06 November, the gauntlet

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06 November, the gauntlet

Post  MJDixon on Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:28 am

Date: 6th of November 1943
Time: 21:00 - 22:00
Location: Southern Sector
Objective: Combat Air Patrol
Pilots: Dixon Speedy Hinkel

Taking command of the flight after Skip returned to base, we began to climb over Reims Aerodrome, in an effort to provide high cover to a large flight of fighters of No. 187 Squadron, which was heading to the front.

Positioning ourselves above the low flight we continued to climb as the flight headed east, climbing to aproximately angels 15 when, just east of the aerodrome, we were set upon by a high flight of 3 to 5 enemy fighters, with one allied pilot at the rear of our group being killed instantly, and Speedy suffering light damage after being bounced from above - as such we immediately headed west, away from the low group, which had not been engaged, and towards our aerodrome - diving away once clear of the low group, then climbing back up to the north once we had lost contact with the enemy, climbing up to an altitude of 25,000 feet before heading back towards the front.

Heading back to the combat area we noted reports of a large concentration of RDF signals between the front and our aerodrome, presuming these to be the high enemy flight we encountered previously, I decided to head to the target town, then dive down towards our own aerodrome in an effort to catch the BARCAPing Huns unawares.

Diving down we encountered a flight of seven Bf109s and Fw190s heading west at angels 20, as such we dove upon their rear, but noted that the enemy were alerted to our presence, due to their evasive action.

We then went about the task of keeping our energy advantage over the enemy, whilst I radioed for aditional fighters - initially being ignored until I pressed the matter, after which I was rewarded with information that a flight had just taken off and was climbing through angels 12, as such we continued to drag the enemy westwards so that allied fighters could join up with us, whilst also trying to down enemy fighters that latched on to our wingman's tails, however we were unable to bag any confirmed kills, despite the best efforts of Hinkel, who forced one to stream smoke, whilst I landed minor hits on a second.

Eventually we were forced to dive away towards our field at Berry-au-bac, having lost our energy advantage and still not received any allied support - diving towards the field with the Hun formation in tow.

Despite receiving information that friendly forces were inbound to support us over Berry, we continued to turn over the field under attack from the enemy flight for a further three minutes - receiving no support from friendly aircraft, nor from our obviously cross-eyed anti-aircraft crews, until we were forced to make combat landings under heavy fire - after both myself and Speedy had taken serious damage from enemy fire during the low level evasion.

_________________


"I look forward confidently to the exploits of our Fighter Pilots - these splendid men, this brilliant youth, who will have the glory of saving their native land, their island home, and all they love, from the most deadly of all attacks."

- Winston Churchill
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MJDixon

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