The Tempest arose from Hawker’s desire to apply a new, thin wing to the Typhoon in order to enhance performance. The Tempest V combined the new semi-elliptical wing with the Typhoon airframe and Sabre II engine. The new wing was five inches thinner at the root with the maximum depth of the new section occurring farther back, at 37.5% of the chord, while the thickness/chord ratio was reduced 14.5% at the root tapering to 10% at the tip. The Sabre II engine, the same as that used on the Typhoon, was moved forward approximately 21 inches in order to accommodate a 76 gallon fuel tank. The Tempest also had larger tail surfaces, slightly modified undercarriage, and a four blade propeller. The Tempest V was a low and medium altitude short-range fighter, capable of carrying specially designed 45 gallon drop tanks, and armed with 4 x 20 m.m. cannon in the wings.
Brief Operational History
The first flight of a production Tempest V took place on 21 June 1943. First deliveries of Tempests to squadrons began in January 1944, No 486 (RNZAF) Squadron at Tangmere being the first to receive the type. It was No. 3 Squadron, however, that was first to fully equip with the Tempest, having received a full compliment by March. No. 3 Squadron began operations in April, by which time 486 had also fully equipped with the Tempest, both squadrons by then having moved to Newchurch. No. 56 Squadron, also with the Newchurch Wing, began receiving Tempests in June, with their first operation flown on 2 July 1944. The Tempests equipping the Newchurch Wing were known as Tempest V Series I, 100 of which were built, and were indentifiable by the four Hispano Mk II cannons protruding from the wings. The Tempest Mk V Series II, equipped with the short barreled Hispano Mk V cannon and capable of carrying long range drop tanks, began reaching the squadrons during June. During July and August three more squadrons were equipped with Tempests; Nos. 80, 274, and 501 comprising the Manston Wing.
In September the Newchurch Wing tranferred to 122 Wing at Grimbergen, Belgium. Nos. 80 and 274 of the Manston Wing moved to Antwerp in September and by October, after a stint at Grave with 125 Wing, joined with 122 Wing at Volkel, Holland to form a five squadron Tempest Wing under the control of the 2nd TAF. The Tempest's role was that of low and medium altitude air superiority figher, being nicely complimented by, and coordinating with, the medium and high altitude specialized Spitfire Mk XIVs of 125 and 126 Wings. In January 1945 33 and 222 Squadrons converted to Tempests, joining 135 Wing of 85 Group at Gilze-Rijen, Holland in February. 122 Tempest Wing was reinforced during February by the addition of 41 Squadron's Spitfire XIVs tasked with providing high cover for the Tempests. 274 Squadron transferred to 135 Wing in March to better balance the Tempest Wings. In April the Wings moved to keep up with the advancing Allied armies; 135 Wing to Kluis, Holland followed by a move to Quackenbrück, Germany and 122 Wing to Hopsten, Germany. A total of 801 Tempest Vs were produced.
1 May 1944
Tempest V JN.731
Performance measurments have been made on Tempest V JN.731, the third production aircraft fitted with the Sabre IIA engine. The results of these tests, together with the position error correction are given in this report.
|Normal climb rating||Combat rating|
|Max rate of climb in M.S. gear||3815 ft/min @ 3500 ft FTH||4380 ft/min @ sea level|
|Max. rate of climb in F.S. gear||2680 ft/min @ 15800 ft FTH||3000 ft/min @ 13500 ft. FTH|
|S/c gear changed when boost in M.S. gear was||+2.9 lb/sq. in.||+4 lb/sq.in.|
|Time to 10,000 ft.||2.9 mins.||2.8 mins.|
|Time to 20,000 ft.||6.85 mins.||6.55 mins.|
|Time to 30,000 ft.||14.3||14.0|
|Service ceiling||34,000 ft|
|Estimated absolute ceiling||35,600 ft.|
|Speed at sea level M.S. gear*||376 mph true airspeed|
|Max. speed in M.S. gear*||411 mph true airspeed @ 6,600 ft. FTH|
|Max. speed in F.S. gear*||432 mph true airspeed @ 18,400 ft. FTH|
|Speed at 28,000 ft.||405 mph true airspeed|
* The full boost at +9 lb/sq.in. was not obtained during the test. (See para.5)
All the Tempests charted above were equipped with Sabre IIA engines. Adjusted to reflect +9 lbs., JN.731's top speed is 378 mph at sea level and 432 mph at 18,000 feet. JN.798 was equipped with Mark V cannon, its top speed being 378 mph at sea level and 436 mph at 18,400 feet. Trials of JN.798 using 150 grade fuel and +12 lbs boost 3,700 rpm resulted in 394 mph at sea level. JN.763 was tested by RAE, Farnborough using 150 grade fuel, resulting in 393 mph at sea level at +10.5 lbs 3,700 rpm. The RAE estimated 398 mph at sea level for JN.763 at +11 lbs. RAE further concluded that had JN.763's poor paintwork on the wing leading edges been cleaned up, sea level speed would increase to 404 mph.
The curves of the German aircraft are estimates created by Messerschmitt AG and Focke Wulf Flugzeugbau G.M.B.H. and represent what the manufacturers expected of well built aircraft in 1945. Flight Test Reports of the FW-190 D-9 indicate that the Focke Wulf estimate is approximately 9 mph optimistic for newly manufactured aircraft delivered in standard operational configuration (with tank rack & without rubber engine seal). The Tempest +9 lb curve is from Hawker. +11 lb performance is that charted by the Royal Aircraftcraft Establishment (RAE) and is taken from flight tests. The Sabre IIBs were cleared for +11 lbs, 3,850 rpm, combat 5 minutes limit. Those Sabre IIA's having Mod. No. Sabre/158 or 297 ("strengthened propeller reduction gear assembly") were converted to IIB's by the incorporation of a new boost control cam (Mod. No. Sabre/433) and a new boost control capsule (Mod. No. Sabre/435). Performance using +11 lbs. 3,850 rpm or the subsequently approved +13 lbs, 3,850 rpm is not reflected in the chart above. The Sabre IIB produced 2,420 bhp at SL using +11 lbs 3,850 rpm. Maximum speed of a Tempest V equipped with the Sabre IIB engine was 435 mph at 19,000 feet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 8
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 13
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. 14
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.
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.
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.
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. 18
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 26
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. 27
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.
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.
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. 30
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. 31
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. 32
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. 33
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 45
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 50
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 70
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.
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.
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. 73
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 87
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.
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.
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.
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. 91
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
F/L G.F.J. Jongbloed of No. 222 Squadron recorded on his Combat Report of 25 March 1945:
F/L. G. W. Varley of 222 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 March 1945:
F/O W. Donald of 222 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 March 1945:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pierre Clostermann (Free French) wrote of the Tempest:
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! 143
(The writers have not yet found any flight trials with engine limitations set at +13 lbs./sq.in. & 3,850rpm. We would be grateful if anyone having such material could contact us.)
Aircraft Data Sheet: Tempest V with Sabre IIA
1. W/Cdr. R. P. Beamont, D.S.O., D.F.C., Combat Report, 8 June 1944.
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