W.190 which I attacked but was attacked myself and forced to break. I turned for home and lost height reaching Dungeness at 2,000 feet. I claim 1 F.W. 190 destroyed.
F/O J.D. Rae of 485 (N.Z.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 July 1943:
I was flying Black 3, and after we had come down from 20,000 to 15,000 ft. to attack 5 F.W. 190’s, 2 more 190’s tried to get behind Black 1 and 2, so I and Black 4 made a head-on attack at them. As they passed by after our attack, Black 4 swung round on to the leading aircraft but was himself attacked by 4 F.W. 190’s. I dived in to attack and after several turns and dog fights, I made a 30 degrees attack from 450 – 500 yards closing to about 400 yards. The E/A went over on its back and then went straight down streaming thick smoke. This was witnessed by Black 4. After several more inconclusive dog fights with about 12 F.W. 190’s, I became separated from the rest of the squadron, and managed to get on to one of the 190’s. I attacked from 30 to 10 degrees closing from 400 to 100 yards at ground level. I saw strikes on his port wing root and on the port of his fuselage and on the engine. The E/A’s engine appeared to stop entirely and I nearly rammed him as I overshot and turning, I saw him crash in flames from 500 ft. as considerable height had been lost in this combat. During these actions I made a few wild short bursts.
2/Lt. K. Bolstad of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 July 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 3 when making a starboard orbit in the Abbeville area. Numerous e/a were reported all around and above. Those from above dived down out of the sun and as we broke formation I saw a F.W. 190 attacking Yellow 2 (Sgt. Aanjesen ). As Yellow 2 took evasive I followed the e/a and fired two one second bursts with cannon and m/g from 30 degrees astern at 500 yards and saw no hits. After this attack the e/a turned sharply starboard diving gently, making vapour trails from his wing tips and this move enabled me to close in and fire two long bursts from 4-300 yards. The attack started from 10 degrees astern and slightly above but as he started to dive I closed to dead astern and saw strikes on the starboard wing and wing root. White smoke started to come from the engine and a piece of the a/c flew off followed by black smoke and then flames. He turned over very slowly and went into an inverted dive with black smoke and flames pouring from it. I was forced to break violently and did not see this e/a again. This combat took place at 24,000 feet slightly N.W. of Abbeville. Lt. Waerner T. (Yellow 1) confirms the piece flying off and the black smoke. Sgt. Aanjesen (Yellow 2) confirms the e/a going down in flames in an inverted dive.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading the Kenley Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 25 July 1943:
I was leading the Kenley Wing on Ramrod 158 acting as Target Support Wing to 12 Bostons bombing Schiphol. At 1957 I was flying south on the east side of Schiphol at 22,000 feet, when I saw an Me.109G with underslung guns in wings flying in the same direction about 3 miles ahead of the wing. Enemy aircraft turned port and was obviously positioning himself to attack the beehive who were then crossing the coast. I instructed the wing to remain at their height and took my section down to attack this e/a. I closed in on e/a, then at 12,000 feet, and opened fire with cannon and m/g closing to 170 yards. The 109 was flying directly into sun and owing to this fact I could not see the result of my fire but as I broke away he turned to port with glycol streaming from his starboard radiator. I saw him go down to about 6,000 feet and my No.2 saw him after this diving vertically towards the ground. As I climbed away I saw an aircraft burning on the ground to the west of Schiphol. As there was no wing losses in the combat area I claim this Me.109 as destroyed on this evidence. Cine Camera gun used.
Capt. W. Christie of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 July 1943:
I was flying as Blue 1. The wing at 24,000 feet were following the Bombers out when I saw a dog fight going on at about 15,000 feet down at 7 o’clock. I reported it and the Wing went down. Diving down, I saw a Me.109 diving N.E. I followed him and opened up at 5-600 yards astern, closing in to 250 yards using cannons and m/g. I hit him on the port side behind the cockpit as he turned slightly port. We were then at 2-3,000 feet and the Me.109 suddenly went into a vertical dive and I saw him dive in 5 miles South of Haarlem. Just afterwards I saw another Me.109 behind me firing at close range. He broke off as I pulled sharply to port.
Sgt/Chef. P. H. Closterman of 341 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 July 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 2. Going North West out of the sun at 21,000 feet, I saw 2 F.W. 190’s followed by 4 more. My No. 1 engaged the first whilst I fired a short burst at the second from 600 yards with no observed results. By now, the first F.W. came into my sights, my No.1 having gone over to attack the second. Giving him three short bursts using from 30-10 degrees deflection from 300 – 200 yards, I saw strikes all round the cockpit with volumes of black smoke issuing from him. As the Boche went down in a dive upside down completely out of control, I broke away and fired a quick burst at another F.W. 190 seeing nothing, and came up above another on which I dived firing a series of short bursts using 1½ ring deflection and closing to within 10 yards when I passed behind him. By now, thick black smoke was coming from him. Pulling out of the dive, I flew parallel with him and saw the pilot jettison the cockpit cover and bale out.
Capitaine C. Martell of 341 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 July 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1 leading my Section to the assistance of 485 Squadron who were engaged by approximately 14 – 20 F.W. 190’s. Seeing 2 F.W. 190’s with others behind coming head on, I gave the Leader a short burst and immediately climbed to starboard opening fire at the second after maneuvering behind him from 250 yards closing to 150 yards seeing strikes on the cockpit and wing roots with black smoke coming from it. The plane burst into flames and went down. Breaking away in a turn, I easily got up with one of the other Boche opening fire at 300 yards with a short burst and closed in a dive to 200 yards firing again till I was within 100 yards. Cannon shells were hitting the hun all over the fuselage; a large piece of the E/A came away and a sheet of flame issued from the cockpit. Further pieces flew off and I disengaged as, in my opinion, the Boche was finished.
F/Sgt. W. Strahan of 485 (N.Z.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 July 1943:
I was flying white 4 when, near Tricqueville at 8,000 feet, I saw a F.W. 190 turning towards me on my port side from slightly above. I turned into him and opened fire at approximately 300 yards and 20 degrees. I saw a strike just below the windshield and then a large orange flame burst from around the cockpit. The aircraft went into a spin with black smoke pouring from the engine and I saw it hit the ground south west of Tricqueville. I claim 1 F.W. 190 destroyed.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading the Kenley Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 30 July 1943:
I was leading the Kenley Wing on Ramrod 23 acting as High Cover to 12 Bostons attacking Schiphol. As the bombers were crossing the coast on the outward journey, I saw 2 aircraft about 7 miles behind the Beehive and 6,000 feet below the Wing. I thought that there were probably more than 2 huns so I took the whole of 403 Squadron down and left 421 as top guard. There were some 6 plus enemy aircraft in this area, and I attacked the starboard 109 of the original pair. I opened fire from 400 yards with cannon and M.G. but enemy aircraft turned to port and dived down. As he dived away I gave him a burst from 450 yards. I watched enemy aircraft and was surprised to see him pull our and climb steeply up. I close in and saw that both wheels were down. I gave him another burst but did not observe any results. The 109 was then stalling and I broke away to see F/L Lambert destroyed the second Me.109. I orbited and saw a parachute descending from the combat area. This enemy aircraft is claimed as destroyed shared with F/Sgt. Shouldice (403 Squadron). Cine camera used.
S/Ldr J. M. Checketts of 485 (N.Z.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 31 July 1943:
I was leading Green Section of 485 (N.Z.) Squadron near Tricqueville. At approximately 16.45 hrs., I sighted 14 E/A comprising of F.W. 190’s and M.E. 109 G’s coming from inland at 19,000 feet to attack the Marauders. I ordered my Squadron to attack in Sections and Black and White Sections went into attack. I stayed above and after a few minutes, saw 2 M.E. 190 G’s orbiting. I made an attack on the No. 2 and the No. 1 promptly made off. I fired at the M.E. 109 and he evaded losing height. I made several attacks but he broke each time and I blacked out. I finally damaged him at 5,000 feet and he dived down to the ground. I broke up and saw no other E/A so I went down after him again. I got on his tail and opened fire from 200 yards. I saw my cannon strikes hit the field ahead and below and lifted my nose and hit him full in the cockpit. The E/A hit the tops of some apple trees and caught fire and fell in the orchard and finally skidded into a barn, (?) the barn about 75 to 100 yards which collapsed on the E/A, the whole lot blazing furiously. I went back and took a cine film of the fire. My No. 2 F/O Gaskin confirms seeing this E/A destroyed as also does Comm. Mouchotte, of 341 Squadron. I claim 1 M.E. 109 G destroyed.
1st Lt. Leonard V. Helton of the 4th FS, 52nd Fighter Group recorded in his combat report for 6 August 1943:
F/O Montgomery and I took off from Palermo Airdrome at 1725 in Mark IX Spits. Immediately after take off we called “Garnet” on “D” channel but they did not answer. After the second call, “Doorkey” advised us that “Garnet” was off temporarily and would call us immediately upon resuming operation. A few minutes later, after we had reached Cape Tafferano and headed north, “Garnet” gave us a call. Reception was O. K. We were climbing up on Vector 0 degrees. About 25 miles out we did a 180 and came back 10 miles. We again did a 180 and reached 25,000 on this leg. Again we made a 180, about 25 miles out and headed out on vector 180. At this time Garnet gave us a call. I did not understand. I then asked Montgomery if he understood. He said what I understood to be, “They want to know if we’re receiving all right.” I said, “O. K., you talk to them.” About one to two minutes after that I saw 2 Me-109’s about 800 to 1000 yards ahead, going west and in the process of making a 180 right turn while dropping their belly tanks. This was about 40 miles NE of the base. I called them at 12 o’clock, slightly below, and said, “Let’s go.” There was no answer. I switched on my main tanks and jettisoned my belly tanks, simultaneously starting after the nearer one who by this time had completed his turn and started diving straight down. The other was farther ahead. I opened fire from 30 degrees at about five to six hundred yards. I closed slowly to about 300 yards and came in astern, firing bursts of all guns. About this time I couldn’t feel or hear my guns firing any longer. Also about this time the pilot of the Me-109 bailed. I do not know the altitude. I watched the aircraft go into the ocean and chandelled back up to about seven or eight thousand feet. I called Chirrup 2 twice and received no answer. I then asked “Garnet” and “Doorkey” to call him but I heard no reply. I again checked my guns and they were empty, so I came down. I did not hear “Garnet” vector us on the e/a at any time previous to sighting the e/a.
Capt. S. Heglund of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 August 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1, when about 5 miles inland from the French Coast in the way out, I reported E/A diving on 331 Sqdn. from behind. I broke to the right and saw some E/A firing at some of ours. I picked out some FW’s that were making a gentle climb after an attack and came in a port turn above and behind them. I tried to get close in behind the right hand one but he made a barrel roll and I thought he was going to dive away, so I went after the other one. However, he dived away and I closed on the first one. He made a sharp turn to port and I opened fire from astern about 300 yds. range giving a couple of seconds burst but missed him owing to too little deflection. I closed in further to 100 yds, giving more deflection and saw a large explosion in the cockpit. He went slowly into a dive with a great deal of flames coming from front fuselage. I believe it was the petrol tank burning. Several of the pilots saw it going down in flames, including Lt. Bache (Blue I), who first saw it hit in the wing roots and cockpit, and finally burning on the beach.
S/Ldr J. M. Checketts of 485 (N.Z.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 August 1943:
While leading Green Section 485 (N.Z.) Squadron, I sighted 4 E/A 5,000 feet below approximately, in the Lille – Merville area, and I led my Section down to attack. When I got there, there were 8 M.E. 109’s and I attacked the port one of the line abreast formation. This E/A was fired at from 200/250 yards at 10,000 feet and blew up. I shifted over to the starboard one, because the Hun formation turned 45 degrees port without seeing us. I opened fire at 200 yards and he blew to pieces, and I had trouble avoiding the debris. I then closed on the next E/A and I fired from about 250/300 yards and observed only machine gun strikes so I gave him another burst and he also shed pieces and burst into flames. I called frantically to my No. 2, 3 and 4 to help me and I closed on the extreme starboard one, the others selecting their targets. Just then, one Hun saw us and dived away; I closed on my target and was almost line abreast of F/O Rae’s target when I fired. I observed heavy strikes and pieces flew off, and just then, F/O Rae’s hun blew up beside me. F/O Gibb’s one, which was about 20 yards from the port side of F/O Rae’s, shed cowlings and turned over on his back with his flaps down and started to burn. I looked round for F/O Tucker, and saw a hun going down in flames. I presume he shot it down. I called my Section together and we returned to base. Green Section reported fires on the ground. I claim 3 M.E. 109’s destroyed and one probably destroyed.
F/O J.D. Rae of 485 (N.Z.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 August 1943:
While as Green 2, I followed Green 1 (S/Ldr Checketts) into the attack of 8 M.E. 109’s which were about 10,000 feet, i.e. 9,000 feet below us and to the port side heading inland. They were flying a close line abreast formation with one E/A slightly behind and to the port of the formation. Green 1 dived slightly below and behind this formation and then climbed up behind the trailing E/A and opened fire; the E/A commenced burning and then came to pieces as it tell away. Green Leader then swung across to the starboard E/A and again opened fire. This E/A disintegrated and Green 1 appeared enveloped in debris. He then closed into the next E/A on the starboard side and after a short burst, this third E/A fell away enveloped in flames. Up to this juncture in the proceedings, I had remained behind my Leader as I felt that this party was just too good to be true, but after having a final look behind, decided that I might as well pick one off too. The next E/A in line on the Starboard side apparently saw Green Leader as he broke away and so, at the same time as Green 1 was closing on his next victim, I was attacking the Leader who was slightly ahead of the others and Green 3 was attacking the E/A on my port side also. I opened fire at about 250 yards dead astern, gave about 2 second burst, and this E/A exploded. I had another ½ second burst from about 200 yards, more with the intention of obtaining a picture, and he disintegrated even more and pieces flew past my cockpit.
F/O B. E. Gibbs of 485 (N.Z.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 August 1943:
I was flying Green 3 to Squadron Leader Checketts in Lille area at 19,000 feet, when he reported four E/A at nine o’clock below. He led Green Section down below and astern of the E/A which were identified as 8 M.E. 109’s. He then fired at the port A/C which blew up. Crossing over to the starboard A/C, he again fired and this A/C was also seem to shed pieces and explode. Selecting his third E/A on the starboard side, he gave it a burst which set it on fire. F/O Rae, Green 2, F/O Tucker, Green 4, and myself, each selected one of three E/A which were flying in line abreast. I fired at the port A/C observing strikes by cannon fire all over fuselage and wing roots followed by large explosion. This A/C rolled over on its back with flaps down and caught fire. My attack was from dead astern, 250 yards range and about 2½ seconds burst.
P/O H. S. Tucker of 485 (N.Z.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 August 1943:
I was flying Green 4 to S/Ldr. Checketts when, at 19,000 feet in Lille area, he reported 4 E/A at 9 o’clock below. He then led Green Section down to below and astern of the E/A which were identified as 8 M.E. 109’s. After S/Ldr. Checketts had shot three of the E/A down and was selecting a fourth, F/O Rae, F/O Gibbs and myself attacked the remaining three. I attacked from about 30 degrees, range about 350 yards, and gave a short burst. I observed strikes on the engine and cockpit, and cowlings flew off the E/A and after streaming black smoke, the E/A burst into flames. I also saw F/O Rae’s and F/O Gibbs’ E/A blow to pieces and after turning back for the coast, saw four fires on the ground.
F/O Robert M. Moore of the 5th FS, 52nd Fighter Group recorded in his combat report for 12 August 1943:
On a scramble directed by Whipsnade in the evening of August the 12th, 1943, at about 1850 while flying a vector of 360 just north of Bizerte, Red number 1, Lt. Malone peeled off to the left. I followed but did not see what we were trying to intercept until the e/a were over Bizerte at about 12,000 feet. They then turned to a vector of 45. We caught up easily (We had been at 14,000) with them when they were approximately 10 miles northeast of Bizerte. Red number 1 pulled in behind the 190 on the left. I pulled in behind the one on the right. Both FW 190’s were grayish-blue in color and carrying belly tanks. When within 100 yards I fired a 1 second burst of cannon and MG I saw strikes on the wings and fuselage. I then pulled up sharp to avoid running him down. As I looked back I saw 3 planes (2 FW 190’s and 1 Spitfire—Red number 1) in a steep dive. I then lost sight of them as I started to follow. I was unable to find them again. I stayed in the immediate area of the action for approximately 25 minutes looking for Red number 1. I had understood Whipsnade to say that he had parachuted out. I saw nothing so returned to base and found that Red number 1 had already landed.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading No. 17 Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 12 August 1943:
I was leading No. 17 Wing, Spitfire IX’s, on Ramrod 194 covering the withdrawal of Fortresses from the Ruhr. Kenley control asked me to cover the last boxes of bombers so I patrolled the wing from Neusen to South of Rotterdam whilst the first boxes of Forts, escorted by Thunderbolts passed unmolested. I then vectored North to cover the last two boxes and as we approached, nine plus e/a were seen attacking singly and in pairs. As I attacked a Me. 109 who was nibbling at a straggling Fortress, I instructed my No. 2, F/L Conrad to engage another Me 109 in this vicinity. I opened fire on this e/a from 300 – 100 yards firing several short bursts; cannon strikes were seen on his wing roots and the e/a fell away in an exaggerated falling leaf, skidding and stalling from side to side. An aircraft was seen to crash by F/O Browne (Yellow 3) and owing to the proximity of F/L Conrad’s attack, one of these 2 e/a was undoubtedly destroyed. Pending examination of Cine film, these two e/a are claimed as one Destroyed and one Damaged, shared by F/L Conrad and myself.
Capt. S. Heglund of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 August 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1, when in the Bethune area on way out I saw several formations of E/A below and to starboard of 332 Squadron and behind bombers at approx. 26,000 ft. I dived down with Yellow section on a formation of E/A flying in very loose formation. 3 of E/A took evasive action by diving east. The fourth E/A continued straight and level on a N. Easterly course. I came in from dead astern slightly above and opened up with M.G.s and cannons from 300 yds closing to 200 yds. Numerous cannon strikes observed on engine, cockpit and fuselage. Thick grey smoke started pouring from E/A and it spun down slowly, finally crashing in forest W. of Merville. This was seen by Yellow two Sgt. Thulin and Yellow four Sgt. Dogger. As I pulled up followed by Yellow 2, I saw 6 E/A flying in close formation below heading for bombers. I dived down on this formation followed by Yellow 2. I fired at one of E/A but saw no result. E/A broke away and I reformed with the rest of the Squadron.
Capt. W. Christie of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 August 1943:
I was flying as Blue 1. We saw about 8 F.W. 190’s at about 17,000 feet following the Fortresses on way our over Douai and Lens so I went down with my section and attacked them. I fired at one of them on the left at about 400 yards and observed good hits on port wing root and engine. I was then put off by a Spitfire who pulled up in front of me, and I broke off the attack. After this Blue 3 and 4 saw two F.W.190’s in flames spinning to earth. As no other pilots besides Sgt. Bøge, I claim one of the F.W.190’s as destroyed.
Capt. S. Heglund of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 August 1943:
I was leading Yellow Section on above operation. When over 2nd target (Abbeville) I saw approx. 10 E/A (F.W.) attacking bombers from behind at same height. 331 dived to break off attack and most E/A flicked over and dived down. 2 however turned sharply port and when right below Yellow Section on opposite course, I rolled over and got into position dead astern on last of 2 E/A. Opening up at 300 yds. with M/G. and cannons I closed to 200 yds. Cannon strikes observed all over cockpit and fuselage and a big explosion followed; large pieces falling off – one of which (part of E/A hood) hit my spinner. The F.W. 190 then turned on back as if to dive away and I also turned. From this position I gave E/A another burst resulting in large explosion on wing probably ammunition. As other F.W. 190’s in vicinity, I pulled up. My No. 4 2/Ltn. Larsen saw the E/A I attacked dive down vertically and finally crash on the ground in flames. Rest of Yellow section also witnessed combat. E/A attacked by me had Italian markings on wings.
F/Lt P. V. K. Tripe (Canadian) of 222 (Natal) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 August 1943:
I was leading Blue Section of 222 (Natal) Squadron and our Wing was flying on the starboard side of the bombers going in over the Westerschelde estuary.
S/Ldr. J. E. Storrar of 65 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 18 August 1943:
When I first saw the e/a they were at level with us at 15,000 ft. in two batches, each of seven plus. I reported them and turned towards them. They opened up. I flew through the middle of the e/a and pulled round behind a Me 109 on the extreme left flank. The Hun did not at first realize I was behind him. I opened fire using full throttle and revs. He began to turn and seeing me, dived down. I followed him down to 5,000 ft. doing 480 + A.S.I. and firing. When I opened fire I was 150 yards range but this increased to 400 yards. At 5,000 ft. the Me’s left hand aileron came off and it flicked over the vertical and went straight into the ground near Cassel.
F/Lt. J. R. Heap of 65 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 August 1943:
I was leading Yellow section and orbiting watching the gaggle of 30 plus e/a which split up when 122 Sqdn. dived on them. I picked out 7 travelling S.W. inland and stuffed my nose down from 25,000 ft. to about 13,000 ft. I pulled out of the dive and closed on the leader of a formation of six 109’s and 190’s with the 190’s leading.
F/Lt P. V. K. Tripe (Canadian) of 222 (Natal) Squadron scored again two days later, recording in his Combat Report for 19 August 1943:
I was leading Blue section when we were north of Knocke at 27,000 ft. Blue 3 (F/O Hesselyn) reported enemy aircraft below near Knocke. I led the section down in a dive and we bounced the 2 Huns at 14,000 ft. recognising them as Me.109g's. As I was about to open fire I saw strikes on the e/a's port wing and realised Blue 3 was also attacking. I opened fire from 300 yards astern, closing to 50 yards. The fuselage and belly of the e/a was a mass of flames and smoke, the starboard wing outboard of the cannon broke off and I had to push the stick hard forward to avoid collision. The e/a went down disintegrating and well on fire, and the pilot did not bale out.
Sgt. R. Dogger of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 August 1943:
I was flying as flying as Red 2 on Capt. Gran, who was leading the Squadron. He reported 2 A/C just below us, and we went down in a slow turn to the starboard. We closed in rapidly, Red 1 being a bit ahead of me opened up first, and the Me. 109 exploded immediately. Pulling away I saw him give the second E/A a short burst, hitting it on port wing near fuselage. I followed this E/A, and closing in to very short range, about 150 yards, I fired from dead astern. I saw strikes on the left wingroot and left side of the fuselage, around the cockpit. A big piece blew off, and thick black smoke poured out. The E/A flicked over, and as I pulled away to avoid collision I saw it spinning down, with black smoke pouring out, and out of control. I pulled up into the sun and joined up with bombers and 332 Squadron.
2/Ltn. K. Bache of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 August 1943:
I was flying as Blue 1 on the above Ramrod, when Red 1 reported aircraft flying below and to port of us. I followed Red 1 down in a port diving turn, jettisoning my tank at the same time. I saw 10 – 12 Me.109’s flying towards the coast. Our height when we sighted the E/A was 27,000 ft., the E/A flying at approximately 22,000 ft. I picked one Me. 109 that was straggling about 1,000 yds. behind the main formation, throttle right back and went down in “S” turns while he was diving gently. I came into position dead astern of him at about 200 yds. range and fired a 2 second burst, observing a cannon hit followed by a small explosion on port side of cockpit. He still carried on straight ahead and diving gently without taking any evasive action at all, I consider it likely that I either damaged the controls of the E/A or wounded the pilot. I fired long bursts but did not observe more than two more cannon hits, one in port wing root, and one on starboard side of fuselage. I had difficulty keeping my A/C steady due to his slipstream when I closed in. Just when my cannon ammunition was exhausted, I saw the hood of the E/A being jettisoned, and pulling up in a very steep turn to port, seeing the E/A roll onto its back with white smoke issuing from it, and the pilot bailing out. This was a few miles east of Knocke over the coast at 16,000 ft. I climbed up to blower height again and joined up with Red 1 landing at base at 18.40 hrs. The combat was witnessed by Blue 2 and 3, and red 3 – 2/Ltn. Olsen who saw the E/A turning onto its back, and diving inverted down with white smoke pouring out.
Capt. M. Gran of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 August 1943:
I was flying as Red 1, leading 331 Squadron, when I reported E/A flying in the same direction and some 5,000 ft. below. I got permission to jump them so led the Squadron down to attack. I picked out 2 Me. 109’s flying in line abreast, opening fire on the port one, giving one short burst at 300 yards range. I saw strikes and continued to close in and gave him several more short bursts, seeing strikes on engine, cockpit and both wings near the fuselage. He finally exploded in front of me, pieces flying off in all directions. Red 2 and Yellow 1 also saw this E/A explode. I claim this E/A as destroyed. I then turned starboard and attacked the starboard E/A at 150 – 0 yards, giving a short burst from 15° astern, and saw strikes on port wing above the radiator, then pulled away to avoid collision. I climbed into the sun and went back into position on the port side of the bombers, being with them nearly to the English coast.
Ltn. N. Jorstad of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 August 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1. red 1 reported E/A below flying in same direction as us and went down in starboard diving turn. I followed him, ending up on his starboard side, 500 yards away. As we were diving down I saw 3 F.W. 190’s flying west 1000 ft. underneath me. They were apparently at ease. I saw Red 1 open fire on the port E/A and saw many strikes and a Great explosion. I picked one of the starboard E/A and opened fire from approximately 200 yards, about 15° angle port. I gave one small burst and hit E/A in port wingroot and port side of cockpit. A large explosion followed, E/A flicked left onto its back and went into its back and went into a sort of spin; flame and black smoke pouring from it. This is confirmed by my No. 2, who was flying straight behind me. I then pulled very sharply to port and into sun, climbing to 33,000 ft. I joined up with one of the Polish Squadrons that was flying to the right of the bombers. In midchannel I joined up with 332 Squadron, returning to base with them.
S/Lt. Bouguen of 341 (F.F.) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 August 1943:
I was flying as Red 1 leading the Squadron at 22,000 feet over Fecamp going South, when Control gave warning of 20 E/A coming towards us from the South West at 25,000 feet. I climbed to 25,000 feet and saw about 30 E/A coming head on about a mile away. Climbing rapidly above them, I dived on the last F.W.190 who was straggling behind giving him a 5 second burst from dead astern from 200 yards closing to 100 yards. I saw strikes on the left wing and giving a little deflection, I fired again a 3 second burst seeing strikes on the engine; the plane banked to the right and the pilot baled out.
W/Cmdr. J. E. Johnson leading the 17 Spitfire IX Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 23 August 1943:
I was leading 17 Spitfire IX Wing on Ramrod 214 acting as target cover to Marauders bombing Gosnay. Appledore took over and after two vectors I sighted Huns in the Bethune area. There were 15 plus e/a with an up-sun cover of a further 3 e/a. I instructed on section to shadow these 3 e/a until the remaining a/c were in position to attack the main force, but unfortunately both Section leaders interpreted this order and as a result only 4 a/c were left to deal with the 15 plus. (421 Sqdn. top guard). E/A turned to port and climbed steeply. I selected a F.W.190 in the middle of the gaggle and opened fire from 300 – 180 yards. with Cannon & M/G. – angle off 5°. Towards the end of the burst, several strikes were seen on the Cockpit and Wing roots and e/a caught fire and spun down enveloped in flame. This F.W. 190 is claimed as destroyed.222 Squadron, part of the Spitfire IXB equipped Hornchurch Wing, recorded the following claims for 27 August 1943:
F/Lt. H.P. Lardner-Burke, D.F.C. ( South Africa), Red 3 saw a F.W. 190 attack Red 1 and 2 (W/C Compton and W/O Davidson) and, getting on its tail, fired a 2-second burst from 350 - 300 yards. He saw strikes on the starboard wing and tail of the e/a which then turned sharply starboard and dived away. This wa seen by Red 1 and 2 and the e/a is claimed as damaged.
2nd Lt. Robert W, Hine of the 5th FS, 52nd Fighter Group recorded in his combat report for 28 August 1943:
On the evening of Aug. 28 at 1840 hours while on a scramble and being vectored by Forenoon, my wing man having returned to base due to engine trouble, I sighted a bandit at two o'clock to me, same altitude which was 30,000 feet. I immediately pulled around and behind the ME-109G and gave a very short burst of about one half second at 200 yards using both cannon and M/G. Cannon strikes were observed on the right wing and fuselage, with smoke streaming from the plane. Immediately after the first burst, the bandit made a split S, then a violent turn to the right and continued down in almost vertical dive. At this time the smoke was streaming considerably from the plane. I followed it down, at first being 1500 yards behind, but gradually closing in until within 200 yards. At this time and just before the bandit went through and isolated cloud at about 800 feet, I gave another burst of 4 of 5 seconds using cannon and M/G. As I came out of cloud, I observed a big splash of water settling on sea and also oil slick. I orbited about the spot, saw no other planes in the vicinity and returned to base. Action took place at approximately 15 miles S of Naples.
S/Ldr R.W. McNair, D.F.C. of 421 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 September 1943:
I was flying Black 3 on ramrod S.26 when in the Evreux area I saw 2 Me.109’s shadowing Fortresses. We chased these unsuccessfully. Section reformed at 12,000 ft. when F.O Love (Black 2) spotted another Me.109 below. He gave chase opeing fire at about 400 yds. and when at 200 yds. e/a disintegrated and Love continued to fire closing to about 50 yds. Pieces of e/a struck his a/c in radiator causing glycol leak and eventually forcing him to bale out. Section reformed again when I spotted another Me.109 below and chased him. When I was at about 500 yds. he made a sharp turn to port. I fired about 3 seconds from 300 yds. with no apparent results. The Hun then turned to Starboard diving slightly. I closed to about 100 yds. dead astern, fired about 5 seconds. He blew up and I saw him crash just North of Evreux. I claim this Me. 109 as destroyed.
The Hornchurch Wing, comprised of 222 and 129 Squadrons flying Spitfire IXB's, recorded the following claims for their escort mission to Hazebrouck Marshalling Yards on 4 September 1943:
129 Squadron with the Hornchurch Wing (Spitfire IXb) flying high cover on a mission to Boulogne recorded the following Combat Claim for 4 September 1943:
P/O M.F.S. Young (Blue 3) pursued one of the port e/a in a dive and, getting astern at 22,000 ft. fired several bursts totaling 13 seconds from 20° to 5° port astern and above, closing from 600 yards to 300 yards. At 5,000 ft. Blue 3 broke away and Blue 2 (F/Sgt Cliff) saw thick black streaming from the e/a. P/O A. Bradshaw (Blue 1) then took up the chase and at 400 yards range fired ½ second burst at the e/a below (out of sight) with 80° deflection, seeing it dive vertically into a field 4/5 miles W. of Cambrai. P/O Young and P/O Bradshaw claim 1 F.W.190 destroyed shared.
Capt. S. Heglund of 331 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 September 1943:
I climbed with Yellow section above E/A, into sun. They continued turning port then started climbing. I dived down right behind them out of sun, ending up straight astern of the one to starboard who had just crossed over from port. I opened fire at 300 yards, closing rapidly to 50 yards seeing cannon bursts all around the fuselage and heavy black smoke. I overshot this E/A and turned to port after another; I believe the second from the port of the line abreast, and again fired dead astern from 300/100 yards, seeing concentrated strikes on the fuselage and heavy black smoke. My No. 2 (Sgt. Gunderson) and Blue 2 (Sgt. Hellan) saw the first E/A going down at 60° pouring grey, black and white smoke and the second pouring thick black and white smoke, plus flames from the cockpit as it went into a dive.
F/S R. Trowbridge of 111 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 September 1943:
I was flying as White One when e/a were reported flying east from Reggie very low. We dived down from about 5,000 ft. and gave chase eventually catching up with about 20 MA.200 and 202’s in the hills 2 miles east of Reggio. I made a quarter astern attack on a Ma.200 from port. He turned slightly port and I pulled right through firing with cannon and machine gun till he disappeared beneath my nose. I broke away to the starboard and on looking back saw e/a crash into hillside and explode.
Sgt. H. S. Eccleston of 111 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 September 1943:
I was flying No. 2 Yellow Section and saw Ma.200 below. I dived on him and he went down between hills on to river bed. I made attacks on him but he out turned me – could not fire. I climbed up behind and hemmed him in valley. He flew down river and when the country became clearer I dived on him. 20° attack, saw strikes along fuselage – broke away and made another attack from behind. I gave it a short burst and smoke came out of engine and he crashed on belly on middle of river bed on the sand amongst the shrubs. I saw cloud of dust and circled him a few times but did not see movement around the cockpit. He crashed approx. 25 m. east of Reggio.
F/S R.S. Gray of 111 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 September 1943:
While flying as Green 1 on patrol at 10,000 ft., I sighted 20 plus Macchi 200 – 202 and RE.2001. I followed Blue Leader down and attacked the No.2 of a section of Ma.200 flying at 200 ft. over a ravine. Attacking from the port quarter and opening fire with cannon and machine gun at 300 yards closing to 150 yards astern. Strikes on the port wing and fuselage followed by an explosion behind the cockpit. The e/a caught fire and enveloped in black smoke dived almost vertically down to the ground where it disintegrated.
222 Squadron recorded the following claims for 5 September 1943:
222 Squadron Yellow Section climbed to port to head off 10 F.W. 190's. One of these turned in front of:
S/Ldr R.W. McNair, D.F.C. of 421 (RCAF) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 September 1943:
When south of Bernay, I saw an all light blue FW.190 (likely a P.R.U. a/c) about 7 to 8,000 ft. below me when I was flying at about 25,000 ft. He was following the bombers, below and on their starboard flank. I dived down and opened fire at 300 yds. closed right in and had to break away to avoid a collision, firing all the time. I saw strikes on both wings at the ailerons and on Stbd. side of fuselage as I broke away. Pieces flew off and hit my a/c damaging the spinner. As I pulled up I saw this e/a going down very steeply, seemed to level off and go along for a couple of miles and crash into some woods near a small village just south east of Beaumont A/D. I then climbed up to blower height. This e/a was very easy to follow because of it’s brilliant blue colours. I claim this FW.190 as destroyed.
F/Lt. H.P. Lardner-Burke DFC (South African) and F/O O. Smik (Czech) of 222 Squadron filed a joint Combat Report for 8 September 1943.
F/Lt. H.P. Lardner-Burke DFC, and F/O O. Smik (Blue 1 and 2) dived down on the leading e/a which was diving steeply to the S.E. while Blue 3 and 4 followed, covering their attack. F/Lt. Burke opened fire from about 10° closing to dead astern at 350/300 yards range. He fired two bursts of 3 seconds and one of 2 seconds. Black smoke was seen to pour from the e/a which appeared to be in difficulties. F/Lt. Burke broke to port to enable F/O Smik to fire a 14 seconds burst from 300 yards dead astern, closing to 250 yards. He expended all his ammunition and broke off combat at 7,000 feet. The e/a continued to dive at about 500 m.p.h. (Both Blue 1 and 2 were diving at 470/480 m.p.h.). The starboard wing tip of the e/a fell off and it dived straight in the ground 10 - 15 miles S.S.E. of Boulogne. The crash was also witnessed by P.O Wyllie (Blue 3). This Me. 109F is claimed as destroyed.
Capt. M. Gran of 331 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 September 1943:
The two E/A were flying line abreast, and I attacked the starboard one with cannon and machine gun from 300 yds. I fired 2 short bursts, but as was in his slipstream I was unable to keep him steady in the sight. I dived under his slipstream and fired a long burst astern and below from 200 to 100 yds. and saw many hits in engine and fuselage with black smoke and flames, coming from engine and fuselage. It suddenly exploded and bits and pieces flew past me. I had to pull away to avoid collision. My No. 3 2/Lt. Stenstad and No. 4 Sgt. Gran saw the hits, and this aircraft explode. I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed.
Capt. T. Johnson (Norg.) of 122 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 9 September 1943:
I was leading Black section of 122 Sqdn., and when in the target area at 19,000 ft. and flying east, I saw 20 109G’s flying south. The e/a dived towards the bombers and I led my Section down after them and caught up at 10,000 ft. below and astern. I attacked a 109 at 250 yds. and saw strikes of fuselage and wings and it began to pour Glycol and black smoke. It turned to port and from 100 yds I had a second attack and scored strikes on port main plane and fuselage. The e/a then went vertically down. I broke at 8,000 ft. and turned to watch the e/a go down but I blacked out on the turn. I then led my section back to base. Two or three miles inside the French coast, north of the Somme Estuary, we were attacked by a mixed bag of five 109’s and 190’s. I broke port and the e/a broke and dived into France. My section went after them and I caught a 109 on the deck.
F/O I. F. Kennedy of 111 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 10 September 1943:
I was Banker Blue Three airborne to patrol Salerno Beach over Allied Landing Forces. When on patrol flying north at 7,000 ft near Agropoli I saw six or eight aircraft diving vertically and dropping their bombs about 5 miles north of Agropoli. I jettisoned my long range 90 gallon tank and we immediately engaged the enemy aircraft at deck level near Magliano. In combat with 3 FW.190’s I fired a short burst at one with no results observed. The FW.190’s then broke away and flew at 0 ft. maximum speed in south east direction. I pursued and overtook one at Lauria (40 miles S.E.) fires a short burst from 200 yds. Hitting the FW.190 in rear fuselage. The 190 then zoomed vertically and the pilot baled out at 1,500 ft ‘chute opening, and the FW.190 crashed near Lauria and is claimed as destroyed. We experienced light flak but returned to Falcone O.K. Confirmed by G/C Gilroy.
129 Squadron with the Hornchurch Wing (Spitfire IXb) recorded the following Combat Claim for 11 September 1943:
F/Lt. G.A. Mason (Yellow 1) 129 Squadron, with Yellow 2 saw 2 Me. 109’s leave the main gaggle and attack a section of the Escort Cover. The Spits. broke but the Me.’s were unable to hold the turn and pulled up followed by Yellow 1 and 2. About 3 miles west of the target at 15,000 ft. Yellow 1 closed to 300 yards, the e/a apparently still being unaware that they were being pursued, and from 45° port quarter below fired a 4 second burst at the rearmost Me. 109. He saw strikes on and pieces fall off the e/a which then went down trailing white smoke and finally crashed in a wood believed to be near Duclair. This was also seen by W/C Compton and Yellow 2. 1 Me. 109G destroyed.
Capt. S. Heglund of 331 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 September 1943:
As the Spitfires did not seem to be closing in, I dived in between with Yellow Section and got in behind the two E/A in a steep dive with throttled engine. The E/A on the right started diving down to starboard and I went for the one to port. I got in 2 short bursts from 300 yds. The closing speed was high and the shooting rather wild. I noticed hits on the starboard wing tip and a large piece came off. The E/A flicked into a spin. Soon afterwards the pilot baled out and I saw the parachute open. This E/A is claimed as destroyed.
Sgt. Thulin of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 September 1943:
Captain Heglund attacked the FW.190 to port and I went after the one which dived to starboard. I fired at about 100 yds. and saw hits of the left side of the cockpit and pulled away. The E/A was burning. Flames and black smoke came from it. It went up in a stall turn and started to spin. I claim to have destroyed 1 FW.190.
Major R. From of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 September 1943:
Six F.W. 190’s appeared at 9-o’clock and went to 3-o’clock. These e/a passed right across Yellow section and we went after them in a 180 degrees turn. I closed in on two F.W.190’s in line astern and opened fire at the last one from 300 yards closing to 250 yards. The first F.W. 190 broke off to the left and a second started a half roll to the right. I closed to 100 yards almost line astern and gave another 3 seconds burst. The e/a started to go down steeply and I saw white smoke, then a few seconds later the whole e/a exploded in a white flash just as it was about to enter a haze layer. I claim this e/a destroyed.
Major K. Birksted D.F.C. leading the North Weald Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 14 September 1943:
I took bottom Squadron down from 28,000 ft. to 26,000 ft. on a formation of Me.109’s, attacking the last one in a section of 4 flying in line abreast. I dived slightly below and to port of E/A and then pulling up gently opened fire from 200 yds. still being below and to port at approximately 15° off. Allowing approximately 1½ ring deflection, I scored no hit until E/A was at about ¾ ring deflection on a range of 100 yds. Then a full concentration hit E/A and all around cockpit. As a result of attack large pieces, including the tail unit fell off, and E/A slowly went down vertically. This combat was witnessed by my No. 2 2/Lt. Isachsen who saw tail unit breaking off and later other large pieces, including hood, breaking off as E/A went down. As I commenced an attack on another of the E/A they all suddenly turned onto their backs and dived away.
F/Sgt. F. J. Davoren of 243 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 September 1943:
I was Blue 3 in a section of 3 Mk IX Spitfires patrolling in line abreast at 16,000 ft between SALERNO and AGROPOLI. Control reported bandits in the area but gave no height. We were slightly west of base when Red section turned to port to investigate A/C below.
F/Lt. R. Rayner of 43 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 September 1943:
I was returning from patrol of landing beaches, Salerno, in formation with other Spitfire IX's. We saw 12 FW.190's to the South East of Aerodrome at approximately 2,000 ft. Closing onto one of the E/A he turned to the left and I did a deflection attack on him, giving two bursts of about 2 seconds each. Strikes were seen on top of engine and I broke off the attack because of another E/A which was about to attack me. S/Ldr. Horbaczewski saw E/A crash near Eboli.
W/O W. J. Webster of 43 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 September 1943:
I was Red (Strbd.) 1 on patrol over Salerno area when bandits were reported coming in from N.E. I saw bomb bursts in water and then spotted 2 E/A 5,000 ft. below me, 15 miles South of Salerno. I dived on E/A which I identified as FW.190's and gave chase. They turned N. East up a valley and dived to ground level. I saw two Spitfires on the tail of 1 E/A so transferred attention to the remaining one. He carried out an attack on the two Spitfires whom I warned. They broke away and at the same time the 190 at which they had been firing rolled over and crashed from 20 ft. I opened fire on the 190 which I was chasing, giving it 5 or 6 bursts dead astern at 400 yds. I saw strikes behind the cockpit and smoke and flames started issuing. 190 nosed over and dived into the ground from 50 ft.
S/Ldr. J. E. Storrar of 65 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 18 September 1943:
We were flying at 24,000 ft. going north when we sighted a gaggle of 20 plus 190’s turning left and flying S.W. towards Rouen at 22,000 ft. We attacked out of the sun and surprised the Huns, it was a perfect bounce. The E/A were flying in tight vics of threes, we went into the middle of the lot. I fastened on to a pair of 190’s attacking the leader, I opened fire at 150 yds. closing to 50 yds. Strikes were seen: I fired again and there was a big explosion the port wing, the hood came off and the pilot baled out when I was flying now alongside him. After this combat I climbed hard and saw about 30 more E/A higher, many of them ME 109 who appeared to be covering the 190’s.
Major K. Birksted D.F.C. leading the North Weald Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 21 September 1943:
Blue Section selected the starboard ones and I selected a section of two in the middle. Coming in from behind in a starboard turn we came dead astern at approximately 800 yds. and closed slowly. The E/A saw us and started weaving which closed the range rapidly. I fired a 4 secs. burst from slightly below starboard, 30° at two in tight formation. The near one started diving and I followed. I do not know what happened to No. 2 as I saw him no more. Firing two more 4 secs. bursts dead astern in a dive at the No. 1 I saw first hits on his fuselage behind the cockpit. In the final burst at approximately 600 yds. I saw hits on his wings and he suddenly poured black smoke. My height now was about 17,000 ft.
Capt. S. Heglund D.F.C. of 331 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 September 1943:
I cut the corner and dived with Blue on its starboard its starboard side. There were approximately 15 FW.190’s and they climbed with very high speed. As we closed in with throttle fully open they broke starboard and I picked out one and followed it in a fast dive going N. I saw 1 FW.190 burning on my port side, and then started firing in short burst from 300 yds. dead astern until my ammunition was almost finished. My port cannon jammed and it was difficult to shoot owing to the swinging in the A/C. I saw many hits from m.g. and cannon in the wing roots and the E/A stopped taking any evasive action. Suddenly the E/A started pouring black smoke and I pulled up from 19,000 ft. My No.3 2/Lt. Wexen, saw the hits and the smoke and thought E/A definitely destroyed. No. 4 Sgt. Coucheron saw it pouring smoke, go over on its back, and dive vertically down in a sort of a spin.
Captain Martin Gran of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 September 1943:
I was flying as Blue 1. I went down at once in a shallow dive coming dead astern of an FW 190. When at about 400 yds. range the e/a turned slightly port and then starboard, and I opened fire because I thought he had seen me. I closed to about 300 yds. firing short bursts from 10 degs. slightly above and saw cannon hits in the fuselage and around the cockpit. White smoke came out from the fuselage first, then black smoke, and the e/a started going down in a starboard dive. I then pulled up and turned port to look behind me as there were more a/c about. A little later this a/c was seen by Blue 2 and 4 (331) and by Major From and 2/Ltn. Bakke (332) to start burning with flashes and explosions coming from it, and to spin down out of control. As I was orbiting I saw a big explosion on the ground underneath where the engagement took place.
129 Squadron with the Hornchurch Wing (Spitfire IXb) recorded the following Combat Claim for 24 September 1943:
F/O D.F. Ruchwaldy D.F.M. (Yellow 3) 129 Squadron turned after some e/a, firing a short burst at more than 500 yards without results. He then saw 3 F.W. 190’s line astern which crossed from port to starboard ahead of him at 18,000 ft. Two 2 second bursts with full deflection from 90° to 80° starboard at 500 yards closing to 400 yards resulted in strikes on the engine cowling and starboard wing of the No.2 All 3 e/a turned and dived, followed by Yellow 3 who then saw flames on the Hun No.2, which finally crashed in a field 10 miles N. of Beauvais. This F.W. 190 is claimed as destroyed by F/O Ruchwaldy.
222 Squadron with the Hornchurch Wing (Spitfire IXb) recorded the following Combat Claim for 27 September 1943:
F/O O. Smik (Czech), Yellow 3, while porting saw a Me.190F firing at a Spitfire from 200 yards line astern and immediately tightened his turn to go to the Spitfire’s assistance. On being warned the Spitfire broke, and Yellow 3 got behind the e/a and from 180 yards opened fire from port quarter astern, closing to 120 yards dead astern, giving a burst of 10 seconds from cannon and machine gun. Hits were scored on engine and cockpit, there was an explosion on the starboard underside of the cockpit, the starboard undercarriage dropped, the engine stopped and finally after a port spin, pouring black smoke, the Me.109 crashed 20 miles south of Rouen. The pilot did not bale out. This report is confirmed by Red 1 (F/Lt. H..P. Lardner-Burke, D.F.C.) and Yellow 4 (S/Ldr. A.P. Ellis) and other pilots.
129 Squadron with the Hornchurch Wing (Spitfire IXb) recorded the following Combat Claims for 27 September 1943:
F/O D.F. Ruchwaldy, D.F.M. (Malaya) Yellow 1, at 16,000 ft. saw a F.W.190 below and flying east. He went down with Yellow 2 behind. The e/a dived and Yellow 1 and 2 followed. At 1500 ft. the e/a leveled out and Yellow 1 gave a 2 seconds burst from 600 yards dead astern seeing a thin trail of black smoke. He then saw another F.W.190 to starboard at 1000 ft. and, leaving the first e/a to Yellow 2, got on its tail and fired 4/5 2 seconds bursts from dead astern at 600 yards. The e/a, pouring black smoke, climbed to starboard to 1500 ft. and Yellow 1 was able to close easily to 200 yards and give another squirt of 2 seconds from 30° starboard astern scoring strikes on the engine cowling from the start. The e/a flicked over and crashed in a field 3 miles est of Dreux, confirmed by Yellow 2.
Capt. Svein Heglund of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 September 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1 in the above Ramrod. When the Wing Commander pulled up from 16,000 feet I saw 2 Me.109G’s crossing right under 331 Red section. I went down in a steep diving turn, but E/A saw Yellow section and immediately dived towards cloud. Closing in rapidly I followed E/A through cloud. When at approximately 7,000 my windscreen iced up badly making it impossible to use my reflector sight. I opened up on the rearmost of the two Me.109G’s just as it pulled up, and I hit him with a good burst in the cockpit and engine from 200 yds. with approximately 10 degs. (starboard) deflection. The E/A burst into flames and went spinning down out of control – finally crashing in a small forest. This combat was witnessed by Yellow 2, Sgt Dogger, who confirms that the E/A crashed on the ground. Yellow section reformed at 18,000 feet and returned to base independently, having chased a few other E/A in vain before crossing the French Coast.
129 Squadron with the Hornchurch Wing (Spitfire IXB) recorded the following Combat Claims for 3 October 1943:
F/Lt. A.J. Hancock D.F.C. (Blue 1), covered by Blue 2, dived on one of ¾ Me. 109’s. The e/a evaded by diving and doing a half-turn but Blue 1 hung on and closing rapidly from 500 yards fired a series of short bursts totaling 15 seconds from M.G.’s only until he was within 30/35 yards range. Strikes were scored on the e/a’s wings and fuselage, pieces flew off and the cockpit hood was jettisoned. Blue 1 broke to port at 2,000 ft. and saw a parachute and the Me.109 crash on the ground and explode. This was seen by Blue 2 (F/Sgt. Byrne) and also by Yellow 3 (F/O Byrne) who actually saw the enemy pilot bale out. 1 Me. 109 (probably G) destroyed.
Major K. Birksted D.F.C. leading the North Weald Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 3 October 1943:
I picked two 109’s firing 3 sec. from 200 to 100 yds. 30° off starboard seeing hits on rearmost of those E/A, which I claim as damaged. I had to break away to avoid collision with another E/A diving through us. On turning back the rearmost of the original two was diving away with his No. 1 well in front. I only got a short burst on the rearmost as I closed too rapidly and although I throttled right back had to break below and in front of him to avoid colliding. I think his engine was stopped. I opened up giving chase to the front one which saw me and dived steeply towards Rouen. In the second 4 sec. burst dead astern at approximately 500 yds. as I could not close more, cannon hits appeared on his fuselage and an explosion occurred. He went over in a vertical dive, hitting the ground on the N.W. outskirts of Rouen. Just as the explosion occurred in him my windscreen was completely blackened with oil. This was still on when landing at base. I reclimbed and being joined by several other single aircraft from the Squadron, returned to base. I claim this Me. 109 as destroyed.
Lieut. F. Fearnley of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 October 1943:
I came out on an FW 190 which probably was straggling, right out of sun, and this aircraft was climbing flat out. I came in from astern throttling right back and gave him one burst from about 150 yds. giving him about 2 rings deflection. He then saw me and pulled up. I did the same, and fired another two bursts, 2-3 rings deflection, overshooting him, and nearly blacking out. Just as I passed him I heard a crash in my aircraft, lifting my tail up. At first I thought someone was attacking me, but when I broke round to see, I saw the FW 190 had exploded and broken up, leaving a big puff of black smoke. There were many big pieces falling down, and some of them burning, and my aircraft must have struck one of them. I watched, and there was no parachute. I therefore claim this FW 190 destroyed.
Capt. S. Heglund of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 October 1943:
I saw approximately half the enemy force diving straight ahead and the rest go in a starboard climbing turn. As I warned the squadron, I pulled up as I did not want to be a target for a head on attack by the starboard bunch, and thereafter went in a tight starboard turn diving down behind a ME 109G. I closed in rapidly and opened up approx. 300 yds. My starboard cannon stopped immediately and it was difficult to fire owing to the swing of the a/c. I closed in to about 100-200 yds. and fired all my ammo. from an angle of 10 degs. starboard. I only saw one cannon hit in starboard wing root, and e/a flick round several times and then went spinning down. At first the e/a trailed white smoke, but soon afterwards heavy black smoke came out. As long as I could see the e/a it went spinning down pouring black smoke, and my number 2 Sgt. Coucheron reports having seen flames coming out and having seen an explosion on the ground where the e/a spun down. Major Austeen reports having seen an e/a being shot down in flames at the same place and height, and saw it first flick, then spin down. Two spitfires followed this e/a, and it must have been the same one.
Major Rolf Arne Berg of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 October 1943:
I closed in on one ME 109G firing a 2 sec. burst from 350 yds. 45 degs. starboard. The e/a then went over on its back and went down in a tight aileron turn to port. I went down after him, firing short bursts whenever possible. At 15,000-16,000 ft. I hit him on the starboard side of the fuselage and starboard wing. The outer part of the wing and aileron came off and the e/a flicked over in a spin to the other side. A few moments later I saw a parachute in this area, which was also seen by several others in the wing. I claim this ME 109G as destroyed.
2/Lt. O. Aanjesen of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 October 1943:
When the bottom squadron dived down on a formation of e/a just after having crossed the French coast, 332(N) Squadron stayed above and when I had made a turn of 270 degrees I sighted 6 F.W.190’s 600 yards slightly below to port, diving down on some aircraft. I immediately went down after these e/a and choosing one out of two to the starboard of the main formation, I chased him and finally engaged in the Gournay area at 24,000 feet. Opening from approximately 500 yards above and to starboard (quarter) I gave a series of short bursts at 250 yards range astern. I saw numerous hits on engine and e/a started to smoke (black) very heavily and I pulled up as my No.2, 2/Lt. Bakke F., warned me of e/a behind over R/T. My No. 2 witnessed this combat and reports that the e/a attacked by me went down burning well. I claim this e/a as destroyed.
F/O Davidson of 93 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 13 October 1943:
I was flying on Patrol just south of Carinola when my number two reported a gaggle of ME 109 G's flying slightly above us, they appeared not to have noticed us; I broke right & upwards then left & chased the port section of six which dived away, whilst my number two took the starboard 6. I open fire with cannons on one aircraft but was out of range so held my fire until I was up with another aircraft on the left of the formation, I gave him a short bust at about 400 yards with deflection then he straightened up with black smoke coming from his engine, probably overboosting. I closed very rapidly from 400 to 100 yards firing all the time, his engine & cockpit became enveloped in flames & puffs of white smoke appeared. The aircraft pulled up slightly & turned slowly on its back & the last I saw of it was starting what appeared to be an insipient spin, it then disappeared under my nose. By this time I was at about 10-11000 ft. I broke left & up & came down on another aircraft & had a short burst & then my cannons stopped owing to lack of ammo. I saw no results. I climbed back up to 24,000 ft where my engine was running very roughly & cutting. I returned to base. Claim: 1 ME.109G Probably Destroyed.
W/O F. T. Craig of 93 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 15 October 1943:
I was attacked by 3 109G's at 8000 ft. immediately gave the leader a short second burst with machine guns and he rolled over on his back & dived down, his number two following, the third 109 did a rather steep turn to Port and I immediately gave chase. I observed no hits on the leading aircraft. I closed in line astern to the 109 to about 200 yards & gave him about a 3 seconds burst; but observed no strikes on the aircraft. I closed again in line astern to about 150 yards and gave him another 3 seconds burst with cannon & machine guns, the enemy aircraft was taking no evasive action, this time I observed hits on this front wing near the fuselage, the enemy a/c then started to weave violently. I closed again to the enemy aircraft to about 100 yards, the 109 then was in a gentile dive. I gave his a half ring deflection in front of his spinner & gave him another 3 seconds burst, suddenly there was a large flash and black smoke started to pour from the rear of his engine or front cockpit position. The enemy a/c then seemed to drop out of the sky with a steep spiral dive, black smoke pouring from his aircraft. I followed the aircraft down to about 2000 feet but due to small but accurate fire from anti-aircraft positions, I had to break off my dive & climb from cloud cover. The last I saw of the enemy aircraft was that it was still spiraling nearly vertically down leaving a large trail of black smoke behind.
F/Lt. I. F. Kennedy of 93 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 15 October 1943:
I was Packard Blue One airborne 1245 to patrol north of Volturno River. When on patrol at 12,000' about 12 miles inland from mouth of Volturno we sighted eight aircraft above & behind us. We climbed into these & engaged them immediately recognizing them as Me.109’s. I gave one a low astern burst from 50 yards hitting it in bottom of fuselage and behind the cockpit where it caught fire and went into a spiral dive. I followed it down and last saw it diving vertically on fire at 6000' in the vicinity of SPARANISE where I broke sway through cloud to pursue three more Me 109's. I overtook these about 20 miles North West at 2000'. After combat I returned to the Volturno where I contacted Red Section and continued patrol until landing at base 1555.
Sgt. A. J. Adams of 111 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 October 1943:
I was Red 5 in a formation of 5 aircraft patrolling the Volturno river heading E. about 10 miles West of Capua at 8,000 ft., when I saw 12 109s flying N. at the same height about 3 miles away. They were flying 2 sixes in pairs line abreast and as our courses converged I turned in behind the nearest six. Looking E. just before I attacked I saw 2 other formations of 109s slightly above the others and several miles away, numbering 20 plus.
F/Sgt. C. A. Joseph of 132 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 18 October 1943:
I was flying Blue 4 and noticing the rest of Blue section jettison their tanks I checked up and found my R/T. u/s. Blue section then broke down to starboard and I followed noticing several e/a diving away. I then saw an Me. 109 make an attack on me from the port beam. I broke upwards calling up Blue 3 in the hope he might hear. Enemy aircraft turned to port climbing rapidly and I followed closing the range. The e/a then started to dive and I began to give short bursts from about 300 yards allowing one ring deflection until I got into a line astern position. I continued to fire until I had expended all my ammunition. E/A then began to emit grayish smoke from starboard side until it crashed into some high tension lines south of Bethune. I claim this aircraft destroyed.
Sgt. J. H. Williams of 132 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 18 October 1943:
I was flying Yellow 3 when about 20 Me. 109’s approached head on. Yellow section broke right on to them and split them up, 1 Me. 109 came up in front of me doing a steep turn. I followed him around giving him about 6 short bursts at about 300 yards range and 20 ° astern. Glycol started pouring out and it went down in a steep diving turn and I broke off and rejoined another Spitfire formation. This e/a was seen by F/L. Maggs and F/O Hanson both of 602 squadron to be pouring out black smoke, glycol and flames and go over into a vertical bank and dive down about 2,000 feet and is consequently claimed destroyed.
F/Lt. R. A. Sutherland of 602 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 18 October 1943:
The Wing Leader ordered the wing to form up, but as my section was being attacked at this time I could not break off, so I turned N.W. and ran into 20 to 30 FW. 190’s about 3,000 ft. above who were maneuvering to attack. I did a climbing right hand turn to port and 4 of them commenced to come down. I broke right into them and they changed their minds and went up again. They kept us turning and I called the Wing Leader and asked for help. When I was in a left hand turn 3 F.W. 190’s dived down and from my starboard, obviously acting as decoys. I told my No. 3 to come in line abreast and my section that we would attack. I fired a 1 ½ seconds burst at the last of the three 190’s at an angle of 60 degs. reducing to 45 degs. at 400 yds. My speed at this time was 300 I.A.S. at 12,000’. I saw strikes from the cockpit to the tail and E/A flicked to the left and went spinning down below 6,000’ and the pilot did not bale out. I claim this aircraft probably destroyed. P/O Dumbrell, Blue 2 of 602 Sqd., and P.O Hale confirms seeing this e/a flick over to the left and go down spinning. It was last seen at 6,000’ still spinning.
Major Arne Austeen of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 October 1943:
I was leading 331 squadron, flying eastwards at 32,000 ft. over St. Quentin, when Blue 1 reported smoke trails coming in from the south. Blue section went down first, and a few seconds later I led the rest of the squadron down. There were two bunches of e/a, most of which broke to starboard when they saw us, but I followed the smaller bunch that were turning slightly to port. I closed in to about 700 yds. when this bunch broke in two, 7 e/a breaking to starboard, and the remaining e/a turning slightly to port in line astern. I followed the last one in this bunch and opened fire at 500 yds. giving ½ sec. burst, but saw no results. I closed in further and gave a 3 sec. burst from 400 yds. and saw strikes on the wingroots and round the cockpit. Sgt. Nilssen (Red 2) reports seeing strikes on the engine cowling. Several large pieces came off the aircraft and it flicked over and spun down. A few second afterwards Lt. Fearnley (Red 3) saw a parachute open behind and about 10,000 ft. below us, and as no one else had been firing at this time, I claim this FW 190 as destroyed
Lieut. F. Fearnley of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 October 1943:
I was flying as Red 3 when jus N.E. of St. Quentin a large formation of e/a approached from the south, flying north. I followed Red leader down and saw him attack an FW 190, seeing strikes on the wingroots, and a little later I saw a parachute open about 10,000 ft. below where the attack was. I gave a short burst on an FW 190, but at too great a range, and saw no results. I and my No. 1. (Sgt Treider Red 4) went flat out for a formation of e/a 4, that were in a slight port turn. We closed in from out of the sun without being seen, at about 28,000 ft. I closed in from out of the sun without being seen, at about 28,000 ft. I closed in on an FW 190 giving a 2 sec. burst at 300 yds. 10 degs. port astern. I saw strikes on the wingroot and cockpit, and a big puff of smoke and pieces coming off the aircraft, which then dived down with flames coming from it. Sgt. Treider (Red 4) who was behind me also saw this e/a going down in flames. I then closed in on another FW 190 giving a first burst of 1 sec. from 60 degs. above and a second burst of about 3 seconds from 10 degs. port astern at 250/200 yds. range. The e/a poured white smoke flicked over and the pilot baled out. I claim this FW 190 Destroyed. I now found myself between two boxes of Fortresses and joined them until just S. of Knocke, when I returned for base, landing there at 14.50 hrs.
222 Squadron with the Hornchurch Wing (Spitfire IXB) recorded the following Combat Claim for 22 October 1943:
F/Lt. D.F. Lenton Blue 1 concentrating on a Me. 109 fired a burst from 500 yds. to cause the e/a to weave. However, owing to his speed in the dive, Blue 1 was soon able to close on the e/a and when dead astern commenced firing until he was at point blank range, when he had to break off violently to avoid collision. Keeping his finger on the button, he fired for 8 seconds and saw strikes all over the e/a, continuously from the beginning to the end of the burst. He himself was unable to see any further effects owing to his pulling out, but Blue 2 (F/Sgt. Khelbeck, Dane), who was following Blue 1, saw the strikes and after Blue 1 pulled out, saw a very large piece fall off the centre of the fuselage, which caused to e/a to flick over and disappear vertically. Blue 2 is unable to say what this piece may have been, but as he describes it as the size of a man, it may either have been the pilot or a considerable part of the fuselage of engine. The complete lack of evasive action on the part of the e/a had led Blue 1 and 2 to believe that the pilot had been killed. Considering all the circumstances, Blue 1 claims 1 Me. 109 F or G destroyed.
Major Arne Austeen of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 October 1943:
I was leading Blue section of 331 (N) Squadron at 26,000 ft. when we sighted about 25 e/a going westwards about 1500 yds. to our south and slightly below us. I took my section down in a quarter attack to starboard on our nearest e/a, when I saw Red section doing the same. I therefore pulled up a bit a crossed over these first e/a and attacked in the middle of the whole box. I closed in on a FW 190 giving it a three seconds burst from 20 degs. starboard above, at a range of 400-300 yds. I saw cannon strikes all round the cockpit and engine and the aircraft started smoking. I closed in further to 200 yds. and gave him a two seconds burst from 10 degs. above, finishing at about 100 yds. when I saw an explosion in the cockpit and big pieces falling off, and the undercarriage come down. I broke violently to starboard and saw the e/a go down in flames behind me. I claim this e/a as destroyed.
Sgt. J. Holland of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 October 1943:
When flying East at 30,000 feet my No. 1, 2/Lt. Bolstad K., suddenly broke right and down. I followed and then sighted 7 e/a flying line abreast on a Southerly course, at 27,000 feet. I positioned myself dead astern on one of the e/a flying to the right and when at 450 yards I opened up with machine gun and cannon firing a short burst only. E/A turned slightly starboard and allowing ½ a ring deflection, I opened up from 300 yards closing to 250 yards. I saw numerous cannon strikes on the left side of the e/a under the wing root. A large piece fell off e/a, and it started to burn, then went down to port. I then turned sharp to starboard and as I saw another F.W.190 behind and passed just over his cockpit in the turn. I claim this e/a as destroyed.
Major K. Birksted D.F.C. leading the North Weald Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 22 October 1943:
I was flying red 1 bottom Squadron, 331 when I sighted 15 FW.190’s ahead to starboard flying West at 27,000 ft. Turning bottom Squadron in behind up sun of these I selected one slightly below to port. I fired at about 300 yds. 30° off from starboard a 1 second burst. He was slightly below my nose, but as I came more astern his engine poured smoke and flame, which however stopped. I closed to about 50 yds. from starboard 15° firing a 4 second burst without seeing any more hits. I probably had too much deflection as I overshot him although I throttled right back. As I shot under him I saw his engine had stopped and he turned sharply starboard rolled onto his back and baled out. Whole trip flown with reserve tank on as could not get it off.
F/L W. A. Olmsted of 232 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 October 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1 when I was vectored onto 2 bogies. By efficient controlling I was first placed up sun when I saw the bogies, identifying them as 2 ME 109's about 500 yds away converging on me. We saw each other simultaneously, both turned to starboard, putting me dead behind them. During this turn they both jettisoned flat long range tanks which appeared to be quite full. In a steady dive from 27,000' to 14,000' I managed to get in a short burst of all guns before the e/a pulled out of range. They outdistanced us but the gap was still small enough to leave hope of combat. They seemed to climb up again gradually until I found myself 1500' below the port 109, so I pulled up firing two bursts from below and from 300 yds range. As the 109's climbed they again outdistanced us but when my supercharger came in at 19,500 I had no difficulty in catching up. From astern at 100 yds I opned fire with cannon and m.g. and the 109 turned or jinked slightly to port and I observed large explosions in the port wing root, engine and cockpit. A brownish, redish smoke enveloped both the e/a and myself, then being less than 50 yds behind them. I broke away convinced that the 109 was finished and I turned onto the other e/a on my starboard. After a short burst, no results being observed, my guns jammed so I broke away covering my No. 2 as he successfully attacked his 109. I also watched my 109 which after bobbing up and down for some 5 secs., slowly his nose went down obviously out of control and he started to spiral gradually to port with glycol still pouring out him accompanied by light black smoke. I lost sight of him when he was at 10,000' by this time his attitude was almost vertical and although saw something come off the a/c, no parachute was seen to open.
Sgt. L. J Bowring of 232 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 October 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 2 to F/L Olmstead and we were vectored after 2 bogies which Yellow 1 identified as ME 109G's on our starboard. They broke away from us leaving us astern and up sun. We followed the e/a as they went into a dive. At first we could not close range but gradually began to catch up. Then the 109's commenced to climb, they had throttles back slightly, the black smoke accompanying emergency boost disappearing. Again they gained on us in the climb which commenced about 14,000'. They continued the climb but my No.1 engaged the port e/a giving bursts with both cannon and m.g. whenever in range. We reached supercharger height No. 1's supercharger coming in before mine as he closed with the port e/a and hit it causing black smoke and glycol fumes to issue from it. I concentrated on the starboard 109 which began jinking and flicking from turn to turn. I closed range to about 300 yds giving one or two short bursts seeing however no results. But the e/a slowed down and ceased evasive action. I closed from 150 to 50 yds firing short bursts of about ½ sec. duration. After the second burst I saw strikes on the port wing root and a large explosion just aft of the cockpit. The 109 burst into flames and began an uncontrolled dive with smoke pouring from it. We circled the spot and last saw this a/c go into a vertical dive engulfed in smoke and flames. The port 109 also went into a similar steep dive and in my opinion the a/c was definately a confirmed destroyed.
Lt. Waerner of 332 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 October 1943:
I sighted 4 F.W.190’s 3,000 ft. below at 10 o’clock, flying west in very open formation. I went on my back and dived down trying to get into position on two F.W.190’s to the extreme left. Another Spitfire, presumed to be Major Austeen, opened fire on this E/A and I broke off attack. I then saw 4 F.W.190’s attacking Major Austeen as he broke off his attack, so I dived down on two F.W.190’s firng on Major Austeen. The E/A saw me and rolling over, dived down to port. Owing to my great speed I was able to close in to 400 yds. and gave a short burst. No results observed as I as not able to allow enough deflection. I then came in dead astern above and from 400 yds. I opened fire with machine gun and cannon. As a result numerous pieces flew off E/A engine cowling. Giving another burst white smoke poured out from starboard side of engine. I broke off to starboard, watching the E/A go down . When at 4,000 ft. the pilot baled out, and the E/A crashed in a forest and exploded.
P/O F. S. Sorge (Can.) of 602 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report of 24 October 1943:
On crossing the coast I encountered 2 109 Fs at approx. 15,000 ft. flying due west. One e/a turned to port and dived down. (This e/a is the one which spun into the water and is being claimed for the sqdn.) I attacked from 20° line astern and fired a short burst at 300 yards closing to about 250 yards. The e/a went straight down in a dive and blew up on the ground. I claim this a/c destroyed.
Major Arne Austeen of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 October 1943:
I followed 332 sqdn. on the inside of the turn and came on 4 ME 109’s crossing 90 degs. to my course. I broke steeply back in a starboard turn and the e/a went into a shallow dive. I gave chase and closed in on two of them. I opened fire at about 600 – 500 yds. with cannons only but saw no results. Being unable to catch up with them I broke back left above blower height to join up with the rest of the wing. I saw a big dog-fight going on and as I approached I met two ME 109’s almost head on and I broke hard round to starboard. I closed in on one and fired several bursts from above and starboard quarter at 400 yds. closing to 100 yds. when I had to break away to avoid collision. At close range I saw strikes underneath the cockpit and the e/a went into a vertical dive in flames and with smoke coming from it. Sgt. Nilssen (Red 2) who was with me witnessed this e/a going down inflames, and I claim this ME 109 as destroyed.
Sgt. R. Dogger of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 October 1943:
Between Abbeville and Amiens huns were reported and Yellow 1 Capt. Heglund went for 2 ME 109’s one of which he hit and I saw an explosion and it flicked over and went down smoking heavily. As it went down in big spirals another ME 109 tried to escort it down. I jumped this ME 109 from out of the sun and fired a long burst from 10 degs port astern and above at 250/200 yds. when at about 1500 ft. I did not see any results but either the pilot had throttled all back or the engine had been damaged because from then on it glided down taking evasive action. It was very difficult to get into position, but I fired again at 10,000 ft. and hit the port wing and engine, the wing eventually exploding and breaking off at the wing root, and the aircraft burst into flames and spun down from 6,000 ft. It crashed in a field about 10 miles N.W. of Amiens. As I pulled up I saw the plane that Yellow 1 (Capt. Heglund) had attacked crash in a field nearby. I climbed up to 30,000 ft and came home.
Capt. S. Heglund of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 October 1943:
I was flying as Yellow 1. After e/a were reported and 332 squadron tried to engage them I followed four of them with Yellow section on a northerly course. Two broke starboard and started to climb, and I followed these two e/a. The other two turned in behind us but they were quite far behind so we took no notice. I pushed everything forward but did not close much before I came through blower height. The e/a were ME 109G’s and I opened fire from 400 yds. range closing to 200 yds The first bursts were misses but at close range I noticed machine gun hits and later several cannon hits underneath the wing root and the fuselage. This was followed by a large explosion and the e/a was hidden from sight by black and white smoke. The e/a flicked round and went down pouring smoke. This was seen by the rest of Yellow section, and Yellow 3 (Sgt. Dogger) saw this e/a crash in a field. After attacking this one I followed the other e/a and opening fire from 400 yds. I noticed several strikes before I ran out of ammunition.
Sgt. A. Schjodt of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 October 1943:
East of Abbeville I saw two e/a at 2 o’clock flying at a same level 1000 yds. away. They were separated from, and south of the main bunch of e/a. I followed them and closing in to 500 yds. I attacked from port quarter to astern. My first burst missed but giving another burst from 250 yds. I saw strikes from cannon in the port wing root. A big yellowish explosion occurred in the wing root and the aircraft flicked over and went down vertically pouring grey smoke. I followed him as he went down but had to pull up as there were other e/a around. The aircraft, a FW 190, which I had attacked was seen by Red 4, 332 (Sgt. Hetland), and Blue 2, 332, (2/Ltn. Herfjord), who were both on my port side, to dive straight down about 10,000 ft. then pull up a little and crash on the ground.
F/Lt. R. W. Turkington of 43 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 November 1943:
Whilst on "Escort" to Bombers and over target area I saw an ME.109 flying N.W. at zero ft.. I called up leader of formation who gave me permission to go down and attack. I first attacked from line-astern giving a 3-sec. burst of Cannon & M.G. opening fire at 150 yds. range closing to 20 yds. Immediately the long range tank blew up and flames and white smoke came from underneath fuselage. I broke away and my No. 2 continued the attack. I followed my No. 2 into another attack giving a long burst of mixed fire from very short range. E/A went into a steep turn and I broke away and my No. 2 attacked again. ME.109 did a flick-roll and crashed. Combat took place near VAL MONTONE. No return fire.
F/O W. H. Reid of 43 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 November 1943:
I was flying No. 2 to F/Lt. Turkington when we attacked an ME.109 over the target area which was flying N.W. at zero ft.. I followed my No. 1 into attack and observed his strikes on the long-range tank which blew up. I gave E/A a short burst of mixed fire from 300 yds, no strikes seen. I broke away and carried out a further attack from above and astern from 200 yds. to zero yds. seeing strikes on top of fuselage. I broke away again and next saw E/A skidding along the ground. E/A was camouflaged a light mottled blue. No return fire. Combat took place near VALMONTONE.
F/Lt. P. B. Laing-Meason of 43 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 November 1943:
I was flying as Blue Leader on a sweep of Frosinone and Cassino Areas. Approaching Gaeta control reported 2 bogies West of Gaeta. Almost immediately I saw a "stepped up" formation of approximately 12 ME.109's and FW.190's which passed 2,000 - 4,000 ft. above to starboard. I turned into them on maxium climb and after a complete turn they dived in a Northerly direction. We gave chase and caught them up at zero feet 20 miles S. E. of Rittoria. I saw 1 109 to Starboard and below; diving on him I closed in and E/A did 3 violent climbing turns but I out climbed him, finally into sun. E/A evidently did not see me and headed North again at full throttle. I dived on him again out of sun, closing to approximately 150 yds. whereupon he started to weave at a very low altitude. I gave him 3 1 ½ - sec (approximately) bursts cannon and M.G. Missed on first two bursts but strikes observed on fuselage after 3rd burst. E/A then climbed straight ahead and following him I fired a further ling bursts from very close range. As a result of this burst an explosion took place in port side of engine and issues of thick blue-white smoke came from E/A. Almost immediately the hood and other unidentified objects flow off and I noticed that the airscrew had almost stopped turning. With throttle fully closed I was now rapidly approaching dangerous range and firing continuously. There were various strikes on starboard wing and fuselage, one of which caused what looked like the starboard wing tip to come off. I broke away and saw E/A crash - 8 miles East of Rittoria.
F/O D. C. Deuntzer of 43 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 November 1943:
As I was approaching GAETA and flying at approx. 13,000 ft. ME.109's were reported above and flying at 17,000 ft. I climbed and closed on to one E/A which was now flying North. I opened fire at 400 yds. range - 2-sec burst. No strikes seen. I was forced to break away and lost sight of E/A. I saw another E/A which I identified as an ME.109 flying North at zero ft. and I dived down to attack. I opened fire from maximum range with a 4-sec. burst of mixed fire from dead astern. I observed Glycol coming from port radiator and a small fire started in engine. E/A then did an orbit of 360 degrees and I settled on its tail once more. I finished my ammo. on E/A which half-rolled into the ground. No return fire. Combat took place 5 miles N.E. of LITTORIA
F/Lt. R. W. Turkington of 43 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 November 1943:
I was on patrol with other aircraft over the Battle Area and flying at 15,000 ft. when we saw a formation of 30-plus ME.109's and FW.190's approaching from the North West at 16-20,000 ft., "stepped-up" in sections of four, echelon starboard. We broke into them and I attacked starboard aircraft of one formation. Immediately two ME.109's attacked me from 3 o'clock and above, firing their guns. I turned to meet this attack and started to "dog-fight" with one of the E/A. I got on his tail and ME.109 did aileron turns down to 1,000 ft. When E/A pulled out I was line astern and slightly below. He flew straight and level and I gave him a short burst of Cannon and M.G. immdiately seeing strikes on fusleage and black smoke and small pieces coming off. I closed to very short range giving long bursts of Cannon and M.G.; white smoke and flames started to come from engine. E/A had now slowed down considerably and was going down towards the deck. I was then attacked by two ME.109's and broke into them. I returned to base as I was running short of fuel.
F/O W. H. Reid of 43 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 November 1943:
Whilst on a patrol and leading a section of Spitfire IX's and flying at approximately 16,000 ft. we sighted a formation of 30-plus E/A (FW.190's and ME.109's) "stepped up" from 16 - 20,000 ft. and approaching from the North West. Spitfire IX's climbed up to attack and broke up E/A formation, but my section was attacked from above by two of E/A's top cover. I took evasive action and saw my No. 2 engaged by a ME.109 so I followed other E/A down to deck level. I quickly caught up with him over the "Bomb-line" and opened fire from very close range with two short bursts of mixed fire seeing strikes on E/A near cockpit. As I broke away I noticed black smoke coming from E/A who was losing height. Before I could carry out a further attack E/A had disappeared. E/A reported to have crashed near VENAFRO.
F/Sgt. F. J. Davoren of 243 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 November 1943:
I was Blue 6 on a patrol in the CASSINO - VENAFRO area. The Mk IX's had swept north-westwards and were returning to the patrol line at 16,000 ft when 12 - Me 109's were seen at 16,000 ft flying from the west towards VENAFRO. Above them were 8 more Me 109's at 20,000 ft as top cover. We were flying from east to west just after turning to port when the 12 Me 109's passed 200 ft below us on the port side flying in line abreast. I turned again to port and attacked the one on the extreme right of the formation from 300 yds closing to 150 yds. After my second burst of cannon and machine guns I saw strikes along the fuselage. The petrol caught fire; the e/a exploded and went down in flame with black smoke pouring from it.
F/Lt. T. H. Drinkwater of 19 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 November 1943:
I was leading White section of 19 Sqdn., flying east at 17,000 feet near St. Pol, when I saw 190’s and 109’s mixing it with 122 Squadron. On flying nearer the scrapping I spotted one F.W. 190 break away, and dive rapidly west. I turned and using full boost and revs chased him down from 17,000 ft. and got in a couple of bursts from dead astern. The 190 pulled out at about 2,000 ft. and I turned to starboard with him and got in several deflection bursts at angle off of 10 degrees at a range of about 150 to 200 yards. I saw cannon strikes, but can’t say what part of the e/a I hit as my windscreen fogged up. I had to pull over and cross on top of the 190 to avoid collision. We were then at less than 1,000 ft. I pulled up to about 3,000 ft., and looking down saw the 190 hit the ground and burst into flames. Visibility was poor and there was 5/10th’s broken cloud.
Capt. T. Johnsen of 122 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 November 1943:
I was leading No. 122 Squadron at 19,000 ft., when e/a were reported behind us at the same height. I led the Squadron in a climbing turn and sighted 12 e/a (mixing FW 190’s and Me 109’s) going down to attack the bottom Squadron (19 Squadron) below at 17,000 ft. The e/a saw us coming and started milling around with us.
F/L W.I.H Maquire of 154 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 November 1943:
Whilst leading "Flute" Red section on a "weather recce" in the area North of the Volturno River mouth on the 11.11.43;, at approximately 07.10 hours, I sighted 4 Fw.190s travelling S.W. from Isola at approximately 8,000 feet. We were flying at 12,000 feet, in a N.W. direction. Section turned about and attacked from astern above, jettisoning overload tanks on the way down.
F/O W. H. Reid of 43 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 November 1943:
I was flying No. 1 of port section of Spit. IX's on patrol over battle area, at eight to twelve thousand ft.. Near CASSINO we saw four ME.109's flying in a hole in the clouds at 7,000 ft. As we went in to attack we were attacked by four 109's from above. Two of the ME.109's started firing at me. I took evasive action and came out on their tails. One of them broke down to port - therefore I followed him. I made a quarter attack from above and set E/A on fire with a two-second burst of mixed fire from 150 yards range. E/A flattened out a little so I attacked again this time from the starboard with mixed fire from 150 yards range, and after observing a violent explosion near wing-root, the starboard wing came off. I broke off attack and climbed above cloud to rejoin formation. I did not see E/A crash.
2 Lt. Aanjasen of 332 (Norwegian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 November 1943:
When the Squadron went down to attack 6 e/a at 12,000 feet, the 3 rearmost e/a – 1 F.W.190 and 2 Me.109G’s turned sharply to port without loosing height, and I turned after them. When 350 yards range, I gave a short burst allowing 30 degrees deflection on one of the Me.109G’s. No result was observed. I then closed to 250 yards and gave a long burst from 10-15 degrees port quarter and above. Closing in to 200 yards, I observed strikes on tail unit, then all over fuselage and cockpit. As a result one wing fell off and the fuselage broke into two parts which later, in turn, broke into numerous small pieces. I think the pilot must have been killed and nothing was seen of him amongst the pieces.
Sgt. C. J. Stousland of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 26 November 1943:
I was flying as Blue 4. Shortly after we had picked up the bombers on their way out, N. of Beauvais, A/C were reported 6 o’clock to the Beehive, then flying N.N.W. wing thereupon turned starboard to investigate. I saw 3 Me.109’s about 1000 ft below in a slight dive towards the bombers. Blue section went down and the e/a must have seen us because they turned inland. I over-shot Blue 3 and came abreast of Blue 1 and 2 on their port side. One e/a broke port ant the other two starboard. I went after the port one and closed to about 500 yds., and started firing from 10 degrees astern- 10 degrees starboard. I continued to close in gradually, firing bursts all the time until I broke off at about 100 yds. During the last burst which was about 3-4 secs: I saw cannon strikes and explosions on both wing roots. The A/C made a violent flick to starboard, then went down in a vertical dive, crashing in a forest just S.E. of Bresles. I had come down to 3,000 ft. by this time. I pulled up to 30,000 ft. following the beehive out some way behind, passing the Wing near Abbeville. I landed at Detling as I was short of petrol.
F/Lt. P. Laing-Meason of 43 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 26 November 1943:
Whilst leading "Ratter" Red Section on patrol, I saw a vapour trail very high up in the Naples direction. Controller then told me there was a "Recco" E/A over Naples at 29,000 ft. and flying East. I climbed towards Capua with my formation and on reaching 25,000 ft. saw A/A bursting due South of me at the same height. I was then informed by Control that Bandit was now heading north at 29,000 ft. On reaching 28,000 ft. 2 miles East of Capua I saw a JU 88 flying in the opposite direction and to starboard. I gave chase and after a few minutes I opened fire at 500 yds. as the rear gunner was returning accurate fire. E/A then took violent evasive action and kept diving in a North Westerly direction heading for a cloud. After my attack I was followed by my other two sub-sections and I saw one of the pilots blow a portion of the elevator off the JU 88. E/A then penetrated cloud and I followed him with the formation. On coming out of cloud another pilot and myself attacked, one from below and one from above and astern of E/A. There were many strikes in both engines and fuselage and various pieces fell off. E/A immediately caught fire and three of the crew baled out at approx. N-0288. E/A crashed N-0492.
F/O W. H. Reid of 43 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 December 1943:
While doing a Bomb Line Patrol at 22000 ft. 30-plus E/A were sighted about 14000 to 16000 ft. crossing the Bomb Line at G.9010 in three waves stepped up into sun. My section went into attack immediately but had to pull up because of the 109 & 190 top cover being above and behind. I broke above and behind two 109's & one 190. The three E/A dived immediately to the hills East of Cassino. I went down on them. At 2000 yards range, the two 109's broke East over a valley, climbing slightly. The 190 was losing them gradually and dived West into the main large valley. I chose the 190 because I had lost my No. 2 due to trouble with his Long Range Tank. I closed quickly on the E/A and gave him a long burst of machine gun fire from about 300 yards pumping the control column to spray the 190. I observed strikes along port side of E/A and black smoke came from port side of engine. E/A continued to fly straight and level. I went into line astern of E/A and gave it two short bursts of cannon and machine gun fire. The port tail plane buckled about 2 thirds of the way from the tip and the E/A went straight into the deck in area G.7028.
F/Lt. L. McIntosh (R.A.A.F.) of 111 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 December 1943:
I was leading a Section of Spitfire IXs fitted with 30 gallon jettison tanks on a bomb line patrol, when Control sent us to patrol Terracina to Frosinone. We were at 15000 flying North and saw 10 Me.109s with a top cover of 8 Me.109s, flying South about 2000 ft. below. The formation below was flying line abreast and the top cover were flying in 4 sections of two, line abreast.
F/Sgt M. S. Zimmerman (R.C.A.F.) of 111 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 December 1943:
I was flying Blue 2 in a section of 6 aircraft on bomb line patrol between Frosinone and Terracina, when bandits were reported airborne. We turned to the left and saw 10 Me.109s with 8 more as top cover. Two broke away from the top cover to come on top of us. I broke into them and came round on the No. 2 of their formation. I gave him a burst and saw strikes on the top of the engine and the top of the cockpit. Pieces flew off him and he rolled on his back and went in a vertical dive.
Lt. Col K. Birksted D.S.O. D.F.C. leading the North Weald Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 20 December 1943:
Flying as Red 1, bottom Squadron, we engaged three lots of Fw.190’s over Cambrai. I went for two at approximately 24,000 ft. They were in a turn and had probably not seen me. Cutting the corner I closed rapidly firing at the Number 2. Number 1 broke away. I fired at the Number 2 from approximately 400 yards to 100 yards, 30 degrees to 10 degrees from port for about 5 seconds. He was hit in the engine and cockpit, exploding and bursting into flames. This was witnessed by several other pilots.
Lt. F. Fearnley of 331 (N) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 December 1943:
When at 27,000 ft. Blue Section turned starboard and I went down to attack the lower 6 of the formation. The e/a kept orbiting in line astern in two Sections of three as if they had not seen us. Choosing the last e/a – a Fw.190 – of a formation of 3, I closed in out of sun from port and above to 300 yards, giving two short bursts, and closing to 250 yards as I fired. I saw numerous hits round the cockpit and the e/a exploded – big pieces falling off and one of them hitting the leading edge of my port wing, causing slight damage. This engagement was seen by Red 1 and 2, Major Austeen and Sgt. Engelson respectively and Blue 2 and 4, Sgt Schjodt and Sgt. Treider respectively, Sgt. Engelson seeing the rest of the aircraft to crash into the ground. A few seconds after I had finished my attack I saw another Fw.190 go down in flames on my port side.
S/Ldr. R. A. Sutherland of 602 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 December 1943:
I was flying Red 1 and when the section was bounced we carried on North and then turned behind 132 Squadron and back into the Melee. I opened fire at a FW 190 and between 400 – 600 yards and saw flames pout our and the a/c went down spinning and well on fire. I claim this a/c destroyed.
Capt. P. G. J. Aubertin (Free French) of 602 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 December 1943:
I was flying Blue 1 at 12,000 ft. and looking behind I saw 4 FW 190’s diving on us. I broke starboard and saw one of the FW 190’s following a pilot of 132 Squadron. Tightening my turn, I got on to the e/a’s tail which was firing at the friendly a/c and I opened fire at 600 – 800 yards to distract his attention. The e/a broke starboard and dived towards a nearby airfield (possibly Vitry-en-Artois). I followed, closing to 100 yards firing at intervals until a height of about 800 feet. I fired again as he started to turn left and he suddenly went on his back and disappeared below me. I saw strikes on the fuselage when he was at 3,000 feet and at 1,000 feet. I claim this a/c probably destroyed.
F/Lt. A. E. Tomblin of 132 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 December 1943:
I was flying Blue 1 and in the general melee I caught up with a FW 190 and followed it down to 6,000 feet and then fired closing to 400 yards. I saw strikes on the starboard side of the cockpit and saw the a/c turn and go into the ground.
F/Lt. George F. Beurling of 412 Squadron (RCAF) reported in his Combat Report for 30 Dec 1943:
We were about 7 miles west of R/V and about 20,000 ft. I was flying No. 1 in Yellow Section when I sighted a F.W. 190 cutting in from behind and below Blue Section. I rolled to starboard and cut into the F.W. 190 which dived away. I turned to follow and took a long range 3 second burst. I closed to 270 – 280 yards and fired another 1 second burst from starboard quarter, and 35° below. The E/A’s speed was about 250 m.p.h. This was at about 8,000 feet. The E/A rolled to starboard and I fired another burst from his starboard quarter at 20° angle off. It went straight down in flames and I saw the pilot bale out. I used my Cine gun during the combat and also took a sighter burst coming back. I claim this E/A as destroyed.
S/Ldr. H. A. S. Johnston, D.F.C. of 165 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report of 31 December 1943:
On 31,12,43, I was leading the ‘Hoover’ (165 Squadron) 9 of the Culmhead Wing, acting as rear target support for American heavy bombers returning from the Bordeaux area. A Wing of these bombers was sighted south of Lezardrieux; one of them was seen to be straggling and my section of 9 was detached by the Wing Leader to investigate his condition and cover him if necessary.
F/O D. Warren of 165 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report of 31 December 1943:
On 31.12.43 I was flying as Yellow 1 in the section of 9 aircraft of 165 Squadron on the second Fighter Sweep in Part II of Ramrod 118.
P/O T. A. Vance (Australian) of 165 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report of 31 December 1943:
On 31st December, 1943, I was flying as Hoover Red 4 with P/O Armstrong as my No. 2 on a Fighter Sweep over the north of the Brest Peninsula. Our section led by S/Ldr. Johnston attacked some F.W. 190s (about 5 or 6) which were attacking a formation of Fortresses. The C.O. attacked one F.W. 190 and I saw cannon and m.g. strikes on the fuselage and then saw the e/a go into a spin with undercart falling down streaming black smoke. I attacked another F.W. 190 (270 – 180 yds) from slightly port to line astern, obtaining m.g. and cannon strikes on wings and fuselage. The speed of the e/a I estimate to be 400 m.p.h. (I.A.S.) I then lost sight of it because of smoke and broke off my attack. I saw it going down streaming black smoke until it entered cloud, the top of which was at about 1,500 ft. S/Ldr. O’Meara who was leading the Wing saw this a/c on fire, and said that he saw my aircraft letters as I passed by him. I claim this a/c destroyed.
This is but a snapshot in time of the 1942-43 period. During 1944 both Spitfires and Me 109s gained significant performance increases. For information on that period see HERE.