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XyZspineZyX
09-25-2003, 06:35 PM
continueing the last story from Heinz Knocke 'I flew for the Fuhrer'...

4th March, 1942.
My Tommy has not put in an appearance for three days.
The Commanding Officer has offered a bottle of genuine Hennessey brandy as a prize for shooting him down-a rare
and valuable prize indeed here in the Far North.
Of course I am less interested in winning the Hennessey than .
I am in getting that bastard. I am a fighter pilot, and for that
reason I have to get him.
5th March, 1942.
A shout from the operations room : " There he is again ! "
Out through the window and into the snow in one bound,
twenty or thirty long strides, and I am in my aircraft. Seconds
later I start rolling to take off.
1202 hours: climbing steeply into the cloudless sky.
1210 hours: altitude 15,000 feet. I adjust the oxygen mask.
It is bitterly cold.
" Bandit in Caesar-Ida-Hanni-seven-zero."
" Victor, victor; message understood," I reply.
Altitude 20,000 feet.
" Bandit now in Cssar-Kurfiirst."
" Victor, victor, message understood."
Altitude 22,000 feet: I shall climb to 25,000. I simply must
get him today.
" Bandit in Berta-Ludwig."
He seems to be sweeping round the northern tip of the
Sound, heading up towards the anchorage of our warships.
I am now at 25,000 feet, scanning the skies around and
below. Ahead and to the left I discern a tiny dark speck in the
sky against the unbroken white landscape below.
It is the Spitfire, leaving a short vapour trail behind. The
Tommy comes round in a wide sweep, heading up the Inner
Fjord. I maintain altitude and study my prey. Now over
his objective, the Tommy flies round in two complete circles.
He is taking photographs.
I make use of this opportunity to take up a position above
him. Apparently he is so intent on his task that he does not
notice me. I am now about 3,000 feet above him.
Then he starts back on a westerly course. I open my
throttle wide and check my guns as I swoop down upon him.
In a few seconds I am right on his tail. Fire !
My tracers vanish into his fuselage. And now he begins to
twist and turn like a mad thing. Must not let him escape.
Keep firing with everything I have.
He goes into a dive, then straightens out again. He begins
trailing smoke, which gradually becomes denser. I fire yet
again.
Then something suddenly splashes into my windshield.
Oil. My engine? I have no visibility ahead, and am no
longer able to see the Spitfire. Blast!
My engine is still running smoothly. Apparently the oil in
front of my eyes must have come from the badly damaged
Spitfire when its oil-cooler was shot to pieces.
I veer a little to the right, in order to be able to observe the
Tommy farther through the side window. He is gradually
losing speed, but is still flying. The smoke-trail is becoming
thinner.
Then another Messerschmitt comes into view climbing up
on my left. It is Lieutenant Dieter Gerhard, my old comrade,
and I radio him to say that I am no longer able to fire.
" Then let me finish him, Heinz ! "
He opens fire. The right wing of the Spitfire shears away.
Like a dead autumn leaf, the plane flutters earthwards.
And the pilot? Is he still alive? My throat tightens. I
had come to like that boy. If he is not dead, why does he not
bale out ?
The Spitfire goes down, a flaming torch now, hurtling
towards the snowfield. It will crash there and be utterly
destroyed. And with it the pilot.
I find myself shouting as if he could hear me: " Bale out,
lad, bale out! " After all, he is human, too; a soldier, too,
and a pilot with the same love of the sky and clouds that I feel.
Does he also have a wife, a girl like Lilo, perhaps ?
" Bale out, lad, bale out! "
Then a body becomes detached from the flames and falls
clear. A white parachute spreads open and drifts slowly down
into the mountains.
A feeling of pure joy is in my heart now. This is my first
combat victory in the air. I have got my man, and he is alive.
Dieter and I share the bottle of brandy. We drink a toast
to our own fighter pilots, and another one to our Tommy.
Dieter brings him in, after landing in the mountains in a
Fieseler Storch fitted with skis. He is a tall, slim Pilot Officer
in the Royal Air Force. A stiff drink of brandy does him a lot
of good. He joins in the laughter when I explain how the
entire bottle was actually dedicated to him.

and in his earlier training days...........

l2th October, 1940.
I had hoped for a posting to an operational unit this month
Unfortunately, training is far behind schedule, because of the
bad autumn weather.
We have a rough time in training here also. There have been
one or two fatal accidents every week for the past six weeks in
our Course alone. Today Sergeant Schmidt crashed and was
killed. He was one of our section of five.
We have spent several days on theoretical conversion train-
ing before flying the Messerschmitt 109, which is difficult to
handle and dangerous at first. We can now go through every
movement in our sleep.
This morning we brought out the first 109 and were ready to
fly. Sergeant Schmidt was chosen as the first of us, by draw-
ing lots. He took off without difficulty, which was something,
as the aircraft will only too readily crash on take-off if one is not
careful. A premature attempt to climb will cause it to whip
over into a spin, swiftly and surely. I have seen that happen
hundreds of times, and it frequently means the death of the
pilot.
Schmidt came in to land after making one circuit; but he
misjudged the speed, which was higher than that to which he
was accustomed, and so he overshot the runway. He came
round again, and the same thing happened. We began to
worry, for Sergeant Schmidt had obviously lost his nerve.
He was coming in and making a final turn before flattening out to touch down, when the aircraft suddenly stalled because of insufficient speed and spun out of control, crashing into the ground and exploding a few hundred feet short of the end of the runway. We all raced like madmen over to the scene of
the crash. I was the first to arrive. Schmidt had been
thrown clear, and was lying several feet away from the flaming
wreckage. He was screaming like an animal, covered in blood.
I stooped down over the body of my comrade, and saw that both legs were missing. I held his head. The screams were
driving me insane. Blood poured over my hands. I have
never felt so helpless in my life. The screaming finally
stopped, and became an even more terrible silence. Then
Kuhl and the others arrived, but by that time Schmidt was dead.
Major von Kornatzky ordered training to be resumed forth-
with, and less than an hour later the next 109 was brought out.
this time it was my turn.
I went into the hangar and washed the blood off my hands.
Then the mechanics tightened up my safety-belt, and I was
taxiing over to the take-off point. My heart was madly thump-
ing. Not even the deafening roar of the engine was loud
enough to drown out of my ears the lingering screams of my
comrade as he lay there dying like an animal. I was no sooner
airborne than I noticed the stains on my flying-suit. They
were great dark bloodstains, and I was frightened. It was a
horrible, paralysing fear. I could only be thankful that there
was no one else present to see how terrified I was.
I circled the field for several minutes, and gradually recovered
from the panic. At last I was sufficiently calm to come in for
a landing. Everything was all right. I took off immediately
and landed again. And a third time.
Tears were still in my eyes when I pushed open the canopy
and removed my helmet. When I jumped down from the
wing I found I could not control the shaking of my knees.
Suddenly I saw Kornatzky standing in front of me. Steely
blue eyes seemed to be boring right through me.
" Were you frightened? "
" Yes, sir."
" Better get used to it if you hope to go on operations."
That really hurt. I was so ashamed I wished the ground
would swallow me up.






<CENTER>http://www.world-wide-net.com/tuskegeeairmen/ta-1943.jpg <marquee><FONT COLOR="RED"><FONT SIZE="+1">"Straighten up.......Fly right..~S~"<FONT SIZE> </marquee> http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat

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<Center><div style="width:200;color:red;font-size:18pt;filter:shadow Blur[color=red,strength=8)">99th Pursuit Squadron

XyZspineZyX
09-25-2003, 06:35 PM
continueing the last story from Heinz Knocke 'I flew for the Fuhrer'...

4th March, 1942.
My Tommy has not put in an appearance for three days.
The Commanding Officer has offered a bottle of genuine Hennessey brandy as a prize for shooting him down-a rare
and valuable prize indeed here in the Far North.
Of course I am less interested in winning the Hennessey than .
I am in getting that bastard. I am a fighter pilot, and for that
reason I have to get him.
5th March, 1942.
A shout from the operations room : " There he is again ! "
Out through the window and into the snow in one bound,
twenty or thirty long strides, and I am in my aircraft. Seconds
later I start rolling to take off.
1202 hours: climbing steeply into the cloudless sky.
1210 hours: altitude 15,000 feet. I adjust the oxygen mask.
It is bitterly cold.
" Bandit in Caesar-Ida-Hanni-seven-zero."
" Victor, victor; message understood," I reply.
Altitude 20,000 feet.
" Bandit now in Cssar-Kurfiirst."
" Victor, victor, message understood."
Altitude 22,000 feet: I shall climb to 25,000. I simply must
get him today.
" Bandit in Berta-Ludwig."
He seems to be sweeping round the northern tip of the
Sound, heading up towards the anchorage of our warships.
I am now at 25,000 feet, scanning the skies around and
below. Ahead and to the left I discern a tiny dark speck in the
sky against the unbroken white landscape below.
It is the Spitfire, leaving a short vapour trail behind. The
Tommy comes round in a wide sweep, heading up the Inner
Fjord. I maintain altitude and study my prey. Now over
his objective, the Tommy flies round in two complete circles.
He is taking photographs.
I make use of this opportunity to take up a position above
him. Apparently he is so intent on his task that he does not
notice me. I am now about 3,000 feet above him.
Then he starts back on a westerly course. I open my
throttle wide and check my guns as I swoop down upon him.
In a few seconds I am right on his tail. Fire !
My tracers vanish into his fuselage. And now he begins to
twist and turn like a mad thing. Must not let him escape.
Keep firing with everything I have.
He goes into a dive, then straightens out again. He begins
trailing smoke, which gradually becomes denser. I fire yet
again.
Then something suddenly splashes into my windshield.
Oil. My engine? I have no visibility ahead, and am no
longer able to see the Spitfire. Blast!
My engine is still running smoothly. Apparently the oil in
front of my eyes must have come from the badly damaged
Spitfire when its oil-cooler was shot to pieces.
I veer a little to the right, in order to be able to observe the
Tommy farther through the side window. He is gradually
losing speed, but is still flying. The smoke-trail is becoming
thinner.
Then another Messerschmitt comes into view climbing up
on my left. It is Lieutenant Dieter Gerhard, my old comrade,
and I radio him to say that I am no longer able to fire.
" Then let me finish him, Heinz ! "
He opens fire. The right wing of the Spitfire shears away.
Like a dead autumn leaf, the plane flutters earthwards.
And the pilot? Is he still alive? My throat tightens. I
had come to like that boy. If he is not dead, why does he not
bale out ?
The Spitfire goes down, a flaming torch now, hurtling
towards the snowfield. It will crash there and be utterly
destroyed. And with it the pilot.
I find myself shouting as if he could hear me: " Bale out,
lad, bale out! " After all, he is human, too; a soldier, too,
and a pilot with the same love of the sky and clouds that I feel.
Does he also have a wife, a girl like Lilo, perhaps ?
" Bale out, lad, bale out! "
Then a body becomes detached from the flames and falls
clear. A white parachute spreads open and drifts slowly down
into the mountains.
A feeling of pure joy is in my heart now. This is my first
combat victory in the air. I have got my man, and he is alive.
Dieter and I share the bottle of brandy. We drink a toast
to our own fighter pilots, and another one to our Tommy.
Dieter brings him in, after landing in the mountains in a
Fieseler Storch fitted with skis. He is a tall, slim Pilot Officer
in the Royal Air Force. A stiff drink of brandy does him a lot
of good. He joins in the laughter when I explain how the
entire bottle was actually dedicated to him.

and in his earlier training days...........

l2th October, 1940.
I had hoped for a posting to an operational unit this month
Unfortunately, training is far behind schedule, because of the
bad autumn weather.
We have a rough time in training here also. There have been
one or two fatal accidents every week for the past six weeks in
our Course alone. Today Sergeant Schmidt crashed and was
killed. He was one of our section of five.
We have spent several days on theoretical conversion train-
ing before flying the Messerschmitt 109, which is difficult to
handle and dangerous at first. We can now go through every
movement in our sleep.
This morning we brought out the first 109 and were ready to
fly. Sergeant Schmidt was chosen as the first of us, by draw-
ing lots. He took off without difficulty, which was something,
as the aircraft will only too readily crash on take-off if one is not
careful. A premature attempt to climb will cause it to whip
over into a spin, swiftly and surely. I have seen that happen
hundreds of times, and it frequently means the death of the
pilot.
Schmidt came in to land after making one circuit; but he
misjudged the speed, which was higher than that to which he
was accustomed, and so he overshot the runway. He came
round again, and the same thing happened. We began to
worry, for Sergeant Schmidt had obviously lost his nerve.
He was coming in and making a final turn before flattening out to touch down, when the aircraft suddenly stalled because of insufficient speed and spun out of control, crashing into the ground and exploding a few hundred feet short of the end of the runway. We all raced like madmen over to the scene of
the crash. I was the first to arrive. Schmidt had been
thrown clear, and was lying several feet away from the flaming
wreckage. He was screaming like an animal, covered in blood.
I stooped down over the body of my comrade, and saw that both legs were missing. I held his head. The screams were
driving me insane. Blood poured over my hands. I have
never felt so helpless in my life. The screaming finally
stopped, and became an even more terrible silence. Then
Kuhl and the others arrived, but by that time Schmidt was dead.
Major von Kornatzky ordered training to be resumed forth-
with, and less than an hour later the next 109 was brought out.
this time it was my turn.
I went into the hangar and washed the blood off my hands.
Then the mechanics tightened up my safety-belt, and I was
taxiing over to the take-off point. My heart was madly thump-
ing. Not even the deafening roar of the engine was loud
enough to drown out of my ears the lingering screams of my
comrade as he lay there dying like an animal. I was no sooner
airborne than I noticed the stains on my flying-suit. They
were great dark bloodstains, and I was frightened. It was a
horrible, paralysing fear. I could only be thankful that there
was no one else present to see how terrified I was.
I circled the field for several minutes, and gradually recovered
from the panic. At last I was sufficiently calm to come in for
a landing. Everything was all right. I took off immediately
and landed again. And a third time.
Tears were still in my eyes when I pushed open the canopy
and removed my helmet. When I jumped down from the
wing I found I could not control the shaking of my knees.
Suddenly I saw Kornatzky standing in front of me. Steely
blue eyes seemed to be boring right through me.
" Were you frightened? "
" Yes, sir."
" Better get used to it if you hope to go on operations."
That really hurt. I was so ashamed I wished the ground
would swallow me up.






<CENTER>http://www.world-wide-net.com/tuskegeeairmen/ta-1943.jpg <marquee><FONT COLOR="RED"><FONT SIZE="+1">"Straighten up.......Fly right..~S~"<FONT SIZE> </marquee> http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat

<CENTER><FONT COLOR="ORANGE">vflyer@comcast.net<FONT COLOR>
<Center><div style="width:200;color:red;font-size:18pt;filter:shadow Blur[color=red,strength=8)">99th Pursuit Squadron

XyZspineZyX
09-25-2003, 07:12 PM
S! good stories. I really need to read taht book.


"Ich bin ein Wuergerwhiner"

"The future battle on the ground will be preceded by battle in the air. This will determine which of the contestants has to suffer operational and tactical disadvantages and be forced throughout the battle into adoption compromise solutions." --Erwin Rommel

http://lbhskier37.freeservers.com/Mesig.jpg
--NJG26_Killa--

XyZspineZyX
09-25-2003, 09:52 PM
bump

<CENTER>http://www.world-wide-net.com/tuskegeeairmen/ta-1943.jpg <marquee><FONT COLOR="RED"><FONT SIZE="+1">"Straighten up.......Fly right..~S~"<FONT SIZE> </marquee> http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat

<CENTER><FONT COLOR="ORANGE">vflyer@comcast.net<FONT COLOR>
<Center><div style="width:200;color:red;font-size:18pt;filter:shadow Blur[color=red,strength=8)">99th Pursuit Squadron

XyZspineZyX
09-25-2003, 10:19 PM
I cant believe no one has seen this except ibhskier..../i/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

<CENTER>http://www.world-wide-net.com/tuskegeeairmen/ta-1943.jpg <marquee><FONT COLOR="RED"><FONT SIZE="+1">"Straighten up.......Fly right..~S~"<FONT SIZE> </marquee> http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat

<CENTER><FONT COLOR="ORANGE">vflyer@comcast.net<FONT COLOR>
<Center><div style="width:200;color:red;font-size:18pt;filter:shadow Blur[color=red,strength=8)">99th Pursuit Squadron


Message Edited on 09/25/0305:21PM by Bearcat99

XyZspineZyX
09-25-2003, 10:39 PM
guess some people would rather whine then anything. I for one miss posts like this one.


"Ich bin ein Wuergerwhiner"

"The future battle on the ground will be preceded by battle in the air. This will determine which of the contestants has to suffer operational and tactical disadvantages and be forced throughout the battle into adoption compromise solutions." --Erwin Rommel

http://lbhskier37.freeservers.com/Mesig.jpg
--NJG26_Killa--

XyZspineZyX
09-25-2003, 11:00 PM
I have the book and it's very good. Also recommend "Heaven Next Stop" by Bloemertz of JG26.

_____________
Ian Boys
=38=Tatarenko
Kapitan - 38. OIAE

XyZspineZyX
09-25-2003, 11:22 PM
i also have the book it is very good

U.S INFANTRY 84-91

XyZspineZyX
09-26-2003, 12:07 PM
Great- BUMP!! /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

JG53 PikAs Abbuzze
I./Gruppe

http://www.jg53-pikas.de/
http://mitglied.lycos.de/p123/Ani_pikasbanner_langsam.gif

XyZspineZyX
09-26-2003, 06:18 PM
Bump.

Good stuff and interesting to see there was no real animosity to the enemy pilot in the first account. The second account is sickening and serves to remind us all what a bloody stupid waste the whole war was. Anyway, I think I'll have to pick up a copy of the book.

Regards,

RocketDog.

XyZspineZyX
09-26-2003, 06:55 PM
Bearcat99:
if you like Knokes book you will love
"The big show" by Pierre Clostermann a WWII ace
Knokes is a good book but not anything near Clostermanns
look up this pilot on the internet/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif


Message Edited on 09/26/0306:10PM by fjuff79

XyZspineZyX
09-26-2003, 07:11 PM
By Pierre Clostermann:


... The last preparations before we took off were carried out in silence. only Joe Kestruk made a desillusioned remark to the effect that every time the navy made a balls of job, the poor bloody R.A.F. had to clear up the mess. At Ford there was the usual panic about tyres bursts and flat tarter batterie. luckily Yule's long experience of advanced airfields had led to the provision of three reserve aircraft per squadron and at 0950 hours 602 and 132 took off at full strengh.
I was flying as blue four, next to Jacques who was blur three, in Ken Charney's section.
On our way to the rendez-vous we passed three Bostons whose task was to scatter, over a stretch of twenty miles towards Cape de La hague, strips of tin-foil designed to jam the german radar.
Thanks to this, and to the mist, we would probably reach the entry to Cherbourg without being picked up too much.
We joined up with the typhoons at House-top-level over Brighton and set off Obliquely for Cherbourg, skimming the grey sea.
I loathe flying so low as that with all the paraphernalia of supplementary tank and ****s. Somewhere or other there is always liable to be an airlock, enough to make you slap into the drink at 300 m.p.h.
We flew through belts of opaque mist which forced us to do some very tricky I.F.(1) a few feet above the sea, which of course we could not see. The Typhoons, in spite of the two 1,000-lb. bombs under their wings, were setting a cracking pace and we had a job to keep up with them.
Obsessed by the idea of seeing the red light on the instrument panel going on (indicating a drop in the flow of petrol to my carburettor), I began to sweat from head to foot. What would it be when the Flak started ?

1015 hours. The fog thickened and it started to pelt with rain. instinctively the sections closed up to preserve vusual contact.
Suddenly Yule's calm voice broke the strict RT silence :
"All Bob aircraft drop your babies, open up flat out, target straight ahead in sixty seconds !"
freed of its tank and drawn by the 1,600 h.p. of its engine, my Spitfire leapt forward and I took up my position fifty yards on Jacques' left and slightly behind him, straining my eyes to see anything in the blasted fog.
"Look out, yellow section, Flak-ship, one o'Clock !"
And immediately after Frank Wooley, it was Ken Charney who saw a Flak-ship, straight in front of us !
"Max blue attacking twelve o'clock !"
A grey mass rolling in the mist, a squat funnel, raised platforms, a mast bristling with radar aerials - Then rapid staccato flashes all along the superstructure. Christ ! I released the safety catch, lowered my head, and nestled down to be protected by armour plating. Clusters of green and red tracer bullets started up in every direction. flowing Jacques, I wnet slap through the spray of a 37 mm. charger which only just missed me - the salt water blurred my windshield. I was fifty yards from the Flak-ship. jacques in front of me was firing ; I could see the flashes from his guns and hisempties cascading from his wings.
I aimed at the bridge, between the damaged funnel and the mast, and fired a long, furious continuous burst, my finger hard on the button. My shells exploded in the water, rose toward the water line, exploded on the grey black-stripped hull, rose higher to the handrails, the sandbags. A wind-scoop crashed down, a jet of stream sputerd from somewhere. twenty yards - two men in navy-blue jerseys hurled themselves flat on their faces. - ten yards - the four barrels of multiple pom-pom were pointing straight between my eyes - quick - my shells exploded around it. A loader carrying two full clips capsized into the sea, his legs mown from unedr him, then the four barrels fired, I could feel the vibration as I passed a bare yard above - then the smack of the steel wire of the aerial wrenched off by my wing as I passed. my wing tip had just about scarped the mast !
Phew ! Passed him.
My limbs were shaken by a terrible nervous tremor, my teeth were chattering. Jacques was zigzagging between the spouts raised by the shells. the sea was seething.
Half of dozen belated Typhoons passed to my right like a scholl of porpoises, bearing down on the hell going on behing the long granit wall of the breakwater.
I skimmed over a fort whose very walls seemed to be belching fire - a curious mixture of crenellated towers, modern concrete casements and thirty Years War glacis.
We were now in the middle of the roadstead - an inextricable jumble of trawlers masts and rusty wrecks stiking out between the battered quays. the weather seemed to have cleared a little - Look out for the Jerry fighters ! The air was crissed-crossed with tracers, lit up by flashes, dotted with black and white puffs of smoke.

The Munsterland was there, surrounded by explosions, flames, and debris. Her four masts bristling with derrick and her squat funnel well aft emerging from the smoke. The typhoon attack was in full swing, bombs exploding all the time with colossal bursts of fire and black clouds of smoke, thickening as they drifted away. A Typhoon vanished into thin air in the explosion of a bomb dropped by one in front. One of the enormous harbour cranes came crashing down like a house of cards.

"Hullo, Bob leader, Kenway calling - There are Hun fighters about, look out !"
What an inferno ! I was close to Jacques, who was gaining height in Spirals, making for the layer of clouds. Two Typhoons emerged from a cumulus, a few yards from us, and I just stopped myself in time from firing at them. With their massive noses and clipped wing they looked uncannily like Focke Wulfs.
"Beak, Blue Four !"
Jacques Broke away violently and his Spitfire flashed past a few yards under my nose, a white plume at each wing tip. To avoid a collision I waited for a fraction of a second a ****e Wulf - a real one this time - flashed past, firing with all four cannon. A shell ricocheted off my hood. As I went over on my back to get him in my sights, a second Focke-Wulf loomed up in my windshield, head on, at less than one hundred yards. Its big yellow engine and its apparently slowly turning propeller seemed to fling themselves at me and its wings lit up with the firing of its guns. Bang ! stars appeared all over my slintering windshield which became an opaque wall before my eyes. Thunderstruck, I dared not move for fear of a collision. He passed just above me. A stream of oil began to spread all over my hood.
the sky was now alive with aircraft and full of flak bursts. I let fly at another Focke-Wulf and I missed. Luckily !... It was a Typhoon. Jacques was circling with a German fighter. I saw his shells explode in the black cross on the fuselage. The Focke-Wulf slowly turned over, showing its yellow belly, and dived, coughing smokes and flames.
"Good show, Robbie ! You got him !"
My oil pressure was disquietingly down. the rain began again and within a few seconds my hood was covered witha soapy film. I slipped into the clouds and set course north on I.F., first warning Jacques and Yule over the radio.
I reached Tangmere as best I could, my oil pressure at zero and my engine red hot and ready to explode. I had to Jettison my hood to see to land.
In this business we had lost two pilots, as did 132. Seven Typhoons were destroyed, plus two which came down off Cherbourg and whose pilots were picked up by the launches.

As for the Munterland, although seriously damaged and with part of her cargo on fire, she succeded two nights later in sneaking as far as Dieppe. She finally got herself sunk off the coast of Holland by a strike of Beaufighters.

VICTOR MAY HAVE BEEN A WEIRDO,BUT HE WAS A DAMN GOOD FIGHTERPILOT.
<ceter>http://www.boners.com/content/788904.1.jpg </center>

XyZspineZyX
09-26-2003, 07:22 PM
http://www.flyandrive.com/images/ClostermannL.jpg

Pierre Clostermann



http://www.flyandrive.com/images/spitfire03.jpg



21st December, 1943

Briefieng at 10.30.

Superb weather, a temperature fit for brass monkeys - not a trace of a cloud in the sky ? The Spitfires' wings were streaming with water, for the hot-air de-icing trailer had just passed. The runway was covered with ice.
I had to take off my gloves to do up my straps, and so my hands froze, and I couldn't get them warm again. I opened up the oxygen, to put a bit of stuffing into myself.
The ice on the runway theses last days has produced a crop of accidents, serious and otherwise. Smashed undecarts, taxiing accidents, etc. - and now we had only eleven serviceable planes left.
Drumbell, Jack, and I were MAX section, with the C.O. With 132, we were to patrol the Cambrai area, where german fighters fighters have been particularly active recently. We climbed to 20 000 feet, then, as the cold was intense, we cam down to 17 000.
The winter sky was so clear, so dazzling that after a mere twenty minutes over France we were continually blinking.
The controller told us there was a strong enemy fighter formation not far off, but it was impossible to spot anything in the dazzling night. To be on the safe side, as grass Seed was geeting urgent, we gained height again.

Suddenly, woooof ! Thrirty Focke Wulfs were on top of us. Before we could move a muscle, the brutes opened fire. A whirlwind of enormous radial engines, of short, slender wings edged with lightning, of tracer bullets whizzing in every direction, of black crosses all over the place. Panic. Everyone broke. In the space of one second the two flights' impeccable combat formation was disrupted, dislocated, scattered to the four winds. Too late ! Old Jonah was on his way down in flames, and Morgan, the Scots flight sergeant, in a spin, one wing torn off bay a hail of Mauser.
132 were no luckier. Three of their pilots were shot down. A fourth - as we learnt later - succedeed in bringing his badly damaged machine half way back across the Channel, then baled out and was fished out one hour later.
Once surprise had passed, we pulled ourselves together.
Captain ubertin, in command of Skittles, suddenly found himself isolated : his n? two and four has been shot down and his n? three had vanished into thin air - Poor old Spence had got a 20 mm. Shell four inches from his head which has smashed his radio to smithereens. Half knocked out he hes instinctively pulled the stick back and opened the throttle and had woken up at 36000 feet absolutely alone in the sky.
A Focke Wulf sneaked in behind the captain but missed him. The hun overshot him. He was carried away by his speed and Aubertin settled his ash in no time at all ; the biter bit. Unfortunately four other Focke-Wulfs engaged him and only did he failed to see his victim crash but he himself succeeded in getting away after after an eventfull 45-miles chase among the trees, round church steeples and through village streets. His Spitfire was hit seven times.
Meanwhile Jacques and I - contrary to our settled habits - folowed on Sutherland's hells like faithful hounds and had the pleasure of seeing him liquidate another "190" at 600 yards range. The Hun disintegrated in the air, but the pilot escaped : a little later we saw a parachute open out below us.
Danny fired a sly burst at a "190" but missed.
If results were wanted, this sweep certainly produced them - out of twenty three Spits, six were shot down, eight others damaged, not counting Williams of 132, who was wounded and had to belly-land.

7th january, 1944

A long trip this time. We were going to Rheims to fetch home a strong formation of flying fortresses and Liberators coming back from Germany. 602 was to cover the first three groups - 180 bmobers in all - and 132 the three following.
We took off at 1210 hours after a rushed lunch, and we flogged out aircraft, weighed down by forty-five-gallon auxilliary tanks, up to 23 000 feet. After thirty minutes flying we passed Paris on our right, sensed rather than seen below a cloak of mist and smoke. On the way German heavy batteries loosed some beautifully aimed salvoes which burst very close - we immediately scattered about the sky. The black puffs appeared on every side. Climbing at full throttle with Thommerson, we succeeded in getting out of range and re-forming, not without difficulty.

1050 hours. The jerries seemed to be reacting and the Focke-Wulls must be taking off all over the place because control was begining to get agitated. Still nothing near us.
Soon a closter of black dots appeared in the horizon, followed by others. Our bombers !
The Thunderbolts and lightnings whom we were relived returned to base, and we took up our positions - in patrol of four on either side of the formation.

A show of Fortresses certainly is an impressive sight ! The phalanx of bombers in impeccable defensive formation - several massive boxes of hundred or so four-engined aircraft in bank at 27,000 feet, each box bristling with 1,140 heavy 5 machine guns - spread out over twenty odd miles.
On either side of the Spitfire escort stretched as far as the eye could see. The top cover of Spits VIIs and IXs was only visible in the shapes of fine white condensation trails.
The visibility that day was splendid. The sky was dark indigo blue, paler toward the horizon, passing from emerald green to milky white where it merged with the bands of mist over the North Sea.
Below, France unfolded like a magic carpet. The peaceful meandering Seine and its tributaries, the dark masses of the forests with their curious geometrical shapes, the multi-coloured checker-board of the fileds and meadows, the tiny toy-like villages, the towns sullying the translucent sky with patches of smoke clinging to the warm layers of air.
The sun burnt through the transparent cockpits, and yet I could feel ice forming in my oxygen tube, and the exhaust gases condensed in a myriad microscopic crystals, marking the wake of my Spitfire in the sky.
Fatigue, stiffness, the painful cramp in my back, the cold searing my toes and fingers through the leather, the wool, and the silk, all wrer forgotten.

Here and there in the Fortress formations there were gaps. From close to you could see machines with one, sometimes two stationary engines and feathered propellers. Others had lacerated tail-planes, gaping holes in the fuselages, wings tarnished by fire or glistening with black oil oozing from gutted engines.
Behind the formation were the stragglers, making for the coast, for the haven of refuge of an advanced air base on the other side of the Channel, flyin only by a sublime effort of the will. You could image the blood pouring over the heaps of empty catridges, the pilot nursing his remaining engines and anxiously eyeing the long white tail of petrol escaping from his riddled tanks. These isolated fortresses were the Focke-Wulfs favourite prey. Therefore the squadrons detached two or three pairs of Spitfires, charged with bringing each one back safe : an exausting task as theses damaged fortresses often dragged along on a thrird of their total power, stretching the endurance of their escort to the limit.
On this occasion Ken sent Carpenter and me to escort a Liberator which was only in the air by a miracle. Its n?three engine had completely come out of its housing and hung on the leading edge, a mass of lifeless ironmongery. His n? One engine was on fire, the flames slowly eating into the wing and the smoke escaping through the aluminium plates of the upper surface, buckled by the heat. Through the tears in the fuselage, the survivors were throwing overboard all their superfluous equipment - machine guns, ammunition belts, radio, armour plates - to lighten their machine, which was slowly loosing height.
To crown all, there was a burst in the hydraulic system, freeing one of the wheels of the undercart which hung down and increased the drag still further.
At 1,800 revs., minus two boost and 200 m.p.h. we had to zigzag to keep level with him. We had been hunched up in our unconfortable cockpits for two hours already, and we were still over France, twelve miles behind the main formation. Ten Focke-Wulfs bagen to prowl round us, at a respectful distance, as if suspecting a trap. Anxiously Carp and I kept an eye on them.
Suddenly they attacked in pairs. Short of juice as we were, all we could do was to face each attack by a very tight 180? turn, fire a short burst in the approximate direction of the Hun, and immediately resume our position by another quick 180? turn. This performance was repeated a dozen times but we succeeded in making the Focke-Wufs keep their distance. They eventually tired of it - or so we thought.
Over Dieppe the fighters gave way to the Flak. We were flying at about 10,000 feet. The german light Flak opened fire with unbelievable frocity. An absolute pyramid of black puffs charged with lightning appeared in a fraction of a second. Violently shaken by several well-aimed shells, Carp and I separated and gained height as fas as we could with our meagre reserves of petrol. The poor Liberator, incapable of taking any sort of violent evasive action, was quickly bracketed. Just as, after a few agonizing seconds, we thought it was out of range, there was an explosion and the big bomber, cut in half, suddenly disepeared in a sheet of flame. Only three parachutes opened out. The blazing aluminium coffin crashed a few hundred yards from the cliffs in a shower of spray, dragging down the remaining members of the crew.
With heavy hearts we landed at Lympne, our tanks empty.
Luckily we were often more fortunate than this and succeeded in bringing our charges back to our airfield at Detling, where their arrival always caused the gratest agitation - ambulances, fire service, curious onlookers. We felt fully repaid by the gratitude in the eyes of the poor exhausted fellows. In many cases it was only the moral support of the presence of a pair of Spits that gave them the courage to hlod out to the end, to resist the temptation of baling out and waiting for the end of the war in some Oflag or other.



http://www.flyandrive.com/images/tempestL.jpg


G.C.C. were worrying us, as usual. They wanted us to fly a patrol that evening at Dust to cover the Bremen-Hamburg sector. This was because the Luftwaffe had been reacted in strengh along the autobahn during the last few days. S.S. planes had been shooting up and bombing our advanced columns, considerablely hampering their progress and their supply echelons.

We were quite agreeable, in principle, to fly a patrol, but G.C.C. couldn't seem to understand that Rheine Hopsten had only one runway in good order, and a very short one at that, and no night-flight installation whatever. G.C.C. were also forgetting that the jerries operated immediately after sun-down (if there had been any sun). Looking for small groups of Focke-Wulf in the air and the mist that rose from the marches of the Elbe and the low clouds which reflected the last glimmer of daylight was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Beside, the aircraft situation was very tight. "Chieffy", after we had made some diplomatic inquiries, hinted at only nine machines avalaible - ten at the outside - during the next twenty hours. In the end we decided on a compromise; Bruce Cole kept six Tempest for normal army reconnaissance, and I got the rest myself. As I didn't know my new pilots very well yet, I chose Mc Intyre and Gordon, to see how they coped with a difficult job.
We took of at 1936 hours. Gordon had difficulty in starting his engine and we lost ten minutes of precious twilight, circling round waiting for him. At 1945 hours we set course for Bremen, flying at low level. Not much to be seen - in the distance a few vague burst of tracer, dimmed in the summer lightning. Some houses on fire. In the vast pine forest a few fires glowed furtively. We flew into driving rain wich dragged down the clouds lower still. We went down to tree-top level. I could only just see Gordon's plane. The visibility was getting worse and worse. It was distinctly disquieting. The huns were sure to come out, but I wasn't very keen on venturing at ground level over enemy territory in that sort of weather. I tried to pierce the mist. Hamburg, With its formidable Flak defence, was somewhere, quite close in the murk, straight ahead. What the hell ! Let's go home ! "One hundred and heighty degrees port, filmstar, go." I kept my eyes on the dead straight autobahn as best I could. It was the only reliable landmark in the gloom, even through its white surface had been partially camouflaged by pages of tar. It marked our front line position approximatively. It was about 2030 hours. The rain came down with redoudled vigour. We roured over britsh and american armoured columns, producing considerable panic. Those stupid "pongos" never seemed to learn how to distinguish our aircraft from those of the Jerries. We flew over a squadron of Churchills scattered over a field, and the man all over the place, jumping for the shelter of the tanks, or under the caterpillar tracks or in the ditches. As they had been machine-gunned every evening recently in this part of the world - usually just about htis time - they were taking no chances. Besides, we were probably the first R.A.F. fighters to operate round about there so late in the day. Lousy weather. You might pass within five hundred yards of a regiment of Focke-Wulf and ot see them.All the same, I kept a sharp look-out. 2035 hours. Out of the corners of my eyes I saw somewhere behind my tail a green verey light come up from our lines, folowed immediatelly by an eruption of tracers, wich disappeared into the clouds. Christ, something was up - Jerries perhaps ! I started a left-handed turn and warned the other two : "Look out, filmstar White - 180? port, and keep your eyes open ! Just at that moment I felt a violent impact under my seat and at the same time a burning pain in my leg. Tracer bullets were whizzing up past my Tempest. That really was too much ! Those stupid "pongos" morons not only were shooting at us, but for once their aim was accurate. I broke and went in a tight turn, and poured some pretty varied invectives into the radio. As they couldn't hear me anyway it was rather a waste of breath. The other Tempest followed me in my turn, hotly pursued by increasingly heavy burst of ack-ack. We waggled our wings, switched on our navigation lights, went right trough the whole recognition rigmarole, al to not avail. As a last resort I was just going to let down my undercart when, like a shoal of fish passing under a skiff, thirty Focke-Wulfs appeared. They where hugging the ground and the rapid shapes seemed to slip trough the trees, pursued by the action of their delayed-action bombs dropping on one of ours tank parks. "Focke-Wulf two o'clock, filmstar. Attacking ! I heeled over and, at full throttle, dived toward the huns. Just my finger was hovering on the fire button something made me look around : a dozen of Focke-Wulf in close formation were emerging from the clouds, a few yards from my team mates. In the meantime the ack-ack was increasing in fury - so was the rain. The Focke wulfs - they were magnificent "long noses" with the white spiral round the spinner - broke in every direction. The visibility had by now got even worse, Wich didn't prevent wich didn't prevent two of the huns from making a frontal attack to me - so close that I left quite unnerved. My chief concern was not get involved in a collision in the gloom. That really would be too stupid. In any case I hadn't had a genuine target yet. Suddenly the radio blared. Gordon, in the hell of a flap, started shouting incoherently. He had just been hit by our ack-ack and a Focke-Wulf in quick succesion. One of the Tempest - presumably his - was dragging a long trail of grey smoke and climbing straigh to the clouds, followed by four Focke Wulfs. Poor Gordon ! "Look out, Pierre, break ! break !" Before I had even had time to realize this was meant to me, I pulled hard on the stick - but too late. I was hit somewhere under my petrol tank. The impact was so violent that my feet jumped off the rudder bar. An acrid smoke filled the cockpit with the stench of cordite. A square wing bearing a black cross swept past in a flash only a yard or two away, and the Focke-Wulf's slipsteam was so violent that this time the stick was wrenched out of my hands. Instinctively I completed a roll and levelled out just above the tree tops. The nausea of fear gripped my throat as a short bright flame licked my feet. Fire ! I felt the heat through my boots, quickening the first stabs of pain in my wounded right leg. I bent down and flumbled whith my glove, trying to locate the course of the flame. Bang ! Bang ! Two more shells smacked into my plane. This time my engine missed a beat - so did my heart. I hurled my Tempest into a violent skid wich jammed me against the side of the cockpit, and at the same time reduced throttle. Then I slowly opened full out - the engine responded normally. Stick right back, I climbed back to the cloudbase. All around me, in dismaying confusion were Focke-Wulfs machine-gunning, climbing, diving, turning. In the half light one turn toward me, rapidly wraggled itd short wings and engaged me. I turned at once to face him, fired a burst from tree-quaters front, but evidently missed him, and passed like a whirlwind just a foot or two below him, I immediately brought the sick hard back, and put on full left rudder. My Tempest shuderred, showed signs of stalling, but completed an astonishingly tight turn all the same, two white "contrails" at its wing tipes. The Focke-Wulf seemed nonplussed - began to turn to startboard - skidded - righted itself - then turn to port. That was a boob : now I in turn was in a good position, at less than twoo hundred yard range. Quickly, before before he had time to complete his manoeuvre, I corrected 10? - two rings of my sight. One long burnst from my four cannons - lightning flashes lit up and seemed to bounce off his fuselage and his wings. Fragment were tossed about in a cloud of rapidly thickening smoke - the cockpit flew off and spinned down, and I saw the pilot, his arms glued to the fuselage by the speed, trying to bale out. Then the Focke-Wulf veered sideways at less than 150 feet, righted itself for a moment, hit the ground, bounced up, moved down a pine tree in a shower of flames and sparks and finaly crashed in a sunken lane. There was a terrific explosion wich threw a lurid light like a magnesium flare for hundred yards around. The weather now seemed to be clearing a bit. Gaps appeared in the wall of mist, revealing a broad of moist, yellow horizon throwing a wan light over the pine forests and the marshes On the left a fire was raging; it was our tank park blazing, its tank trucks and its ammunition lorries in flames. Four Focke-Wulfs were flitting around like big moths, occasionally spitting a stream of bullet in the inferno. I daren't attack them - I could feel the other prowling round in the shadows. Aha ! I spotted a lone plane skimming over the tree tops in the direction of Bremen, whose tall chimneys stacks look positively medieval outlined against the dying sky. Engine temperature 125?, oil pressure down to the fifty five. Regretfully I opened the radiator and closed the throttle to 3500 revs. Even then I went on gaining on the Focke-Wulf, who was probably making for home, his magazines empty. We were now over Bremen, and he was still a thousand yards ahead. This businness might take me rather far; I closed the radiator again and opened the throttle flet out. My "Grand Charles" responded at once. We were now over the first docks of the Weser. We roared between the shattered remains of the big transporter bridge. On either side rose the charred hulks of the ware-houses; the few cranes and derricks still erect rose uo like black skelettons. Suddenly a salvo of Flak shelles blossomed beetween theFocke-Wulf and me - brief white flashes, mingled with brown balls which passed by either side of me. More kept appearing miracously out of the void. The automatic flak now chimed in and the orange glow of the tracers was reflected in the black oily water, from wich overturned hulk emerged, like enormous stranded whales. I concentrated on not losing sight of my Focke-Wulf - lukely he was silhouetted against the dying glow of the sky. For a moment the Flak redoubled in intensity. There was a sudden Clang behind my back - then suddenly the tracers were snuffed out and diseappeared... A bit suspicious ! A glance behind me explained this curious phenomenon : on my tail six Focke-Wulfs in perfect close echelon formation - exhaust white hot -pursuing me at full throttle. With one movement I broke the metal thread to enable me to go to "emergency" and shoved the throttle lever right forward. It was the first time I had occasion to use it on Tempest. The effect was extraordinaire and immediate. The aircraft litteraly bounded forward with a roar like a furnace under pressure. Within a few seconds I was doing 490 m.p.h by the air speed indicator and I simultaneously caught up my quarry and left my pursuers standing. I had soon reduced the distance to less than 200 yards. Although in this darkness my gun sight rather dazzled me, I had him plumb in the middle and I fired two long, deliberate bursts. The Focke-Wulf oscillated and crashed on its belly in a marshy field, thowing up a shower of mud. He miracously did not overturn. Whithout losing anytime I climbed vertically toward the clouds and righted myself to face the others. They had vanished in the shadows. They must have turned about and left their comrade to this fate. I flew back over the Focke-Wulf I shot down. The pilot was limpimg off, dragging his parachutte an dquite dazed by the shock. I besparred the remains of his machine with shells and they caught fire at once.
That made two !





VICTOR MAY HAVE BEEN A WEIRDO,BUT HE WAS A DAMN GOOD FIGHTERPILOT.
<ceter>http://www.boners.com/content/788904.1.jpg </center>

XyZspineZyX
09-26-2003, 07:27 PM
by the way the Fws in the last story was 190D!



Message Edited on 09/26/0306:27PM by fjuff79

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 09:34 AM
cool bump

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 09:36 AM
NICE!!

<CENTER>http://www.world-wide-net.com/tuskegeeairmen/ta-1943.jpg <marquee><FONT COLOR="RED"><FONT SIZE="+1">"Straighten up.......Fly right..~S~"<FONT SIZE> </marquee> http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat

<CENTER><FONT COLOR="ORANGE">vflyer@comcast.net<FONT COLOR>
<Center><div style="width:200;color:red;font-size:18pt;filter:shadow Blur[color=red,strength=8)">99th Pursuit Squadron

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 10:07 AM
if i recall Pierre Clostermann claimed a ta 152 at end of war ..in combat it could be a ..d-9....either way Pierre Clostermann was a great pilot

U.S INFANTRY 84-91

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 11:45 AM
I think the Tempest Emergency power is cool,
leaving 190Ds behind, he he
gonna be a tough bird in FB

VICTOR MAY HAVE BEEN A WEIRDO,BUT HE WAS A DAMN GOOD FIGHTERPILOT.
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fluke39
09-27-2003, 02:39 PM
Nice stuff gentlemen

(sure you're not on the payroll of the publishers of those books? /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif )

i feel like buying them now

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