S/Ldr. E. Horbaczewski of 43 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 16 September 1943:
After patrolling landing beaches, Salerno, for 1 hour Operations gave us permission to pancake.
Diving from Salerno towards Aerodrome we were at 10,000 ft. above our base, when I saw A.A. open up South East from Aerodrome.
4 P.38's were seen near A.A. bursts at 4,000 ft. and below them at about 2,000 ft 12 FW.190's diving East.
I ordered Spitfires to attack them.
We chased E/A for about 3 minutes and I closed to one of the E/A to 200 yds. at about 300 ft.
I gave FW.190 two short bursts of "mixed" fire, and I saw strikes; after second burst E/A half-rolled and went straight down and hit deck about 3 miles S. East of CAMPAGNA.
E/A was seen to crash by F/Lt. Rayner.
I started to chase two more FW.190's and opened fire on the port one from about 250 yds. range at deck-level, with Starboard cannon only, giving a number of short bursts finishing all Ammo.
As a result of this fire E/A caught fire in portside of engine and I saw strikes in cockpit area.
E/A went straight down and crashed 10 miles N.E. of CAMPAGNA.
I claim 2 FW.190's destroyed.
F/Lt. I. F. Kennedy of 93 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 17 September 1943:
I was Packard Blue One airborne to patrol Salerno Beach S. of Naples.
When approaching patrol area from the south at 19000’ over AGROPOLI I saw four aircraft about 4 or 5 miles North of AGROPOLI at 15000'.
I jettisoned my long range tank and pursued these aircraft which dive bombed vertically some shipping just off shore. I followed one recognizing it as an F.W.190, North-Eastwards at heights varying from deck level to 5000' from about 60 miles to the CASTELLUCIO-FOGGIA area.
During the pursuit it was joined by another F.W.190. In the above area I was closing on one when the other turned on me & in the ensuing combat I got in several head on attacks.
In the first burst I hit one FW190 seemingly in the low rear fuselage, a piece of which was knocked off. One of my cannons jammed.
After some minutes the 190’s continued N.E. and I pursued again, catching easily the damaged one at 10001 and attacking it from quarter astern 200 yds.
I hit it again apparently in the engine & it slowed down to 140 mph. with its propeller milling.
My ammunition was expended when two more 190’s appeared and I turned back towards Salerno, being pursued for a short time by one FW 190.
I landed O.K. at 324 Wing 'drome. I claim one FW190 probably destroyed as the aircraft I attacked was gliding when I left it & in my estimation could not have returned to its base.
2/Lt. J. E. Gasson of 92 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 19 September 1943:
I was flying Beefy Black 2 on patrol N Sat 8000 over base.
We were flying North at 0745 when I saw an A/C at 3 o’clock at 9000', coming out of the sun 800 yards away.
As he saw us he turned back into the sun and I recognized it as a 109. I climbed after it 10 11,000' (E/A then jettisoned his long range tank).
He dived to 5000' I closd to 200 yds. and fired a 1 ½ sec. burst. He was weaving violently and pulled up to 8000', then dived again.
At 5000' I closed to a 100 yds. and this time saw strikes on the left hand side of the cockpit and the port wing. Glycol poured from the engine.
He dived at 45° and I followed to 1000’ where he flicked onto his back. I overshot here and did not see him again. I last saw him near CONVERSANO.
I claim 1 Me.109 probable
145 Squadron recorded in its Consolidated Sortie Report for 2 October 1943:
When flying at 6000' in the H.68 area in two sections of 4 the Spitfires sighted 9 FW.190's in Vics of 3 flying SE at 12,000' along the coastline.
The Spitfires turned to starboard and climbed to cut off the E/A.
The leading section got to within 4/500 yards approx 5 miles SE of PENNA Point and the 190's started to dive.
The Spitfires dived after them and individual combats ensued.
S/Ldr Wade, who was leading the formation, fired a deflection burst without result and then got in line astern.
He closed to 200 yards and gave the port A/C of the rearmost Vic two three-second bursts.
Strikes were seen and pieces flew off the fuselage and the 190 rolled over and dived onto the outskirts of TERMOLI village, where it caught fire.
The remainder of the E/A had dived to ground level and attempted to evade combat in climbing turns.
S/Ldr Wade was at 4000' when the 190 crashed, and he then saw a Spitfire attacking a 190 while another 190 was attacking the Spitfire.
He closed from quarter astern onto the second A/C and saw strikes along the starboard side in the engine and cockpit area.
The cannons ceased firing and the attack was continued with machine guns. S/Ldr Wade broke away after closing to 50 yards and seeing an explosion in the E/A.
He returned to the attack and saw flames coming from the 190's fuselage before the A/C went down from 500' and crashed 3/5 miles West of SAN SEVERO.
Claim – 2 FW.190's destroyed.
F/Lt A. U. Houle of 417 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 October 1943:
I was leading a section of four Spitfires proceeding towards Termoli.
When about five mile away No. 3 reported bomb bursts.
His R/T was distorted so I told him to lead me down.
Immediately after that I saw a/c on the deck. I ditched my long range tanks and dove my a/c to about 1,000 feet when I saw a F.W. 190 above me going N.W.
I pulled up and got two bursts of two sec. and 1 sec. approximately at a range of 200-250 yards.
On the second burst I saw an explosion on the tail or rear fuselage of the 190.
It went straight down into cloud at 2,000 feet.
I flew through or around cloud unitl I sighted another 190.
My filter had come into operation and I could not close with him.
I gave him a few bursts at 3-400 yards and saw strikes and pieces fall off the port side of the fuselage near the wing root.
A short while later I chased another 190 which broke left and followed him at ground level for about 20 miles giving him a short burst now and then.
I saw strikes and pieces fall off the tail plane.
I could not get any closer than 300 yards.
As the fight was in and around cloud it was difficult to keep an a/c in sight for any length of time.
I broke away short of ammunition but resumed patrol with the remainder of the section.
Claims: 1 Probable and 2 Damaged.
F/Sgt. G. Buchanan (N.Z.) of 92 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 24 November 1943:
I was flying Yellow 3 in a formation of four A/C led by F/LT J Nicholls DFC.
When 5 miles out to sea at 10000' off the bomb line Pyrex reported two F.W.190s bombing off Penna Point,.
I looked inland and saw our own 'flack' up from West of Vasto. While this 'flack' was going up I saw two A/C diving into it and reported them to Beefy Yellow one.
They then flew North and I went down to engage them followed by Beefy Yellow four.
I engaged the first 190 at H.2595 and opened fire at 250 yds. dead astern closing to 100 yds. giving him two good bursts.
I observed strikes along the fuselage and wing roots which were also seen by Yellow four.
At this point I over shot the E/A and while doing so it rolled on its back and went down in a spiral dive seeming to be out of control.
As I thought that he had had it I started to go after the other one.
The first E/A was followed down by Yellow four who observed brown yellow smoke coming from its engine and gave it a 2 second burst to help it on its way.
Yellow four had to off this attack as his engine cut and he had to return to base. In the meantime I was chasing the other one balls out and climbing rapidly.
While this was going on another E/A joined in line abreast I opened fire on one from about 350/210 yds; away line astern in a series of short bursts and could see my bullets putting a good pattern all around the wing roots and fuselage.
I was unable to observe any strikes in this engagement. Both E/A took violent evasive action by barrel rolling all over the sky.
The second E/A I engaged rolled down towards the ground but I think he made off O'K.
At this point I was out of ammunition and had to break off the engagement and return to base.
Personally I think there were three E/A instead of two and that I didn’t see the third during the first engagement.
I claim 1 F.W. 190 destroyed – since confirmed by the Army.
145 Squadron recorded in its Consolidated Sortie Report for 26 November 1943:
The section was flying at 14000' NW of TORINO when Controller reported a high flying E/A going North from MANFREDONIA at A.30.
The leader detached 2 A/c to intercept the E/A and F/O Minto and his No.2 F/Sgt. Newman, turned West and gained height to 33000' and then turned East.
They sighted a vapour trail in the LADE VARANO area 2000’ below and at 2 o'clock from them.
The E/A was moving up the coast so the Spitfires turned to port to head it off.
As they were approaching the A/c, identified as a ME.210, started diving. The first attack was delivered at A.30 SW of TERNOLI.
F/O Minto fired a 45° deflection burst and as he closed in to line astern saw the starboard engine was on fire.
Two more attacks were made from close range, return fire being experienced after the second attack, and the port undercarriage dropped.
The 210 attempted to evade by losing height and side-slipping, but there was no more return fire.
F/O Minto followed it down to 3000' and last saw it diving vertically at that height.
F/Sgt. Newman saw it pull out of the dive and last saw it a 300' trailing thick black smoke and losing height rapidly approx 9 miles South of VASTO.
The E/A has been reported to have crashed by the army and is claimed as destroyed by F/O Minto.
F/Sgt. Newman fired two bursts after F/O Minto had set the starboard engine on fire, but he saw no strikes and makes no claim.
145 Squadron recorded in its Consolidated Sortie Report for 28 November 1943:
The section was over TERMOLI returning to base after patrol when Controller reported 20 bogeys approaching the battle area from the East.
Section turned about and climbed and when flying at A.17/18 at EM.5795 saw 8 ME.109's 1000' above flying in the opposite direction.
Both formations turned about. As the Spitfires climbed to engage 2 of the E/A made head-on attacks without result, 4 climbed away and the remaining 2 dived out of range.
Lt. Wells turned and dived after one of the 109's which made a head-on attack.
He gave it a deflection burst from 3/400 yards but saw no strikes and makes no claim.
F/Sgt. Thomson dived after one of the E/A which had dived sway to avoid combat and made three attacks in the dive.
The first burst was fired from 250 yards astern. The second burst was given with slight deflection and produced strikes on the starboard wing root.
The final burst, also a slight deflection shot, scored strikes on the starboard radiator and the A/c gave off thick white smoke.
F/Sgt. Thomson followed it down to A/13 and then broke away. Two other members of the section report the E/A as having been seen at 7000' spiraling down vertical and leaving a heavy trail of white smoke.
Forward Fighter Control later reported that the 109 had crashed at HH.5692 and it is claimed as destroyed by F/Sgt. Thomson.
The 109’s made off NW and were reported by controller to be at 5000' but the Spitfires were short of fuel and returned to base.
W/O K. Warren of 92 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 28 November 1943:
At approximately 1215 Hrs whilst patrolling as Yellow 3 over the east end of the bomb line, Controller reported 12+ bandits approaching the mouth of the Sangro from the East at Angles 20.
We immediately gained angels out to sea, (Bandits now reported at angels 15) turned about and after crossing the coast flying inland at angels 15 I saw 8+ E/A at 1 o'clock.
Almost immediately they half rolled and went down almost vertically following the North bank of the Sangro inland – I was about 100 yds behind E/A at the start of the dive with everything forward I closed and gave 3 or 4 sec bursts of cannon fire at 300 yds range, by this time E/A and ourselves were almost at deck level.
At this time I saw two of my friends chasing 3 E/A – our friends got strikes on the centre E/A.
I was still closing when I saw an E/A coming in from the port it seemed that he might attack friends already mentioned.
This caused me to break off the chase of the first E/A and immediately opened fire from 20 degrees starboard and a little above.
I had three 1 sec. bursts (cannon) closing from 300 to 75 yds. My last burst causing flashes and fire on the starboard side of the engine.
My No.2 over shot me at this point - he saw the E/A strike the deck. I too saw this about ½ mile away to starboard I saw F/Lt Nicholls DFC victim shrouded by a pall of smoke.
I claim 1 Me 109 destroyed.
F/O R. W. Henderson of 92 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 30 November 1943:
I was flying Yellow 5 in a section of six aircraft.
I was detached with Yellow six to intercept 3+ bandits approaching Casoli from the North flying at 21000'.
These aircraft were later reported 15000' over Casoli and flying East to R.Sangro mouth.
My section were then at 13000' flying North 10 mile from mouth of the river.
I spotted two A/C flying East on the same level at 9 o'clock to my A/C. I continued up and let the aircraft pass underneath.
I then did a sharp diving turn to the right and attacked an aircraft which I identified as a FW 190.
I closed to 250 yds and fired a 2 second burst from 10° port. No results were seen so I fired another burst from dead astern at 200 yds.
This resulted in an explosion at left wing root. The A/C pulled sharply up, flicked onto its back and I gave it another short burst before it disappeared below my nose.
I turned and saw E/A in a spin with quantities of white smoke coming from the engine which later increased and turned black before it exploded on the ground at C.3904.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed.
Lt. A. Sachs (SAAF) of 92 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 30 November 1943:
I was flying Yellow 3.
At 0935 I saw 10+ 109s and 190s which we had been warned of by Control, bombing along the secondary road parallel with the Sangro River towards the River mouth.
I dived on them and as I approached they turned and began straffing the road towards the mountains.
I closed in on a 190 and fired several bursts from quarter astern and astern from 250 – 50 yds.
He dived N.W. along the side of the mountain and after seeing strikes on the cockpit I saw the A/C half roll and it crashed in the vicinity of H.1898.
I then broke slightly up as a Warhawk was on the 190s No 2s tail. The Warhawk fired several shots none of which hit the E/A.
He then broke up and I closed in on the 190 and fired a burst at quarter astern from 100 yds. getting strikes on the wing roots, as I was firing the Warhawk flew through my sights so I broke away and then lost sight of the 190.
I then rejoined the Patrol.
I claim One F.W 190 destroyed. One F.W 190 damaged.
F/O D. E. Eastman of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 30 November 1943:
I was flying as White 3 in a section of four a/c.
We were flying at 26,000' in a north Easterly direction when 10 a/c were reported on our port side flying in opposite direction.
We did a turnabout and the a/c were ahead of us coming out of sun. I saw three of them heading out to sea and chased the nearest one.
After approx. three minutes, I was able to close up to within approx. 100 yds.
I gave a/c one second burst from very fine quarter on port side, and then swung in dead behind him.
I gave him another short burst from less than 100 yds. and enemy a/c blew up and become a mass of flames.
I claim one F.W.190 Destroyed.
W/O H. G. Johnson of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 30 November 1943:
Flying number four, Rally white section on patrol over Casoli heading I reported a/c at 9 o'clock coming S.E.
Rally leader called turn about port and white section turned into ten F.W.190's.
One enemy a/c passed in front of me at 500 yds and I gave chase closing to 400 yds the a/c turned sharply to port so I turned inside him and got a short burst of cannon at two rings deflection.
The a/c then went into a vertical dive doing aileron turns straight down. I followed gaining slightly on him and gave a short burst of cannon from astern.
The a/c pulled out of his dive and I closed in to 200 yds gave a 3 second burst of cannon from astern.
Pieces of his a/c flew by me, flame and smoke trailed from the a/c which slowed down and I drew abreast of it as 100' to starboard and saw the cockpit a mass of red & yellow flames.
I slipped behind him again and gave a final burst of cannon & M.G. The a/c slowly rolled over and went straight down smoking & flaming.
I claim one F.W. 190 Destroyed.
F/O J. A. O’Brian of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 30 November 1943:
I was flying as White two in a section of 4 a/c.
We were flying in a S. Westerly direction at 26,000 when 10 e/a were sighted about 1,000' above approaching from out of sun.
The e/a made no attempt to attack but dived towards the sea; White 1 dived after one Hun which went into a steep left turn.
I was unable to follow so attacked F.W.190 which was diving and turning towards the south. I fired a long burst from about 250 yds. in the quarter astern position and at an angle of about 20°
or 30° above; on this shot I allowed about 1½ rings deflection.
The e/a attempted to take evasive action by diving and doing aileron turns.
As I could not see any e/a above and behind.
I swung in to dead astern on the e/a and from 3-400 yds. range gave it a long burst of cannon and M.G.,
by this time he was trailing a large amount of White smoke and diving towards the north.
On breaking aside to look behind I got out of range and could not close in again.
When I last saw the e/a it was streaming white glycol smoke at 10,000' and diving towards it’s own lines.
A minute or two afterwards I saw and explosion which gave off dark gray and black smoke.
The point of explosion was at H.2397 and in the line of flight by the e/a when last seen.
I claim one F.W. 190 Probably destroyed.
S/Ldr. O. C. Kallio DFC of 145 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 2 December 1943:
I was leading a section of 6 A/c on patrol at 10000' over the coast at O.4206 when 1/14 FW.190's were seen diving at high speed from the sea.
The E/A passed us and 4 of my section dived after them. Almost immediately 6/8 ME.109's followed the 190's.
My No.2 and I turned into them and followed them down to 8000' when they started climbing again.
The 190's jettisoned bombs and I saw 2 or 3 bombs with an umbrella type parachute attachment in addition to some canisters of anti-personnel bombs.
The 109's jettisoned long range tanks. I climbed after one of the 109's as it made off West and got in a 30 ° deflection burst from 175/200 yards.
I saw strikes on the fuselage with my cannons and the E/A gave off a thick trail of white smoke.
This A/c was last seen by F/O Parbury at 6000' still flying West, leaving a heavy trail of white smoke.
I do not consider that it could have returned to its base and I therefore claim 1 ME.109 probably destroyed.
Sgt. F. M. O. Handon of 92 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 3 December 1943:
I was flying Yellow 2 in a box of four aircraft which had climbed to 19000' on the way out to patrol West of the Sangro River.
We were over Casoli flying North at 19000' when 12 Me 109s were sighted at 18000' about 1100 yds away on our port side flying East.
I followed my No.1 down to attack and fired a short burst at a 109 which was in a position to attack him.
The E/A slowed down and I was able to close to 50 yds astern.
I opened fire agin and saw strikes which caused large pieces to fall off, immediately afterwards the E/A caught fire and I broke away to avoid hitting it.
As I pulled away he went into a vertical dive still flaming and crashed about 3 miles North of Casoli.
I claim 1 Me 109 destroyed.
S/L A. U. Houle of 417 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 December 1943:
I was leading Rally White Section.
We had given various heights to pin-points of six-plus bandits in our immediate vicinity.
I had been told to pancake, when I saw a gaggle of a/c which I thought was our own release.
I turned towards them, identified them as Me. 109's and turned in behind them.
I took a short burst of one second at 300 yards at one, and he disappeared under my nose.
I turned on to what I thought was the same a/c and at the same time saw an Me.109 going down on fire.
I closed in line astern on the second and gave it a second burst at 200 to 250 yards.
Its tail blew off and there was a long streak of flame from it.
After I had overshot, I turned back and it was still doing aerobatics, on fire with pieces falling off.
Both a/c were seen to hit the ground by myself and F/O Bushe who was my No. 2.
We chased the others and were catching up, but had to turn back through shortage of petrol.
I fired two bursts at 6-800 yards with no results.
The Me. 109's had external cannons (one under each wing) and a bomb or long range tank under the fuselage.
They had dark mottled camouflage.
Claims: Two Me. 109's Destroyed.
S/L Evan Mackie of 92 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 December 1943:
I was leading Yellow Section on Sangro River patrol when I heard Pyrex reporting bogies (12+) at 18,000 to Mustard A/C who we were about to relieve.
We climbed rapidly to 19,000 ft and barely one orbit to port to keep in the area, I sighted approx. 12 strange A/C just north of Casoli, flying SE at about 18,000 ft.
These were leaving black smoke trails behind them.
Suspecting that these were the bogies I dived to attack definitely identifying them as Me 109s.
They immediately split up, some losing height while others gained cloud base at 20,000 ft.
I fired several bursts of cannon and machine gun at two Me 109s from approx. 300/350 yds but there were too many others around for me to concentrate much on these.
Seeing my tail was clear I picked on another 109 and fired several bursts from about 10 degrees astern at about 300/350 yds range.
I saw several flashes on the fuselage near the cockpit.
The machine then went into a screaming dive towards the mountain taking no avoiding action.
I did not fire any more but followed the 109 down to about 4,000 ft when I turned to port to avoid the mountain and saw it crash in the foothills at approx. H.1989.
About the same time I saw another machine crash in flames near H.2495.
Claim: 1 Me 109 destroyed.
S/L Evan Mackie of 92 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 5 December 1943:
I was leading Yellow Section of 4 A/C on patrol in the Sangro Rover area when Pyrex reported 15+ bogies approaching from the west at 20,000 ft.
I climbed rapidly to 22,000 ft, but the plots had failed and we were given no further information for a few minutes.
Pyrex then reported 2+ bandits flying east near Casoli.
I could not see the ground at all owing to dense cloud below, except for the snow covered top of Mt. Amaro,.
Just east of this my No. 3 reported four 109s at 3 o'clock above.
I immediately spotted these as they tried to dive onto our tails.
They dived away westwards with myself and Yellow 2 in hot pursuit.
We were going too fast to fire and as they were diving for cloud I broke away and climbed to about 20,000 ft again straight into sun as we were in the midst of 10 or 12 109s which appeared to be orbiting at 12,000 ft.
From 20,000 I spotted a 109 getting away westwards about 15,000 ft, so I dived down and opened fire with cannon and machine guns from about 300/350 yds closing to 100 yds.
I fired 8 to 10 bursts with the 109 weaving and diving and then climbing in front.
At about 100 yds it blew up in a sheet of flame.
Sgt E. Budgen my No.2 witnessed this.
I then climbed to 20,000 ft again and resumed patrol.
I saw 10 109s flying westwards over the mountain at about 1,200 ft, but as I did not know how much ammunition I had left and I did not know where Yellow 3 and 4 were, I did not attack.
Claim: 1 Me 109 destroyed.
S/L A. U. Houle of 417 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 January 1944:
I was leading eight aircraft call sign "Brandy", at 12,000 feet.
Ground station "Earthwork" had reported bandits in the vicinity.
I saw four aircraft in line astern formation 6,000 feet below, one which looked suspicious.
I started down to investigate, then saw them drop their bombs.
I gave the order to drop L.R. tanks and dove down behind the four F.W. 190's.
I took a short burst at the last one with no visible results at about 150 yards.
I closed in to about 100 yards and got in another second burst.
Black smoke poured from his aircraft and I saw many strikes around the engine and fuselage and wing roots.
At the same time a 190 got on my tail and my aircraft was hit in three places.
I broke starboard into a squadron of Kittyhawks so climbed back on patrol.
I did not see the F.W. 190 go in.
79 Group confirmed this F.W. 190 as also did Brandy Red Four.
Claim: one F.W. 190 Destroyed.
F/L B. N. M. DeLarminat of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 23 January 1944:
I was Brandy Blue 3 on patrol over the battle area.
Three formations of 109's and 190's came above us, from the N.W., N.W., and from the sun.
In the dogfight which followed I took about 12 to 15 squirts at enemy aircraft, 109's most of them.
One of them at which I fired with deflection from about 300 yards started pouring white smoke and headed northward in a shallow dive.
I could not follow him as I sighted more enemy aircraft above and behind me.
In the following engagements, I went after a 190 giving him a few bursts with deflection from 300 yards and then in line astern.
We were diving very steeply and the 190 was last seen going in a vertical dive pouring black smoke and disappeared in 10/10 cloud, 6000 ft. top.
I didn’t follow since the clouds were quite low over the hills north-west of battle area. This was confirmed by my No.2.
Claim – One Me.109 damaged. One FW.190 Probable
S/L A. U. Houle of 417 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 January 1944:
I was leading Brandy Section at 12,000 feet.
30-plus bandits were reported coming in from the east.
I few minutes later I saw ten-plus Me. 190's diving on harbour Anzio from east to west.
My section of four aircraft intercepted them at 10,000 feet before they bombed.
I followed them down and closed in on two Me. 109's which had turned north.
They were taking violent evasive action.
I fired a few bursts using deflection with no results.
Then I got the rear 109 with a short burst in the middle of his weave.
His tail blew off and a large sheet of flame came out.
It rolled over on its back and went straight in.
I closed in on the other 109 and got in a deflection shot and it turned.
No visible results. I then got a short burst line astern and it changed direction.
There was a violent exlplosion on its port wing and large pieces fell off.
I think I hit the ammunition.
It went into a steep dive under the nose of my aircraft and I lost it.
When I turned over and went down I could not find it.
The 109's had external cannons, one under each wing, were dark green and light green canouflaged which blended well with the ground and the pilots seemed very experienced.
Claim: One Me. 109 Destroyed, one Me 109 Damaged.
S/L Evan Mackie of 92 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 February 1944:
I was leading Red Section of 6 A/C on battle patrol at 12,000 ft when bandits were reported NW of Anzio near the coast.
When almost over Anzio itself a few minutes later, I spotted a gaggle of about 15 A/C half rolling and diving from about 13/14,000 ft, probably bombing some cruisers, through cloud just west of the Point.
I intercepted one FW 190 as it levelled out over land and closing in to about 250 yds fired both cannon and machine guns.
The 190 took evasive action by climbing, diving and weaving so I had no trouble in keeping in range.
I fired many short bursts and saw strikes on the fuselage just in front of the cockpit and starboard wing roots.
Streams of white smoke burst from the engine and there was a burst of flame.
The 190 half rolled and diving through some cloud, crashed in a cloud of dust a approximately F.7846.
I was then at less than 4,000 ft and as much light flak was coming up I beat a hasty retreat and resumed patrol.
Claim: 1 Me 109 destroyed.
S/L A. U. Houle of 417 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 7 February 1944:
I was leading the squadron of ten a/c on a de-louse south-west of Rome at 16,000 feet.
I heard the enemy were engaged over Anzio and saw bomb bursts.
A few minutes later I saw what I thought were a/c flying NW along the coast low down.
I dove down, but lost sight of them and started climbing towards the north.
My No. 2 reported an extra a/c on the right our our formation and a few minutes later it dove towards the deck.
I followed it down, recognized it as an Me.109 and fired two short bursts at about 500 yards range.
It started a left hand steep turn and stayed in the turn.
I turned inside firing bursts at 300 yards, closing to about 50 yards.
I got clouds of black smoke, then white smoke which slowed it down considerably.
The 109 started to reverse its turn and a short burst blew its tail off.
The pilot baled out and a few seconds later the a/c caught fire and went straight in.
Claim: One Me. 109 Destroyed.
F/L H. J. Everard of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 14 February 1944:
Whilst flying North West at 12,000 ft. two miles N.W. of Anzio, I reported aircraft diving towards the harbour from the S.E. Red Section immediately attacked six fighter-bombers (F.W.190's) at the same moment I saw 12 more 190’s diving out of sun towards our attacking Red Section.
As Blue leader I attacked this last formation with my section.
Closing in on a F.W.190 I gave a short burst from 500 yds., then broke off to attack another still closer.
This was a stern shot from slightly above at approx. 300 yds. range. At this moment I saw 12 Me.109's above peeling off to attack.
I immediately climbed a thousand feet and attacked a Me.109 from below and in the port quarter position, the range was 300 yds. and I was able to get in a good burst before the e/a disappeared under my nose.
I saw strikes (cannon) just aft of the engine and on the side of the cockpit.
My No.2 (P/O G.I. Doyle) reports that this aircraft went on it’s back and dived straight down after my attack.
I claim One Me.109 Destroyed.
This claim has been confirmed by army sources in a signal to 64th Fighter Group.
F/O G. E. Horricks of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 14 February 1944:
I was flying Red 3 at 12,000 ft. when Red 1 led us into the attack on the second formation of F.W.190's.
I tacked on to the last e/a of the formation and attacked with a short burst from ¾ astern position at 50 yds. range.
No results observed as I was caught in his slipstream. I straightened out and went into the line astern position for my second attack.
After closing to 300 yds. I gave the e/a a 3 to 4 second burst and it started to pour black smoke and go into a steep dive.
I followed and gave a further short burst from the same position and as the same range (300 yds).
After this attack the e/a started giving off large puffs of black smoke at intervals.
By this time more F.W.190's were behind me and I had to break off my attack.
When last seen the e/a was at 2,000 ft. in a steep dive, smoking very heavily.
Red Section was then ordered to reform and I resumed patrol. Note:- When last seen the e/a was just south of Lanuvio Map. Ref. F.9243.
I claim one F.W.190 Destroyed.
This claim has been confirmed by army sources in a signal to 64th Fighter Group.
F/Lt. H. S. Woods of 145 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report of 15 February 1944:
I was leading GREEN section on patrol over ANZIO Battle area at A.7 when at 1530 Hrs. while over F.9722 flying NW I saw 2 a/c directly below me flying low on the deck towards ROME in line abreast I and my No.2 (F/Sgt. McKernan) dived down to investigate them.
I identified them as short nosed FW 190's.
I attacked the E/A on the port side from 100 yards dead astern, shooting at him with MG and cannon until smoke came from the fuselage and bits and pieces were falling off in all directions.
His engine was failing and his propeller slowing down. I then had to pull away as I was overshooting.
I was just about to go in to give it a final burst when I saw my No. 2 shoot down the other FW 190 in flames at approx. F.8648 crashing into a house.
My FW 190 then turned over on its back and crashed in flames at F.8349.
The whole combat took place at ground level.
I claim 1 FW 190 Destroyed.
F/Sgt R. W. McKernan of 145 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report of 15 February 1944:
I was flying No. 2 to F/Lt. H.S. Woods, who was leading the section on a Battle area patrol over the ANZIO area at A.7 flying NW when leader reported 2 bogeys on the deck flying towards ROME.
I followed my No.1 down as he dived to investigate. Diving out of sun on the bandits (now identified as FW 190’s with short nose) my No.1 attacked the one on the port side.
As I was on the port side of my No. 1 I had to cross over to attack the other being about 4-500 yards behind.
I caught him up and fired 2 bursts with MG and Cannon from 2-300 yards dead astern seeing strikes and pieces fly off.
I closed in slowly to 100-150 yards giving him short bursts all the time when he burst into flames, first in the engine then the cockpit.
He dived down from about 30 feet and crashed into house and exploded at F.8648. He took no evasive action throughout the combat but hedge-hopped all the way.
I then looked for my No.1 and saw him about to attack the other FW 190 which was already badly hit and his propeller stopped when it burst into flames, turned over on its back and hit the deck at F.8349 approx.
I claim 1 FW 190 Destroyed.
F/L H. J. Everard of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 16 February 1944:
Whilst flying Green leader at 8,000 ft. over Anzio, vapour trials were reported over Rome at 18,000 ft.
Green Section began to climb immediately and when at 11,000 ft., four miles north of Anzio approx. 18 F.W.190's peeled off from 16,000 ft. and dived towards the East.
These were about 1,000 yds. to the North of us, so leaving two aircraft behind to ward off the top cover of Me.109's, I led the remaining three aircraft to attack.
About 12 miles N.W. of Anzio I over took a F.W.190, opening fire slightly above and astern and at a range of 400 yds.
After a short burst I saw strikes along the port wing root and the side of the cockpit. The e/a then picked down in a vertical dive from 1500 ft.
The A.A. became suddenly intense and accurate and my No.2 called up to say that he had been hit. Turning back I failed to locate or hear from him again.
I claim One F.W.190 Probably Destroyed.
S/Ldr. O. C. Kallio DFC of 145 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 18 February 1944:
I was leading a section of 6 a/c with another section of 4 a/c behind and above, between 3 and 4,000’ at approx. F.8227 flying W. when I saw 4 FW 190’s at 4,500’ flying line abreast in south easterly direction losing height as they approached our forward troops in F.8721 area. I pulled a turn about and gave chase. I saw E/A jettison their bombs at F.9238 and make off ENE turning gradually to port in line astern. I closed to 200 yds. Astern and slightly above the last E/A in the formation which seemed to be lagging behind the other three and fired two short bursts with MG and cannon using 240 x .303 and 60 x 20mm. The E/A immediately burst into flames and crashed at F.9839. The pilot baled out as his machine burst into flames and landed quite near his aircraft. His parachute opened successfully. The whole action was seen by F/O. Harrington – my No.2 – and P/O. Francis – No.3.
I claim 1 FW 190 Destroyed.
F/Lt. A. J. Radcliffe (RAAF) of 145 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 11 March 1944:
While on patrol over the ANZIO beach-head I saw 12+ FW 190’s bomb just NW of ANZIO and gave chase but I returned to ANZIO at A7. as they had got too much start on our section.
When over ANZIO I saw 6+ ME 109’s orbiting F.8525 at 9,000' and gave chase and caught up one of them making off NE.
I closed to 200 yards and fired seeing strikes on the port radiator. Glycol poured from the E/A and covered my windshield.
I then closed to 100 yards and fired again seeing strikes on the fuselage.
E/A then started to smoke and I had to break away having used all my ammunition, (1200 x .303 and 240 x 20MM).
F/Sgt. Stirling who was behind me witnessed my attack and followed E/A after I had broken away, to finish it off.
The following statement was made by F/Sgt. Stirling:- "After F/Lt. Radcliffe had broken away to starboard I followed the E/A which almost immediately went into a vertical dive with black smoke and white liquid pouring from it.
I was about to fire when the E/A’s port wing burst into flames which then spread over the whole a/c. It then went completely out of control and went down in a spiral and a steep dive from 1,500' at F.9940.
I then broke away into two a/c to port".
During the combat the E/A attempted a half roll and finally resorted to weaving. I claim 1 ME 109 Destroyed.
F/L H. J. Everard of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 21 February 1944:
I was flying as blue one in a section of four a/c.
At approx. 11.20 hours enemy aircraft were reported coming in from the East.
At this time I was at 21,000 ft. and just North of Anzio, and as I turned to investigate, I saw 12 Me.109's at 23,000 ft. 3 miles to the East.
Below these were 12 F.W.190’s, these, I reported to Control and led my section up to attack the Me.109's.
I closed to about 400 yds. on one e/a and gave it a short burst from about 30 deg. off. (no results seen).
I then attacked another e/a from the same range and deflection but had to break off my attack after a short burst as e/a came in at me from out of sun.
I turned into these and as they broke away I was able to close to about 400 yds. on a Me.109 that was passing in front of me.
I attacked with a three second burst from the dead line astern position.
During this attack I saw strikes on the e/a and the vapour trail that it was making seemed to increase as though I had hit his glycol system.
The e/a then went into a gentle dive and slowed up as though his engine had stopped, and finally went down in a vertical dive, at this moment I was again attacked from out of sun and had to break away.
My Mo.2 (F/O Burgess) reports seeing the last a/c attacked 8,000 ft. below (15,000 ft.) still in a vertical dive and with a very large amount of black smoke pouring from it.
I claim One Me.109 as Probably Destroyed.
F/Lt. L. A. Hall of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 8 March 1944:
While patrolling at approximately 7 miles north of F.9730, two bogies were reported coming from the North.
As Yellow 1 I detailed Yellow 3-4 to continue normal patrol while Yellow 2 and I went to cover a Cub that was directing artillery fire.
Soon after leaving, an Me.109 jumped Yellow 3-4 damaging Yellow 3. The Me.109 then made a fast pass at the Cub them climbed away north through a break in the clouds.
Yellow 2 and I chased it up, using about plus 12 boost, and 2600 revs. We overtook the 109 easily, closed to less than 200 yds. and gave him a 3-4 second burst of both cannon and machine guns, from dead astern and a little below.
The 109 gave out a high belch of flame and smoke, rolled over to the left and spiraled down into the cloud on fire.
As we circled the spot to return back to the patrol line I saw a bright fire through a hole in the cloud.
Whether it was where the aircraft crashed, I could not say. On the way back to the coast we experienced heavy accurate flack from enemy batteries behind the lines.
I claim one Me.109 Destroyed.
F/L B. J. Ingalls of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 16 March 1944:
At 14.20 hours I was flying yellow 1 in a four aircraft formation at 6,000 ft. when Yellow 3 (F/O O'Brian) reported two FW.190's at two o'clock, slightly above, and flying East, just north of Anzio.
I saw them immediately and took the e/a on the port side and followed it down to the deck. After a ten minute chase I was able to close to within 250 to 300 yds. range.
I attacked with two two second bursts from the line astern position.
During my attack I saw strikes on the wing roots and fuselage, black smoke started pouring from it and the port wheel dropped down.
The finally crashed in flames at F.7734. This is confirmed by F/O Kimber and F/O O'Brian.
I claim One FW.190 Destroyed.
F/O J. A. O'Brian of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 16 March 1944:
I was flying as yellow three in a four aircraft formation at 6,000 four miles north of Anzio.
At 14.20 hours I reported two aircraft about five miles North of Anzio flying East and slightly above us.
As we sighted them they dived and turned North. Yellow leader then ordered us to give chase.
I closed in on one F.W.190 and attacked with five bursts from ten deg. off the line astern position at 300 yds closing to 75 yds.
I saw strikes after my first burst and later pieces flew from his tail and then a large burst of flame appeared from the starboard wing root.
The e/a then passed under my nose and Yellow 2 (F/O Kimber) saw the e/a hit the ground and burst into flames.
I claim One F.W. Destroyed.
F/L B. J. Ingalls of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 19 March 1944:
I was flying as Blue I in a four aircraft formation at 14,000 ft.
At approximately 16.30 hours I sighted two aircraft at my own level just south of Rome.
With my No.2 I went to investigate but lost contact with them on the outskirts of the city.
In looking down I saw three Me.109’s at 3,000 ft. flying North over the city. I told my No.2 to fall in behind me and dived down behind the e/a.
I closed to within 200 yds. of the 109 on the port sided and attacked with three short bursts from dead astern and slightly below.
During my attack I saw strikes on the rear portion of the e/a’s fuselage and pieces started to fly off. The aircraft then started to smoke and went into a steep dive.
As I was about to break off to attack on of the other 109’s, the aircraft that I had attacked pulled out of it’s dive and started to climb.
I closed in again and as I attacked with a short burst the pilot of the e/a baled out. The 109 then went into a dive and crashed in flames at F.6785.
I claim one Me.109 destroyed.
F/Lt. W.A.R. MacDonald of 145 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 24 March 1944:
I was leading a section of 4 a/c at 11,000' when CHANGER reported 30+ E/A approaching Cassino at 15,000'.
I climbed to 14,000' and approached the E/A head on. One section dived below us – all of them FW 190's – and two sections of ME 109's and FW 190's passed over us.
In all about 12+ a/c. I turned into a section of ME 109's to starboard and they immediately climbed into sun.
I followed, my No.2 with me, and fired on the rear ME 109 from 200-300 yards astern while in a climb without seeing results.
The E/A then turned over on his back and went down in a dive. I made the same manoeuvre, followed him down and got in another burst from 100-150 yds. astern in a dive seeing strikes on the fuselage and wings then a large piece flew off the starboard wing and another off the fuselage.
The E/A continued in his dive and crashed into the ground at G.7822. The action was witnessed by W/O A.S. Martyn my No.2
I claim 1 ME 109 F or G destroyed.
I used 120 x .303, 40 x 20mm.
F/Lt. B. Blackburn of 145 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 24 March 1944:
I was leading a section at 19,000' over CASSINO when CHANGER reported 30+ bandits coming in from the NW.
We sighted these a/c diving down from the West in a north-easterly direction. Section patrolling below me half rolled and gave chase. I followed suit.
I chased a number of FW 190's up Highway from CASSINO and caught them up very slowly. When about 300 yards from the nearest E/A I fired from astern but saw no strikes.
I then fired from 250 yards and saw strikes on the port wing root.
I fired again from within 200 yards – a long burst – scoring hits on the starboard wing root and starboard side of the engine cowling.
Pieces flew off the E/A and a large could of white smoke or vapour poured out and my a/c was covered with glycol.
The E/A slowed up and lost height and although it appeared to be under control it eventually crashed at G.6930 where it burnt. I used 360 x .303, 180 x 20mm.
I claim 1 FW 190 (Long nose) Destroyed.
F/O J. C. Minto of 145 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 24 March 1944:
The Squadron was on patrol over CASSINO, our section, of which I was No.3 being at 15,000', when CHANGER reported 30+ bandits coming from the NW.
After about 5 minutes we saw the E/A – ME 109's and FW 190's - ahead of and slightly below us coming towards us.
Our section half rolled and dived on these and I got behind a FW 190 which was at the rear of the formation going up Highway No.6.
I closed to 2-300 yards astern, the E/A apparently had not seen me, and fired at him giving him about 4 bursts seeing strikes all over the fuselage, wings and tail unit pieces flying off him.
The E/A slowed up and began to smoke badly. I fired another burst and the E/A skidded to port and then flicked over to starboard and spun into the ground at G.5837.
I used 1400 x .303, 240 x 20 mm.
I claim 1 FW 190 (Short nose) Destroyed.
F/Sgt. J. C. Stirling of 145 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 24 March 1944:
While approaching 6+ FW 190’s going SE at 23,000' making vapour trails at G-7015, I saw, while at 19,000', 12+ e/a heading N. at G.7533 at 14,000'.
I and my No.2 investigated and saw 15 ME 109's. I opened fire from approx. 250 yards astern of the nearest E/A but saw no strikes.
I looked behind me ans saw 2 ME 109’s firing at me and I immediately broke up left and came round onto their tails. I fired at one seeing no strikes and it broke down.
The other went into a shallow dive and I centered my attention on it.
Following it down I fired several short bursts closing in to 50 yards and then fired again hitting the tail plane and fuselage from dead astern.
E/A pulled up and the pilot baled out. The E/A crashed at approx. G.0360. I used 1400 x .303, and 240 20mm. (Confirmed by Camera gun)
I claim 1 ME 109 destroyed.
F/Lt. W.A.R. MacDonald and W/O A.S. Martyn of 145 Squadron recorded in their Sortie Report for 26 March 1944:
While leading a section of 4 a/c on patrol over ANZIO at A.15 GRUBSTAKE reported 3 then 6 bandits approaching ANZIO at A.15 from the West losing height.
I came down to A.14 and saw 2 FW 190's (Long nose) turning to the N. 1,000' below us.
The first E/A made off N at high speed but the other seemed slower and I closed to 300 then 100 yards and then to 40 yards astern firing all the time as E/A went down in dive.
I saw strikes on the port wing and engine cowling and glycol poured from it.
As my ammunition was finished I broke away and told my No.2 (W/O Martyn) to go in and finish it off which he did.
I fired 1400 x .303, and 240 x 20mm.
I claim ½ FW 190 (L.N.) Destroyed.
As F/Lt. MacDonald broke away I closed in and fired from 300 then 100-75 yards astern and saw strikes on the wings and fuselage.
The E/A's engine then stopped. We were now at ground level and the E/A turned over and crashed into the ground at F.7045.
I fired 360 x .303, and 80 x 20mm. I claim ½ FW 190 Destroyed.
F/O C. B. Everett of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 29 March 1944:
I was flying as Blue 2, when we sighted 20 plus bandits going in to bomb Anzio harbour.
Blue leader turned as the bandits turned in to bomb.
Flying North-East, Blue Leader then attacked and I observed strikes on enemy aircraft.
Then I broke up to the right at 3 e/a were getting into range. They continued straight down turning back to join their leader.
Two e/a came from the port side and one FW 190 began firing at Blue Leader and I observed strikes on Blue Leader.
I attacked a FW 190 and observed strikes and pieces coming off.
He started turning and I fired another burst and pieces came off the tail plane and he started belching smoke.
He then rolled over on his back and started earthwards. First burst range being 300-400 yds and the closing range 150-200 yds.
As he rolled over I followed suit and continued short bursts and observed more smoke coming from e/a.
I then noticed the altitude as 4,000 ft. and being in a vertical dive commenced to pull out of dive leveling out at approximately 1,000 ft.
E/A was seen to crash in are by Red Leader ten or fifteen miles north and slightly east of Anzio. Bandits consisted of Me.109's and FW 190's, flying in vics of three some being top cover.
I claim one FW 190 Destroyed.
F/O J. J. Doyle of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 29 March 1944:
I was flying as Blue leader in a formation of four aircraft, when 20 plus bandits were reported at 13,000 ft. coming in just North of Anzio.
We had just completed a turnabout and were approx. one mile East of Anzio when I saw the e/a 600 yds. behind, to starboard and slightly above us.
I turned my section to port and climbed for height. We then circled to port and attacked from out of the Sun.
The e/a who were mixed FW.190's and Me.109's split into two gaggles.
I closed in on the formation that were diving for Anzio and as I was about to open my attack when I saw an Me.109 pass in front of me from the starboard side at 150 to 200 yds. range.
I attacked this aircraft with a three second burst using about 2 rings deflection.
As I broke away I saw the e/a falling away with a large amount of black smoke pouring from it.
Blue 2 (F/O Everett) confirms seeing strikes on the leading edge and wing root of this aircraft.
During the above attack I was myself attacked from behind, and strikes were scored in the after part of my aircraft which caused a fire to start in the inside of the fuselage.
As I broke away from my first attack I sighted another aircraft coming down in front of me from the starboard and above.
I recognized it as an enemy aircraft by its black crosses but am not sure if it was a Me.109 or ling nosed FW.190.
I slipped in behind this aircraft and attacked from the line astern position, with several short bursts.
As the attack developed we dived through intense flak that was coming up from Anzio.
My aircraft was hit four times and one burst which hit my starboard wing also sprayed my right shoulder, side and leg with shell fragments.
During my final burst which exhausted my ammunition, I saw strikes on the fuselage of the e/a and black smoke began to pour from it.
My aircraft by this time was slowing up and I broke off the attack to make at force landing at Nettuno.
By the time I reached the strip my engine was very rough and the Rad temperature was off the clock.
On making my approach the engine cut and I force landed wheels up beside the strip.
As my aircraft skidded to a stop the fuselage broke in half behind the cockpit. I was then taken to 93rd Hospital for treatment.
I claim One Me.109 Destroyed and One F.W. Probably Destroyed. (First aircraft confirmed destroyed by army sources. Camera gun film shows second enemy aircraft as probably destroyed.
W/O G. F. McCully of 145 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 30 March 1944:
I and my No.2 were flying below cloud at approx. 4,000' following reports of 4 E/A given by Grubstake and shortly saw 2 FW 190's (Long nose) come out of cloud and fly SE.
I gave chase and got to within 500 yards of one when it suddenly broke up to starboard. The other carried on in a shallow dive to port and was followed by my No.2.
I followed the E/A up to starboard to just below the cloud when he did a 360 ° turn and few S.
After a couple of minutes I caught him up and fired from 300 yards astern without seeing strikes.
I then closed to 200-250 yards and fired again seeing strikes on his port wing root and he began to stream glycol.
When 150 yards away I fired again – a long burst – hitting the engine cowling and the cockpit.
The E/A then blew up and spum down in flames at approx. M.1298. I fired 320 x .303, 200 x 20mm.
I claim 1 FW 190 (Long nose) Destroyed. (Confirmed by F/L. Blackburn)
F/Sgt. J. J. Thomson of 145 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 3 April 1944:
I was flying No.2 in a section of 4 Spitfires F.VIII patrolling ANZIO B/A at A.17 when we heard BANKER a/c report 2 vapour trails going NW up the coast towards ANZIO.
Our section climbed up to 20,000' and I saw 2 FW 190's (Short nose) flying NW over LITTORIA at 22,000' in line abreast. When I reported them my leader told me to lead the way and he followed.
The E/A (presumably when they saw us) dived down to the deck going N. I half rolled and went down after them.
When we had both pulled out of the dive I closed to 350 yards astern and fired seeing strikes on the fuselage and wings.
E/A slowed up slightly. I closed to 150 yards firing short bursts and saw further strikes on the fuselage and both wings.
The hood flew off the E/A and it pulled up to 2,000’ and the pilot baled out at approx. G.1078.
I fired 800 x .303, and 220 x 20mm.
I claim 1 FW 190 Destroyed.
S/Ldr Neville Duke of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 May 1944:
I was flying six a/c on a Fighter Sweep at 17,000 ft in the Perugia area.
When flying south near Arezzo, six Me 109s passed below us flying north at 16,500 ft.
I gave turnabout and chased E/A. When closing astern, E/A turned to port.
I engaged one Me 109 in a turn and it dived after a burst from 300 yards without observing results.
Following it down I fired a further burst from 300 yards observing strikes under fuselage to rear of the mainplane, causing small pieces to fly off.
E/A continued in its dive and I pulled up to engage some Me 109s which were above.
I claim 1 Me 109 Damaged.
On climbing up, I saw one Me 109 circling above me.
I started climbing and turning with him and easily climbed with and out-turned him.
At 14,000 ft. when I was about to fire, E/A throttled back and skidded and slipped into a stalled position.
I fired several bursts into E/A from 100-150 yards, saw many strikes large pieces flying off, apparently from engine cowling.
E/A slowly dropped away in a wide spiral, more pieces blowing off.
I lost sight of E/A when just near the ground but observed a burst of fire where it disappeared, approx. five miles south-west of Arezzo.
I claim 1 Me 109 Destroyed.
F/Lt W. A. R. MacDonald of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 May 1944:
I was flying No.5 in a formation of 6 a/c near AREZZO at 17,000' when 6 ME 109s passed below us.
I turned into them with the rest of the formation but unfortunately all E/A appeared to be engaged by the rest of the formation.
I dived down with our own a/c to 4,000' but then gave it up so pulled up gaining altitude rapidly.
Of a sudden I saw 2 of the ME 109s diving towards me.
I fired a short burst at one but did not see any results.
I then turned about and dived after the E/A and fired a fairly long burst from 200 yards and saw strikes on the fuselage and engine cowling, then a large part of his tail plane flashed past my a/c and I saw the port tailplane had disappeared altogether.
E/A engine had stopped and went down in a steep side slip in area (W) Q.73.
Claim: 1 ME 109 Destroyed
F/Sgt D. H. Lorimer of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 May 1944:
I was flying No.2 to F/Lt W. A. R. MacDonald when 6 a/c were reported below our formation flying in the opposite direction.
After turning about and giving chase, our leader reported them as ME 109s.
I lost my No.1 in the dive and pulled up to cover another Spitfire which was shooting at a Me 109 and saw another ME 109 on this Spitfire's tail.
I therefore climbed up into it and it broke away in a very steep dive.
I followed and opened fire at about 300 yards range but saw no strikes.
As I closed to 50-100 yards, E/A began to turn slowly to port.
I fired again and saw blue smoke coming from the wing tips.
My next burst brought smoke and flashes from his engine.
The E/A then flew straight and level and from about 50 yards I fired a long burst which brought more smoke from his engine and his hood and part of his cowling flew off.
The E/A was now pouring clouds of smoke and what I took to be the pilot passed me to port.
Flak was now bursting very close and I broke away.
Lt F. M. DuToit, who had been following me, saw E/A crash into the ground area (W) R.15.
Claim: 1 ME 109 Destroyed
S/Ldr Neville Duke of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 May 1944:
I was leading a Fighter Sweep of eight a/c returning from the Rome area.
When approaching Cassino at 15,000 ft, from Frosinone, control reported bandits at Frosinone heading for Cassino.
I called a turnabout and when near Aquino, came head on and slightly below to four Me 109's with 4 more top cover.
I pulled around and on top of E/A which jettisoned bombs.
I closed astern on one Me 109 which started a fairly shallow diving turn to the south-west - easily held and closed on E/A.
After firing two bursts, opening at 300 yards, closing to 200 yards, the hood and parts of the fuselage came away and fire broke out in the cockpit (Witnessed by F/Sgt A.G. Newman).
The E/A crashed in the foothills south west of Aquino (area G.6520). I fired 320 x .303, 60 x 20 mm.
I claim 1 ME 109 Destroyed
2nd Lt. D. J. Beisiegel (SAAF) of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 May 1944:
After we turned about and intercepted 8 ME 109s, my No.1 went down after an E/A which was diving away.
I followed and another Spitfire joined in the chase behind my No.1.
I observed a 109 following to the left and I turned into him.
This was at approx. 10,000'.
He engaged me and we had a dog-fight down to 6,000' during which E/A made 2 head on attacks.
At 6,000' he levelled out and flew N and I closed astern to 100 yards and opened fire with my cannons observing strikes on the engine cowling.
The pilot immediately baled out and I saw his parachute open.
The E/A crashed in flames into a wood (area G.83) and I heard someone (presume a ground station) report it.
Claim: 1 ME 109 Destroyed
F/Sgt A. G. Newman of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 May 1944:
On sighting 8 ME 109s in the AQUINO area I single out one of them and chased it NW up Highway 6 but before I was in range I lost it in haze.
Returning to base at 8,000' I saw 2 a/c just SE of FROSINONE flying NE at 7,000' at high speed.
Turning in behind them I selected the one on the left, identifying it as a FW 190.
At the same time I noticed two Spitfire IXs on their tails.
Closing in to fire, the FW 190 crossed over to the righthand side of the other E/A.
I therefore crossed over the Spits and fired a quick burst hitting the FW on the side of the fuselage.
I fired again from 200 yards astern, seeing strikes on the wing roots and tail unit and a flame from the underside of the fuselage.
Then there was a sheet of flame and the E/A went down in a sprial.
This is the last I saw of the E/A but 111 Sqn saw it crash in area G.4848
Claim: 1 FW 190 Destroyed
F/O C. Everett of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 14 May 1944:
I was flying as Red 3 in a six a/c formation at 10,000’ over Cassino, when bandits were reported 10 miles north of Fosinone flying south at 15,000'.
Our section climbed to 16,000 and at approx. 06.30 hours I saw 18+ Me.109's and FW.190’s at 12 o’clock five miles N.E. of Cassio.
Our section attacked immediately and I singled out a Me.109 on the outside of the formation.
I attacked with a 2 second burst from 150 yds. in the quarter astern position and saw strikes and pieces fly off the e/a, which then rolled and dived for the deck.
This a/c was followed by its No.2 which I attacked from 2-300 yds but no results were seen.
I then switched my attack to the first 109 and after a short burst saw it crash into a hill and blown up, this was in the vicinity of the Arno area.
I then continued my attack on the second e/a with short bursts from the line astern position and at deck level.
Approx. 5 miles N.W. of Frosoione I observed strikes on the e/a; port wing and smoke began to pour from the fuselage.
I then broke off my attack as I had run our of ammunition and my No.2 took over the attack, no further damage was observed on the e/a so we broke off the attack about 15 miles N.E. of Frosinone and returned to base.
I claimed One Me.109 Destroyed (Confirmed by W.O Gerrard-Red 4) One Me.109 Damaged (strikes and smoke seen by Red 4 as well as myself)
F/O G. I. Doyle of 417 Squadron recorded in his Sortie Report for 14 May 1944:
I was flying Red 5 in a section of 6 a/c, on a Cassino patrol at 0625 hours.
Controller reported 18+ bandits 10 miles north of Frosinone flying S.E at 17,000 gained angels as plot was reported coming south we climbed N.E. to 16,000.
The bandits were engaged N.E. of Cassino at 15,000.
Red 1 & 3 went after a large gaggle and I went after 6 e/a FW.190's flying in a fluid six I dove down sun coming in on their port quarter opening up on the No.2 of the formation with a short burst at 300 yds.
I then closed to 200-250 yds. almost line astern and gave another short burst and saw strikes down the length of the fuselage and saw a large piece fly off the aircraft then tumbled tail over nose about a mile north of the Monastery.
I then took his place in the formation and opened up on the leader firing short bursts from 200-300 yds, he headed towards Frosinone.
I then ran out of cannon ammo and as flak was becoming heavy turned back. When I last saw the FW.190 it was streaming smoke and diving towards the deck at 3000 ft.
I claim 1 FW.190 Dest. and 1 FW.190 Dam.
S/Ldr Neville Duke of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 May 1944:
I was leading 8 a/c on area cover NE of Velletri.
When at 15-16,000 ft flying NW, approx. 10 miles NE of Velletri, we were confronted by 20+ FW 190's with top cover of a few Me 109's.
E/A were flying SE down Highway 6 towards Frosinone in close line abreast formation in 3 layers of 6 a/c.
The bottom layer was slightly below and to starboard of us.
E/A were carrying one large bomb slung under the fuselage.
As they came abreast and to starboard of us, I turned in behind them and selected No.2 in the bottom layer of six, firing from 100-150 yards from starboard quarter astern.
I saw the E/A heavily hit by cannon and many pieces flew off and it finally went down and exploded on the ground at G-0961.
I then closed on the next in line and after firing one burst it started to barrel roll onto its back.
I followed it round, firing from 150 yards, and saw the hood fly off and the pilot left the cockpit. (F/Lt J. Wooler later saw this FW burst into flames, area G-0765.)
I then continued after the other E/A which had broken up and were diving home and when at low level I was engaged by HAA, I broke away.
The first E/A I engaged was a FW 190 with the BMW 801 engine, but the second had the DB 603.
Both had green and brown camouflage with dark blue underside.
I claim 2 FW 190's Destroyed.
F/Lt J. Wooler of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 May 1944:
When E/A had split up and made for home, I chased 3 FW 190's one of which left the other two and dived to the ground.
Following it I fired from 150 yards dead astern, seeing strikes all over E/A which blew up (area F.79).
I did not see E/A jettison its bomb and from the size of the explosion, it was probably still on E/A.
Claim: 1 FW 190 Destroyed
Lt J. M. G. Anderson (SAAF) of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 May 1944:
I followed 1 FW 190 in a shallow dive N and closed to 250 yards and opened fire from dead astern, seeing strikes on the tail unit.
I fired again from 150-200 yards and saw a large white flash on port side of the engine.
I then pulled up over E/A, turned and saw it crash into the hillside (area F.9999) and blow up.
Before I fired, E/A had jettisoned its bomb.
Claim: 1 FW 190 Destroyed
F/O J. S. Ekbury of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 May 1944:
When our leader went into attack, I attacked a section of six E/A above him.
Chasing them in a dive, I fired short bursts at one of them from 200 yards astern, seeing strikes on the fuselage and port wing, and E/A began to pour blue-black smoke.
It then dropped out of the formation and went down like a falling leaf, apparently out of control, from 3,000' (area G.0647).
I then chased the next E/A firing short bursts from 200 yards dead astern, seeing strikes on wings and fuselage.
E/A jettisoned hood and pilot baled out (area G.0162).
I continued to chase the rest of the E/A when one of them turned to port.
I closed on it quickly and fired 2 bursts from port quarter astern, seeing strikes on fuselage and port wing root.
E/A started to smoke and then went straight into the ground from 500' and burst into flames.
All these E/A were FW 190s and had Dark Green and Brown camouflage.
Claim: 2 FW 190s Destroyed, & 1 Probably Destroyed
Lt G. E. Milborrow of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 May 1944:
I saw a FW 190 pulling away from the main formation and I chased it N in a dive.
After some time I got to 200 yards astern, seeing strikes on fuselage around the cockpit.
I was then attacked myself and was forced to take evasive action and lost E/A.
Flying S toward out lines, I saw 2 FW 190s flying N below me at 400'.
I went down on them and attacked one of them from 50 yards astern.
I observed strikes all over E/A and the pilot baled out from 400' (area G.8595) and I saw his 'chute open.
Claim: 1 FW 190 Destroyed
F/Sgt J. C. Stirling of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 May 1944:
I attacked one section of FW 190s, 2 of them breaking away from the other 4.
Of these four I fired at 2 or 3 without observing results.
I finally singled out one of them and closed 100-75 yards dead astern at ground level and fired, seeing strikes all along the fuselage and pieces flew off.
I then saw flames in the cockpit and the E/A pulled up to 150-200 ft, flicked over and went in to the ground (area F7596).
Pilot not seen to bale out.
I saw the E/A burning on the ground and I also saw another similar fire NE of it.
I believe this to be the FW 190 claimed by F/Lt J. Wooler.
Claim: 1 FW 190 Destroyed
SG4 admitted the following pilots killed in the action of 21 May 1944 with 145 Squadron:
I Gruppe - Oblt. R. Reiprich, Hptm. R. Strossner; II Gruppe - Lt. H. Bertram, Obfw. H. Schmitt, Untoff. R. Manske, Untoff. G. Assmann, Lt. H. Kulpa.
S/Ldr Neville Duke of 145 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 3 September 1944:
I was leading 2 a/c on patrol over the battle area.
Control reported 2 bogeys at 13,000 ft going NW along the coast from the Pesaro area.
Section climbed from 10 to 12,000 ft SE of Rimino, near the coast.
Control gave positions of bogeys which must have passed in cloud or haze as they were next reported going away NW of us.
I turned NW and saw three a/c crossing the coast N of Rimino about 5 miles ahead going NW.
Gave chase and, although seen by these a/c, which opened up and poured black smoke, I closed slowly on them and identified them as Me 109's in line abreast formation with the port E/A lagging slightly behind the others, E/A were in slight dive.
I engaged the port E/A from astern at 10,000 ft, fired a short burst at very long range (6-800 yards) in an attempt to slow it down, and observed a bright flash in the fuselage from cannon strikes.
I rapidly closed and fired another burst, observing the hood fly off and what appeared to be the pilot leaving the a/c.
E/A was seen going down and catch fire by F/O Hamer, my No.2, in area M.5820.
I then continued after the other two E/A still going NW at approximately 10,000 ft.
E/A started diving and then went intoa steep climb up to about 14-15,000 ft.
I quickly caught E/A in the climb as my supercharger came in and closed with the leader as he levelled off.
After firing a burst at fairly long range (3-400 yards) and observing no strikes I closed to about 200 yards and scored strikes behind the cockpit, presumably in the rear petrol tank, as E/A started to burn in the fuselage.
The pilot baled out and his 'chute opened.
A/C crashed in area M.3636.
I lost sight of third E/A which had turned and dived as leader pulled up to the left.
He was reported by my No.2 but fuel was short and we broke off and returned to base.
E/A were a blackish brown colour.
They took no evasive action except some slipping and skidding and took no advantage of cloud cover which was available at all time.
I fired 800 x .303 and 240 x 20 mm.
Claim 2 Me 109's F or G Destroyed.
S/L Bert Houle D.F.C. (Canandian) flew Spitfire VIII's with 417 (RCAF) Squadron in Sicily and Italy:
My favorite fighter was the Spitfire VIII with clipped wings.
It had power and good armament.
It could roll quickly and out-turn any enemy fighter we encountered.
Robert Bracken, Spitfire, The Canadians, (Boston Mills Press, Erin, Ontario, 1995), p. 62.
1. 92 Squadron Operations Record Book
2. 145 Squadron Operations Record Book, September 1943
F/Lt A. U. Houle, 417 Squadron, Combat Report - 4 October 1943. Unteroffizier Josef Braschaus of SKG-10 shot down, FW 190A-5 Wnr. 181661.
S/L A. U. Houle, 417 Squadron, Combat Report - 3 December 1943. Unteroffizier Heinz Grundmann of 1/JG 77 BF 109G-6 WNr. 18014
S/Ld. E. D. Mackie DFC & Bar Combat Report, 92 Squadron, 3 December 1943
S/Ld. E. D. Mackie DFC & Bar Combat Report, 92 Squadron, 5 December 1943
S/L A. U. Houle, Combat Report - 22 January 1944. Probably Feldwebel Franz Juengels of I/JG 4.
S/L A. U. Houle, Combat Report - 22 January 1944
Combat Report of S/L A. U. Houle, 7 February 1944
S/Ldr Neville Duke, Combat Report, 13 May 1944. Lt. Horst Wegener, 7./JG 53.
S/Ldr Neville Duke, Combat Report, 14 May 1944. Fw. Fritz Göhmann, killed, Uffz. Werner Heuer 7.JG/54. Lt Martin von Vacano 9./JG53
S/Ldr Neville Duke, Combat Report, 21 May 1944. SG4 admitted the following pilots killed in the action of 21 May 1944 with 145 Squadron:
I Gruppe - Oblt. R. Reiprich, Hptm. R. Strossner; II Gruppe - Lt. H. Bertram, Obfw. H. Schmitt, Untoff. R. Manske, Untoff. G. Assmann, Lt. H. Kulpa.
S/Ldr. E. Horbaczewski, 43 Squadron, 16 September 1943
1/Lt. J. E. Gasson (S.A.A.F.) Sortie Report, 92 Squadron, 19 September 1943
92 Squadron Consolidated Sortie Report, 10 October 1943
F/Sgt G. Buchanan Sortie Report, 92 Squadron, 24 November 1943
W/O K. Warren Sortie Report, 92 Squadron, 28 November 1943
F/O R. W. Henderson Combat Report, 92 Squadron, 30 November 1943
Lt. A. Sachs (SAAF) Sortie Report, 92 Squadron, 30 November 1943
Sgt F. M. P. Handon Sortie Report, 92 Squadron, 3 December 1943
G. E. Horricks Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 8 December 1943
S/L A. U. Houle Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 4 October 1943
W/O H. G. Johnson Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 30 November 1943
F/O J. A. O'Brian Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 30 November 1943
F/O D. E. Eastman Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 30 November 1943
Sortie Report off S/L A. U. Houle, 3 December 1943
Sortie Report off S/L A. U. Houle, 22 January 1944
F/L B. H. M. Delarminat Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 23 January 1944
Sortie Report off S/L A. U. Houle, 27 January 1944
Sortie Report off S/L A. U. Houle, 7 February 1944
Sortie Report off S/L A. U. Houle, 14 February 1944
F/L H. J. Everard Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 14 February 1944
F/O G. H. Horricks Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 14 February 1944
F/L H. J. Everard Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 16 February 1044
F/L H. J. Everard Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 21 February 1944
F/Lt L. A. Hall Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 8 March 1944
F/L B. J. Ingalls Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 14 March 1944
F/O J. A. O'Brian Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 16 March 1944
F/L B. J. Ingalls Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 19 March 1944
P/O J. J. Doyle Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 29 March 1944
F/O C. B. Everett Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 29 March 1944
F/O C. Everett Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 14 May 1944
F/O S. I. Doyle Sortie Report, 417 Squadron, 14 May 1944
145 Squadron Sortie Report, 2 October 1943
145 Squadron Sortie Report, 26 November 1943
145 Squadron Sortie Report, 28 November 1943
S/L Kallio, 145 Squadron Sortie Report, 2 December 1943
145 Squadron Sortie Report, 11 January 1944
F/Lt. H. S. Woods 145 Squadron, Sortie Report 15 February 1944
F/Sgt. R. W. McKernan, 145 Squadron Sortie Report, 15 February 1944
S/L Kallio, 145 Squadron Sortie Report, 18 February 1944
145 Squadron Sortie Report, 24 March 1944
145 Squadron Sortie Report, 24 March 1944
145 Squadron Sortie Report, 26 March 1944
145 Squadron Sortie Report, 30 March 1944
145 Squadron Sortie Report, 3 April 1944