Role:- Fighter Manufacturer:- Hawker Aircraft Limited Designer:- Sydney Camm First flight:- 2 September 1942 Introduction:- January 1944 Primary users:- Royal Air Force, Indian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Pakistan Air Force Produced:- 1,702 Development:- Developed from Hawker Typhoon and into Hawker Sea Fury
The Hawker Tempest was a British fighter aircraft primarily used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the Second World War. The Tempest was an improved derivative of the Hawker Typhoon, the type originally being known as the Typhoon II, which was intended to address the Typhoon's unexpected fall-off of performance at high altitude by replacing its wing with a thinner laminar flow design. Having diverged considerably from the Typhoon, it was chosen to rename the aircraft Tempest. The Tempest emerged as one of the most powerful fighters of the World War II and was the fastest propeller-driven aircraft of the war at low altitude.
Upon entering service in 1944, the Tempest was used as a low-level interceptor, particularly against the V-1 flying bomb threat, and as a ground attack platform, in which it supported major events such as Operation Market Garden. Later, it successfully targeted the rail infrastructure in Germany and Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground, as well as countering such attacks by German fighters. The Tempest was effective in the low-level interception role, including against newly developed jet-propelled aircraft such as the Messerschmitt Me 262. The further developed Tempest Mk.II, which had several improvements including being tropicalised, was intended to see combat against Japan in South-East Asia as part of the Commonwealth Tiger Force, did not enter service until after the end of hostilities.
Design and development
During development of the earlier Hawker Typhoon, the design team, under the leadership of Sydney Camm, had already planned out a series of design improvements; these improvements cumulated in the Hawker P. 1012, otherwise known as the Typhoon II. Although the Typhoon was generally considered to be a good design, Camm and his design team were disappointed with the performance of its wing, which had proved to be too thick in its cross section, and thus created airflow problems which inhibited flight performance, especially at higher altitudes and speeds. The Typhoon's wing, which used a NACA 4 digit series wing section, had a maximum thickness to chord ratio of 19.5 per cent (root) to 12 per cent (tip), in comparison to the Supermarine Spitfire's 13.2 per cent tapering to 6 per cent at the tip, the thinner design deliberately chosen to reduce drag. In addition, there had been other issues experienced with the Typhoon, such as engine unreliability, insufficient structural integrity, and the inability to perform high altitude interception duties.
In March 1940, engineers were assigned to investigate the new low drag laminar flow wing developed by NACA in the United States, which had been used in the new North American P-51 Mustang. A laminar flow wing adopted for the Tempest series had a maximum thickness to chord ratio of 14.5 per cent at the root, tapering to 10 per cent at the tip. The maximum thickness of the Tempest wing was set further back at 37.5 per cent of the chord versus 30 percent for the Typhoon's wing, reducing the thickness of the wing root by five inches on the new design. The wingspan was originally greater than that of the Typhoon at 43 ft (13.1 m), but the wingtips were later "clipped" and the wing became shorter; 41 ft (12.5 m) versus 41 ft 7 in (12.7 m).
The wing planform was changed to a near-elliptical shape to accommodate the 800 rounds of ammunition for the four 20 mm Hispano cannons, which were moved back further into the wing. The new wing had greater area than the Typhoon's,[n1] however, the new wing design sacrificed the leading edge fuel tanks of the Typhoon: to make up for this loss in capacity, Hawker engineers added a new 21 in (53 cm) fuel bay in front of the cockpit, with a 76 Igal (345 l) fuel tank. In addition, two inter-spar wing tanks, each of 28 Igal (127 l), were fitted on either side of the centre-section and, starting with late model Tempest Vs, a 30 Igal (136 l) tank was carried in the leading edge of the port wingroot, giving the Tempest a total internal fuel capacity of 162 Igal (736 l).
Another important feature of the new wing was Camm's proposal that the radiators for cooling the engine be fitted into the leading edge of the wing inboard of the undercarriage. This eliminated the distinctive "chin" radiator of the Typhoon and improved aerodynamics. A further improvement of the Tempest wing over that of the Typhoon was the exceptional, flush-riveted surface finish, essential on a high performance laminar flow airfoil. The new wing and airfoil, and the use of a four-bladed propeller, acted to eliminate the high frequency vibrations that had plagued the Typhoon. The design team also chose to adopt the new Napier Sabre IV engine for the Tempest, drawings of which had become available to Hawker in early 1941.
In February 1941, Camm commenced a series of discussions with officials within the Ministry of Aircraft Production on the topic of the P.1012. In March 1941 of that year, clearance to proceed with development of the design, referred to at this point as the Typhoon II, was granted. At this point, work was undertaken by a team of 45 draughtsman at Hawkers' wartime experimental design office at Claremont, Esher to convert the proposal into technical schematics from which to commence manufacture. In March 1941, the Air Ministry issued specification F.10/41 that had been written to fit the aircraft. By October 1941, development of the proposal had advanced to the point where the new design was finalised.
On 18 November 1941, a contract was issued by the Air Ministry for a pair prototypes of the "Typhoon Mark II"; the new fighter was renamed "Tempest" on 28 February 1942.[n2] Complications were added to the Tempest program by external factors in the form of engine issues; both the Rolls-Royce Vulture engine and corresponding Hawker Tornado aircraft which was being developed in-parallel were both terminated; due to this previous experience on other programs, the Air Ministry was sufficiently motivated to request that a total of six Tempest prototypes were to be built using different engines in order that if a delay hit one engine, an alternative powerplant would already be available. This measure turned out to be fortuitous, as engine development was not trouble-free on some of the variants of the Tempest.
The six prototypes were built as a single Mk.I, HM599, powered by a Sabre IV, two Mk.IIs (LA602 and LA607) equipped with the Centaurus IV, a Mk.III (LA610) with a Griffon IIB, a Mk.IV (LA614) with a Griffon 61, and a Mk.V (HM595) with the Sabre II. The Tempest Mk.I featured other new features, such as a clean single-piece sliding canopy in place of the car-door framed canopy and used wing radiators instead of the "chin" radiator.[n3] Due to development difficulties with the Sabre IV engine and its wing radiators, the completion of the Mk.I prototype, HM599, was delayed, and thus it was the Mk.V prototype, HM595, that would fly first.
On 2 September 1942, the Tempest Mk.V prototype, HM595, conducted its maiden flight, flown by Philip Lucas from Langley, Berkshire, England. HM595, which was powered by a Sabre II engine, retained the Typhoon's framed canopy, car-style door, and was fitted with the "chin" radiator, similar to that of the Typhoon. It was quickly fitted with the same bubble canopy fitted to Typhoons, and a modified tailfin that almost doubled the vertical tail surface area. The horizontal tailplanes and elevators were also increased in span and chord; these were also fitted to late production Typhoons. Test pilots found the Tempest a great improvement over the Typhoon in performance; in February 1943 the pilots from the A&AEE at Boscombe Down reported that they were impressed by "a manoeuvrable and pleasant aircraft to fly with no major handling faults".
On 24 February 1943, the second prototype HM599 first flew, representing the "Tempest Mk I" equipped with the Napier Sabre IV engine; this flight had been principally delayed by protracted problems and slippages encountered in the development of the new Sabre IV engine. HM599 was at first equipped with the older Typhoon cockpit structure and vertical tailplane. The elimination of the "chin" radiator did much to improve overall performance, leading to the Tempest Mk I quickly becoming the fastest aircraft that Hawker had built at that time, having attained a speed of 466 mph (750 km/h) during test flights.
On 27 November 1944, the Tempest Mk.III prototype, LA610, conducted its first flight; it was decided to discontinue development work on the Mk.III, this was due to priority for the Griffon engine having been assigned to the Spitfire instead.[n4] Work on the Tempest Mk.IV variant was abandoned without any prototype being flown at all. The Tempest Mk.II, which was subject to repeated delays due to its Centaurus powerplant, was persisted with, but would not reach production in time to see service during the Second World War. Continual problems with the Sabre IV meant that only the single Tempest Mk I (HM599) was built; consequently, Hawker proceeded to take the Sabre II-equipped "Tempest V" into production instead.
In August 1942, even before the first flight of the prototype Tempest V had been conducted, a production order for 400 Tempests was placed by the Air Ministry. This order was split, with the initial batch of 100 being Tempest V "Series I"s, powered by the 2,235 hp (1,491 kW) Sabre IIA series engine, which had the distinctive chin radiator, while the rest were to have been produced as the Tempest I, equipped with the Sabre IV and leading-edge radiators. These 300 Tempest Is were intended to replace an order for a similar quantity of Typhoons for the Gloster Aircraft Company.[n5] As it transpired, the difficulties with the Sabre IV and the wing radiators led to this version never reaching production, the corresponding order was switched to 300 Tempest V "Series 2"s instead.[n6]
Tempest Mk V
During early 1943, a production line for the Tempest V was established in Hawker's Langley facility, alongside the existing manufacturing line for the Hawker Hurricane. Production was initially slow, claimed to be due to issues encountered with the rear spar. On 21 June 1943, the first production Tempest V, JN729, rolled off the production line and its maiden flight was conducted by test pilot Bill Humble. Several early production aircraft were used for experimental purposes; a number of these underwent extensive service trials at Boscombe Down including clearances to be fitted with external stores, including 500 lb (227 kg) and 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs and 3 in (76.2 mm) RP-3 rockets, although few Tempest Vs deployed such ordnance operationally during the War. On 8 April 1944, the Tempest V attained general clearance.
During production of the first batch of 100 Tempest V "Series Is", distinguished by their serial number prefix JNxxx, several improvements were progressively introduced and were used from the outset on all succeeding Tempest V "Series 2s", with serial number prefixes EJ, NV and SN. The rear fuselage fuselage/empennage joint originally featured 20 external reinforcing "fishplates", similar to those fitted to the Typhoon, but it was not long before the rear fuselage was strengthened and, with the fishplates no longer being needed, the rear fuselage became detachable. The first series of Tempest Vs used a built-up rear spar pick-up/bulkhead assembly (just behind the cockpit) which was adapted from the Typhoon. Small blisters on the upper rear wing root fairing covered the securing bolts. This was later changed to a new forged, lightweight assembly which connected to new spar booms: the upper wing root blisters were replaced by small "teardrop" fairings under the wings.
The first 100 Tempest Vs were fitted with 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano Mk.IIs with long barrels which projected ahead of the wing leading edges and were covered by short fairings; later production Tempest Vs switched to the short-barrelled Hispano Mk.Vs, with muzzles flush with the leading edges. Early Tempest Vs used Typhoon-style 34 by 11 inch (83.4 by 28 cm) five-spoke wheels, but most had smaller 30 by 9 inch (76.2 by 22.9 cm) four-spoke wheels. The new spar structure of the Tempest V also allowed up to 2,000 lb (907 kg) of external stores to be carried underneath the wings.
As in all mass-produced aircraft, there may have been some overlap of these features as new components became available. In mid-to-late 1944 other features were introduced to both the Typhoon and Tempest: A Rebecca transponder unit was fitted, with the associated aerial appearing under the portside centre section. A small, elongated oval static port appeared on the rear starboard fuselage, just above the red centre spot. This was apparently used to more accurately measure the aircraft's altitude.
Unusually, in spite of the Tempest V being the RAF's best low- to medium-altitude fighter, it was not equipped with the new Mk IIC gyroscopic gunsight, as fitted in RAF Spitfires and Mustangs from mid-1944 and one which considerably improved the chances of shooting down opposing aircraft. Tempest pilots continued to use either the Type I Mk.III reflector gunsight, which projected the sighting graticule directly onto the windscreen, or the Mk.IIL until just after the Second World War, when the gyro gunsight was introduced in Tempest IIs.
Two Tempest Vs, EJ518 and NV768, were fitted with Napier Sabre Vs and experimented with several different Napier-made annular radiators, with which they resembled Tempest IIs. This configuration proved to generate less drag than the standard "chin" radiator, contributing to an improvement in the maximum speed of some 11 to 14 mph. NV768 was later fitted with a ducted spinner, similar to that fitted to the Fw 190 V1. Another experimental Tempest V was SN354, which was fitted with a Vickers 47 mm "P" anti-tank gun, under development but never deployed, under each wing in a long "pod".[n7]
As a result of the termination of the Tornado project, Sydney Camm and his design team transferred the alternative engine proposals for the Tornado to the more advanced Tempest. Thus, it was designed from the outset to use the Bristol Centaurus 18 cylinder radial engine as an alternative to the liquid cooled engines which were also proposed. A pair of Centaurus-powered Tempest Mk II prototypes were completed. Apart from the new engine and cowling, the Tempest II prototypes were similar to early series Tempest Vs. The Centaurus engine was closely cowled and the exhaust stacks grouped behind and to either side of the engine: to the rear were air outlets with automatic sliding "gills". The carburettor air intakes were in the inner leading edges of both wings, an oil cooler and air intake were present in the inner starboard wing. The engine installation owed much to examinations of a captured Focke-Wulf Fw 190, and was clean and effective.
On 28 June 1943, the first Tempest Mk.II, LA602, flew powered by a Centaurus IV (2,520 hp/1,879 kW) driving a four-blade propeller. LA602 initially flew with a Typhoon-type fin and rudder unit. This was followed by the second, LA607, which was completed with the enlarged dorsal fin and first flew on 18 September 1943: LA607 was assigned to engine development.[n8] The first major problem experienced during the first few flights was serious engine vibrations, which were cured by replacing the rigid, eight-point engine mountings with six-point rubber-packed shock mounts. In a further attempt to alleviate engine vibration, the four blade propeller was replaced with a five blade unit; eventually, a finely balanced four bladed unit was settled on. Problems were also experienced with engine overheating, poor crankshaft lubrication, exhaust malfunctions and reduction-gear seizures. Because of these problems, and because of the decision to "tropicalise" all Tempest IIs for service in the South-East Asian theatre, production was delayed.
Orders had been placed as early as September 1942 for 500 Tempest Mk.IIs to be built by Gloster but in 1943, because of priority being given to the Typhoon, a production contract of 330 Tempest Mk.IIs was allocated instead to Bristol, while Hawker were to build 1,800. This switch delayed production even more. On 4 October 1944, the first Tempest II was rolled off the line; the first six production aircraft soon joined the two prototypes for extensive trials and tests. With the end of the Second World War in sight, orders for the Tempest II were trimmed or cancelled; after 50 Tempest IIs had been built at Bristol's Banwell facility, production was stopped and shifted back to Hawker, which built a total of 402, in two production batches of 100, which were built as fighters and 302 which were built as fighter-bombers (FB.Mk.II) with reinforced wings and wing racks capable of carrying bombs of up to 1,000 lbs.
Physically, the Tempest Mk.II was longer than the Tempest Mk.V (34 ft 5 in/10.5 m versus 33 ft 8 in/10.3 m) and 3 in (76 mm) lower. The weight of the heavier Centaurus engine (2,695 lb/1,222 kg versus 2,360 lb/1,070 kg) was offset by the absence of a heavy radiator unit, so that the Tempest II was only some 20 lb (9 kg) heavier overall. Performance was improved; maximum speed was 442 mph (711 km/h) at 15,200 ft (4,633 m) and climb rate to the same altitude took four and a half minutes compared with five minutes for the Tempest V; the service ceiling was also increased to 37,500 ft (11,430 m).
Tropicalising measures included the installation of an air filter and intake in the upper forward fuselage, just behind the engine cowling, and the L-shaped pitot head under the outer port wing being replaced by a straight rod projecting from the port outer wing leading edge. All production aircraft were powered by a (2,590 hp/1,932 kW) Centaurus V driving a 12 ft 9 inch (3.89 m) diameter Rotol propeller. Tempest Mk.IIs produced during the war were intended for combat against Japan, and would have formed part of a proposed British Commonwealth long-range bomber force based on Okinawa, Tiger Force. The Pacific War ended before they could be deployed.
Tempest Mk VI
Various engineering refinements that had gone into the Tempest II were incorporated into the last Tempest variant, designated as the Tempest VI. This variant was furnished with a Napier Sabre V engine with 2,340 hp (1,700 kW). The more powerful Sabre V required a bigger radiator which displaced the oil cooler and carburettor air intake from the radiator's centre; air for the carburettor was drawn through intakes on the leading edge of the inner wings, while the oil cooler was located behind the radiator. Most Tempest VIs were tropicalised, the main feature of this process being an air filter which was fitted in a fairing on the lower centre section. Other changes included the strengthening of the rear spar and the inclusion of spring tabs, which granted the variant superior handling performance.
The original Tempest V prototype, HM595, was extensively modified to serve as the Tempest VI prototype. On 9 May 1944, HM595 made its first flight after its rebuild, flown by Bill Humble. In December 1944, HM595 was dispatched to Khartoum, Egypt to conduct a series of tropical trials. During 1945, a further two Tempest V aircraft, EJ841 and JN750, were converted to the Tempest IV standard in order to participate in service trials at RAF Boscombe Down.
At one point, 250 Tempest VIs were on order for the RAF; however, the end of the war led to many aircraft programs being cut back intensively, leading to only 142 aircraft being completed. For a long time, it was thought that there were Tempest VIs that had been converted for target towing purposes; however, none of the service histories of the aircraft show such conversions and no supporting photographic evidence has been found. The Tempest VI holds the distinction of being the last piston-engined fighter in operational service with the RAF, having been superseded by jet propelled aircraft.
Drawing board designs
In 1944, in response to the issuing of Air Ministry Specification F.13/44, which sought a long-range fighter equipped with the Rolls Royce R.46 engine, Sydney Camm initiated work on a new design, designated as the P.1027. This was essentially a slightly enlarged Tempest which was powered by the R.46 engine, which was projected to develop around 2,500–4,000 hp (1,864–2,983 kW). This engine would have driven a set of eight-bladed contra-rotating propellers. The radiator was relocated into a ventral bath set underneath the rear fuselage and wing centre section: the wingspan was 41 ft (12.5 m) and the length was 37 ft 3 in (11.4 m).
However, work upon the P.1027 design was soon dropped in favour of concentrating upon a further developed design, designated as the P.1030. It featured wing leading edge radiators and had larger overall dimensions of 42 ft (12.8 m) wingspan and 39 ft 9 in (12.1 m) length. The top speed was expected to be in the region of 508 mph (817 km/h), with a rate of climb of 6,400 ft/min (1,951 m/min). Service ceiling was projected to be 42,000 ft (12,802 m). Work on both tenders were ultimately dropped when Camm decided to focus design efforts upon the more promising jet engine designs he was working on instead.
The Tempest was a single engine fighter aircraft that excelled at low level flight. In service, its primary role soon developed into performing "armed reconnaissance" operations, often deep behind enemy lines. The Tempest was particularly well suited to the role because of its high speed at low to medium altitudes, its long range when equipped with two 45-gallon drop tanks, the good firepower of the four 20mm cannon and the good pilot visibility. The three-piece windscreen and side windows of the Tempest had directly benefited from examination of captured Focke Wulf Fw 190s, improvements included the careful design and positioning of the frame structure blind spots being reduced to an absolute minimum. It had a bullet-resistant centre panel made up of two layers, the outer 1.5 in (38 mm) thick and the inner 0.25 in (6.5 mm).
The majority of production Tempests were powered by a single high-powered Napier Sabre II 24-cylinder engine. All versions of the Sabre used drove either a four-bladed, 14 ft (4.267 m) diameter de Havilland Hydromatic or Rotol propeller. Starting with EJxxx series, on the Tempest V, both the improved Sabre IIB and IIC were used, these engines were capable of producing over 2,400 hp (1,789 kW) on emergency boost for short periods of time. Alternative engines were used on some production variants, such as the Tempest Mk II, for which a single Bristol Centaurus 18 cylinder radial engine was adopted, or the final Tempest VI, upon which a Napier Sabre V was used. Early on in development, the adoption of several other engines were proposed, some of which were tested upon multiple prototypes.
The wing of the Tempest was one of its more significant design features, having been developed from the Typhoon to use a thinner laminar flow design approach. The wing planform was of a near-elliptical shape; the aircraft's armament of four 20 mm Hispano cannons and its 800 rounds of ammunition was also embedded into the wing. The ailerons were fitted with spring-loaded tabs which lightened the aerodynamic loads, making them easier for the pilot to use and dramatically improving the roll rate above 250 mph (402 km/h). The spar structure of the Tempest V also allowed the wings to carry up to 2,000 lb (907 kg) of external stores. Also developed specifically for the Tempest by Hawker was a streamlined 45 gal (205 l) "drop tank" to extend the operational radius by 500 mi (805 km) and carrier fairing; the redesigned wing incorporated the plumbing for these tanks, one to each wing.
The main undercarriage was redesigned from the Typhoon, featuring lengthened legs and a wider track (16 ft/4.9 m) to improve stability at the high landing speed of 110 mph (177 km/h), and to allow tip clearance for a new de Havilland 14 ft (4.26 m) diameter four-blade propeller. The main undercarriage units were Dowty levered suspension units incorporating trunnions which shortened the legs as they retracted. The retractable tailwheel was fully enclosed by small doors and could be fitted with either a plain Dunlop manufactured tyre, or a Dunlop-Marstrand "twin-contact" anti-shimmy tyre.
During development, Camm and the Hawker design team had placed a high priority on making the Tempest easily accessible to both air and ground crews; to this end, the forward fuselage and cockpit areas of the earlier Hurricane and the Tempest and Typhoon families were covered by large removable panels providing access to as many components as possible, including flight controls and engine accessories. Both upper wing roots incorporated panels of non-slip coating. For the pilot a retractable foot stirrup under the starboard root trailing edge was linked to a pair of handholds which were covered by spring-loaded flaps. Through a system of linkages, when the canopy was open the stirrup was lowered and the flaps opened, providing easy access to the cockpit; as the canopy was closed, the stirrup was raised into the fuselage and the flaps snapped shut.
By April 1944, the Tempest V had attained general acceptance and was in the hands of operational squadrons; 3 Squadron was the first to be fully equipped, closely followed by 486 (NZ) Squadron (the only Article XV unit to be equipped with the Tempest during the Second World War), replacing their previous Typhoons. A third unit—56 Squadron—initially kept its Typhoons and was then temporarily equipped with Spitfire IXs until sufficient supplies of Tempests were available.[n9] By the end of April 1944, these units were based at RAF Newchurch a new "Advanced Landing Ground" (ALG), where they formed 150 Wing, commanded by Wing Commander Roland Beamont. The new Wing was part of the Second Tactical Air Force (2nd TAF).
Most of the operations carried out by 150 Wing comprised high-altitude fighter sweeps, offensive operations known as "Rangers", as well as reconnaissance missions. Prior to the Normandy landings, Tempests would routinely conduct long-range sorties inside enemy territory penetrate into Northern France and the Low Countries, using a combination of cannons and bombs to attack airfields, radar installations, ground vehicles, coastal shipping and the launch sites for the German V-1 flying bombs. The build-up of Tempest-equipped squadrons was increased rapidly, in part due to factors such as the V-1 threat, although a labour strike in Hawker's assembly shop negatively impacted on this rate; by September 1944, a total of five frontline Tempest squadrons which comprised 114 aircraft were in operation.
In June 1944, the first of the V-1s were launched against London; the excellent low-altitude performance of the Tempest made it one of the preferred tools for handling the small fast-flying unmanned missiles. 150 Wing was transferred back to the ADGB; the Tempest squadrons soon racked up a considerable percentage of the total RAF kills of the flying bombs (638 of a total of 1,846 destroyed by aircraft). Using external drop tanks, the Tempest was able to maintain standing patrols of 4.5 hours off the south coast of England in the approach paths of the V-1s. Guided by close instructions from coastal radar installation, Tempests would be positioned ready for a typical pursuit and use either cannon fire or nudging the V-1 with the aircraft itself to destroy it.
In September 1944, Tempest units, based at forward airfields in England, supported Operation Market Garden, the Airborne attempt to seize a bridgehead over the Rhine. On 21 September 1944, as the V-1 threat had receded, the Tempest squadrons were redeployed to the 2nd TAF, effectively trading places with the Mustang III squadrons of 122 Wing, which became part of the ADGB units deployed on bomber escort duties. 122 Wing now consisted of 3 Sqn., 56 Sqn., 80 Sqn., 274 Sqn. (to March 1945), and 486(NZ)Sqn. From 1 October 1944 122 Wing was based at B.80 Volkel Air Base near Uden, in the Netherlands. During the early phase of operations, the Tempest regularly emerged victorious and proved to be a difficult opponent for the Luftwaffe's Bf 109G and Fw 190 fighters to counter.
Armed reconnaissance missions were usually flown by two sections (eight aircraft), flying in Finger-four formations, which would cross the front lines at altitudes of 7,000 to 8,000 feet: once the Tempests reached their allocated target area the lead section dropped to 4,000 feet or lower to search for targets to strafe, while the other section flew cover 1,000 feet higher and down sun. After the first section had carried out several attacks, it swapped places with the second section and the attacks continued until all ammunition had been exhausted, after which the Tempests would return to base at 8,000 ft. As many of the more profitable targets were usually some 250 miles from base, the Tempests typically carried two 45-gallon drop tanks which were turned on soon after takeoff. Although there were fears that the empty tanks would explode if hit by flak, the threat never eventuated and, due to the tanks being often difficult to jettison, they were routinely carried throughout an operation with little effect on performance, reducing maximum speed by 5 to 10 mph and range by 2 per cent.
Between October and December 1944, the Tempest was practically withdrawn from combat operations for overhaul work, as well as to allow operational pilots to train newcomers. The overhaul process involved the replacement or major servicing of their engines and the withdrawal of the limited number of aircraft which were equipped with spring-tabs due to the excessive manoeuvrability they enabled damaging the airframe. In December 1944, upon the Tempest's reentry into service, the type had the twin tasks of the systematic destruction of the North German rail network along with all related targets of opportunity, and the maintenance of air supremacy within the North German theatre, searching for and destroying any high performance fighter or bomber aircraft of the Luftwaffe, whether in the air or on the ground.
In December 1944, a total of 52 German fighters were downed, 89 trains and countless military vehicles were destroyed, for the loss of 20 Tempests. Following the Luftwaffe's Operation Bodenplatte of 1 January 1945, 122 Wing bore the brunt of low- to medium-altitude fighter operations for the Second Tactical Air Force, which had fortuitously escaped being a victim of the extensive Bodenplatte raid, and had contributed to efforts to intercept the raiders. During this time, Spitfire XIVs of 125 and 126 Wings often provided medium- to high-altitude cover for the Tempests, which came under intense pressure, the wing losing 47 pilots in January. In February 1945, 33 and 222 Sqns. of 135 Wing converted from Spitfire Mk IXs and, in March, were joined by 274 Sqn. 135 Wing was based at B.77 Gilze-Rijen airfield in the Netherlands. The intensity of operations persisted throughout the remainder of the war.
During 1945, a noteworthy accomplishment of the Tempest was the scoring of a number of kills against the new German jets, including the Messerschmitt Me 262. Hubert Lange, a Me 262 pilot, said: "the Messerschmitt Me 262's most dangerous opponent was the British Hawker Tempest — extremely fast at low altitudes, highly-manoeuvrable and heavily-armed."
Some Me 262s were destroyed using a tactic known to 135 Wing as the "Rat Scramble"; Tempests on immediate alert took off when an Me 262 was reported to be airborne. They did not directly intercept the jet, but instead flew towards the Me 262 and Ar 234 base at Rheine-Hopsten.[n10] The aim was to attack jets on their landing approach, when they were at their most vulnerable, travelling slowly, with flaps down and incapable of rapid acceleration. The Germans responded by creating a "flak lane" of over 150 of the dreaded Flakvierling "quadmount" 20 mm (.79 in) AA batteries at Rheine-Hopsten, to protect the approaches. [n11] After seven Tempests were lost to flak at Rheine-Hopsten in a single week, the "Rat Scramble" was discontinued. For a while, in March 1945, a strict "No, repeat, No ground attacks" policy was imposed; this only applied for a few days.
In air-to-air combat, the Tempest units achieved an estimated air combat success ratio of 7:1, accomplishing a 6:1 ratio against single-seat enemy fighters.[n12] The top-scoring Tempest pilot was Squadron Leader David C. "Foobs" Fairbanks DFC, an American who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941. By mid-1944, he was flying with 274 Squadron. When he was shot down and made a POW in February 1945, he had destroyed 11 or 12 German aircraft (and one shared), to make him the highest-scoring Tempest ace.
Early flights by RAF pilots found the Tempest, unlike the Typhoon, was buffet-free up to and somewhat beyond 500 mph (800 km/h). During 1944, several veteran USAAF pilots flew the Tempest in mock combat exercises held over the south of England, the consensus of these operations was that it was roughly akin to the American Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. According to aviation author Francis K. Mason, the Tempest was commonly accepted as the best performing RAF fighter in operational service by VE Day.
RAF Tempest and air crew during a pre-mission briefing, circa 1943-1945
Following the end of the war, the RAF decided upon the Tempest as being the aircraft upon which it standardised its fighter inventory, pending the introduction of newer aircraft, many of which would be developed post-war, such as the de Havilland Hornet and the de Havilland Vampire, as well as the Gloster Meteor. A number of squadrons would operate the Tempest as their final piston-engined type before converting to the new generation of jet-powered fighter aircraft that would come to dominate the next decade and beyond.
The later Tempest Mk.II was manufactured with tropicalisation measures as it had been decided that this variant would be intended for combat against Japan. The envisioned role for the type would have been as a purpose-built platform which would participate in the Tiger Force, which was a proposed British Commonwealth long-range bomber force to have been stationed on Okinawa as a forward base for operations against the Japanese mainland. However, prior to the Tempest Mk.II being able to enter operational service, the Pacific War came to a close with Japan's surrender before any such deployment could be conducted.
By October 1945, a total of 320 Tempest Mk IIs had been delivered to maintenance units stationed at RAF Aston Down and RAF Kemble; these aircraft were mainly dispatched to squadrons stationed overseas in Germany and in India, along with other locations such as Hong Kong and Malaysia. On 8 June 1946, a Tempest Mk II, flown by Roland Beamont, led the flypast at the London Victory Celebrations of 1946. RAF Tempest Mk IIs saw combat use against guerrillas of the Malayan Races Liberation Army during the early stages of the Malayan Emergency.
A total of 142 Tempest Mk VI were produced, which equipped nine squadrons of the RAF, five of these being stationed in the Middle East due to its suitability for such environments. This particular variant was anticipated to have a short lifetime and their phasing out commenced in 1949. During the 1950s, the Tempest was mainly used in its final capacity as a target tug aircraft.
In 1947, the RAF transferred a total of 89 Tempest FB IIs to the Indian Air Force (IAF), while another 24 were passed on to the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) in 1948. Both India and Pakistan would operate the Tempest until 1953. Several of these aircraft remain in existence, with three under active restoration to fly in the United States and New Zealand. The restoration of an IAF Tempest Mk.II, MW376, in New Zealand was stalled due to the unexpected death of the owner in 2013, and was sold to a Canadian enthusiast; as of April 2016, MW376 was receiving extensive work at facilities in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. It is being restored to an operational condition.
A Tempest TT Mk.5 target tug, 1948
A Tempest V of 486 Squadron RNZAF at Volkel Air Base, the Netherlands, 1945
Typhoon Mk II : The original designation of the Hawker Tempest.
Tempest Mk I : Prototype fitted with the Napier Sabre IV piston engine with oil coolers and radiators placed in the wing to reduce drag, one aircraft.
Tempest F Mk II : Single-seat fighter aircraft for the RAF, powered by a Bristol Centaurus radial piston engine, 402 built by Hawker at Langley and 50 by Bristol Aeroplane Company, Banwell.
Tempest FB Mk II : Single-seat fighter-bomber with underwing pylons for bombs and rockets.
Tempest Mk III : Prototype fitted with the Rolls-Royce Griffon piston engine.
Tempest Mk IV : Tempest Mk III prototype re-engined with a Rolls-Royce Griffon 61 piston engine.
Tempest Mk V : Single-seat fighter, fighter-bomber aircraft, powered by the Napier Sabre II piston engine, 801 built at Langley.
Early series Tempest Mk V : The first 100 production aircraft were fitted with four long-barrel 20 mm (.79 in) Mark II Hispano cannons and continued to use some Typhoon components.
Mid to late series Tempest Mk V : The other 701 production aircraft were fitted with four short-barrel 20 mm Mark V Hispano cannons and other production line changes.
Tempest TT Mk 5 : After the Second World War a number of Tempest Mk Vs were converted to serve as target tugs.
Tempest F Mk VI : Single-seat fighter aircraft for the RAF engined with the Sabre V (2,340 hp), 142 built.
List of Hawker Tempest operators
Canada (One Tempest V, acquired postwar for trials.); India; New Zealand; Pakistan; United Kingdom
A Tempest TT.5 NV778, on suspended display Under restoration/privately owned
Mk.II MW404 - under restoration to fly by Chris Miller, Texas, USA
Mk.II G-TEMT/MW763 - under restoration to fly with Weald Aviation, North Weald, UK
Mk.II MW810 - under restoration to fly with Nelson Ezell, Texas, USA
Mk.V N7027E/EJ693 - under restoration to fly for Kermit Weeks, USA
Mk.V G-TMPV/JN768 - owned by Richard Grace, Halstead, UK
Mk.II MW376 - stored pending sale, Ardmore, New Zealand
Mk.II G-PEST/MW401 - stored, Blackbushe, UK
Mk.II MW758 - stored, Blackbushe, UK
Mk.II LA607/N607LA - Kermit Weeks, Florida, USA
Mk.II HA623/MW848 - Indian Air Force Museum, New Delhi, India
Mk.II PR536 - RAF Museum, Hendon, UK
TT.5 NV778 - Royal Air Force Museum London, Hendon, UK
Specifications Specifications (Tempest V)
Length: 33 ft 8 in (10.26 m) Wingspan: 41 ft 0 in (12.49 m) Height: 16 ft 1 in (4.90 m (tail down)) Wing area: 302 ft² (28 m²) Empty weight: 9,250 lb (4,195 kg) Loaded weight: 11,400 lb (5,176 kg) Max. takeoff weight: 13,640 lb (6,190 kg) Powerplant: 1 × Napier Sabre IIA or IIB or IIC liquid-cooled H-24 sleeve-valve engine:, 2,180 hp (1,625 kW) Sabre IIA at + 9 lb/in² boost at 7,000 ft (2,133 m), 4,000 rpm [n13] Propellers: Four-bladed Rotol or de Havilland propeller Performance Maximum speed: 432 mph (695 km/h) Sabre IIA at 18,400 ft (5,608 m), Sabre IIB 435 mph at 19,000 ft (700 km/h at 5,791 m) Range: 740 mi (1,190 km) 1,530 mi (2,462 km) with 90 gal (409 l) drop tanks Service ceiling: 36,500 ft (11,125 m) Rate of climb: 4,700 ft/min (23.9 m/s) Wing loading: 37.75 lb/ft² (184.86 kg/m²) Power/mass: 0.21 hp/lb (0.31 kW/kg) Armament 4 × 20 mm (.79 in) Mark II Hispano cannons, 200 rpg. Later models used Mark V Hispano Cannons. 2 × 500 lb (227 kg) or 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs 8 × 3 in (76.2 mm) RP-3 rockets (post-Second World War) Provision for 2 × 45 gal (205 l) or 2 × 90 gal (409 l) drop tanks.
W/Cdr. R. P. Beamont, D.S.O., D.F.C. leading 150 (Newchurch) Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 8 June 1944:
I was leading the Newchurch Tempest wing on a Fighter sweep to the Caen area of the beachhead via Rouen, Bernay and Argentan. We took off from Newchurch at 12.25 hours, and crossed the French coast at Pte d’Ailly at 10,000 ft. When we were a few miles to the West of Rouen at 12.50 hours over scattered cloud, I saw five aircraft in line astern at about 5,000 ft, turning from East to North. Leaving 486 (N.Z.) Squadron up above as top cover, I took No. 3 Squadron down to investigate. I closed in behind the aircraft at 370 I.A.S., and recognized them as ME.109G’s. They were traveling at approximately 300 m.p.h. and did not realize they were being bounced until just before I opened fire, when the e/a broke to port and dived for cloud with violent evasive action. I selected the fourth or last e/a, I am not sure which, and opened fire with a 2/3 second burst, starting with 30° deflection, and changing according to the e/a’s evasive action.
I opened fire at about 500 yards range closing to pointblank, and saw strikes at the end of the burst on the starboard side of the fuselage. The e/a immediately poured smoke and flames. I had to break to starboard in order to avoid collision and then to port when I saw clearly the e/a enveloped in flames in an inverted dive. I broke to starboard as I finished my attack and heard a loud bang and saw a strike on my starboard wing. My No. 2 who subsequently saw my e/a disintegrate and the starboard wing break off, saw two ME.109’s diving down out of sun at him and myself. My U/C warning lights went on so I handed over to S/Ldr. Dredge, of No. 3 Squadron, and set course for base where I landed at 13.30 hrs. The aircraft I destroyed was camouflaged mottled chocolate and brown and no national markings were visible.
I claim one ME. 109G destroyed. [pn1]
F/O G. A. Whitman (U.S.A.) of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 June 1944:
I was No. 2 to W/Cdr. Beamont as he was attacking one of the Me.109G’s. As they were attacked they split into two sections and I observed strikes on the fuselage and starboard wing of the Wing Commander’s target. Then I saw it burst into flames and the starboard wing came off, the aircraft flicked over and went down in flames.
Before making an attack myself I looked behind and saw two Me.109G’s slightly above on the port quarter diving in to attack out of the sun. I throttled back and the leader over shot. I opened fire at 300 yards with A.S.I. 370 m.p.h. with 15° deflection. The enemy aircraft did a climbing turn to port and I saw two strikes, one in the wing root and one in the cockpit, and then the target blew up. I claim a Me.109G destroyed and confirm W/Cdr. Beamont’s claim of one Me.109G destroyed.
After this engagement I pulled up then heard the Wing Commander call up and say his aircraft was damaged and he was returning to base. I had lost him in cloud so I rejoined the formation which was orbitting up sun. [pn2]
F/L A. R. Moore of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 June 1944:
I was Green 1, flying on the port of the Wing Leader when he sighted suspect aircraft. He turned and dived and went down with him. When at about 600 yards we recognized them as Me.109G’s camouflaged a mottled brown. As we closed to 300 yards the Me’s broke to starboard towards cloud. I saw the Wing Commander go for one of the enemy aircraft and I picked out another which was diving under cloud at about 7,000 feet quite straight. I was then indicating 300 m.p.h. and closed in easily to about 200 yards with I.A.S. 360 and gave it a 1 second burst from dead astern.
Flames immediately appeared from the starboard side of the cockpit followed by almost complete disintegration of the cockpit area. It then turned on its back and went straight down in flames. (Upon landing a piece of this aircraft was found in my radiator which was damaged.) I continued straight ahead and saw another Me.109 at 4-500 yards. I had it dead ahead and gave a 1 second burst before it disappeared into cloud. No strikes or results were seen. [pn3]
S/Ldr G. M. Cotes Preddy of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 29 September 1944:
I was leading 56 Sqdn on a patrol in the Arnhem – Nijmegen area. When at 8000 ft just South of Nijmegen Control told me to turn East as huns were coming up. When over Emmerich I saw some Spitfires engaging about 20 e/a at my own height. As we approached the melee I saw one 190 break away and dive towards thin cloud. I followed him down with my No. 4 and fired a short burst 30 degs deflection from 100 yds. I saw 2 or 3 strikes on his port wing tip. He climbed and started a stall turn. I then fired a fairly long burst with no deflection from 100 to 30 yds and saw strikes on engine cowling and cockpit. Light grey smoke streamed out and the engine seemed to have stopped as the e/a dived away. I then had to break as another hun was on my tail. I did not see the e/a again, but Red 4 confirms that it went over the vertical and exploded 50 feet from the ground, the pilot not getting out. I claim 1 FW 190 destroyed.
I saw another 190 with a Tempest firing at it from 30 yds. The e/a burst into flames and went into a grass field. The pilot did not appear.
In all I saw 5 hun a/c burning in the air. [pn4]
F/O D. E. Ness (Can.) of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 29 September 1944:
I was flying Blue 2. When my section got into the melee I fired at three passing huns without result and then overtook one flying in my own general direction. I was doing about 300 (3500 revs) and overhauled the e/a steadily. He saw me and half rolled and the dived, but I was able to keep behind him although his initial acceleration slightly increased his lead. He dived through thin cloud. When we broke cloud he was at an angle of 20 degs to my line of flight about 300 yds in front of me, still diving steeply. I fired a quick burst without allowing enough deflection. I then closed to about 100 yds and fired a 3-second burst, angle of 10 degs, ¾ ring deflection, seeing strikes on the starboard side of the fuselage. The e/a continued in its dive, hit the ground in a field, and exploded. This is confirmed by S/Ldr. Cotes-Preddy.
I then climbed to 3000 ft and saw another 190 1000 ft below me diving away towards home. I overtook him very fast, doing approx 350, and as I closed he turned in to me. I fired a 1-second burst from about 200 yds, 20 degs deflection, seeing no strikes. We then had a turning match lasting 4 minutes, mainly at tree-top height, with the hun apparently anxious to go home. I found I was able to hold him in the turns, in the course of which I fired about 3 short bursts seeing strikes on the starboard wing and a large piece coming off the port wing. I noticed vapour trails from both aircraft. The hun then climbed and did a stall turn, immediately repeating the manoeuvre. The second time I overshot. Coming back for a final attack I saw his hood fly off and the pilot baled out, the parachute opening the a/c turned and dived straight at me. I took evasive action as it shot past and continued earthwards.
I claim 2 FW 190’s destroyed. [pn5]
F/Lt. A. R. Moore D.F.C. of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 29 September 1944:
I was flying Yellow 1. I sighted a 190 crossing from right to left in front of me at my own height (6000 ft) I got on his tail. He did a half-roll, almost immediately pulling up from the dive, which I followed, having no difficulty in closing to about 50 yds, at which range I fired a 4-second burst, seeing strikes along side of cockpit and engine. A large piece of the tail unit came off (confirmed by F/Lt. Ryan) The hun went straight down in a steep (70.80 degs) dive. I pulled up to one side, watching him go down, and then saw P/O Watts firing at it, noticing strikes. I turned away when E/A was about 2000 ft from ground.
I claim 1 FW 190 probably destroyed, shared with P/O Watts. [pn6]
P/O K. Watts of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 29 September 1944:
I was flying Blue 4. I was split from my section and joined up with a Tempest (F/Lt. Moore) which was line astern to a FW 190 and was firing at it. From 400/500 yds I saw strikes on the E/A and a large piece fly off the tail. The 190 immediately went into a dive. The other Tempest broke away so I followed in and fired a long burst from line astern 150 yds range. I saw strikes all over the engine and cockpit with plenty of smoke but no flame. The E/A took no sort of evasive action but continued in a dive of approx 60 degs. angle. It went through a thin layer of cloud and I broke off.
I claim 1 FW 190 probably destroyed, shared with F/Lt. Moore. [pn7]
F/Lt. S. S. Williams of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 30 September 1944:
I was flying Green 1 on a patrol of the Arnhem area. While flying South parallel with Arnhem at 5000 ft I sighted a single ME 109 flying due East at 2/300 ft. I immediately called Topper Leader and reported the a/c and that I was going down with my section. Immediately I broke formation the E/A turned in towards me climbing slightly and I lost height circling to get in behind him. After about 2½ steep turns still about 200 ft above the hun he was still turning in to me and I gave him a 2-second burst 95° deflection about 600 yards range. I saw no strikes. I lost sight of the hun momentarily under my nose and when he reappeared he was no longer turning but climbing slightly, emitting glycol from his starboard radiator, after which the engine burst into flames. The E/A lost height and the pilot baled from about 4/500 ft. The a/c crashed in a wood below and blew up. This is confirmed by the whole of my Squadron. I claim 1 ME 109 destroyed. [pn8]
W/Cdr R. P. Beamont D.S.O. DFC. of 122 Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 2 October 1944:
While leading 56 Squadron on patrol in the Nijmegan area, heading S.E. at 11,000 ft, I saw four Spitfires coming down on my formation from 7 o’clock. Immediately behind them and closing rapidly in a steep dive I saw another formation. These I identified as FW 190’s, and I broke the Sqdn towards them. 12/15 FW 190’s attempted to attack but, being unable to pull tight enough, half rolled to starboard and went straight down aileron turning towards the N.E. through a hole in the cloud. At this point we were approximately South of Nijmegan. I peeled off after them at 11,000 ft, and by 5,000 ft had closed the range to 300 yds at 510 ASI on the nearest 190. Two 4-second bursts from dead astern closing to 300 yds set it on fire and it abruptly increased its dive over the vertical at 2500 ft 520 ASI with a trail of flame and smoke. I lost sight of it when I pulled out, but I saw a large fire below and behind me as I turned to port to avoid a low cloud. Nalgo Red 2 saw the E/A well on fire, and Red 3 saw it on fire on the ground. Owing to the cloud conditions (7/10ths, base 1500 ft, top 9000 ft) it was not possible to pinpoint the position of the combat, which took place approximately in area from S.E. to N.E. of Nijmegen. All E/A were coloured Grey Green with crosses clearly marked.
I claim 1 FW destroyed. [pn9]
P/O A. S. Millar (Aus) of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 October 1944:
I was flying Yellow 3. Control reported 30 plus E/A at 25,000 ft when we were on a sweep just North of Nijmegen at 7000 ft. The section began to climb and I saw 2 FW 190’s diving vertically in front of us followed by one Spitfire. With Yellow 4 I followed them down from 7000 ft to deck level at approx 80 deg. I was clocking 525/530 and closed steadily. Levelling out we chased the 190’s at deck-level from 9/10 miles due East in a straight line. I fired 3 short bursts dead astern from about 300 yds. The shots kicked up dust in a field just in front of the E/A and he immediately broke port and slightly upwards. I turned inside him and fired another long burst about 20 degs deflection from approx 20 yds. The hun flicked on his back and crashed into the middle of a village, several housed catching fire. This was approx Nth of Goch.
I claim 1 FW 190 destroyed [pn10]
F/Sgt L. Jackson of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 October 1944:
I was flying Yellow 4. I followed Yellow 3 down after the 2 190’s to deck level. I was about 300 yds behind and to starboard or Yellow 3 but overtook him as I saw his E/A crash into a village. The second 190 turned into me and pulled up to about 400 ft. I swung onto his tail as he attempted a stall turn. I gave him a one second burst seeing strikes on his tail. The a/c flicked onto its back and went vertically down crashing into a field, exploding as it hit.
I claim 1 FW 190 destroyed. [pn11]
F/O K. Watts of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 December 1944:
I was flying Red 3 on an armed recce to the Gutersloh/Muster area; When in the Rheine area Control warned us that bandits were about. A few minutes later leader reported 10-12 huns traveling S.W. in wide line abreast about 2 miles away on our starboard side. Our formation dived slightly towards them, & I jettisoned to one L.R. tank I was wearing. When we were about 800 yards abeam of the Huns they broke & scattered in all directions, some of them dropping one centre tank (much like a Spit’s). I then noticed 3 a/c 1500 ft. above me through a thin layer of cloud. I do not think these a/c were part of the original formation because they were flying straight & level in a south-westerly direction. I identified them as 190’s & climbed to get on the tail of one which was straggling. When I came through the thin cloud I was about 350 yards from the rear E/A about 15° off. I gave a long burst but saw no strikes. I closed right in at a fairly slow speed, overtaking steadily & fired another long burst 150 – 20 yards. The hun started to turn just before I fired this second burst, but I kept him in the sights. I did not see many strikes but when I was close behind him a sheet of flame gushed out from just above the wing root, behind the engine, with a large yellow flash. The E/A flicked on to its back, & began to spin, so I had to break to avoid collision. I also got into a spin, falling about 1500 ft. When I got out of it I saw the hun pilot in his chute & then the a/c burning on what I thought was an aerodrome. The E/A was very light in colour under the fuselage, grey on top.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed. [pn12]
S/Ldr P.R. St. Quintin of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 December 1944:
I was flying Yellow 1 on an A/R to Rheine, Osnabruck, Munster. My section was providing top cover for Red section which was straffing a loco. We were orbiting the target area when I saw 3 Me 109’s climbing up in line astern away from Red section. They appeared to be turning to attack us. I warned my section and we broke in towards them. I selected the rear a/c and a dog-fight followed at 4/5,000 ft. I did not jet my L.R. tanks and was unable to get inside the hun. After considerable manoeuvring we met nearly head-on and I fired a snap burst 20° off from 80 yds. I saw strikes along the fuselage. As the hun passed me in a climbing turn I pulled round behind him and saw two large pieces fly off, one of which I thought to be the cockpit cover. The e/a began to dive and then went into a flattish spin from about 2,000 ft. As I started to follow him down my engine stopped. By the time I realized I had not changed tanks I had lost sight of the e/a. I did not see it again but Red 3 saw it go through a gap in the cloud (base of which was 1,000 ft) and hit the ground with a whitish puff of smoke. I claim 1 Me 109 destroyed. [pn13]
P/O H. Shaw of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 December 1944:
I was Red 3. When my section pulled up after straffing the loco I saw two of the reported Me 109’s in a mix up with Yellow section at a height of 3-4,000 ft. As I climbed towards them I saw a piece of a/c (not a jet L.R.T.) descending, followed by a spinning 109. This I saw crash as described above. I then saw a Tempest being fired at by a 109 from astern, both a/c doing very tight turns. I pulled up steeply inside the 109. He broke off combat and turned away. I tried to close range, and he turned on his left side and dived for cloud. I fired a short burst from above and slightly to starboard from 400 yds. I saw no strikes and closed the range. From 300 yds line astern I fired a fairly long burst, starting it as the e/a went into the cloud and continuing it until I came out of cloud about 150 yds behind it. As the hun went into cloud I noticed what I thought was glycol streaming back in a whitish-grey trail. As he came out of cloud he broke port and I broke starboard. I then half-rolled back and fired another burst from port with very slight deflection and close range. I passed under the e/a and noticed that it was moving very slowly, with the prop just turning. I did a complete turn and saw the 109 glide down and apparently attempting a force-landing. I saw it hit the ground, and a long cloud of white smoke spread behind it. The e/a appeared to come to rest in a ditch beside a road with the engine detached from the fuselage. I claim one Me 109 destroyed. [pn14]
F/Lt. J. D. Ross of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 December 1944:
I was leading 8 a/c on a sweep in the Rheine area. E/A were reported approaching from the N.E. by the controller. I altered course to cross their track & when approx. 5 miles south of the town of Rheine, 4 Me. 109’s were intercepted flying due south across our course & 3000’ below. Jettisoning tanks I led Red secn. into attacking, leaving Yellow secn. as top cover. The Huns were flying in finger formation & went into a slow orbit to port as we attacked, changing to a break starboard as we opened fire. I chose the No. 2 who was flying tight line, astern of the No. 1 opening fire from 300 yds. 45° deflection, closing to 30 yds. line astern turning tightly with him. I saw strikes along the cockpit and engine. The E/A’s turn steepened, it half rolled & dived vertically into the ground exploding on impact. The pilot did not bale out. I went in to attack the No. 1 of the Hun formation but had to break off without firing as my windscreen oiled up, obstructing forward vision. As I pulled away I noticed another Hun attacked by F/O Ness. Fragments flew off it & it went straight into the ground burning. Looking round, I saw a Tempest about 400 yds. behind another 109, flying vertically with the Tempest closing rapidly. I saw strikes & flames appeared from the port wing. The Tempest broke off & the Hun pilot baled, his parachute opened. The 109 dived into some houses on the southern suburbs of the town.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed & confirm the destruction of two more. [pn15]
P/O H. Shaw of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 December 1944:
I was flying Red 3 when F/Lt. Ross led Red secn. into attack. I chose the No. 3 of the formation. The Hun half-rolled & went down to zero feet. I closed easily in the dive. On the way down I saw an Me.109 crash in a field exploding. Levelling off at approx. 400 yds. line astern of the Hun I started firing short bursts. I did not see any strikes but thin black smoke appeared from the engine. Closing to 300 yds. I fired a long burst & a red glow appeared at the E/A’s port wing root. The Hun pulled up very steeply. Following, I allowed ¾-1 ring deflection from 250 yds. & the red glow increased to flames as I saw further strikes on the port wing root. The pilot baled out as I broke away. I did not see the A/C crash.
I claim one Me.109 destroyed. [pn16]
F/O D. E. Ness (Canadian) of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 December 1944:
I was flying Red 2. The secn. went into attack. I half-rolled down onto Hun No. 4 who was straggling. He turned starboard towards me then rolled port, diving towards the ground. As the Hun started to roll I opened fire with 1 sec. burst, 200 yds. range, 15° deflection. I saw strikes on the port wing. Diving, I closed to 75 yds. line astern & fired a 4-5 sec. burst. I could see my lines of fire converging on the Hun A/C, which suddenly burst into flames. I did not see the pilot bale out. I saw another 109 to port flying at the same height as myself. I broke round onto it closing rapidly. Firing bursts & closing to 50 yds., I ran out of ammunition. Because of my rapid closing speed I overshot to starboard, but immediately turned port. The 109 turned with me & in 3 complete turns I was not able to gain any advantage, although my A/C was on the verge of stalling at about 50’ above the ground. I called for assistance but due to the haze I could not be seen. I eased out of the turn, dived right down to zero feet & commenced hedge-hopping and weaving. By flying over trees & high-tension wires I was able to prevent the Hun from obtaining an accurate sight of me. During the first part of the chase the 109 was able to close the range because of his more rapid acceleration, but as my A/C gained speed I pulled out of range gradually. The chase went on for 15-20 miles before I was able to climb. By then the Hun was 1000 yds. or more behind me. I then lost sight of him.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn17]
F/Sgt. M. J. Rose of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 December 1944:
I was flying Red 2 on a scramble to Rheine. After leaving Rheine my section attacked a train N.E. of the town. On climbing after this attack we made a sweeping turn to the North East, and saw an Me 109 about 600 yds away approaching Red 1 from nearly astern. I warned my No 1 and broke hard to port in towards the hun. We met almost head on, with an oblique distance of 150 yds between us. The e/a made a 180° turn and I had no difficulty in turning inside him. The hun continued on a S.E. course, diving and weaving slightly. I was gaining on him fairly easy when three Me 109’s passed directly below me in the opposite direction. I fired a sanp burst at this gaggle but saw no result. While chasing the original hun I saw about five other in all. I closed steadily on the first hun to about 400 yds, and fired several short bursts from 400/200 yards, from about 5° to line astern, the e/a still taking evasive action. I saw strikes at the wing roots with smoke from one of two of the bursts. I closed in to about 150 yards and fired two long bursts. During the second burst there was a large explosion under the fuselage, which was the unjettisonned L.R. tank. By this time we were done to about 200 ft, and the e/a went into a 45° dive and went straight into the ground. I saw a large could of smoke rising. I did not use cine-camera. I claim one Me109 destroyed. [pn18]
F/Lt. A. R. Moore D.F.C. of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 December 1944:
I was flying Red 1 and led the Squadron on a sweep to the Rheine area. After crossing the Rhine, Huns were reported in the Helmond area and I asked the Controller if we were needed. He ordered us to proceed there immediately. Activity was reported after we had arrived but no contacts were made. After orbiting for ten minutes I set course for Rheine via Nijmegen. Approaching Grave, several E/A came down through cloud on our starboard quarter. Four were reported but more must have come down after we turned into attack. Turning, I picked out a 190, but after a short dog-fight, the Hun flick-rolled and dived down to the ground; I lost sight of it. Climbing to 3000 ft. I saw three Tempests chasing a 109 about 1000 ft. below me. I broke down onto it and due to my extra height overtook the other Tempests. Closing to 30 yards dead line astern of the E/A, I fired a two/three seconds burst, seeing strikes on the Port wing root, cockpit and centrally slung long range tank. The latter caught fire with the E/A climbing steeply. With the whole cockpit area on fire the 109 stalled at 3000 ft and spun in. The pilot baled out. (This aircraft had been attacked previously by F/Lt. Ross, see following combat report)
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed, shared with F/Lt. Ross. [pn19]
F/Lt. J. D. Ross of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 December 1944:
I was flying Red 3, when I noticed 4 Me.109’s come down through cloud in the grave area, heading N.E. I called up and turned into the E/A. The Huns broke starboard and as I followed in a tight turn I saw one turning onto the tail of a Tempest. I broke onto this one opening fire from 400 yards, 45° deflection, closing to 300 and seeing strikes on the port wing root. The E/A broke down towards the ground and I followed. During the chase I closed the range to 100 yards at zero feet, opening fire I obtained more strikes. A red glow appeared at the port wing root and the E/A trailed black smoke. The Hun pulled up sharply. I noticed Red 2 (P/O Shaw) coming in to attack the same aircraft from above. P/O Shaw attacked opening fire from very close in range and obtained strikes. The E/A stalled flicked over and crashed, exploding on impact. The Pilot did not bale out.
Circling the scene of the combat I saw 2 more 109’s approx 2000 ft above heading N.E. Climbing to attack I gave the position to the rest of the Squadron. The Huns broke down; following I closed on one E/A opening fire at 200 yards, deflection 10° port. A long burst produced strikes in the neighborhood of the engine. The Hun pulled upwards. F/Lt. Moore (Red 1) came down from above and passed me. I broke starboard and Red 1 closed the range to about 30 yards and opened fire. The E/A burst into flame, climbed, stalled & dived in. The pilot baled out in the stall.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed shared with P/O Shaw. 1 Me.109 destroyed shared with F/Lt. Moore. [pn20]
P/O H. Shaw of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 December 1944:
I was flying Red 2; combat ensued and an Me.109 pulled up towards me. I broke into it and fired bursts closing from 100 yards to 50 yards to port. My strikes were all in the cockpit area, which disintegrated. The aircraft flicked over, the port oleo leg came down and the a/c, diving over the vertical, hit the ground and exploded. (This report substantiates the previous one of F/Lt. Ross)
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed shared with F/Lt. Ross. [pn21]
F/O K. Watts (RAAF) of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 December 1944:
I was leading Green section. I heard Red section report Me.109’s near Grave. I was E. of Volkel at the time so opened up immediately. When just East of Grave, I saw an Me.109 heading N.E. at 3000 ft. Closing to 300 yards almost line astern I fired a 2 second burst, and a large piece flew off the Hun a/c from the neighborhood of the cockpit. The E/A turned to port & dived to Zero feet, emitting black smoke. Levelling of it climbed steeply. Another Tempest (F/S Jackson) came in from my port, closed on the 109 and fired a long burst. The E/A’s engine began to burn; after the other Tempest broke away I fired another long burst from 250 yds. line astern and the aircraft burst into flames. This happened while the 109 was still climbing. It stalled at 3500 ft. and the Pilot baled out. The a/c began to spin down, and crashed in the middle of a field, south of the River East of Grave.
I claim one Me.109 destroyed shared with F/Sgt. Jackson. [pn22]
F/Sgt. L. Jackson of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 December 1944:
I was flying Green 3 and proceeded to the Grave area on instructions from the Leader. I saw an Me.109 heading East shot down by two Tempests. Heading North a 109 passed under my nose with a Tempest firing at it. I broke down on it and attacked from Port. It was climbing rapidly at the time and emitting smoke. I outclimbed it easily and opened fire from 200 yards line astern. Strikes were seen on the engine and port wing roots and the engine began to flame. The jet tank and cockpit hood came off as I broke away. I next saw the aircraft in flames and the pilot baled out.
I claim one Me.109 destroyed shares with F/O Watts. [pn23]
F/Lt A. R. Moore D.F.C. of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 December 1944:
I led the section on a sweep/armed recce in the Munster – Paderborn area. Just after passing Munster, flying at 3,000 ft, 1 of Yellow Section reported an flying in the opposite direction at zero feet. I could not see it so told him to lead Yellow Section down while I covered with Red Section. A combat ensued which I did not witness and I did not see any of Yellow Section again as immediately after the combat they returned to base. By this time I had only my Nos 2 and 3 with me, No. 4 having returned to base with technical trouble. I decided that with this small force I would straff two trains I had seen on the Munster-Rheine railway then return to base myself. I was flying East at 3,000 ft North of Munster to carry out this attack when I saw a formation of approx 25 a/c flying towards me on my starboard side and approx 1,000 ft above. These ac/c were identified almost immediately as Me 109’s. I climbed to attack and the whole formation broke up, a dogfight ensuing. I picked a 109 that was making for cloud and managed to get on this tail, when he leveled out in the fringe of the cloud. Closing to 100 yds, I fired a long burst and saw strikes around the cockpit and wing roots. The a/c went into a spin and I saw it crash just North of Munster. It did not burn before it hit the ground. Owing to very heavy odds I told my Nos 2 and 3 to make for base in cloud or at deck level unless actually in combat, and being unable to se either of them, also 5 or 6 Me 109’s on my tail, I opened up, leaving them fairly easy and returned to base. Cine-camera used.
I claim 1 Me 109 dest. [pn24]
F/S J. A. Bosley of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 December 1944:
When F/Lt Moore reported the 109’s, I turned to climb into them. They broke and I had a few short bursts at one with no visible results. I picked another and coming astern, range 200 yds I fired a short burst. He half rolled immediately and dived down to zero feet. I followed closing in the dive. On reaching the ground the e/a started to turn tighly to post. Following in the turns with occasional breaks, height was gained gradually to about 500 ft. The hun dived suddenly and I followed. He pulled up in a stall turn to starboard, pulling across me in doing so and I followed. By now the range was about 50 yds so I fired a steady burst. The hun burst into flames, spun into the ground and blew up. F/Lt Moore’s order to return to base came during this combat, and seeing the hun crash I returned.
I claim 1 Me 109 destroyed. [pn25]
F/Lt W. J. Hibbert of 274 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 17 December 1944:
I was flying Red 3 on a fighter sweep to Rheine and on our return when South East of Emmerich flying West at 3,500 we ran into 3 Me 109’s flying South East the same height as ourselves. A dogfight ensued over a small town from which we received considerable flak. I saw one Me 109 go down and explode after an attack by F/Lt Fairbanks then saw another Me 109 which had gone into cloud at 4000 ft come out of cloud. I gave chase and he dived down weaving slightly. I followed at 400/500 yards and as I began to gain on him he steepened his dive and went straight into the ground crashing near Holdern. This was also seen by W/O Clark. I did not fire a single burst at him. The pilot did not bale out. Cine-camera not exposed. I claim 1 Me 109 destroyed. [pn26]
F/Lt K.F. Thiele D.S.O., D.F.C. of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 December 1944:
I was flying Red 1 and leading the squadron on a patrol of Julich – Malmedy. Control reported bandits at 25000 ft. in the St. Vith area. The sqdn, had previously been split up by a bounce of Thunderbolts, and I only had Red 3 and 4 with me. Red 3 could not jettison his tanks, and I climbed with Red 4 towards about ten vapour trails moving South. When I had climbed to 20,000 ft the a/c above had turned N. towards me. I continued to close and when about 2000 ft below identified the a/c as 10 Me 109’s. They saw me at the same time, and broke away in all directions. I selected two which had broken towards me, and still climbing, turned behind them. When I closed to about 250 yds the No 2 stopped turning and climbed again. I fired a short burst from about 50 yds dead astern. I saw pieces fly off the starboard wing, the outer half of which crumpled. The e/a turned over to starboard and spun slowly down pouring white smoke from the engine. I was unable to follow as the first hun was getting on my tail. The e/a I attacked was seen to crash by 274 sqdn, and I claim one Me109 destroyed. [pn27]
F/O J. H. Stafford of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 December 1944:
I was flying Green 2 with the Squadron on a patrol of the Julich-Malmedy Area, when flying South over Aachen I sighted an Me.262 flying due West about 1500 yards distant. The Squadron climbed towards the E/A but I lost sight of him in the Sun. I next saw him come out of Sun traveling North at high speed so I broke up towards him and commenced firing at extreme range. I maintained my fire up to about 400 yards and I saw pieces fall away from his Port unit. As the E/A passed over me several Red balls fell from it, and he was slowed considerably. I turned to line astern of him and he commenced a moderate turn to the left. I closed on him to 600 yds.- firing again. He straightened from his turn as I fired and commenced diving leaving a trail of White smoke. The E/A rapidly built up speed and I chased him in line astern firing short bursts. The Me.262 pulled up and did a slow roll and I fired at him as he straightened out. He then rolled on his back and I saw the Pilot bale-out, observing that the parachute did not open properly. I saw the E/A explode on the ground about 7 miles North of Aachen.
I claim 1 Me.262 destroyed with P/O Bremner. [pn28]
P/O R. D. Bremner of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 December 1944:
I was flying Green 3 when in the Aachen area at 11,000 ft I saw an Me.262 diving towards us from 13,000 ft. I broke round full to Port and followed him down in line astern. He pulled up steeply at about 9000 ft climbing to 11,000 ft, turned to Port and then commenced a dive to Starboard. He then passed about 500 yards in front of me and I fired a burst with 2 rings deflection but did not see any strikes. I got into line astern and fired a 2-second burst from 600 yards and this time saw streams of White vapour coming from his Port unit. I fired another burst from line astern – this time at 800 yards. The Me.262 increased his angle of dive and rapidly passed out of my range. I leveled off and flew along the top of him looking round I saw my Squadron going down on him. I saw the Me.262 roll on its back and the Pilot bale out.
I claim 1 Me.262 destroyed shared with F/O J. H. Stafford [pn29]
F/Lt. R.W.A. MacKichan, DFC of 80 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 December 1944:
I was leading the sqdn on an Armed Recce and sweep to the Paderborn area and when near Munster was informed that there were Me 109’s and Spits in the Rheine area. We approached Rheine from the South and swept round to the North of the A/F. When approximately 5 miles N.W. my No 2 reported 4 a/c at 10 o’clock to us and about 1 mile away flying N.W. and then turning port. I brought the sqdn into line astern and followed them in the turn identifying the a/c as FW 190’s. The huns spotted us and jettisoned their L.R. tanks while still in their climbing turn to port. We did likewise and after a few seconds spent in jockeying for position, the e/a attempted to break onto our tails, the leading hun firing at Black 4 at the rear of our formation. I gave the order to break and pulling hard to port fired 2 – 1 sec bursts 20° at the rear E/A but saw no strikes. A general dogfight followed and I dived onto the tail of an e/a below me who began to weave and turned to port. I fired one 1 sec. and one 2 sec burst 10° off from 200 yds observing strikes on the cockpit and engine which was followed by brown smoke and small flames issuing from the cowling. The pilot jettisoned his hood and immediately there was a rush of flames into the cockpit. The e/a dived to port and the pilot baled out. While orbiting I saw the a/c crash approximately 5 miles North of Rheine A/F in the West side of the Dortmund Canal. I then saw another e/a in front of me diving down to the N.E. I followed gaining rapidly but saw a Tempest already engaging it and the hun dive straight into the ground, crashing on the S.W. edge of Plantlunne A/F. The pilot of this Tempest turned out to be my No 2 W/O Dopson. My cine-camera was exposed. I claim 1 FW190 destroyed. [pn30]
W/O G. W. Dopson of 80 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 December 1944:
I was flying as Black 2 and when 5 miles N.W. of Rheine A/F reported 4 a/c turning port 2000 ft above and to our port. When the e/a attempted to break onto our tails I turned hard to post and closing to 600 yds on the leading e/a fired one 1-sec burst allowing 60° deflection but saw no strikes. I closed the (?) to 300 yds when the hun took violent evasive action by weaving and climbing turned to port eventually rolling on his back and spiraling down. The hun pulled out 500 ft from the ground and flew straight and level on a North Westerly course. I followed and closing to 300 yds fired one 3-sec burst allowing 5° deflection and observing strikes on the cockpit. The hun turned 180° to port while I was firing and continued his turn into the ground, crashing and exploding in a wood 2 miles S.E. of Plantunne. I also witnessed the fall of the e/a shot down by F/L MacKichan. My Cine-camera was exposed. I claim 1 Fw190 destroyed. [pn31]
F/O J. W. Garland (Can) of 80 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 December 1944:
I was flying as White Leader and afer turning port into the e/a I closed to 150 yds on the one hun not already engaged. He began to weave and I fired three 1-sec bursts allowing 20° deflection when necessary and saw numerous strikes on both wing roots, the majority being on the starboard root. I then saw another e/a approaching head-on, so I broke off the attack and turned into this hun firing one 2-sec burst but seeing no results. Another Tempest was coming in to attack and as I saw my original e/a making a complete orbit to port so I did likewise to starboard coming round and meeting him head-on. I fired one 2-sec burst 10° deflection, from 400 yds closing to 100 yds and observed numerous strikes midway on the port wing and on the port side of the fuselage. The strikes on the wing were followed by a large flash as if his ammo had exploded. As he passed on my port, diving to the N.E. I saw three pieces fly off the port wing. During the course of the engagement I saw three ‘chutes going down and 1 e/a crash. My cine-camera was exposed. I claim 1 Fw190 destroyed. [pn32]
F/O D. S. Angier of 80 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 December 1944:
I was flying as Black 4 and was in the rear of the formation as we turned port following the huns. They then attempted to get on our tails and approached line astern on my port beam, the leading e/a firing at me but under-deflecting. I broke hard to port coming in 200 – 300 yds on the tail of the last hun who then turned to port whereupon I followed him and fired ½ - sec burst from the same range allowing 15° deflection but saw no strikes. The e/a turned tighter to port and I fired one 3-sec burst as he was turning allowing 20 - 80° deflection. He appeared to flick and I saw one strike midway on the starboard wing. He then straightened and seemed to hover as if the pilot had little control of his a/c. The e/a turned hard to port during which it appeared to be flicking and I closed to 150 – 200 yds from almost line astern firing one 2-sec burst with 10° deflection varying to 20°. I observed one strike on the starboard wing, one on the top of the fuselage in front of the cockpit and another low on the port side of the fuselage again in front of the cockpit. The hun turned hard to port and rolled on his back and I saw a ‘chute appear below the e/a. I then climbed away to form up on the nearest Tempest. I witnessed the crash of the e/a shot down by W/O Dopson. My cine-camera was exposed. I claim 1 Fw190 destroyed. [pn33]
W/O E. Twigg of No. 274 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 27 December 1944:
Whilst flying as Blue 2, two Me.109's were sighted by S/L Mackie, Blue 1. flying line abreast, one thousand feet above, in the Aachen area and flying in an easterly direction. I was flying 100 yards back of Blue 1 who recognised the planes as Me.109s and announced the fact over the R/T. I closed to 300 yds and fired a short burst on the port e/a, a slight deflection shot, without success. The 109 weaved slightly and then straightened out. By this time I had closed to 200 yards. From dead astern I gave a 1-second burst and saw strikes on the engine and cockpit. White smoke poured out in a steady stream. The a/c turned port and I followed. Suddenly the white smoke ceased and the 109 began turning in an effort to get on to my tail. This continued for two turns. During the last turn I observed black smoke pouring from the a/c. The aircraft straightened out and whilst in this position I observed two black objects fall from the a/c. Almost immediately the a/c did a gentle turn port, losing height and dived vertically into the ground and exploded.
I claim one Me. 109 destroyed. [pn34]
F/Lt. J Malloy of 274 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 December 1944:
While flying Blue 3 south towards Malmedy on patrol, I noticed considerable flak east of Malmedy and soon after saw 8 – 12 a/c on the deck flying approx. east. Blue 1 immediately turned 90° port, jettisoned tanks and went after a/c below, which I later identified as Me.109s. I closed in on two a/c but suddenly saw two others coming in from astern. I broke around and after a short dog-fight managed to get in two short strikes, two ring deflection, on one a/c, missing on first but getting strikes on or about cockpit and engine with second. Pieces flew off the a/c and as I overshot I noticed all the engine cowlings had blown off. The a/c continued in slight turn and appeared to attempt to force-land. Just before it landed it skidded sideways and crashed on the right wing into a field. As he did not break up on impact I went down and gave it a short burst, seeing strikes. I did not see pilot leave a/c. During this combat the second 109 climbed above me. However my starboard cannon had jammed; my port tank had failed to jettison, making it very difficult to turn and, as we were on the outskirts of the Ruhr getting quite a bit of flak, I did not “press on regardless” but returned to base.
I claim one Me.109 destroyed. [pn35]
Tempests of 274 Squadron take off from B.91, Kluis, April 1945
F/L K. G. Taylor Cannon of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 December 1944:
I was leading the squadron on a sweep and armed recce of the Paderborn area when Kenway advised us of Huns in the Munster area. We were flying at 10,000 ft and sighted the Huns in two gaggles at 12 o’clock to us – one formation of 15 109s and 190s at 9000 ft with top cover of 20 plus 109s and 190s at approx, 14000 ft.
I lead my section down on the 15 109s and 190s as Green Section climbed to engage the top cover. After breaking I got on the tail of a Fw.190 and opened fire at 200 yards range. I observed strikes and as I pulled up sharply to avoid it, I saw the Fw.190 blow up in mid-air. A general dogfight ensued and after a time I managed to reform the Squadron and return to base.
I claim one Fw.190 destroyed.
Cine camera used. [pn36]
F/L E. W. Tanner of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 December 1944:
I was flying Green 3 when the Squadron sighted two gaggles of 109s and 190s, which were flying East over Munster. I closed in behind a straggler of the enemy formation and identified it as an Fw.190 with a long range tank. I fired a short burst from 200 yards range allowing slight deflection and about 5° off line astern but observed no strikes. Green 4 (F/O Smith) passed me very closely and I saw him open fire at the same a/c from about 50 yds range. I saw the Fw.190 blow up in mid-air. The fun formation had broken so I climbed up through it and saw a long-nosed 190 flying across my nose at about 60 degrees and about 200 yds range. I opened fire allowing 2½ rings deflection and saw strikes on the tail unit, large pieces of which fell off. I saw the 190 roll over on its back and dive steeply to earth. F/Os Stafford and Danzey saw it going down vertically without its tail unit and pieces coming away from the fuselage. I milled around with the Section and then pulled up above the main gaggle. I spotted a 109 on the tail of a Tempest, so I dived on the 109 and opened fire at about 400 yards holding the burst until 150 yards. I saw strikes along the cockpit and saw the nose of the 109 go down as if the stick had gone violently forward. I was being engaged by about 4 other e/a so could not follow the 109 down but Green 4 (F/O Smith) saw it tumbling down end over dend. We broke off the engagement, reformed and returned to base.
I claim one Fw.190 destroyed and one Me.109G probably destroyed.
Cine camera used. [pn37]
F/O K. A. Smith of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 December 1944:
I was flying Red 4 when in the Munster area we met up with a large gaggle of Huns. I got into line astern, slightly above an Fw.190 and opened fire with a short burst from about 400 yds using half a ring deflection. I closed the range and when within 200 yds fired a short burst and another at very close range of 20 yds using a full ring deflection. The Fw.190 blew up – I could not avoid the explosion but broke to starboard as I flew through it. My height at this time was 4000 ft and about 2000 ft. below I saw an Me.109 tumbling down nose over tail. Whilst climbing sharply to avoid an Fw.190 I saw SA-N (P/O Short) bounce an Fw.190 and later observed this 190 do a turning dive earthwards – saw the hood come off and the pilot bale out.
I claim one FW.190 destroyed
Cine camera used. [pn38]
P/O S. J. Short of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 December 1944:
I was flying Red 2 when in the Munster area we met up with 30 plus Me.109s and Fw.190s. The section dived and pulled up in line astern and slightly below the bottom gaggle of 15 plus e/a. I selected an Fw.190 and commenced firing from about 200 yds range in line astern allowing 5° deflection. I held my fire for about 2 secs, and saw large puffs of grey coloured smoke coming from beneath the fuselage. By this time I had an Me.109 on my tail firing at me so was forced to break to port and spun off. I did not see what happened to the Fw.190 but Red 4 – F/O Smith – saw it catch fire and the pilot bale out. After spinning off I recovered the spin and regained my section.
I claim one Fw.190 destroyed.
Cine camera used. [pn39]
F/Sgt. M. J. Rose of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 January 1945:
I was flying Red 3 on an armed recce to Paderborn/Bielfeld, and got separated from my section when attacking trains. I joined up with Blue section. When we were just East of Base, Control reported Huns in the Deurne area, “probably on the deck”. We turned South and when just N.W. of Helmond I saw light flak. I then saw about 10 a/c on the deck attacking ground targets. I circled above the flak, and identifying some of the aircraft below as 109’s selected one and dived on it as it flew out of the flak at low level. I closed to about 200 yards and fired a short burst 5° off. I am not certain whether there any strikes, but I saw thick black smoke (which may have been Boost). I realized I had very little ammunition after my train attack, so I closed to less than 100 yards dead astern and fired the remainder in a medium-length burst. I saw some good strikes at the end of the burst on the fuselage, but the E/A did not appear to be seriously damaged. I remained on its tail, and called up to see if any of my section with ammunition could help me out. The Hun suddenly did a sharp turn to Port (during which he appeared to fire his guns) pulled up to about 1500 feet, rolled over on his back and baled out. The chute opened. I think the aircraft crashed near ? into a field and caught fire.
I claim one Me 109 G destroyed.
Cine camera used [pn40]
F/O D. E. Ness of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 January 1945:
I was flying Red 2. The Squadron had been on an Armed Recce to Munster and were returning to base after attacking several locomotives. By R/T conversation we learned that 486 Sqdn. were in combat with Huns in an area near base. We opened up and returned to this area in a gradual dive. At 3,000 feet to the East of Volkel we could not see any Huns so I dived down to zero feet and sighted two Tempests chasing a 109G S.E. of Base. The E/A broke starboard and the Tempests broke away from it and headed towards base. I was about a mile away from the Hun and opening up I overtook him slowly. Chasing him almost due South, N.E. of Helmond I had closed to 500 yards astern of the 109. I fired a short burst aiming ahead of the E/A, endeavoring to make him turn. He still kept straight and level, as I closed to 300 yards I fired another short burst, with no visible results. Closing to 200 yds a short burst produced strikes on the fuselage. Black smoke was emitted from the engine and the 109’s speed decreased. I continued firing from line astern, closing rapidly, but the smoke prevented me from observing results, and oil covered my windscreen. I broke Starboard and upwards at 50 yards range, intending to attack again but as I broke to Starboard the E/A turned towards me so I was forced to complete an “S” turn to get onto his tail. As I was positioning myself another Tempest attacked the Hun from line astern, range about 100/150 yards. I saw his strikes and the E/A’s engine stopped and the Hun glided straight into a field, belly landed, skidded to Port and hit some trees, in an area due East of Helmond & South of Venrai. As I orbited the scene of the crash intense friendly ack-ack opened up necessitating a hurried retreat from the scene.
I claim one Me. 109G destroyed shared with P/O Shaw. [pn41]
P/O H. Shaw of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 January 1945:
I was flying Red 3. On returning to base I heard in the R/T that there were Huns South of the A/fd at zero feet. I dived to zero feet E. of Volkel and headed South. I saw one aircraft on the deck ahead of me crossing my path heading S.E. As I closed I identified it as a 109. I then saw a Tempest behind it and pulled in behind the friendly aircraft which began firing short bursts. I was about 500 yards away when the Tempest obtained strikes on the 109 and I saw smoke stream from the Hun. The Tempest broke away and the 109 turned Starboard towards it. The Tempest turned Port as I closed to approx. 200 yds from the Hun. I opened fire, turning to Starboard inside the E/A. Allowing approx. 2 rings deflection I could just see the nose of the E/A under mine. As the angle decreased I could see my tracers going just in front of the wings showing that I had allowed the right deflection although my position prevented me from seeing strikes. I broke port and upwards & saw that the 109’s engine cowling was ripped open & that flames were coming from the rear of the engine. The Pilot was pushing his hood open. Still turning to port I watched the a/c descend, its airscrew windmilling slowly. He attempted to force land & just as he hit the deck he went through a row of trees, turned over & broke up. I did not see the Pilot get out. Suddenly I saw ack-ack bursts around the other Tempest so I headed due West away from the crash which was about 6/7 miles E.S.E. of Helmond.
I claim one Me 109G destroyed shared with F/O Ness [pn42]
F/Lt. J. H. Ryan (RCAF) of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 January 1945:
I was Red 1 on an armed recce of 6 a/c to Paderborn-Bielefeld-Munster. When in the Osnabruck area Yellow & Blue Sections of 4 a/c went down to attack a train, & I remained as top cover with Red 2. As we were reforming I spotted 2 a/c orbiting about a mile due E. & slightly below our height. I reported them & turned after them, followed by Red 2. We closed behind the orbiting huns & we both had a squirt at each E/A, before I finally selected the No. 2. I closed in behind him to about 300 – 100 yards, firing a 3 second burst with very little deflection. I saw a few strikes on the port wing root, & something flew off, which may have been the hood. The 109 began to weave gently from side to side with the prop just windmilling, & it looked as if the pilot intended a force landing. I had to break away & as I came in again, the pilot baled out from about 3000 ft. & the a/c crashed into an open field. The chute opened. The rest of the formation witnessed this combat. Cine used.
I claim 1 Me.109G destroyed. [pn43]
F/O D. E. Ness (RCAF) of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 January 1945:
I was flying Red 2. I followed Red 1 when he reported two a/c to starboard & turned in towards them. I then saw 2 Me. 109’s orbiting at our height 1500 yards away. He selected the nearer hun & I took the second, who had climbed about 1000 ft. during our approach. I climbed after him. After a short dog-fight, & just as I was in position to fire from 100 yds. almost line astern, the hun broke away, did an aileron turn, & jettisoned his canopy. I followed him down about 2000 ft., & then fired a short burst from 150 – 50 yds., 10° to starboard, & saw strikes on the starboard wing. The pilot completed his baling out, & the a/c crashed & exploded in an open field. The pilot delayed pulling his ripcord to about 1000 ft., & the chute opened. I took a cine picture of his chute draped over a cottage & the a/c burning on the ground. I saw a pilot bale out from another aircraft & my combat was witnessed by the other five members of the squadron.
I claim 1 Me. 109G destroyed. [pn44]
P/O N. J. Rankin of No. 80 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 4 January 1945:
I was flying as Black 2 on a armed recce in the Bielefeld area and while the Squadron were flying on an Easterly course approx 20 miles S.W. of Osnabruck. Huns were reported N.E. of Rheine. White 4 then reported 6 long-nosed Fw 190's 2,000 ft above us on our port flying East and commencing to orbit to stbd in line astern. Black leader gave the order to attack and I made a climbing turn to port closing to 500 yds from the stbd of the leading e/a which then rolled on its back and spiralled down. I followed and noticed two other Tempests below me already on the hun's tail, one of which was firing from line astern. The e/a pulled out at approx 2,500 ft and began a 20° dive to the East. When the Tempest in front of me broke off his attack. I closed to 600 yds from line astern and fired one 1-sec burst but saw no results. I was slowly decreasing the range when the hun dived below 10/10 cloud and levelled out approx 200 ft from the deck. I lost sight of him for a few seconds when the cloud obscured my view and when I saw him again he was flying straight and level approx 300 yards in front of me. I closed rapidly (IAS 450) to within 200 yds and fired one 1-sec burst allowing 2 - 3° deflection as he commenced a slight turn to stbd. I saw approx 15 strikes over the cockpit on the starboard side of the fuselage below the cockpit. The stbd wing dropped and the e/a went straight in crashing in a wood believed to be approx 10 miles S.S.E. of the Dummer Lake. The hun did not jettison his L.R. Tank during the engagement. My cine-camera was exposed. I claim 1 Fw 190 destroyed, shared with F/Sgt Crook. [pn45]
F/Lt. D. C. Fairbanks, DFC of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 January 1945:
I was flying Red 1 on a sweep and Armed Recce to the Paderborn area. Control called me and stated that friends were mixing it in the Hengelo area. I had trouble in understanding the name and asked for a vector which brought me to the aerodrome East of Hengelo. I found three Spit. formations and investigated each without any luck. I patrolled in this area for a few minutes and was heading approx West at 6000 feet when I saw a lone Spit approx 4000 feet below on my Port side climbing by some low cloud. I saw an aircraft turn in behind him and recognized it as a FW 190. I called up and immediately went into a dive after it. The E/A saw me before I was anywhere in range and half-rolled for the deck. I did the same and ended up at approx 800 feet and slightly on his Starboard side and 800 yards behind. I jettisoned my tanks and closed the range. I was 300 yards astern and on the deck and the E/A did a steep climbing break to the right and I was able to close rapidly and fired from 100 yards closing to approx. point blank range, seeing strikes on the Starboard wing and small pieces fly off. I overshot the E/A and half rolled and he did the same and went back for the deck flat out. He seemed to pick up speed quicker than I at first but then I started to close the range again. He was about 350 yards ahead of me right on the deck and I followed slightly above and astern. Once again he did a steep break upwards and to the right. I repeated the same attack as at first opening fire from 100 yards and closing to point blank range I saw strikes on the Starboard wing. About half of the E/A was below my nose and my No.2 said he saw strikes at the wing root by the cockpit. The E/A half rolled again and I overshot and did the same. I came out and started to repeat the performance but the E/A went down and did a slight aileron turn and went straight in from approx 800 feet and blew up.
Climbing up from this with my section I saw a 190 turn onto my No.2’s tail. I gave a break and he fired a burst from approx 500 yards at red 2. I gave chase from approx. 800 – 1000 yards but the e/a went into some low cloud and I lost him.
I claim 1 FW 190 destroyed [pn46]
F/Lt. D. C. Fairbanks, DFC of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 January 1945:
I was flying Red 1 on a sweep and Armed Recce to the Paderborn area. I had finished an attack on a loco near Eikelon and climbing up with my section when I saw an aircraft near the deck. I was crossing the railway line near the loco we had just beaten up and started to climb up behind Red 3. I called up and gave a warning and continued a climbing turn to Port. The aircraft closed in to approx 800 yards behind Red 3 and I recognized it as an Me.109. I told Red 3 to break. He did so going to Starboard which enabled me to roll on to the E/A. I closed the range and turned with him until I was approx 200 yards behind. The E/A stopped following Red 3 and decreased his rate of turn. I fired a one-second burst from 200 yds. 15° off and observed strikes on the mainplanes and his starboard radiator. He immediately streamed glycol and his engine stopped. I overshot him and when I had positioned myself for another attack the E/A had glided down to about 300 ft as if to make a forced landing. I made a fast attack from dead astern and observed strikes. I pulled up sharply and rolled over. I saw the E/A just as he passed over a small patch of woods, - where he seemed to stall and then flicked on his back and went straight in from about 150 – 200 ft.
I claim 1 Me.190 destroyed.
We continued, and I was covering Blue section as they went down on a loco just S.W. of Rheda. After their attack I saw them climb away to Port – and at the same time I saw an aircraft heading along the railway track going towards Rheda and I immediately gave chase. The aircraft was right on the deck and I followed it, but still not close enough to identify it. We passed directly over Rheda and I then closed near enough to identify it as a FW.190. I overhauled the hun quite rapidly and when I was about 800 – 600 yards he did a sharp break to Starboard. I couldn’t hold him in this and passed about 100 yards behind. I throttled right back and continued turning. This went on for about a turn and a half and just as it looked as though I would be able to turn inside him he straightened out and started to climb up, turning slightly to Port. I was able to close nicely and fired a one-second burst from 200 yards and about 20° off. I didn’t see strikes at first and decreased my deflection and fired a long burst. I observed lots of strikes on the mainplanes and fuselage, and the cockpit. A very large piece fell away from the E/A when I was approx 75 yards behind. I pulled up to avoid this and stalled and lost sight of him. I regained control just in time to see the E/A heading straight down from about 1500 ft. He went in like that and blew up.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed. [pn47]
F/O J. J. Payton of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 January 1945:
I was flying Yellow 2. 6 a/c of the Squadron were on an Armed Recce to the Paderborn Area. Red Section went down to attack a train at B3168, Yellow Section provided cover. Yellow 1 (F/Lt. Ryan) first reported two FW. 190’s flying N.E. at 1000 feet towards Gutersloh. He dived to attack the No.1 of the enemy section. I picked the No. 2 who dived to zero feet and continued hedgehopping in the original direction. I closed rapidly due to speed gained in the dive and coming line astern of the E/A I began firing short bursts from 500 yards closing to 60 yards. Strikes on the Starboard wing set the aircraft on fire in this region. I pulled out to Starboard of the 190, but as it still continued to climb slightly heading N.E. I pulled in astern once again but this time it was obvious that the fire was spreading rapidly. When N.E. of the town of Bielefeld at 2000 ft. the Hun pilot jettisoned his hood and baled out. The aircraft crashed in flames in this area.
I claim one Fw.190 destroyed. [pn48]
F/Lt. J. H. Ryan of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 January 1945:
I was flying Yellow 1 and reported the 2 FW.190’s flying N.E. towards Gutersloh. I half-rolled and picked the Hun No.1. I began firing in the dive from a range of 350 yards and saw no strikes. I closed rapidly and the FW.190 broke hard to Port. I was on the outside of the turn and was coming in astern for another attack when another Tempest made a head-on attack on the 190 and passed below me. I saw strikes on the Port wing and the E/A trailed smoke. Closing I opened fire from 100 yards closing to 50, as the Hun pulled upwards. The 190 blew up immediately, a parachute opened in the midst of the explosion. The aircraft crashed approx 8 miles due West of Gutersloh. I last saw the Hun pilot descending in his parachute.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed, shared with P/O Hughes. [pn49]
F/O C. J. McDonald of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 January 1945:
I was flying as Red 3 at about 7000 ft on an armed recce in the Munster area, when aircraft were reported flying low in a Northerly direction. I saw Red 2 diving steeply and then saw 2 aircraft at about 200 ft. which I took to be Me.109’s. Red 4 followed me down. I found myself overtaking the enemy aircraft and Red 2 at high speed. As I pulled in behind the Me.109 at about 500 yards I had to slide out again a little to Port to avoid Red 2 as he broke in front of me from Starboard and a little below. I pulled in behind again and fired about a one-second burst 5° off from 200 yards. I saw a few strikes around the cockpit, a puff of smoke and a few small pieces fly off the aircraft and its nose dropped away slightly as I flew over it, having overshot. I pulled up and to Port to observe results but then saw a FW.190 pull up its nose and fire at me from about 400 yards and 90° angle and then turn in behind me. I continued the turn and dropped my overload tanks but didn’t see either the Me.109 or FW.190 again, so after searching around pulled up and rejoined the formation. I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed, on the evidence of F/O Hooper. [pn50]
F/O W. R. MacLaren of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 January 1945:
I was the leader of two a/c on an air & cannon test. While flying at 2000 ft. E. of Zutphen I saw a truck on a road immediately below me. I turned in a wide orbit to attack, & as I turned saw 2 Me.109’s about ½ mile away at 5 o’clock climbing rapidly at a steep angle from deck level into the sun away from us. I reported them to my No. 2 but my transmission was jammed. As the huns were almost at once about 3000 ft above us, & positioned in the sun as if to attack, I decided it was useless to climb up after them, & so dived in a feint attack in the general direction of the truck hoping they would follow. This they duly did. When they had closed in behind me I broke sharply port & climbed. The huns also broke, one going to port, the other starboard. I completed my turn, & got on the tail of the starboard hun, who continued on course at deck level taking slight evasive action. I closed to about 300 yards & fired a short burst from 10° off, seeing a few strikes on the wing root. I fired several more short bursts as I closed to about 50 yards, seeing additional strikes, some around the cockpit. The E/A rolled to port, struck the ground, & blew up in a field as I passed overhead. I turned to photograph the wreckage, but my No. 2 called me up and I went to join him. I thought the hun camouflage was slightly darker than usual.
I claim 1 Me. 109G destroyed. Cine used. [pn51]
F/O H. W. Longley (RNZAF) of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying Blue 2 and returning from an armed recce to the Hanover area. Shortly after leaving Gutersloh A/D on course for base, Blue 1 (F/O Vassiliades) reported formation of E/A on deck going almost in the opposite direction to us. He turned and dived on them and I followed, together with Blue 3 (F/Lt. Wright). We overtook E/A which were FW.190’s very rapidly and immediately on closing to firing range Blue 1 attacked a FW.190 which I saw blow up in the air, Blue 3 attacked another FW.190 which also blew up in the air.
I was to port of Blue 1 and Blue 3 and following a FW.190 which was further ahead. I opened fire from dead astern at about 500 – 600 yards range, seeing strikes on the Port wing and forward part of the fuselage. This appeared to stop his engine and immediately afterwards the FW.190 dropped its long range tank, and did a medium turn to Port. I was now overtaking very rapidly and overshot but on doing a 180° turn to Port I found myself on the tail of the E/A once more. It now appeared to be attempting to force land and I gave a long burst from 400 yards to very short range seeing strikes and small amounts of smoke. The E/A made a forced landing and I gave it a further burst as it was on the ground and left it burning.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed.
Cine camera used. [pn52]
F/O B. M. Vassiliades, DFM of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
At about 1045 hours on 23rd January, I was leading Filmstar Blue Section, flying at 10,000ft on a Westerly course, when I spotted 10+ FW.190’s about 15 miles East of Munster, flying at zero feet in an E.N.E. direction. I bounced them with four other aircraft following me. I attacked the last one at approximately 250 yards, a half second burst disintegrated the E/A in the air. (This is confirmed by the rest of the Squadron).
I carried on attacking another E/A which was in front. I closed within 200 yards and fired observing strikes. While attacking I noticed one E/A making an attack on me, forcing me to break and hitting me on the tail unit. While breaking I saw the E/A I was attacking flick over. His height was approximately 50 feet. I claim this FW.190 as damaged.
I followed another FW.190 on which I observed rails underneath each wing. I made two attacks on it having overshot the first time. He did not attempt to turn so I closed to within 100 yards. I observed strikes in the wings and fuselage. The E/A suddenly turned sharply and crashed, exploding on hitting the ground. Having no more ammunition I turned for home, although I could see two more FW.190’s flying.
I claim 2 FW.190’s destroyed and 1 FW.190 damaged.
Cine camera used. [pn53]
F/Lt. J. S. B. Wright of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
At approximately 10.45 a.m. on the 23rd of January, I was returning to base from an armed recce, on a westerly course, from Hanover. I was the sole member of red section & had joined up with F/O Vassiliades who was leading Blue section. Blue leader reported aircraft below & heading in an E.N.E. direction. He turned & said he was going down. I followed close to him. On closing, we discovered that they were FW.190’s with Rocket rails. I chose the one on the port side of Blue leader – he turned to port, I followed, giving him about ½ second burst. I saw strikes on the wings & fuselage & engines & noticed it was a flamer. I didn’t wait to see it go down, the rest of Blue section confirmed it disintegrated in mid-air. I had hardly finished my attack on the latter, when I noticed another FW.190 on my port side, slightly ahead. I gave chase & was taken right across the town at a close range & low altitude. I didn’t fire, I was too concerned with the intense flak. After crossing town, closed & gave ½ second burst & saw strikes on the wings & fuselage. He had begun to pour smoke, I went in to finish him off & discovered I was out of ammunition. I followed him, when he glided round & round, until he eventually went into a field N.W. of Munster. I obtained cine films of the whole incident. I was then confronted with very little petrol, so headed straight for home.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed & 1 FW.190 damaged. [pn54]
F/O J. J. Payton of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying Red 3. The Squadron had set out on a armed recce but only reached Nijmegen when the Controller warned us of Hun activity in the Rheine area. Setting course immediately for this town we saw 20+ 109’s in the area, at 10 o’clock to our formation, about 2 miles away and slightly above us. They did not appear to have any definite formation. Red 1 led the Squadron towards them, jettisoned tanks and ordered us to attack. I saw 4 FW.190’s to Port of the main gaggle so broke into them. They dived down to zero feet. Picking one I followed it down at a range of approx ½ mile. I did not close in the dive, but when the Hun leveled out I began to close the range gradually. My I.A.S. was between 380 & 390 m.p.h. My No.2 (W/O Freeman) had followed me down and flew line abreast to me in a wide formation. Continuing the chase for about 3 mins, I had closed to about 400 yards of the 190, when the latter pulled steeply upwards to about 3000 ft, half rolled and dived down to zero feet again. I followed and closed rapidly in the dive firing a short burst from 100 yards line astern. I saw strikes on the Starboard wing root, and the Hun pulled sharply upwards. I saw that all his guns were firing tracer self-destroying ammunition; apparently I had hit some mechanism connected with his guns. The hood flew off and the Pilot baled out. I did not see his parachute open. The a/c crashed and burned. (W/O Freeman confirms the destruction of this aircraft.)
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed [pn55]
F/O W. R. MacLaren of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying Yellow 4 when a/c were reported at 10 o’clock. The leader flew towards the a/c (109’s and 190’s). During the mix-up I closed in behind a 190 at about 8/10,000 ft, turning to Starboard. I fired a short burst from 300 yds, 40° deflection but saw no strikes. The E/A changed bank immediately and I fired another short burst, no deflection, from about 150 yards. I saw strikes on the belly, part of which attached to the L/R tank flew off. The E/A went into a vertical dive but as I had to turn into another attack, I was unable to watch him. Later I saw a mushroom of smoke below me. Red 2 (W/O Alexander) reports that the pilot baled out, the aircraft crashing in the position I observed. I saw Yellow 3’s E/A crash and blow up.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed [pn56]
F/O V. L. Turner (RAAF) of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying Yellow 3, and after sighting the 30 E/A, climbed with the Squadron to meet them. Several 109G’s half rolled and dived independently for the deck. I followed one and caught it below 1000 ft, firing a short burst from 100 yards, angle off 45 degrees. I saw strikes on the Port wing root and the pilot pulled up to abandon his aircraft. Breaking away to port I saw a concentration of light flak go past me, and strike the E/A directly below the Pilot’s cockpit. The 109 then flicked over on its back and sent straight in., exploding on the ground. Cine camera was used. I filmed the E/A burning on the deck. My No 2 saw the E/A also crash and burn. The E/A had normal grey – green camouflage, the only distinctive mark being a black and white spinner.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn57]
F/Lt. F. L. MacLeod of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying Yellow 3 on an armed recce to the Hanover area. Whilst orbiting the vicinity of Achmer A/D we saw Spitfires attacking some Me.262’s. I saw an E/A flying E. at zero feet across the A/D & broke down onto it with my No. 2 . As we straightened out at zero feet, the a/c was about 3 miles away & slightly to port. The speed gained in the dive helped us to maintain a speed of approx. 400 m.p.h. when we straightened out. Continuing the chase in an easterly direction, we kept slightly below the Hun, the E/A was jinking slightly & we took advantage of this to close the range. After approx. 10 mins. flying the range was closed to 1000 yds. & the E/A was identified as an Me.262. The latter made a gentle turn to port, giving us an immediate advantage, by cutting across the turn we closed to 150 yds. I fired a short burst angle off approx. 30° to port with no apparent effect. My speed was then about 300 I.A.S. Still turning slightly with the 262 I increased deflection to about 40° & fired, observing strikes immediately, I held my fore for about 3 secs. My strikes were on the centre of the fuselage & tail unit; I saw flames & ceased firing. I broke away & next observed the E/A attempting to make a forced landing with the fuselage & starboard jet on fire. He overshot the field which it appeared he was going to land; after his tail unit had hit the ground the a/c lifted & nosed into the next field & exploded. It crashed about 6 miles due south of Nienburg. Cine camera used.
I claim 1 Me.262 destroyed, shared with FO R.V. Dennis. [pn58]
F/O R.V. Dennis of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying Yellow 4. During the chase I flew to starboard of F/Lt. MacLeod & slightly behind. The range was closed gradually indicating 400. When the Me.262 made its turn to port, I maintained my position on the starboard of Yellow 3 but dropped farther behind. I saw F/Lt. MacLeod’s initial burst but saw no strikes. The E/A eased off the turn slightly & I came line abreast of F/Lt. MacLeod & almost dead astern of the E/A at 150 yds. I opened fire immediately & the starboard jet burst into flames. I presume that I fired at the same time as Yellow 3. I passed over the E/A & saw it losing height, black smoke pouring from the fuselage & flames from the starboard jet unit. I pulled round to port & watched the E/A attempt a force landing. It overshot the field, its tail unit hit the ground about 10 yds. short of the far hedge. The 262 then crashed in the next field & exploded. Cine camera not used.
I claim 1 Me.262 destroyed, shared with F/Lt. F. L. MacLeod. [pn59]
F/Lt A. Seagar of 80 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying as White Leader on an armed recce in the Osnabruck area and while flying East approx. 10 miles S.E. of Osnabruck I sighted one E/A flying North approx 4 miles to my port. I immediately dived & turning to port closed to 200 yds. from line astern, identifying the E/A as a long-nosed Fw.190. I fired one 2 second burst observing numerous strikes on fuselage in cockpit area & on port wing root. Pieces flew off & cockpit hood was jettisoned. The Hun pulled up hard, lost speed & the pilot baled out when 1500’ from ground. The E/A spun down, crashing & exploding in the vicinity of Bohmte A/F. This was witnessed by the rest of the Squadron. The E/A was camouflaged light brown, with black spinner on which were painted two white rings. My cine camera was exposed.
After the first attack I turned 180° to port & sighted a further two Fw.190’s flying North line abreast at deck level & approaching on my port. As they were level with me I made a 180° turn to port & as I dived down the E/A turned to starboard onto an easterly course. While closing the starboard E/A broke to starboard & closed to 200 yds. on the other Hun, who continued flying straight & level & then weaved violently. I fire three 2 second bursts allowing for weaves & saw one strike midway in Port wing. I continued to follow him closing slightly & by this time the E/A was right on the deck. I fired one 3 second burst & obtained numerous strikes, covering the fuselage. Several large pieces flew off followed by trails of black smoke. The L.R.T. then burst into flames & the E/A pulled up slightly. I was then compelled to break hard to port as I saw tracers passing my a/c to the port & I assumed another E/A to be on my tail. This however proved to be flak & I lost sight of the Hun when I leveled up. The E/A was camouflaged light brown with the crosses on the wings set in prominent circles. My cine camera was exposed.
I claim 1 Fw.190 destroyed & 1 Fw.190 probably destroyed. [pn60]
F/Sgt. Cook of No. 80 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 23 January 1945:
I was flying as White 2 & followed White leader down, when he dived on the two Fw.190's. I went for the starboard E/A & followed him as he broke to starboard, closing to 600 yds. from line astern. The Hun then became aware of my presence & climbed to port. I began to do likewise, but another Tempest dived onto the Hun from above & I was compelled to dive, losing sight of him for a brief period . When I saw him again, he was several hundred feet above me & climbing hard to port. I climbed inside him & fired a ½ second burst from approx. 200 yds. allowing 90° deflection and closing to 15 yds. The E/A immediately blew up & as I was climbing to rejoin my section I saw it going down as a mass of flames & crash near Hesepe A/F. This was witnessed by the rest of the Squadron. The E/A was camouflaged light grey. My a/c was not fitted with cine camera.
After the engagement, the Squadron flew S.S.E. at approx. (?) & turned starboard near Gutersloh. I then sighted 1 Me.109 flying N.W. at 200' & approx ¼ mile ahead of us. I dived down & turning port as I levelled out I closed to 200 yds. from line astern. I fired a 1½ second burst & saw numerous strikes along the fuselage. The E/A burst into flames, turned slightly to port & crashed with a violent explosion approx. 4 miles East of Gutersloh. This again was witnessed by the rest of the Squadron.
The E/A was camouflaged light grey.
I claim 1 FW.190 & 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn61]
F/Lt. R. J. Holland of 80 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying as White 4 on an armed recce in the Osnabruck area. The squadron was approx. 3 miles south of Achmer A/F orbiting port when Black leader reported 2 E/A flying west at deck level approaching the A/F. The squadron continued to turn to port & dived to attack. I closed to 250 yds from line astern on the port Hun & fired a 2 second burst closing to 100 yds. Several pieces flew off, white smoke appeared & the Hun turned slowly to port. I overshot & White 3 then took up the attack. Eventually the E/A crash landed in a field approx. 5 miles S.E. of Achmer A/F. It was then straffed by 2 other Tempests. The E/A was camouflaged light green. My cine camera was exposed.
I claim 1 Me.109 probably destroyed, shared with F/O F.H. Anders. [pn62]
F/O R.H Anders of 80 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying as White 3 & dived on the port E/A as it turned to port. I followed & the E/A straightened up for approx. 800 yds & then turned 90° to starboard across my nose. I fired one 1 ½ second burst from 300 yds closing to 100 yds & allowing 60° deflection, decreasing to 10° as I pulled in astern. I saw at least one strike on the starboard wing root & a trail of white smoke came from the E/A. I then broke to port as I was overshooting & saw the Hun turn to port & crash land in a field. My cine camera was exposed.
I claim 1 Me.109 probably destroyed, shared with R.J. Holland. [pn63]
P/O F. R. Lang of 80 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying as Black 3 & dived on the starboard E/A. I fired two 2 second bursts from 400 yds line astern, closing to 150 yds. & saw strikes on the fuselage & port wing. I then broke to port to avoid overshooting & saw the E/A crash after Black 2 had attacked. The E/A was camouflaged light green. My cine camera was exposed.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed, shared with F/Lt. D. L. Price. [pn64]
F/Lt. D. L. Price of 80 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying as Black 2 & closed in on the starboard E/A when Black 3 broke away from his attack. I fired one 4 second burst from 200 yds line astern & saw strikes on both wing roots & on the fuselage just behind the cockpit. The Hun continued on & crashed into a house in a small town which I believe to be Engter – approx. 4 miles E. of Achmer A/F. The crash was witnessed by White leader F/O Garland. My cine camera was exposed.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed, shared with P/O F.R. Lang. [pn65]
F/Lt. L. Wood of 274 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying Talbot Red 3 on an armed recce in the Gutersloh area and had just attacked a train and pulled up to 5000 ft. when I noticed 20+ 109’s and 190’s coming straight for me on the Port side. I called up on the R/T and warned Talbot Leader, breaking through the enemy formation as I did so. Two FW.190’s turned to get behind me, the rest of the enemy aircraft broke formation. I joined Talbot Red Sec’n and almost immediately after attacked a FW.190. When I fired he was at about 150 yds climbing steeply. I made a 50° attack and saw my tracers go straight into his engine and cockpit. Many pieces broke off and the engine and cockpit burst into flames. The aircraft dived straight into the ground flaming and leaving a heavy trail of smoke. The Pilot did not get out. My ammunition was finished but for one cannon as we had already attacked 3 trains. I fired a 1½ second burst at a Me.109 with the one cannon but observed no results.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed. [pn66]
F/Lt. G. Mann of No. 274 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 23 January 1945:
I was flying Blue 1 and pulled in astern of a Me. 109f at 5/6000 ft. in a tight turn with E/A. The pilot saw me and rolled on his back & spun down. I followed and the E/A pulled out at 500 ft. doing violent turns to Port and Starboard. For a few seconds he straightened out and I fired from 200 yards dead astern. He immediately blew up and went into the ground a ball of flame. E/A speed 350. Own speed 400 m.p.h.
(No.2) As we set course Westwards from this same area I saw 2 Me.109f's on the Port of Red Section head on. I was leading Blue Section on the Starboard and I broke over Red Section to bounce the leading Me.109f. He saw me and as before rolled on his back from 5000 ft to 1000 ft. He straightened out a short while and I fired from 350 yards, 30° deflection with no strikes. He then climb up and turned tightly to Port and I fired from then on with 15° deflection until he rolled on his back once again and dropped to 1000 ft. He leveled out and I fired my last rounds of ammo. I then saw a large explosion in the Starboard side of the E/A and he rolled gently to Port and went vertically down with flames coming from the starboard side. I overshot and lost sight of it. My speed was 400 m.p.h. E/A speed 350 m.p.h.
I claim 1 Me.109f destroyed, 1 Me.109f probably destroyed. [pn67]
F/O C. G. Scriven (RAAF) of 274 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying as Blue 3 when 20+ 190’s and 109’s were met at 5000 ft. I climbed and picked 2 190’s and mixed it in steep turns to Port. I was hit in Port aileron and spun off. I pulled out at 4000 ft. and saw 2 190’s in front and above. I climbed as they went into a Port steep turn and gave the No. 2 a squirt from 400 yards but could not lay correct deflection as the E/A was under my nose. The E/A went over on his back and pulled out on the deck. I was behind him and fired at 400 yards closing to 50 yards. My cannons stopped, but as I followed him I saw white smoke pouring out and as I passed over the top I saw flames near the Port wing root. The E/A pulled up to 2000 ft, the pilot baled out, his parachute opened and the aircraft crashed and exploded. F/Lt. B. Cole flying as Talbot Red 1 saw this E/A crash.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed. [pn68]
S/Ldr. A. E. Umbers of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was leading the Squadron (6 a/c) on an armed recce (short range) behind Osnabruck & Munster. When over Rheine A/D at 9,500 feet, 20+ E/A were reported at about 1,000 ft orbiting Rheine as though preparing to land. At the same time I saw another 20+ at about 11,000 ft crossing from Starboard to Port at right angles to our course. I recognized them as 109’s with belly tanks. I led the Squadron in a steep climbing turn to Port coming into line astern on the Hun formation as they broke sharply Port. I got onto the tail of a 109 and gave a very short full deflection burst which hit the E/A in the cockpit and wings. The L/R tank blew up and the E/A spun down out of control. I saw it crash and burst into flames just North of Rheine A/D. The leader of the formation was turning inside me by this time and I was unable to shake him off in two turns so I pulled the stick back, put on full top rudder and flicked out then aileroned down until I had 400 I.A.S. straightened out diving to 580 I.A.S. and then pulled vertically up again to about 10,000 ft. I was hit in the Starboard ammo containers which jammed my ailerons so I reformed the Squadron and returned to base.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn69]
F/O J. H. Stafford of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January 1945:
I was flying Green 3 and during the combat I saw several 109’s half roll followed by Green 1 and 2. I rolled after them and pulled our several miles S. of Rheine A/F with my A.S.I. past the red line. I fired a full deflection shot at a 109 in the circuit but was past him before observing results. I straffed the A/F bldgs in passing and then observed a 109 at about 6,000 ft with 2 Tempests above it. I climbed towards the 109 which was pulling out of a steep dive, closing rapidly I fired from 20° with 1 ring deflection in to 5° with ¼ ring deflection, obtaining strikes on the stbd wing and fuselage. The e/a rolled onto its back and went in exploding on the deck 5 miles N. of Rheine A/F. This was confirmed by Green 1. During combat the only evasive action taken by the e/a was a moderate turn probably due to being previously damaged by Green 2. I claim 1 Me 109 destroyed, shared with W/O Bailey. [pn70]
F/Lt. R.J. Holland No. 80 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 24 January 1945:
I was flying as Black 6 on an armed Recce of 10 a/c & on approaching Rheine A/F 3 Me.109's were sighted below us at deck level & flying West. On diving down I noticed 1 Me.109 flying South from the A/F. I came in to attack but he saw me & took evasivie action. I fired several short bursts of varying deflection from 400 yds. & closing to 200 yds., but saw no strikes. I eventually got on his tail & fired one 1½ second burst from 150 yds. but again saw no strikes. The Hun then began a gentle turn to starboard & I fired a ½ second burst from 100 yds. allowing 5° deflection. I obtained several strikes in the fuselage & the E/A crashed into a field south of the A/F & exploded. The E/A was camouflaged blueish green.
My cine camera was exposed.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn71]
F/Lt. D.L Price No. 80 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 24 January 1945:
I was flying as Black 3 & dived down towards the 3 Me.109's approaching Rheine A/F. The E/A broke formation but stayed inside the A/F boundary. I made attacks on two of the Huns but saw no strikes. I then closed on the other E/A which was flying North on the West side of the A/F & fired two 3 second bursts from 250 yds. allowing 20° deflection & clsoing to 150 yds. from line astern. I saw several strikes on the fuselage, near the cockpit & on the starboard wing root. The E/A left a trail of black & flames were observed by another member of the Squadron. It eventually crashed on the North sided of the A/F. The E/A was camouflaged light blue with the numbers -13 on the side of the fuselage.
My a/c was not fitted with cine camera.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn72]
F/Lt. W. J. Hibbert of 274 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 February 1945:
I was leading Blue section and after setting course at Nijmegen I flew for 12 minutes on 065° . Being above cloud I decided to go down and after breaking cloud I maintained course at 1,500 ft for a few seconds. I saw a yellow cowling go past in the opposite direction just below so I turned at once. I could see no aeroplane so I dived to the ground and saw silhouetted above me a FW 190 at 1,000 ft. I could jettison only one tank but I pulled up behind him and fired a burst of 3 seconds from about 250 yards astern. I was skidding a bit and he was kicking his tail about, probably on account of some flak we were getting, so I sprayed him until there was an explosion in his fuselage. He dived into the ground and blew to pieces burning furiously. F/O Spence, Blue 3, saw the while incident. I claim 1 FW 190 destroyed. [pn73 ]
F/Lt. J. S. Wright of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 February 1945:
I was flying Red 2 on an Armed Recce to the area south of Breman; after about 20 mins. Flying we altered course E.S.E., as the weather was bad, & found a gap in the clouds in the Munster area. Here I reported E/A on the runway of an A/D, but my R/T appeared to be faulty as I got no reply. A few minutes later I saw aircraft below me at one o’clock flying south, & reported that I was going down to investigate. I turned to starboard & found later that my message had not been heard, the remainder of the Squadron breaking to port to attack a truck seen on the road. I had not noticed this, but kept my eye on the unidentified a/c.
As I closed I saw them jettison their tanks & turn N.E. & recognized them as Me.190’s. I reported them as Me.109’s & said that I was going in to attack, thinking the remainder of the Squadron were behind me, & picked on the starboard Me.109 of a section of 4. He had seen me closing & broke, & as he did so I noticed another section of 4 Me.109’s to port, making 8 in all. As I turned after the E/A that had broken away I noticed others positioning themselves to attack me & I was forced to break. I found that the E/A were not very keen to mix it & were making for cloud cover & gave chase. I obtained strikes on one E/A but was forced to break as another Me.109 was on my tail. I out-turned this one & eventually closed to very short range & gave him a 2 second burst, seeing smoke come from him. At this time the other section of E/A had reformed & were attacking me & I was forced to take cloud cover. On coming out of cloud, I discovered a Me.109 circling another which was evidently trying to force land. The remainder of the formation had scattered & I positioned myself to attack the circling E/A. I then saw an explosion & fire on the ground & saw that the Me.109 which was force landing had crashed in a wood & blown up. I claim this Me.109 destroyed. I attacked the other E/A & obtained strikes noticing that the a/c appeared to get out of control & also that something was wrong with his guns, as they were firing aimlessly into the ground. I watched this Me.109, thinking it was certain to crash, when to my surprise it recovered & straightened out. I closed to very close range & then discovered I was out of ammunition. He continued to fly straight & level & as I could only fly alongside him I turned for base. I was shaken to find a Me.109 chasing me back, but left him behind after a time.
As a result of this encounter in the course of which I fired at many of the E/A., I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed, 2 Me.109’s damaged.
Cine camera used. [pn74]
F/O W. Stark of No. 274 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 8 February 1945:
I was leading Blue Section when the Squadron was on an Armed Recce in the Osnabruck area. We were over Rheine at 8000 ft flying West when I saw and reported 12 Me.109's at 1500 ft. orbitting the A/D. I dived down and attacked one from astern, 15 degrees off, closing to about 40 yards, 5 degrees off, firing a one second burst. I saw numerous strikes on the cockpit and engine and then the cockpit hood, top engine cowling and propeller flew off. The E/A went down pouring black smoke and started to burn as it hit the ground about half a mile West of the airfield.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn75]
F/O T. Sutherland of No. 274 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 8 February 1945:
I was flying Blue 2 and followed Blue 1 down to attack 12 Me.109's. The E/A split up so I went for the Port Section of four aircraft, firing a one second burst at the No. 4 from 300 yards range with 50 degrees deflection. After firing another Me.109 came down on me but seemed to change his mind, so I returned my attention to the aircraft I had already attacked. I saw it flick on to its back then go into a spin pouring black smoke. It disappeared under my aircraft and I did not see it hit the ground but Red.3, F/Lt, Hibbert, saw it spin down and crash in the N.W. corner of the aerodrome.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn76]
F/O W. F. Mossing of No. 274 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 8 February 1945:
I was flying Blue 3 and dived down to attack the enemy aircraft which Blue 1 had reported. I gave chase to two of them which were flying about 25 yards apart and after two turns, I got on the tail of one of them, closed in to about 100 yards and fired a ½ second burst with 30° deflection. I saw no results so closed in to 75 yards and fired another ½ second burst and hit it in the Starboard wing. Pieces fell off and it went immediately into a spin with smoke pouring from him. There was another ME.109 on my tail and I could not follow him down but my No.2 W/O Clark saw it spin down and crash on the aerodrome. Cine camera used.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn77]
S/Ldr. D. C. Fairbanks, DFC of 274 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 11 February 1945:
I was leading Talbot Squadron on an armed Recce to the general area North of Hanover. 2 miles West of Achmer A/fd I took the Section down onto a Loco near by and came back up through 10/10ths cloud and set course of 070°. Blue Section were slightly behind me and reported an aircraft at 4-o’clock heading in the opposite direction. Blue Section broke around towards it and I did an about turn and saw an A/C about 1000 ft. above me, traveling very fast and turning onto approx North. Blue Section gave chase and I followed on their Starboard side about 2000 yards away. The E/A stayed at the top of the cloud for a short time and finally went down and out of sight. I came to a small hole and immediately went down through to about 2000 ft. and saw the E/A come down through on my Port side and ahead at about 1500 yards. He started a gentle turn to Starboard, saw us, and opened up, doing an orbit to Port. I followed about 1500 yards behind and about 1000 ft. below. He continued on a straight course and I followed while going through small low patches of cloud and losing sight of him from time to time. We carried on for about 15/20 miles and evidently he thought he had lost us. As I came through a small patch of cloud I saw the E/A about 800 yards dead ahead at approx 1500 ft over Rheine A/Fd. He aw just dropping his nose wheel and started to turn to Starboard. I dropped my tanks on seeing the Airfield and closed to approx 250 – 300 yards and placed the bead on his Starboard Turbo and slightly above, firing a ½ second burst to test my deflection. I saw little puffs of smoke on the fuselage and then a great burst of flame. The E/A went straight down immediately and blew up in the centre of Rheine A/Fd. My No. 3 who was just behind me saw the E/A go down and saw it blow up on one of the runways.
I claim 1 Me. 262 destroyed. [pn78]
S/Ldr. P. R. St. Quintin of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 February 1945:
I was flying Yellow 3 in a section of four aircraft of Nalgo Squadron, engaged on an armed reconnaissance. We had just parted company with Red section & were orbiting the Cloppenburg-Quakenbruck area, looking for suitable targets to attack & to give Red section time to get away from us when I sighted approximately 10 aircraft engaged in a dogfight 1000 feet below & 4 patrolling above them. Yellow section was at approximately 8000 feet, the same height as the 4 aircraft. I informed Yellow Leader but received no reply from him as he and his No. 2 appeared to be making for two of the aircraft. I engaged one of the other two. After a prolonged turning match, during which neither of us seemed to make any progress towards getting into a suitable position to open fire the E/A climbed steeply & stopped turning as rapidly as he had been doing enabling me to get into a position to open fire. I fired a 3 second burst from 200 yards, 1 ring deflection but observed no strikes. The E/A then did a semi-stalled turn & I closed to 150 yards dead astern & fired a 3 second burst with no deflection, observing strikes on wings & fuselage. The aircraft caught fire, spiraled down & crashed in an open field, burning out on the ground. The pilot did not get out. By this time I had got completely separated from the rest of the formation & as my oil pressure was down to 50, my radiator temperature 130 & oil temperature 95 I decided to return to base. The engagement was carried out with radiator flap & 20 degrees of flap down, long range tanks being jettisoned on sighting. No cine camera used.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed. [pn79]
S/Ldr. D. C. Fairbanks, DFC of 274 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 February 1945:
I was leading Blue section, flying south from Plantlunne A/F to Rheine at 3000’ when I sighted 2 190’s on my starboard side flying in the opposite direction. We broke & gave chase, but they got away into the 10/10 cloud at 4000 ft. Once more flying east, we passed Rheine & continued on & Blue two called out 3 190’s to port who were firing at us & we broke into them. As we did so I saw 6 or 7 more start to come our way. We turned it into a free for all & I picked one & started to close to range. As I did I saw it was a long-nosed type. He put up some good weaving & once I thought the ground flak was going to get him. He went for the deck & once did a sharp break & up to port, where I closed & fired with the e/a below my nose. I couldn’t see any strikes & when I saw him again I was approx. 150 yds. behind & about 1000 ft. The E/A did a half roll & I started to follow, but stopped because of the altitude. I saw the E/A head for the deck & I could see him try to pull his nose up but he began to flutter & stall & then he went straight into the ground & blew up – my No. 2 saw the E/A blow up & burn.
I claim one Fw. 190 (long-nosed) 190 destroyed.
Four more turned in behind me firing – one put some tracer in front of me so I started a steep turn & held it & out-climbed them into cloud. I did a few orbits to cool my engine & we both went down through cloud on 270° & came out almost on Rheine A/F. I saw one going in to land but keep on going around the field & met another coming slightly below. I broke onto him & he pulled straight up for cloud. I stood on my tail & fired from about 200 yds. & about 60° off – the E/A was almost stalled as I did so, & I saw him burst into flames at the wing roots & the cockpit, the E/A rolled over slowly & went straight down. I saw the pilot bale out at about 500 ft. & the E/A went straight in & blew up (my No. 2 who was just behind me saw the E/A go down in flames & crash).
I claim one Fw. 190 (long-nosed) 190 destroyed. [pn80]
F/Lt. J. H. Stafford of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 February 1945:
I was flying Green 1 & leading the Squadron on an Armed Recce of the Einbeck area, when south of Munster, I saw an Me.109 heading north at deck level. We were at 10,000 ft. & I took the Squadron down – anticipating more 109’s to be in the vicinity. I opened fire at the 109 from about 600 yds. in line astern & as I overshot he broke round to port on to my tail. A turning match then ensued & I fired several short bursts in the turnes. The Me.109 finally dived away from the turn & I got on to his tail, firing again in the dive & also as he pulled violently up. I saw 2 pieces fall away & he was leaving a thin trail of black smoke. As I pulled alongside I saw that the hood was off & the pilot crouching in his cockpit. I overshot & as I turned I saw his parachute open & the 109 go over on its back & dive to the ground when it exploded in a wood. Just after this I saw F/O Evans engage another Me.109 & saw it finally crash & blow up on the ground.
Cine camera used.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn81]
F/O A. R. Evans of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 February 1945:
I was flying Red 1 on an armed recce of the Einbeck area, when south of Munster, Green 1 sighted an Me.109 at deck level. We were at 10,000 ft. & I followed Green 1 down to within 2000 ft. & saw the pilot of the Me.109 bale out & the a/c crash in some woods. The whole Squadron then pulled up and as I was climbing I sighted an Me.109 which crossed my path from port to starboard, 1500 ft. above me. I immediately engaged & the Me.109 made a steep level turn into me. I fired a short burst from about 300 yards with 1½ rings deflection & saw the port wheel of the Me.109 drop about 6 inches. The 109 was still in the turn & about 90 degrees to me when I again opened fire with 2½ /3 rings deflection, giving a 2/3 second burst. I straightened out to see the results & saw pieces flying off the Me.109. As I pulled away to avoid these the 109 made a dive to port & I saw it crash in a corner of a field & burst into flames. My No., F/Lt. Stafford, who was leading the Squadron confirms seeing this.
Cine camera used.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn82]
S/Ldr. D. C. Fairbanks, DFC of 274 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 February 1945:
I was leading Talbot Squadron in the Hengelo-Nordhorn area where Kenway was reporting huns. I was flying approx. north along near the canal at 6000 ft. when I sighted a single a/c at 3 o’clock below & about a mile away. I gave chase immediately & caught up with him just north of Plantlunne A/F. He was traveling flat out, but I overhauled him quite easily with tanks on. I recognized it as a Fw.190 & closed to about 250 yards & dropped my tanks. The E/A just kept flying fairly straight & I fired a long burst 200 yds. dead astern & saw strikes on his starboard wing & at the wing root. I fired another short burst 200 yds. & the E/A burst into flames all around the cockpit. I pulled up to watch him go in – although for a few seconds he seemed to be under control, he then slowly rolled over & went in inverted from about 2000 ft. & blew up. Red 2 & 3 saw the E/A crash in flames.
I claim 1 Fw.190 destroyed. [pn83]
S/Ldr. K. G. Taylor-Cannon of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 February 1945:
I was leading the Squadron on an Armed Recce to Vienenburg, when Kenway diverted us to Rheine – Osnabruck area where E/A were reported. When in the vicinity of Achmer, Blue 1 reported 3 S/E E/A on the deck. I detailed him to go down & as Blue 1 opened fire at the E/A I saw an Me.109 flying across the A/F at 500 ft. I gave chase & opened fire at 600 yds. when the E/A pulled up steeply allowing me to get in to dead line astern. After several short bursts during which I rapidly closed to 200 yds. in line astern I saw the hood of the 109 come off & the E/A made a steep turn to port & dived straight into the deck where it exploded & burned. I did not see a parachute open. I reformed the Squadron & patrolled the area with no further engagements.
Cine camera used.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn84]
F/Lt. N. J. Powell of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 February 1945:
I was flying Blue 1 when in the vicinity of Bramsche I sighted 3 S/E a/c at deck level flying towards Achmer A/D from the east. I reported the a/c & went down on them & recognized them as Me.109’s. I gave chase to one of the Me.109’s which was flying across the A/D. As I closed the E/A broke port & I fired a burst closing from 400 to 200 yds allowing 20° angle off. I saw strikes on the engine & cockpit with smoke & flame coming from the fuselage. We were now at a height of 500 ft. & as I broke hard up into sun I saw the Me.109 crash into some woods where it went up in flames. I then broke port & gave chase to another Me.109 & saw SA-F (S/Ldr. Taylor-Cannon) break away from it & the Me.109 dive vertically to the ground & explode.
Cine camera used.
I claim 1 Me.109 destroyed. [pn85]
F/Lt. McLeod of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 February 1945:
I was flying Red 4. The Squadron was engaged on an Armed Recce towards Hildesheim and had split into two sections. When we were 15 miles West of Munster E/A were reported by Red 2. They were orbiting 1000 ft above us and at 6 – o’clock to our position. We broke Port and climbed to the attack. When we were within 1000 yards of them I saw one Me.109 break away from the main gaggle and head South. I followed in the dive. The Hun began to take violent evasive action and after about 8 minutes of maneuvering at moderately high speeds, the E/A made a dive to Port heading for deck level. I closed to 150 yards slightly to Port in the diving turn and fired a long burst immediately observing strikes on the engine and cockpit. Flames appeared and I broke away. The E/A dived into the ground and exploded. The position was about 10 miles S.E. of Coesfeld. The pilot did not bale out. Cine camera used.
I claim one Me.109 destroyed [pn86]
F/O Ronald Dennis of No. 56 Squadron recalled his combat of 25 February 1945:
Flying as No. 4 in a "Finger Four" formation, I saw the flash of sunlight on wings high at 4 o'clock, closing rapidly. Called "breaking port" and went into a steep left turn, losing contact with the rest of the formation. Gained height to about 7-8,000 feet and found myself at max boost and rpm in a left turn on the point of a stall. Two Me 109s were turning with me, all three at 120° to one another. I found the Tempest could hold the 109s in the turn, in fact gain slightly on the one ahead. After two or three minutes of stalemate the 56 Squadron Tempests appeared and one 109 rolled on to its back and dived away with Tempests in hot pursuit, leaving the second to me. [The other Messerschmitt was claimed shot down by Flight Lieutenant McLeod.] At one stage he began to close with me but then for a reason I am unable to explain he rolled out and went into a gentle climb which gave me the opportunity to open fire from astern. Upon reflection I think the pilot's idea was that - knowing I was on the point of stalling - he could, by climbing, induce the stall. However, my cannon fire blew the tail empennage away from the fuselage. The e/a flicked upside down and went into a flat spin. The pilot ejected, his parachute opened, but a large segment appeared to be missing and I fear his descent was rather faster than conducive to a safe arrival. [pn87]
S/L I. G. S. Matthews of 33 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 February 1945:
I was leading 2 sections (7 A/C) on an offensive sweep to RHEINE, and I was flying as Red 1. We were 10 miles S.W. of RHEINE, flying N.E. when I saw 15 + Me 109’s in sections of four line abreast, 200 yds ahead and about 2,000 ft below flying in the same direction. I closed in on to the port 4 and as soon as I had positively identified them I swung to starboard to attack the right hand section in order to bring Blue section up behind the rest. As we approached, the e/a broke to port, I pulled in behind the starboard section, what time the middle section pulled round behind me. I got into a turning circle with one who broke away over the tree tops (we had lost height during the preliminary manoeuvres). I followed him for about a mile when he broke upward sharply to port. I closed to 3/400 yds and gave him a 1 second burst (1¾ rings) bits flew off the starboard wing. I pulled round and gave him another burst and saw strikes all down his port side. He pulled straight up, jettisoned the hood and baled out.
Claim. 1 Me 109 destroyed. [pn88]
F/L L. C. Luckhoff of 33 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 February 1945:
I was flying red 3 on an offensive sweep to the Rheine area. I heard the C.O. call up and saw a line of enemy aircraft breaking away to our port in sections. I followed which one which was turning wide and got into a turning circle with him. After two circles he pulled away to the deck and I followed closing quickly, he pulled up to about 1,000 feet and turned to starboard, I closed to about 300 yards and giving 2½ rings on the turn I fired a short burst which hit him. He flicked over on his back and went into a dive, hitting the ground still inverted. He broke up but did not burn.
I turned back and made after another Me 109 which had broken clear of the combat, before I could close 2 other Tempests got on his tail. At this moment I saw a third break clear and went after it. At this moment I saw a third break clear and went after it. Starting at about 2,000 feet I chased him down to the deck closing quickly and firing all the time. We passed over the edge of a town (ENSCHEDE) where intense light flak opened up. I was hit in both wings and fuselage. I got in a final burst a moment later and the enemy aircraft skidded down in a field and finished against a tree. There was still flak about so I got out quickly and landed at Volkel.
Claim: 2 Me 109’s destroyed. [pn89]
F/L A. W. Bower of 33 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 February 1945:
I was leading Blue section on an offensive sweep to RHEINE. 10 miles SW of RHEINE, My C.O. (Red 1) reported enemy aircraft ahead. When we reached the port side of the enemy formation the whole gaggle had turned port and the port section was actually coming at us head on. I turned in behind the leading enemy aircraft and after one turn he was on the tail of Blue 3. I saw him open fire on Blue 3 and immediately afterwards I got in a 2 sec burst (1¾ rings). Blue 3 pulled away and the enemy aircraft went on in its slow port turn, losing height. I could not open fire again as I was closing too rapidly, but he continued down until he crashed in a wood about a mile away.
2. As I was about to pull out I saw tracer over my port wing so I broke starboard. The enemy aircraft broke port, into sun. I cane round behind him turning, at 300 yards in a tight turn; I got in a 1 sec burst (full deflection) and saw strikes on his tail.
3. There was another aircraft on my tail so I broke off the combat.
Claim: 1 Me109 destroyed. 1 Me109 damaged. [pn90]
F/L L. McAuliffe of No. 222 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 2 March 1945:
I was Red 1 leading 222 Squadron. On outward leg my No.3 reported an Arado 234 and I saw enemy aircraft below me passing starboard to port under Yellow section. I was flying at 5,000 feet, 5 miles East of Lingen. Yellow section went down to attack and I stayed up to cover them. A few moments later I heard Yellow 1 report enemy aircraft above and I saw at 8,000 feet, through break in cloud, 12 plus Me109's approaching us. I climbed, turning to port and when at 1,300 feet below enemy aircraft they saw me and turned in. Continuing turning I engaged at 8,000 feet with six enemy aircraft. I got on the tail of one enemy aircraft who climbed up sun, I followed and fired at 200 yards, 15 degrees deflection as he turned to port. He dived smoking and caught on fire. My number 2, F/Sgt Salter saw it explode on the ground. I broke to engage two enemy aircraft and three enemy aircraft joined on the tail of Red 3 and 4. We split in pairs and we were dogfighting for four minutes. Then Red 3 (F/L Berg) climbed in between the two enemy aircraft and shot the leader down in flames. The second enemy aircraft dived, I followed it and while diving down saw two more Ar 234's going North at 500 feet. I chased them, at 700 yards I was able to hold on for three minutes at 450 mph, but could not close in. I fired two short bursts at extreme range to see what action he would take. He continued on the same course, he flew over wood which I avoided suspecting flak, which turned out to be intense accurate light. He turned to go over the same wood and I gave up the pursuit. I climbed to 4,000 feet and circled German parachute, three ME109's came in as though protecting it, while coming on the tail of the last enemy aircraft a Spitfire dived through cloud and shot third Me109 down in flames. The remaining two enemy aircraft dived to deck and made off. I returned to base. [pn91]
F/Lt G. W. Varley of No. 222 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 2 March 1945:
I was flying Yellow 3 on an offensive sweep, LINGEN area. While on outward leg at 3,000 ft, we were warned of aircraft 12 o'clock below. I immediately saw crossing our formation from starboard to port what appeared to be Horsa glider, and I realised this was the new Arado jet plane. I dived and turned port and closed to 1,000 yds and fired a 1 second burst 10 degree deflection, and looking down and around saw another jet plane flying below in the other direction. I closed to 200 yds and fired a 2 second burst dead astern, and a huge explosion with red flame occured. When e/a blew up Yellow 1 yelled "break port" and I broke (now at 2,000 ft) into 12 + Me 109's trying to bounce me. One fired head on at me and I returned fire, turned hard port, and he turned starboard. After about 6 turns following him with difficulty, he broke away. I chased him and with 20° deflection saw hits. He began weaving on deck and with another 30° deflection burst, saw his propeller stop. He turned several times and disintegrated on hitting rough ground. I climbed and saw dog fights above and 2 or 3 parachutes, but I returned to base seeing nothing further.
I saw object hanging from jet A/C between fuselage and nacelle, suggesting bomb. This might have been the cause of first explosion, aircraft exploded again on hitting ground.
Claim: 1 Arado destroyed, 1 Me 109 destroyed. [pn92]
F/L V. W. Berg of No. 222 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 2 March 1945:
I had witnessed the destruction of an Arado 234 by F/Lt Varley (Yellow 3) and was flying (as Red 3) 5,000 feet North East, over Lingen area when Me 109's were reported above. Red leader called "Break port and drop tanks" which was done and I climbed to 8,000 feet turning behind Red 1 and 2 as they were attacking Me109. This was destroyed by Red 1. On my breaking to port another Me109 was observed to go down in a steep spiral below. I took a very short burst with no observed result. Followed by Red 4 I continued diving and turning after this Me109 but failed to get a further shot. I broke starboard and climbed hard, Red leader calling up saying ther were plenty of Me109's above and in sun. At 8,000 feet I turned port and an Me109 crossed slightly above me. I pulled up straight behind him, slightly below, and from 150 yards fired a four second burst almost line astern. Strikes were seen immediately on starboard side of engine and cockpit followed by explosion and thick cloud of black smoke. Pieces of the enemy aircraft blew off and when I next saw it through the smoke, the undercarriage had dropped down and flames were coming from the cockpit. The enemy aircraft was then seen to explode and burst into flames by Red 1 (F/L McAuliffe) who was flying behind me.
Claim: One Me 109 destroyed. [pn93]
F/O Turney of 222 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 March 1945:
I was flying Yellow 1. I saw an Arado 234 crossing starboard to port 1,000 ft below at 2,000 ft. I dived to attack and fired ½ second burst at 30° deflection, but as Wellow 3 was well positioned, I broke off and saw 12+ Me 109’s approaching 5 o’clock. When Arado exploded I immediately called “break port”. I turned 360° to port on tail of 1 Me 109. He took violent evasive action and I followed him firing several times to avoid other e/a. I saw strikes on e/a and with black smoke he turned on his back. I fired again and saw pilot bale out. Throughout combat 6 e/a circled above, forming umbrella.
Claim: 1 Me 109 destroyed. [pn94]
F/O V. L. Turner (RAAF) of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 7 March 1945:
I was flying Red 3 on a Wing Sweep of the Rheine – Bremen area, when just west of Rheine 109s were reported above us. Just after this I saw about six FW 190’s come down on my squadron from 13,000 ft on our rear. I broke 90° port and whilst doing so I saw an Me.109 diving vertically to the deck. I turned over on my back and followed him down to 2000 ft. where the 109 pulled out and flew off in a S.E. direction. I chased him closing to 600 yds and fired a short burst in dead line astern. I did not observe strikes. I then closed to 300 yds. and gave a 5 second burst still in line astern, this time observing many strikes on the fuselage. The 109 broke 180° port with what appeared to be glycol and petrol pouring out of it. I saw a piece of the 109 come away and then it went into a vertical dive from 2000 ft. Just before the 109 hit I saw more pieces fly off and then it exploded and blew up in a field. Cine camera used.
I claim one Me.109 destroyed. [pn95]
F/L J. J. Payton of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 7 March 1945:
I was flying Yellow 1 on a sweep of the Rheine – Bremen area when, in the Enschede – Rheine area e/a were reported and I saw about 8 FW.190’s slightly above our own height of 12000 ft. and to our starboard. We were flying approximately due West and the 190’s were milling around. I climbed the section up into them but was forced to break port because two e/a were reported by my No. 2 to be closing on us from the rear. As I broke I observed a FW.190 slightly below me. I closed but when within range the 190 made a steep climbing turn and I gave him two short bursts with about 30° deflection. I saw strikes in the engine. I also had to hold the climb the maintain deflection and as I recovered level flight I saw the pilot of the 190 bale out. The e/a gradually went into a vertical dive and I followed it down using my camera. I saw the 190 explode on the ground. Cine camera used.
I claim one FW.190 destroyed. [pn96]
S/L Evan Mackie, DSO, DFC (RNZAF) of No. 80 Squadron described his encounter with Fw 190Ds that occurred on 7 March 1945:
The Tempest could not compete with the Hun in a climb, but could outdive them with ease and compare favourably in the turn. One particular combat with a long-nosed FW 190, took place at 3,000 feet on a clear day, uninterrupted by either flak or other aircraft. Using + 11 boost and 3,750 rpm, the Tempest would almost get into a position to fire after about 3 complete turns, when the Hun would throttle back completely and disobey the golden rule of not changing bank, by stall turning the opposite way, thus almost meeting the Tempest head-on or at least at a big angle. Thus the Hun made a very elusive and formidable target, for executing this manoeuvre for the fourth time, he managed to take a big deflection shot at the Tempest as it went steaming past.
The Tempest makes a bigger orbit than the FW 190 but at about 220 mph it completes the actual turn quicker. After each of these stall turns, the chase would start afresh, the Hun making several unsuccessful attempts to dive away. After about 10 minutes of this, a pair of Tempests appeared on the scene and distracted the Hun's attention sufficiently for a short burst to be given which finished him off. [pn97]
F/Lt. L. McAuliffe of 222 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 March 1945:
I was just turning to port on second leg of operation and saw 1½ miles away, ahead, an Arado 234 flying S.W. We and e/a dived to the deck as I gave chase with F/O McCleland. I fired two short bursts while e/a was turning to port in evasion at 500 yds. My No. 2 also fired. We were catching e/a up all the time and as it crossed the airfield perimeter (Quakenbruk) it suddenly dived to the ground exploding and catching fire.
Claim ½ ARADO 234 destroyed. [pn98]
F/O McCleland of 222 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 March 1945:
I was No. 2 to F/L McAuliffe and while flying at 7,000 ft saw the ARADO 234 at 5,000 ft 1½ miles away. We were turning to port towards the S.W. a little North of QUAKENBRUK. We dived gently and the e/a who must have seen us also went down to the deck. We were gaining on the e/a and I fired two short bursts at 500 yds while turning to port. I then broke away on account of the intense accurate light flak in the region of QUAKENBRUK A/F, and I did not see e/a hit the ground.
Claim: ½ ARADO destroyed. [pn99]
F/ L Milne of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 March 1945:
I was leading Nalgo (56) Squadron on a Wing Sweep in the Dummer Lake – Minden area. Railroad (80) Squadron was accompanying us; Railroad Leader was leading the Wing. We were flying to port and stepped up out of the sun to Railroad. A/c were reported when we were in the Hesepe area, they were at 12 o’clock and level with us. The a/c turned starboard when we were about 2 miles away, and were followed by Railroad. We crossed over inside this turn and came in from stbd. to line astern of the a/c at 1000 yds. range. Recognizing them as FW.190’s long and short nosed, I gave orders to Nalgo to jettison tanks and attack. I closed to 600 yds line astern of a FW.190 and took a long range shot. I saw strikes on the fuselage and wings around the cockpit. Pieces flew off and the e/a turned on its back still disintegrating. I broke away to port. My No. 2 (F/S Hales) reports that the Hun pilot baled out and the a/c dived into the ground. Picking on another 190 I fired several bursts without any effect. During this combat I saw an a/c dive straight into Dummer Lake. The pilot baled out at approx. 1500 ft. 35 mm. cine-film used.
I claim one FW.190 destroyed. [pn100]
F/L J.T. Hodges of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 March 1945:
I was flying Yellow 3. The section was flying slightly above and behind Red Section. As the e/a broke round after the initial attack by F/L Milne, I dived to port onto a 190 which was diving away. The hun commenced a diving turn and I followed closing the range. I fired a long burst from 400 yds line astern with no visible results. He broke very sharply to starboard and I overshot. I saw a 190 on the tail of another Tempest at 3 o’clock below me at 9000 ft. Breaking down onto it I closed to 250 yds about 15° to port. Opening fire and closing during the burst to 50 yds, I saw the e/a flick over and pieces flew off its belly. The 190 spiralled down to port and the hood was jettisoned. Straightening into a 70° dive, the pilot baled out at about 6000 ft. The e/a dived into the ground about 10 miles NE of Hesepe a/d. Cine camera used.
I claim one FW.190 destroyed. [pn101]
F/O V. L. Turner (RAAF) of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 March 1945:
I was flying Red 3. When the dogfight started I picked a 190 and attacked from line astern. The e/a half-rolled and dived down to the deck heading away N.E. Following, I closed the range to 600 yds at zero feet; the hun broke stbd. and I saw another 190 on my tail, closing the range gradually. I turned with the two of them for several minutes, eventually getting a burst at one from 200 yds angle off 10° to line astern. I saw a piece break off from the a/c, the pilot jettisoned the hood and baled out at 600 ft. I broke sharply to port immediately but was unable to see the remaining 190. The FW.190 destroyed, crashed about 10 miles NE. of Dummer Lake. Cine camera used.
I claim one FW.190 destroyed. [pn102]
Sgt. P.C. Brown of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 March 1945:
I was flying Red 4. As F/L Milne opened fire on a 190, I saw another break up and to starboard. Following, I climbed slightly to stbd. of the hun in a turn. Closing to approx. 50 yds., I fired two long bursts and saw strikes on the port wing. The e/a flicked violently onto its back and dived away below me. I broke stbd. and down to follow the 190. I could see black smoke coming from its port wing. I had to break off as I was under the impression that my a/c had a fuel leak. I found that the stbd. jet. Tank was not turned off. I last saw the hun about 5 miles south of Dummer Lake still diving N. at an angle if 60°. Cine camera not used.
I claim one FW.190 destroyed. [pn103]
F/O G. A. Bush of 80 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 March 1945:
I was flying as Black 3 in the Squadron which together with 56 Sqdn was engaged on a sweep of the Dummer Lake area. While flying on a North Easterly course approx 6 miles S.E. of Lingen a/c were reported at 1 o’clock and slightly below us on a similar course. The Squadron turned Starboard to investigate and as their gaggle also turned we were able to approach from line astern and identify them as FW.190’s the formation consisting of approx 12 a/c. The Huns jettisoned their tanks and turned again to Starboard, which allowed the other Squadron to get on their tails and a furious dogfight followed. After diving on one E/A and shaking off the attack of a second I saw another orbiting below me and dived down turning inside him. The hun took violent evasive action while still in his turn and I fired a short burst from 300 yards but saw no strikes. The E/A then ceased to weave and on firing one 1 second burst from 150 yards with 40° deflection it immediately burst into flames and several pieces flew off. I then did an orbit to Port and used my cine camera to take a photograph of the E/A burning on the ground at a point which I estimate to be approx 5 miles N.E. of Hesepe A/Fd. The E/A was camouflaged grey.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed. [pn104]
F/Lt. R. C. Cooper of 80 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 March 1945:
I was flying as Black 4. When we were split up for the engagement I noticed and E/A below and flicked over firing a short burst with no apparent result. After pulling out at 4000 ft and climbing almost vertically, I saw another Hun and stall turned to come in line astern. He commenced a climbing turn to Port and I fired two deflection shots with no success, but on closing to 100 yards from line astern and firing several long bursts I must have hit him as the E/A did a half flick to Starboard and to Port, finally rolling over and diving out of sight. I did not observe any definite strikes as we were heading into sun, but in my opinion several were obtained along the underside of the fuselage. Black 2 witnessed the encounter and the final fate of the Hun. Cine Camera used.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed. [pn105]
F/L. H. E. Turney of 222 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 March 1945:
I was flying Blue 1 at 13,000 feet just South of SOEST in easterly direction when I saw 3 Me 109’s at 8 o’clock at 1,000 feet south of Beckum, heading in N.E. direction. I immediately went down and reported position of enemy aircraft to Red 1. As I closed, I saw that there were actually 7 Me 109’s, four in finger formation and three in Vic formation behind and to starboard. I attacked the port enemy aircraft of the leading four calling Blue 2 to watch the other three as I flew past them. These three turned in towards us and the enemy aircraft I was attacking broke port. I followed and took several short bursts at varying deflection at height from zero to 500 feet seeing strikes on the tail. Enemy aircraft led me to a small town from which came intense light flak. Breaking and climbing above enemy aircraft I pulled away and saw pilot bale out from approx 1000 feet and parachute open. The enemy aircraft crashed and blew up on the Northern outskirts of the same town which, I believe was RHEDE. The crash of this aircraft was also witnessed by Blue 3 (F/O Reid) I claim this Me 109 destroyed.
After this combat I climbed away towards some other Tempests and called on them to reform on me. As they did so I warned on an aircraft in sun at 9 o’clock, above approx 8,000 feet. As this aircraft came round to 6 o’clock, I identified it as a Me 109 and turned the formation port as enemy aircraft came down. The latter broke off his attack without firing and Red 1 (F/L Mart), Blue 3 (F/O Reid) and myself all fired short bursts. I saw no strikes but enemy aircraft climbed up and pilot baled out (parachute opening). Red 1 (F/L Mart) and I both witnessed the crash of this enemy aircraft in the area of Soest (B2631)
I therefore claim a share in the destruction of this Me 109. [pn106]
F/O G. W. Marshall of 222 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 March 1945:
I was flying Blue 2 at 13,000 feet south of SOEST in easterly direction when Blue 1 (F/L Turney) reported 3 Me 109’s at 8 o’clock at 1,000 feet south of BECKUM. I followed Blue 1 down and saw 2 of the enemy aircraft reported. Blue 1 attacked one enemy aircraft which turned to port. The other turned starboard and immediately dived for the deck. At 100 feet enemy aircraft again turned port and I opened fire with about 90 degrees deflection, considerably overshooting. I then climbed steeply to port up to 1,000 feet during which time enemy aircraft was continuing his port turn. I attacked again in a diving turn to port firing short bursts allowing 4 rings deflection and although I saw no strikes enemy aircraft lost considerable speed and I observed a thin trail of grayish smoke from the engine. Enemy aircraft then straightened out, flew level for a short distance and before I could fire again started to turn slowly to port round the edge of a wood. After a violent flick to starboard, enemy aircraft finally crashed into a field which I estimate to be 4 miles east of BECKUM. Red 3 (F/L DASHWOOD) witnessed my attack and confirms the destruction of this enemy aircraft.
I claim this Me109 destroyed. [pn107]
F/L R. P. Dashwood of 222 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 March 1945:
I was flying Red 3 at 13,000 feet South of SOEST in Easterly direction when Blue 1 (F/L TURNEY) went down on enemy aircraft. A few seconds later I also went down starboard having sighted 2 enemy aircraft ahead of Blue 1. Seeing a single Tempest, later found to be Blue 2 (F/O Marshall) chasing a Me 109 I circled about 1,000 feet above him to give cover. The Me 109 was twisting and turning until I observed it slow down leaving a thin trial of greyish smoke. Enemy aircraft, with Blue 2 still on his tail finally crashed in a small field about 4 miles N.E. of BECKUM and was completely destroyed.
After climbing starboard to joining Red 1 and 2 I glanced down sun to my right when at about 4,000 feet and saw a Me 109 attacking me from 4 o’clock, slightly above, 100 yards range and I observed tracer. Enemy aircraft broke to port and I then broke and followed him down at 8 o’clock. With enemy aircraft 800/1000 yds ahead in a shallow dive I had no difficulty in closing on him and at 1500 feet, 400 yards range directly astern I fired a half second burst which caused him t break port. Still closing I fired a two second burst with full deflection, from 200 yards then allowed him to appear over my cowling to observe results. I saw pieces fly off the enemy aircraft and past me. He then went into a shallow dive and when at about 1,000 feet the pilot baled out the enemy aircraft continuing its dive and crashing into the corner of a field. Red 4 (F/L Watson witnessed the whole of the attack and saw the enemy aircraft crash. He also saw strikes on tail of enemy aircraft as I fired which I could not observe due to extreme deflection.
I therefore claim this Me 109 destroyed. [pn108]
F/L G.F.J. Jongbloed of No. 222 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 25 March 1945:
I was flying Blue 3 at approx 9000 feet in the CLOPPENBURG area when aircraft were reported at 12 o'clock above. A few seconds later I sighted 4 FW190's (short nose) at approx 7,000 feet crossing from our starboard to port, diving in NW direction.
Blue 1 (F/L Varley) turned to port after the first enemy aircraft and I pulled up over his starboard side to cover his tail against another FW190 which I observed to be following him. This enemy aircraft however then pulled up behind me and we started doing tight turns, gradually losing height. The advantage was at first, slightly with the FW190, which advantage he gradually lost through flicking near the ground which compelled him to slacken his rate of turn. We were now approx 500 feet from the ground. I pulled up and, diving down again gave a one second burst from approx 300 yards with 1½ rings deflection, observing strikes on the tail. I gave two more burst head on, strikes being observed during the second burst. The FW190 flew past me and, flicking over, one and a half rolls, dived straight into the ground at a position which I pin-point at V 8656. The combat was witnessed by Red 4 (F/O Donald) and by Blue 4 (F/O Roberts) [pn109]
F/L. G. W. Varley of 222 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 March 1945:
I was flying Blue 1 in an Easterly direction and when a few miles S.W of Quakenbruk aircraft were reported at 12 o’clock above flying approx 10,000 feet crossing from starboard to port. When these aircraft started to dive, Blue section turned to port and followed then down, identifying them as FW 190’s. Blue section were now behind 4 enemy aircraft closing with them. I gave the section the signal to attack, and myself selected the starboard enemy aircraft, giving a short burst from approx 400 yards, as a result of which I saw strikes on tail and starboard wing and pieces fly off the aircraft. Enemy aircraft then went down to below tree top height whereupon I followed giving another short burst producing strikes on starboard side of fuselage. Enemy aircraft then pulled up again and, closing this time to 50 yards I fired a further short burst which caused engine to catch fire on starboard side. Pilot was then seen to jettison hood and bale out, the enemy aircraft to crash and blow up. The combat was witnessed by Blue 4 (F/L Lawson).
I claim this FW190 destroyed. [pn110]
F/O W. Donald of 222 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 March 1945:
I was flying Red 4 in easterly direction and when a few miles S.W. of QUAKENBRUK I reported 4 aircraft at 12 o’clock above at height of approx 10,000 feet heading North East and crossing our line of flight from starboard to port. These aircraft started to dive whereupon Red section turned to port to follow them down, identifying them as FW 190’s. When my leader Red 3 (F/O Thorogood) reported a FW 190 on my port side I slid into a line astern on this aircraft and opened fire at approx 100 yards range following the hun in a slight diving turn to port. After a few short bursts the enemy aircraft steepened his dive and finally crashed at the corner of a road which I believe to be 3 miles Southwest of QUAKENBRUK. My attack and the resulting crash of the enemy aircraft were witnessed by Red 3.
I claim this FW190 destroyed. [pn111]
S/Ldr R. W. A. MacKichan, D.F.C. & Bar of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 April 1945:
I was leading Nalgo Squadron on a patrol of the forward troops on the River Weser, between Nienburg & Minden. As the weather was very bad we flew low & when flying north at about 200 ft. saw a/c ahead bombing the bridgehead near Stoltzenau. I called up & we closed up behind them at 100 ft. They were strung out roughly in line astern, turning to port for the execution of another attack. Closing on the last two I identified them As FW.190’s. Picking the one to starboard I opened fire at 100 yds angle off 10 ° - 20° & saw strikes in the region of the cockpit. The one to port swung across toward me, so allowing 30° deflection at 150 yds. I obtained strikes on the starboard wing root & forward fuselage. The E/A started to smoke, flames appearing later. It continued turning to starboard, diving into the ground and broke up in flames. The first a/c had turned to starboard so I swung back & saw him well out of range. I waited till my No. 2 had finished firing without success, then gave chase roughly in an easterly direction. I caught it up after about four minutes, the Hun’s only evasive tactics were to dive & climb making no use of cloud cover. As he was pulling up I fired from 250 yds. line astern & obtained strikes. He started to turn to port & I closed in to about 150 yds. at approx. 20° - 30° off & obtained further strikes. The 190 went down with the inside of the cockpit a mass of flame & crashed below me. I was getting intense, accurate light flak, so pulled up for cloud cover. The remains of the E/A were burning on the ground near the gun positions, the location of which I could not identify, except as being somewhere in the Hannover area. The E/A were camouflaged a grey colour & had bomb racks under each wing. No long range tanks were fitted.
I claim 2 FW.190’s destroyed. [pn112]
F/Lt. J. J. Payton of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 April 1945:
I was flying Nalgo Green 3. When Nalgo leader ordered us to attack I cut round behind him & picked a 190 which was diving down to the deck on the starboard side of the gaggle. The Hun flew east into a rainstorm at tree-top height. Following line astern, I fired several burst at ranges from 300/100 yds. I saw strikes all over the E/A & it dived straight into the ground at about 400 M.P.H., south of Steinhuder Lake.
I claim 1 FW.190 destroyed. [pn113]
F/Lt W. E. Schrader of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 10 April 1945:
I was flying pink 5 on a Delmenhorst-Bremen patrol, when in the vicinity of Nienburg, pink 6 reported some Typhoons flying south at about 9’oclock to us. Some distance behind the Typhoons I spotted a single a/c flying at about 8000 ft. Our height was 6000 ft. I broke to port & commenced to climb, positioning myself so that the single a/c could not see me climbing towards him. Visibility, due to haze, was very poor & I had to close to 300 yds. in line astern & pull out to starboard before recognizing the a/c as a Fw.190. The E/A broke violently to port & jettisoned his overload tank. He dived away, weaving & skidding, but I followed him down& when within 250-300 yards I fired 2 short bursts from slightly above and behind. I saw strikes on the fuselage with my first burst, after which the 190 straightened out & with the second burst I saw strikes on the fuselage & engine. The 190 went over on its back & I saw flame coming from just beneath the engine. The E/A continued to go down on its back & I saw it hit the ground & explode.
I claim 1 Fw.190 destroyed. [pn114]
F/O D. E. Ness, DFC of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 12 April 1945:
I was leading Nalgo Yellow Section on an Armed Recce in the Luneburg area. When flying North approx. 5 miles East of Fassberg a/d I saw an a/c flying below me at 500 feet. Identifying it as a FW 190 I broke down to stbd. and opened fire in a 15° attack to port, range 250 yards. I held a steady burst, closing in to line astern at 50 yards. Strikes were obtained on the cockpit and wing roots and pieces flew off the enemy a/c as I broke away. The Hun crashed straight ahead and blew up. The pilot of the 190 took no evasive action whatsoever during the combat.
I claim 1 FW 190 destroyed. [pn115]
F/Lt. J. H. Stafford of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 12 April 1945:
I was leading the Squadron on an Armed Recce of the Ludwigslust area when, in the area Met was spotted on the ground & I led the Squadron down from 6000 ft. to the attack. About half way down in my dive I saw an a/c flying an easterly course directly over Ludwigslust. As I passed it, still in my dive, I recognized it as a Fw.190. I pulled up & behind the E/A – throttled back, & dropped my radiator flap to avoid overshooting. I reported the Fw.190 & was joined by my No.2, F/O O’Connor. There was a great deal of haze & I passed port to starboard once or twice directly over the Fw.190 before he spotted me. Immediately he did, he dived away to starboard & my position was such that I was able to open fire immediately from 100-150 yds., using 1 ring deflection to dead line astern. I saw strikes on the engine & cockpit of the E/A. Pieces flew off & I saw flames coming from the cockpit. I pulled out to one side & saw the Fw.190 roll on its back & crash with a large explosion in a field, 10 miles east of Ludwigslust.
I claim 1 Fw.190 destroyed. [pn116]
F/Lt. Sheddan of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 April 1945:
I was flying pink 1 on a weather recce of the Perleberg – Ludwigslust area, when just west of Ludwigslust, whilst pulling-up after attacking a train I saw a silver colored a/c at deck level flying due north.
My own height was 2000 ft and I dived down behind it and gave chase followed by the other 3 a/c of my section. When about 700 yards from it I recognized it was an F.W. 190. The 190 did not take any evasive action and I closed to a 100 yards and opened fire with one second burst in dead line astern.
I saw large pieces come away from the wings and fuselage and I pulled out to port of the 190 and slightly above. Looking back I saw the starboard wing of the 190 drop and it rolled on its back, hit the ground and exploded.
I claim 1 F.W. 190 Destroyed.
Cine Camera used. [pn117]
W/O W. J. Shaw of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 April 1945:
I was flying Pink 2 & whilst diving to attack Met on a road about 10 miles east of Ludwigslust I saw a single Fw.190 flying east at deck level. I reported this to Pink 1 who ordered me to follow him in to attack. The 190 broke when we were out of range & as I could see that my No.1 would be unable to attack I dropped my tanks & climbed for height. As the E/A straightened out east I dived on it – passing my No. 1. This time the 190 broke rather later & again to port & I was able to pull my bead through until he disappeared beneath my nose. It was a full deflection shot & I opened fire when I judged I had 2 radii deflection on him. I fired a long burst & then broke upwards to observe results. As the 190 came in sight again I saw the flash of a strike just forward of the cockpit. An instant later, flames appeared from the port side &, enveloped in flames, the 190 went down in a gradual straight dive to the deck. I saw it crash in a field & explode.
Cine camera used
I claim 1 Fw.190 destroyed. [pn118]
F/Lt. McCairns of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 April 1945:
I was flying as Yellow Leader & engaged on an Armed Recce in the Kiel-Oldenburg area. Whilst flying on a northerly course in the vicinity of Kaltenkirchen Aerodrome, I observed an Me.262 taking off in a N.E. direction. I was instructed by Nalgo Leader to go down and attack, which I did, taking my No. 2 with me. The E/A did a climbing turn to port, so I turned left & positioned myself behind him, giving a 1 second burst from 600 yards & allowing 10° deflection. The E/A continued on his course at about 1500 ft. & I closed the range to 300 yards & gave a 3 second burst, closing to about 100 yds. from dead astern. I observed strikes on the fuselage & on the starboard wing. I then broke to starboard & the E/A turned to port & dived towards the aerodrome. I turned steeply to port & again positioned myself behind him, giving a 3 second burst from slightly above him from 200 yds., closing to 75 yds. & allowing 10° deflection. I saw strikes on the fuselage & the wing roots. I then broke to starboard & my No. 2 went in to attack. After this attack, the E/A was at 0 ft. & streaming smoke. It then hit a house & crashed in flames at a point 4 miles S.E. of the aerodrome.
I claim ½ Me.262 destroyed. [pn119]
F/Lt Cox of 56 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 April 1945:
I was flying Yellow 2 & engaged on an Armed Recce in the Kiel-Oldenburg area. Whilst flying on a northerly course in the vicinity of Kaltenkirchen A/D, Yellow Leader called up & called my attention to an Me.262 taking off from the A/D. Yellow leader carried out 3 attacks during the course of which I saw him obtain many strikes on the cockpit & wings. After Yellow Leader’s last attack, the E/A was making a gradual turn to port & I closed in astern to 200 yds., closing to 75 yards & firing all the time, allowing 5°-10° deflection. I saw strikes on the fuselage, wing roots & starboard power unit. My height at this time was approx. 1000 ft. The E/A began to turn more steeply as I broke to starboard. Yellow Leader then saw the E/A strike a house & burst into flame.
I claim ½ Me.262 destroyed. [pn120]
F/Lt. W. E. Schrader of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 April 1945:
I was flying Pink 1 & leading the Squadron of 9 a/c on an Armed Recce of the Muritz area, when a formation of a/c was reported flying at 3 o’clock to us & due west slightly above our own height of 8000 ft. We were flying an easterly course & upon recognizing the formation to be Fw.190’s the Squadron broke 180° starboard & climbing slightly, gave chase. Coming within range I saw the formation to consist of 9 Fw.190’s & they did not break until we were approx. 1000 yds behind them. As the 190’s broke each member of the Squadron made his selection. I singled out an Fw.190 on the extreme port of the formation & caught him half-way in his turn. I opened fire at about 300 yards with 20° deflection and gave him a fairly long burst. I saw strikes on the forward part of the fuselage of the Fw.190 and observed pieces fly off. The E/A burst into flames, rolled on its back & spiraling almost vertically I saw it hit the ground & explode. I mixed again in the general dog-fight, now well in progress, & fired a full deflection burst at another Fw.190 but did not observe results. I then saw an Fw.190 heading for the deck in a N.E. direction & gave chase but due to distance & camouflage temporarily lost him. My height was now 2500 ft., but I continued flying N.E. until I reached the Elbe, where in the Hitzacker area I saw an Fw.190 flying on the deck slightly ahead of me. As I went down to attack he broke in a steep turn to port but I closed to 400 yards & gave him a long burst allowing 20 – 25° deflection. I observed no results, due to under-deflecting. The 190 broke starboard & then again to port & whilst he was still in the turn I gave him another burst again from 25° angle-off. This time I saw strikes on the fuselage & the outer part of the port wing – a large piece of which flew off. The E/A lost height rapidly in its turn to port & I saw it crash into the deck & explode. I made 2 dives on the burning wreckage using my cine-camera independent of the guns.
I claim 2 Fw.190’s destroyed. [pn121]
F/O B. J. O’Connor of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 April 1945:
I was flying Pink 3 & when the Squadron broke on the Fw.190’s I saw one dive away to port from the gaggle. I dived after him & when within 400 yards fired a short burst with about 10° angle-off. I did not observe any strikes. The 190 was now flying straight & level & I closed my range to 200 yards in dead line astern. I fired a short burst & observed strikes on the cockpit of the 190 with pieces of it flying off. The E/A then turned slowly, port-rolled on its back & crashed from 2000 ft. into the ground, where I saw it explode. I turned port over the burning wreckage & beneath me saw another 190 pulling up in from of me. We turned port together & during 2 turns I fired 2 bursts with no visible results. I then climbed above him in the turn. The Fw.190 leveled-out & made a shallow dive followed by a break to port. I followed him closely & fired a short burst from 90° angle-off, this time seeing strikes on the starboard wing tip. The E/A continued turning but I was forced to break away due to shortage of fuel.
I claim 1 Fw.190 destroyed & 1 Fw.190 damaged. Cine camera used. [pn122]
F/Lt A. I. Ross of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 April 1945:
I was flying Orange 3 & in the attack I selected the Fw.190 second from extreme starboard of the formation. I closed from behind & when within 800 yds., the E/A commenced to climb port. I followed the 190 & it broke the turn by pulling up sharply & stalling, whereupon I closed to 300-400 yards & fired a short burst with 90° angle-off. I saw strikes around the cockpit. I also stalled & on recovering, saw the Fw.190 spinning down out of control. At this time my height was about 10,000 ft., & when the E/A was at almost 7000 ft. I saw it catch fire & go spinning down in flames. Whilst observing my Fw.190 going down in flames I also saw 3 others heading earthwards & burning fiercely.
Cine camera used.
I claim 1 Fw.190 destroyed. [pn123]
F/Sgt. R. A. Melles of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 April 1945:
I was flying spare as Orange 5 & received permission to remain with the Squadron. When the Squadron broke on the Fw.190s I climbed up to 10,000 ft. after 1 of 3 190’s who were slightly above the remainder of the formation. I got onto his tail & there then followed a diving & turning match which lasted for 3 minutes. The Fw.190 had a Yellow band on its fuselage just forward of the tail plane. It was extremely difficult for me to hold him & it was obvious that the pilot was very good. During this period of 3 minutes I fired one or two bursts at the 190 but saw no strikes. Finally the E/A broke port in a slight dive & from about 200 yards I fired a 2 second burst with 30° angle-off & saw strikes just forward of the cockpit. The 190 appeared to turn too tightly & flicked into a spin. After 2 or 3 turns he straightened out & I saw flames & smoke coming from just forward of the cockpit. Pieces from the E/A came past me & I saw the 190 dive in flames to the deck.
Cine camera used.
I claim 1 Fw.190 destroyed. [pn124]
W/O R. J. Atkinson of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 April 1945:
I was flying Pink 2 and broke with the rest of the squadron onto the FW.190s. I selected one that had pulled out to the starboard of the formation and overtook him – finishing about 100 feet above. The 190 pulled up sharply in a steep climbing turn to port and I was able to open fire from 250 yds allowing 1¼ ring deflection. I fired a short burst and saw strikes along the engine and up to the cockpit. I immediately saw flames and the pilot of the e/a slumped forward in his cockpit. The 190s nose then went down and, still in flames, dived vertically to the deck where it exploded in the middle of the forest.
Cine camera used.
I claim one Fw.190 destroyed. [pn125]
W/O G. Maddaford of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 April 1945:
I was flying Orange 2 and with the remainder of the Squadron, was chasing nine FW.190s who were flying due west. As we closed the range the 190s broke port in line astern and selecting the last but one in the line, I tightened my turn to bring my sights on to him. The FW.190 viciously broke port and I was unable to bring him in line so I broke starboard and he came into my sights still in his turn, practically head-on. I opened fire from 500 yds closing the range to 100 yds allowing ½ a ring deflection finishing at zero.
I saw strikes along the engine – finishing at the cockpit. The FW.190 pulled violently up – stood on its tail – went over on its back and burst into flames. It went down in a slow spiral and I saw it crash in some woods and explode. Cine camera used.
I claim one FW.190 destroyed. [pn126]
F/Lt C. J. Sheddan of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 April 1945:
I was flying Pink 1 and leading the Squadron on an Armed recce of the Pritzwalk – Parchim area when, in the vicinity of Neustadt A/D Pink 3 – F/O O’Connor – reported an FW 190 to be taking off from the A/D. Pink 3 and 4 were instructed to go down to the attack and whilst I was orbiting the A/D at 4,000 feet I saw the 190 being attacked by Pink 3 and 4 as it was orbiting. The enemy aircraft pulled away and headed North on the deck. I dived down behind it and when within 200 yds. the 190 made a slight turn to port. Allowing 1 ring deflection 1 fired a short burst and the 190 went under my nose. I pulled out to starboard to avoid the enemy aircraft which flicked onto it’s back and as I pulled away it hit the Ground and exploded. I reformed the Squadron and continued the Armed Recce.
I claim 1 FW 190 Destroyed, shared with Pink 4 – W/O Shaw. [pn127]
W/O W.J. Shaw of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 April 1945:
I was flying Pink 4 and together with Pink 3 went down to attack an FW 190 which had just become airborne from Neustadt A/D. Whilst dropping his tanks, Pink 3 lost sight of the E/A and I went in to attack first. The FW 190 turned starboard and in my first attack I overshot and broke away starboard whilst the enemy aircraft turned again to port. When I was next positioned to attack the 190 was 1,000 yds distant and flying low over some tree-tops for the A/D. I fired a burst in the hope that strikes on the trees about him would make him break from the A/D. I succeeded in my intent and the enemy aircraft broke port. I myself broke to avoid crossing the A/D and next met the FW 190 head-on – fired from 600 yds and saw strikes on the port wing and fuselage. I pulled up above him – saw Pink 3 attack without strikes and finally Pink 1 fire and secure strikes causing the FW 190 to crash into a wood and burn.
I claim 1 FW 190 Destroyed, shared with F/Lt Sheddan. [pn128]
F/Lt. W. E. Schrader of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 April 1945:
I was flying Pink 1 on an Armed Recce of the Muritz Lake – Perleberg Area, when, after straffing Met. North of Neustadt we approached Neustadt A/D at about 4,000 feet and from an approximate distance of 3 miles we saw 2 a/c orbiting in the vicinity of the A/D. The Section pulled-up into sun and as we came nearer, recognized the a/c to be 2 FW 190s. I attacked the nearest of the 2 FW 190s from above and astern. When I was within 700 yards the enemy a/c broke into a steep level turn to port. I followed him round opening fire with 2 burst at approx. 400 yards with 25° - 30° angle off but observed no results. Both the 190 and myself were turning very tightly and it was difficult to lay correct deflection. Finally I was able to turn inside him and from 200 yds. with 20° angle off fired a 2 second burst this time seeing strikes on the cockpit. The FW 190 immediately flicked port onto it’s back and fell out of control and I saw it hit the ground and explode on the Northern Perimeter of the A/D. As I broke away to port the other FW 190 pulled-up from about 1,000 ft below and slightly behind me. He fired a long burst at me with about 60° - 70° angle off and I saw his tracer going just to the rear. Fortunately the attention of the FW 190 was distracted from me by an almost head-on attack by Pink 3 – F.O Read. As I was setting course for base I saw a fire with columns of smoke just South of the A/D. I could also see the diminishing fire of the 190 I had shot down. Cine camera used.
I claim 1 FW 190 Destroyed. [pn129]
F/O J. W. Reid of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 April 1945:
I was flying Pink 3 and as the second of the 2 FW 190s (which was long nosed) made a head-on attack on the remainder of the Section I opened fire from 250 yds. as it closed head-on, seeing one strike on the engine. I pulled up to port and made a stall turn, observing the FW 190 also trying to turn to port. I closed and when within 250 yds fired a short burst allowing ½ ring deflection. I saw one strike on the port wing root. The FW 190 then pulled up vertically in front of me and allowing maximum deflection I fired a burst observing strikes around the cockpit of the enemy aircraft. The 190 went down in a very steep uncontrolled spiral turn and disappeared beneath me. Momentarily my attention was distracted by Flak but lifting a wing I saw a large fire with a column of oil smoke rising from the ground near the A/D. Cine camera used.
I claim 1 FW 190 (Long-nosed) Destroyed. [pn130]
F/L P. Clostermann of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 April 1945:
I was leading Filmstar White Section on a dusk patrol between Breman and Hamburg, flying on the deck. At about 2030 hrs when SW of Hamburg, flying SW, I saw intense light A.A. open up from a friendly armoured column, behind us. Immediately more light A.A. opened up at us. It was raining heavily at the time and we broke up into low could at 800 ft. I came down straight away and found myself amid about six FW.190s which were ground straffing.
A general combat ensued amid light flak and was joined by a further formation of six FW.190s. I found myself about 250 yds behind a FW.190 30° angle off, and fired two long bursts, seeing a large flash. The FW.190 turned on its back at about 100 ft., and went straight in burning, near one of our Armoured columns.
Shortly after this I found myself low flying over the docks at Breman, chasing a FW.190 and being chased by about six others. Intense flak opened up from the dock area. After about three minutes confused dog fighting during which my a/c was hit, I was just north of Bremen and following a FW.190 who seemed unaware of my presence. I opened fire from dead astern 400 yds range and saw no result except that the e/a immediately made a belly landing. I thereupon shot it up on the ground twice and it burst into flames.
I claim two FW.190s destroyed. [pn131]
S/Ldr. W. E. Schrader of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 April 1945:
I was leading the Squadron on an Armed Recce of the Hagenow Area when, passing 2 miles WEST of SCHWERIN A/D I saw a single a/c in the circuit. We were at about 3,500 feet and I, together with my No. 2 went down to attack. At about 1,200 yds. I recognized the a/c to be an ME 109, and at this time it was making it’s final approach to land with wheels down. When at 1,000 yds. I opened fire from above and behind in an attempt to get the E/A to turn away from the A/D. The ME 109 pulled up in a tight climbing turn to port but I continued firing down to about 200 yds. finishing with 20° angle off. Prior to ceasing fire and breaking away I saw strikes on the forward part of the fuselage. The ME 109 continued it’s turn to port through about 270° and then hit the deck in a shallow dive about 1 mile South of the A/D bounced into the air and went over on it’s back as it came down. I saw that the starboard wing had broken off and the fuselage was broken just near the cockpit. As the E/A was not burning I together with my No. 2 went down and strafed the wreckage and left it burning.
I claim 1 ME 109 Destroyed.
Cine Camera Used. [pn132]
F/O R. A. Evans of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 April 1945:
I was flying Orange 3 when N.E. Wismar, I saw a FW 190 at deck level heading S.W. for Wismar A/D. We were at 4,000 feet flying due N.E. and receiving permission, I broke 180° starboard and gave chase. When I was within 500 yds. of the 190 it started to turn and at 300 yds. I opened fire with full deflection but was not positioned to observe results. I overshot and pulled up steeply to port. The 190 continued turning, tightening and climbing as he did so. I was turning outside and above the 190 trying to lose speeed and after the E/A had made 3 complete turns I observed it’s port Aileron fall off. The 190 rolled slightly to port – I saw the hood come off and the Pilot baled out from about 1,500 feet. The E/A dived into a wood N.E. of Wismar and exploded. I saw the Pilot land also but he appeared to be injured as he made no movement.
I claim 1 FW 190 Destroyed.
Cine Camera Used. [pn133]
F/O K.A. Smith of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 April 1945:
I was flying Orange 3 with the Squadron on an armed recce of the Lubeck – Neumunster area, when N.E. of Hamburg whilst flying a westerly course at 5000 ft. two Me.262s attacked us from about 6000 ft. at 5 o’clock.
The Squadron broke starboard and the e/a pulled up steeply slightly starboard. When we broke I pulled up and positioned myself in line astern on one of the Me.262s and opened fire from 800 yds with a fairly long burst. I did not observe any results. The e/a continued turning starboard and I could see that they were pulling away, so in order to gain speed I dropped down to zero feet and tagged or followed the two Me.162s as they made off due east. I followed the thin black trial left by the e/a and when approx. 6 miles west of Lubeck two Spitfires came down in front of me – evidently thinking I was chasing a hun on the deck.
The 262s must have appreciably lessened their speed with their approach to their base because I found I had gained on them. Just after the Spitfires came down on me I saw both e/a drop steeply to the deck. I lost one of them in haze but continued to follow the other which was now at my own height of approx. 200 ft.
Approaching the a/d at Lubeck I lost my 262 in haze and pulled up to 1000 ft to avoid the a/d and joined about 8 or 9 Spitfires which were milling around the ‘drome. I was carefully watching for the 262 and spotted it crossing a runway. I went down to the attack and observed the 262 to have its wheels down. The e/a spotted me and broke sharply to port. I opened fire from 800 yds with two rings deflection and following in the turn held my fire down to zero yards. I overshot – pulled up sharply and came down on him opening fire from 400 yds with ½ ring deflection. The 262 was now at 50 ft. over the runway. As it touched down I saw the starboard wing touch the runway and white smoke coming from the starboard unit. It slewed to starboard and as I climbed away I saw smoke rising up to 200 ft. and flames coming from the 262 which was now about 100 yds off the runway.
I claim one Me.262 destroyed. [pn134]
F/O C. J. McDonald of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 29 April 1945:
I was flying Orange 1 and my section of 4 a/c was operating separately to pink Section. Whilst over Lauenburg bridgehead Kenway reported bandits flying south towards the bridgehead. We sighted eight e/a through broken cloud about 1500 ft. above us, (our won height being 4000 ft.) flying south and twelve o’clock to us. I took the section up in pursuit and the e/a dived to deck level and headed off north under low cloud at 500 ft. We followed and closed. I selected an FW.190, closed to 300 yds line astern and fired a short burst. I saw strikes on the fuselage and pieces fly off. The FW.190 rolled on its back and I saw it dive and crash on the ground. I continued the pursuit and fired short bursts at two other FW.190s from fairly long range but observed no results before the e/a disappeared into the rain cloud on the deck.
I claim one FW.190 destroyed. [pn135]
F.L J. W. Reid of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 29 April 1945:
I was flying Pink 3 on a Armed Recce in the Lauenburg area when Pink 1 reported about 16 FW 190s at 12 o’clock at our own height of 2,000 feet. The 12 190s climbed up into cloud cover but 4 were too slow and I selected one of these and closed with him. He was turning very tightly so I allowed two rings deflection and opened fire at 150 yds. I observed strikes all along the fuselage as the angle off decreased and saw numerous pieces fly off the 190 – the hood was jettisoned and I gave him another burst from almost dead astern. I was very close to the E/A by this time and could see the pilot huddled in the cockpit apparently injured or dead – almost immediately the 190 went into a spin and crashed in the main square of a small town below.
I claim 1 L-N FW 190 Destroyed. [pn136]
W/O J.R. Duncan of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 29 April 1945:
I was flying Orange 2 and selected the nearest of the two FW.190’s as they dived for the deck under cloud. I opened fire from 300 yds in line astern from slightly above and maintained fire until within 200 yds when the e/a pulled up to port. I overshot and pulled up to starboard and saw the FW.190 continuing its slow turn to port with smoke pouring from the engine. I stall-turned and opened fire again from 200 yds with 90° angle off but saw no strikes. I then positioned in line astern and from 200 yds fired a burst this time seeing strikes on the fuselage and starboard wing root. Pieces flew off the e/a and I saw the hood come off and the pilot bale out. The FW.190 flicked on its back and dived to the ground where it exploded and burned.
F/L Ross who was flying Orange 3 confirms seeing the pilot bale out and the e/a crash into the deck.
I claim one FW.190 destroyed. [pn137]
S/Ldr. W. E. Schrader (NZ) of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 29 April 1945:
I was leading the Squadron on and Armed Recce of the Lubeck – Wismar Area when, just after take-off, Kenway advised that Bandits were in the Bridgehead Area. When in the vicinity of Lauenburg and whilst at 3,000 ft, 2 F.W.190’s came down out of the clouds crossing ahead of us. I took my section of 4 A/C into the attack – one of the E/A returned to cloud and I attacked the other. After maneuvering I fired a short burst from 300 yards with 30° angle off. I saw strikes on the Port side of the engine and the lower part of the cockpit. The F.W.190 went into a slow steep spiral and I saw it crash and explode on the ground in the vicinity of Zahrensdorf. My No.2 W/O Howard confirmed this. Shortly after this engagement I saw a M.E. 109 with 1 bomb centre-slung flying 12 o’clock towards us. The E/A broke Port and within 300 yards I fired a burst with 60° angle off. I saw strikes on the Port Wing root followed by a vivid flash. The E/A rolled on its back and went straight into the deck. I went down and photographed the burning wreckage and noticed that the bomb had been flung clear. This bomb exploded approx 10 seconds after the crash. By this time myself and No.2 had become separated from the rest of the Squadron so we patrolled just North of the Bridgehead from approx 10 minutes. At the end of this time I spotted a single A/C flying ahead of us at our height of 4,000 ft. Pulling out alongside of the A/C I recognized it to be a M.E.109. My No. 2 W/O Howard attacked first and I then closed to 150 yards in dead line astern and fired a burst and saw large pieces of the E/A fall away. It went over on its back and streaming white smoke. I saw it hit the ground and explode just South of Ratzeburg. After this, my No.2 and myself turned West and went over the outskirts of Hamburg saw 2 A/C whidh we recognized to be M.E.190’s heading West at about 4,000 ft. We chased them to the Area of Hamburg Airport. I attacked the leader instructing my No.2 to attack the other. After a short dog-fight I fired a 2 second burst from 300 yards with 20° angle-off and saw strikes on the Port side of the engine. The 109 caught fire immediately and dived in flames steeply to the deck where it crashed on the secondary railway line just S.E. of the Hamburg A/D.
I claim the following A/C Destroyed:- 1 F.W.190. 2 M.E. 190’s and ½ of an ME 109 shared with W/O Howard. [pn138]
F/O O. D. Eagleson of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 29 April 1945:
I was flying Orange 3 an when over the Lauenburg Bridgehead climbed up after 3 F.W.190’s which were about 2,000 ft above my own height of 1500 ft. I positioned myself on the tail of one of the E/A in dead line astern and fired a medium burst from very close range. I saw strikes on the region of the cockpit of the F.W.190. The E/A went slowly over on its back and into cloud from which it emerged spinning in a spiral dive to the deck. I could not follow it down to see it crash because I observed another F.W.190 at 10 o’clock and made off after it but F/O Bless who was flying Orange 2 confirmed seeing my 190 hit the deck. The second F.W. 190 which I saw at 10 o’clock was slowly turning to port and I maneuvered out its tail and followed it round firing short bursts for approx 200 yards range and seeing my tracer enter the wing roots of the F.W.190. The E/A broke port and dived away through cloud but I could not follow as my ammunition had been expended.
I claim 1 F.W. 190 Destroyed and 1 F.W. 190 Damaged. [pn139]
F/O C. Kennedy of 486 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 29 April 1945:
I was flying Orange 4 and No. 2 F/O Eagleson, one the 190’s made a violent diving turn to Port and I was well positioned to dive away after him. The E/A held the dive and just when I was in range he turned starboard. I fired a burst and the 190 straightened up and went into a gentle dive. I followed firing several bursts from 500 yds down to 300 yds in line astern. I saw pieces fly off the E/A and it dived straight into the deck. I saw a large cloud of dirt or debris rise. I pulled up and endeavored to regain my No. 1.
I claim 1 F.W.190 Destroyed. [pn140]
F/O J. I. Adams (R.A.A.F.) of 3 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 30 April 1945:
I was flying Red 3 when we received vectors on the bandits in the Lauenberg area. After some 10 minutes we saw 5 e/a at about 3500 ft. three of which went up into could at 4000 ft. Red 1, S/L Cole, and myself closed on the other two e/a which were FW.190s. I fired at one, 500 yds range 20° angle off, and giving a two second burst saw strikes, the e/a diving into cloud. I followed down and broke cloud at 1000 ft. with the FW.190 still in front. I fired again at 300 yds range dead astern, seeing no results. The e/a climbed into could and I flew along underneath. The FW.190 came down again below cloud and it appeared that the pilot was unable to hold his height. I fired a long burst at 300 yds range dead astern and smoke appeared, pouring out behind the e/a. I closed to 200 yds before I fired again, the FW.190 rolled over on its side and crashed on the ground.
I claim one FW.190 destroyed. [pn141]
Pierre Clostermann (Free French) wrote of the Tempest:
Nothing was left undone to give the Tempest a maximum performance at medium and low altitudes. Special auxiliary tanks were designed even, with perspex connecting pipes, to fit under the wings. Quite extraordinary attention was paid to the rivetting, the joints and the surface polish. The result was a superb combat machine.
It had a thoroughbred look and, in spite of the big radiator which gave it an angry and wilful appearance, it was astonishingly slender. It was very heavy, all of seven tons. Thanks to its 2,400 h.p. engine it had a considerable margin of excess power and its acceleration was phenomenal. It was pretty tricky to fly, but its performance more than made up for it: at 3,000 feet, at economical cruising on one third power (950 h.p.) with two 45-gallon auxiliary tanks, 310 m.p.h. on the clock, i.e. a true air speed of 320 m.p.h.; at fast cruising speed, at half power (1,425 h.p.) without auxiliary tanks, 350 m.p.h. on the clock, i.e. a true air speed of nearly 400 m.p.h.; Maximum speed straight and level with + 13 boost and 3,850 revs.: 430 m.p.h. on the clock, i.e. a true airspeed of 440 m.p.h.
In emergencies you could over-boost it up to nearly 3,000 h.p. and 4,000 revs., and the speed went up to 460 m.p.h. In a dive the Tempest was the only aircraft to reach, without interfering with its handling qualities to any marked extent, subsonic speeds, i.e. 550-600 m.p.h.
Tempest V. Messerschmitts: I kept on reminding my pilots to keep their speed above 300 m.p.h., for "109's" could turn better than we could at low speed, and you had to watch out for the 30 mm. cannon in their propeller - it didn't give you a second chance. The best technique was to do a spiral dive, work up to a speed of 450 m.p.h., do a straight climb and then start all over again. The "109's" on the other hand, knowing that we dived faster than they did, tried to get us up to 16,000 feet, where our Tempests were heavy and our engines sluggish.
The Rhine: On the 30th March, six days later, I came back to Volkel in time to go to Warmwell in the duty Anson to choose a beautiful brand-new Tempest with the new Rotol airscrew. Two days later I was posted O.C. "A" Flight, No. 3 Squadron in 122 Wing (at B.122 Rheine). [pn142]
F/O Ronald Dennis recounted:
All our machines were fitted with Rotol airscrews when the maximum rpm were increased to 3,850 from 3,700 and boost to +13 from +11, as the DeHaviland airscrew could not absorb the added power and more than once shed a blade, with somewhat detrimental effects on the engine! [pn143]
Tempest V Production
Citations for the Hawker Tempest:
Combat Report Reports and Notes:
Magazine References: +
Web References: +
Editor for Asisbiz: Matthew Laird Acred
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