De Spitfire XIV was een korte afstands jager voor middelgrote tot grote hoogte en was een samenstelling van een Spitfire Mk VIII met een Rolls-Royce Griffon motor. De bewapening was of: B vleugel - 2 x 20 mm kanon en 4 x .303 Browning machine geweer, of de E vleugel - 2 x 20 mm kanon en .50 Browning mitrailleurs. Het operationele gewicht met brandstof en munitie was 8,400 lbs. Het toestel was uitgerust met een twee stands dubbeltrap Griffon 65 motor van 2,220 pk. Interne brandstof capaciteit was 112 gallons met aanhaak punten voor 30 gallon, 45 gallon of 90 gallon drop tanks. Latere modellen konden worden uitgerust met een 33 gallon tank achter in de romp. Uiterlijk leek het toestel op een Spitfire XII met normale vleugels, behalve dat het was voorzien van een vijf blads propellor. De staart en hoogteroer waren verder uitontwikkeld. De eerste productie modellen kwamen begin februari 1945 in dienst en hadden een lage rug en een druppel cockpit.
Korte operationele geschiedenis
De eerste productie Spitfire XIV werd eind oktober 1943 afgeleverd aan No. 610 (County of Chester) Squadron en was hiermee het eerste squadron dat overging naar de Spitfire XIV, en her uitgerust begon het op 4 january 44 te verhuizen naar Exeter. 610’s eerste operatie met de XIVs was op 8.1.44. In het voorjaar was men gestationeerd op Culmhead, Bolt Head, en Harrowbeer. 91 Squadron begon met het inruilen van hun Spitfire XIIs voor XIVs op de laatste dag van februari 1944 toen ze verkasten naar Castle Camps. Ze vlogen operaties met de XIVs op 12.3.44, en verhuisden later naar Drem, het toenmalige West Malling in april. Het nederlandse 322 Squadron kreeg hun Spitfire XIVs midden maart in Acklington, met de eerste operationele vlucht vanaf Hartford Bridge in april. Tegelijkertijd werden 91 en 322 Squadrons ondergebracht in de 24ste Wing, 2nd TAF onder leiding van Wing Commander Bobby Oxspring. Na meegedaan te hebben aan operatie Overlord, werden 610, 91 en 322 gestationeerd op West Malling eind juni. Op 9 August 1944 gingen de kisten van 91 en 322 naar het Belgische 350 Squadron en 402 (Winnipeg Bear) Squadrons te Hawkinge, terwijl No. 130 (Punjab) Squadron dezelfde maand ook overging op deSpitfire XIVs en wel op Lympne.
In september 1944 vormde 41, 130, 350, en 610 squadron, onder bevel van Wing Commander Colin Gray, de eerste Spitfire XIV wing op Lympne, Kent. Hun primaire rol was het begeleiden van bommenwerpers die naar Duitsland vlogen. 402 (RCAF) was het eerste squadron dat naar het continent ging en wel naar Antwerpen/Deurne. Het Belgische (B.70) in september en kort daarna het 130ste. Deze twee Spitfire XIV squadrons voegden zich bij de Tempests van 80 squadron en het 274 in Grave, Belgie (B.82) vroeg in oktober bij de No 125 Wing, No 83 Group, 2nd TAF voordat ze naar Diest, Holland (B.64) gingen in november. No. 2 en 430 jager en verkennings squadrons, op het continent met No 35 Wing, No 84 Group, 2nd TAF, uitgerust met Spitfire XIVs in november. 350 en 610 gingen naar Evere, Belgie (B.56) in de eerste week van december, terwijl 41 samen met 130 en 402 op Diest werden gestationeerd. Aan het einde van de maand gingen 41, 130, 350 en 610 squadron, dus de No 125 Wing, naar Ophoven, Belgie (Y.32). 402 werd ondergebracht bij de 126 (RCAF) Wing te Heesch, Nederland (B.88) in December en bleef daar tot april.
In januari 1945 verhuisden het 130, 350, en het 610 squadron naar Eindhoven, Nederland (B.78), en het 41ste squadron sloot zich aan bij de 122ste Tempest Wing op Volkel, Nederland (B.80). Missies boven noord-west en noord-midden Duitsland brachten Spitfires af en toe in contact met de Me 109s van de JG 27 die gestaioneerd waren op Rheine, Rheine-Hopsten, Hesepe, en Achmer tijdens de eerste maanden van 1945. De Me 109s van JG 3 hadden wellicht ook al vijandelijke contacten voordat ze werden opvergeplaats naar het Oost front in januari. De meeste gevechten waren echter met de weinige Fw 190s van JG 26 en in mindere mate met III./JG 54. De 125ste Wing ging naar Twente, Nederland (B.106) begin april waar ook No. 41 bij aansloot. 414 squadron ging over op FRXIVs in april net als 268 Squadron toen deze ook naar Twente ging. Midden april ging de 125ste Wing naar Celle, Duitsland (B.118) en de 126ste Wing naar Rheine (B.108), daarna naar Wunstorf (B.116), tot het einde van de oorlog. 401 (RCAF) ging half april over op XIVs was nog druk doende hiermee tot de oorlog in Europa was afgelopen.
Verscheping van de Spitfire XIV naar India begon in january 1945. 13 Squadron converteerde naar de Spitfire XIV in Madura in mei, 11 en 17 Squadrons volgden in juni. Na de overwinning in Europa gingen 411, 412, 416, 443, en 451 Squadron over op de Spitfire XIVs in Duitsland en werden onderdeel van de British Air Forces of Occupation (B.A.F.O.). Andere squadrons die overgingen op de Spitfire XIV na de overwinning waren: Nos. 136, 152, 155, 273, 600, 602, 607, 611, 612, 613, en 615. Spitfire XIV's deden ook dienst in India, Belgie, en Thailand. In totaal werden 957 Spitfire XIVs geproduceerd.
Prestaties in context bezien
Toen de Spitfire XIV begin 44 in dienst kwam was zijn tegenstander de Me 109 G-6 met de DB-605 A motor die een boost mocht hebben van 1.42 ata tijdens starten en in nood situaties. De DB-605 AS motor, met betere prestaties op grote hoogte, kwam beschikbaar in het voorjaar van 1944. MW-50 werd in de zomer beschikbaar voor de Me 109 G-6/R2 en de Me 109 G-14 kreeg betere prestaties op lage hoogte.
De staat hieronder laat zien hoe de Spitfire XIV presteerde ten opzichte van de Me 109 in het eerste gedeelte van de oorlog. Voor meer data over de Spitfire kijk dan op de Spitfire XIV sectie van deze website. De +18 lb. level speed performance komt van AFDS en is vrijwel identiek met de staatjes van Rolls Royce. De officiele Aircraft Data Sheet van de Spitfire XIV, met +18 lb boost, geeft een maximum snelheid op van 417 mph op 12,000 voet in de MS stand van de compressor en 448 mph op 26,000 voet in deFS stand, wat aardig overeen komt met de AFDS figures en de lijn zoals hieronder zichtbaar is in het grafiekje. De RAE gaf als commentaar op de Griffon 65 motor in Tech. Note No. Eng. 316 van july 1944 "Ten gevolge van problemen met het hoofd krukas lager zijn deze motoren begrensd op + 21 lb./sq.in. boost druk hoewel ze in de toekomst tot een druk van +25 lb./sq.in. zijn toegelaten". Hetzelfde rapport geeft aan dat 393 mph op 3,000 voet bij een druk van +21 lb, wat extrapoleert naar een snelheid van 377 mph op zeeniveau. In juni gaf Rolls Royce nog op: 366 mph op zeeniveau. Berekende gemiddelden gaven een snelheid aan van 370 mph op zeeniveau. Ter vergelijk: de eerste productie Spitfire 21 met een Griffon 61 op +21 lbs. boost haalde 368 mph at SL. Absolute max snelheid op grote hoogte zou slechts een paar mijl hoger zijn met een toename van de druk van +18 naar +21 lb. boost. No 610 Operations Record Book laat zien dat per 18 juli 1944, hun Spitfire XIVs werden gemodificeerd om een druk van +21 boost te kunnen leveren.
Alle Me 109 gegevens in de volgende staat zijn van Duitse herkomst. De lijn van de Me 109 G-5 met de DB 605 AS motor en op 1.3 ata is de enige Me 109 lijn die afkomstig is uit werkelijke testvluchten. Wat opvalt is dat het effect van de hydraulisch gekoppelde supercharger duidelijk zichtbaar is (meer Me 109 G lijnen uit testvluchten zijn hier te vinden: Me 109 G Flight Testing). Jammer genoeg is dit vaak niet te zien in de te verwachte prestatielijnen. De Me 109 G-5 en 6 lijnen bij start en noodvermogen (take-off and Emergency) hieronder zijn benaderingen, en de lijnen voor de Me 109 G6/R-2 zijn weer gecompenseerd voor de hydraulische supercharger maar minder precies dan de uitslag van de testvlucht met de Me 109 G-5. De Me 109 G-14/U4 lijn is een verwachting van het Messerschmitt Projecktburo ervan uitgaande dat de DB 605 ASM motor gebruikmaakte van MW-50, bewapening en een gewicht van 7,817 lbs. De GL/C-E2 Aircraft Development Sheet van een kale Me 109 G-14 met ASM motor haalde een snelheid van 348 mph op zeeniveau en 422 mph op maximum vermogens hoogte. Messerschmitt's Flugbericht Nr. M 35/25 van 4 juli 1944 berichtte dat de MW-50 installatie op de DB 605 AM motor het toeliet om kortstondig een toename tot 1,75 ata/2800 rpm, wat een verhoging opleverde van de snelheid op zeeniveau van 315 mph tot 352 mph. Dit komt overeen met de Me 109 G6/R-2 lijn hieronder, die gelijk is aan de Me 109 G-14 met een AM motor.
Conditions in Germany during the last year of the war, however, were not conducive to aircraft achieving maximum theoretical performance levels. Hans Knickrehm of I/JG 3 recalled the condition of new Me 109 G-14/AS’s received by his group in October, 1944:
It didn’t help matters that ground crews, who might have ameliorated these problems to some degree, were being transferred to the infantry in significant numbers. The primitive conditions existing at Luftwaffe airfields was an additional complication. Bombing and strafing attacks further taxed the ground crew's ability to maintain the aircraft anywhere near the degree necessary to even approach theoretical performance levels.
Unfortunately there is little known documentation for climb performance of the Me 109 G using 1.42 ata. The following charts reflect performance of the Spitfire XIV and Me 109 K from the introduction of the K in mid October 1944 through to VE day. The Spitfire XIV's performance was rather stable, new development going toward the Spitfire Mk 21, whereas efforts were taken to increase the output of the DB 605 D series in order to make the Me 109 K-4 more competitive. Unfortunately, flight trials of Me 109 Ks appear not to exist. The following Me 109 K curves were produced by Messerschmitt's Project Bureau at Oberammergau. While the curves are rather simplistic estimates (the effect of the hydraulic coupled supercharger being absent for example), they should give some idea of potential, however, they should be treated with reserve.
Oberkommando der Luftwaffe, Generalquartiermeister, Chefing.d.Lw on 18 October 1944 summarized the performance of the principle Me 109 varients as follows:
The GL/C-E2 Aircraft Development Sheet from 1.11.44 lists performance as 360 mph at SL and 441 mph at 24,606 ft. with production 9-12159 propeller. The November 1944 edition of the Bf 109 K-4 Flugzeug-Handbuch states:
This translates as: The MW installation serves to increase the emergency power of the engine. With 1,75 ata boost pressure, additional injection of MW increases emergency power (special emergency power) and can occasionally be used to increase level speed and rate of climb. The MW additive serves for the interior cooling of the engine and for the avoidance of overheating during flight with special emergency power. The use of the special emergency power without MW injection is forbidden! The engine is endangered without MW injection. The use of the special emergency power is done via pushing the throttle lever forward to 1,75 ata boost pressure (number of revolutions 2850 U/min).
The Projektbüro estimate from 19.1.45 assumes 9-12159 propeller, and a weight of 7,496 lbs. Documentation listed below demonstrates that newly delivered Me 109 K-4's were equipped with a DB 605 DB engine operating with 1.80 ata/2800 rpm engine limitations beginning approximately mid January 1945. Various engine and propeller configurations were experimented with. The 9-12159 propeller was the standard production propeller but various German curves are extant showing estimated performance of the Me 109 K-4 with 9-12199.10 and 9-17018.10 thin blade (Dünnblatt) props and Projektschraube with 4 light-metal blades. The 452 mph figure often cited as the top speed of the Me 109 K-4 derives from an estimate assumming an experimental 9-12199 Dünnblatt propeller. The DB 605 DC engine running at 1.8 ata boost without MW-50 was tried but did not find favour. (Die E-stelle hat Bedenken gegen den Betrieb mit 1,8 ata Aufladung ohne MW mit C 3 Kraftstoff.) The DB 605 DC engine running at 1.98 ata boost with MW was tested but seems not to have made it into service (Nach Mitteilung der E'Stelle sind 1,98 ata gesperrt.)
Aspera G.m.b.H., Kamenz on orders from OKL Chef TLR F1. E. 3 V reports in Geschwindigkeitmessungen mit 4 VDM Luftschrauben auf Me 109 K4 mit DB 605 D dated 4 January 1945 that full measurments could not be reported due to engine damage at 1.98 ata. Trotz mehrerer Stunden schonenden Einfliegens des Motors mit Dauerleistung vor den Messreihen mit Kampfleistung stellte sich bei den ersten Prüfläufen nach der Umstellung auf p = 1,98 ata ein Motorschaden heraus, der einen Motorwechsel notwendig machte.
Interner Aktenvermerk Nr. 6642 from Daimler-Benz (internal memo) dated 17.1.45 reports on a meeting held 10 January 1945 at OKL, Berlin. All 4 DB 605 DC engines supplied to Rechlin from DB-Genshagen failed (pistons, piston rods, supercharger), therefore special emergency power DC (1.98 ata boost pressure) for the troop is not released (die Sondernotleistung DC (1,98 ata Ladedruck) für die Truppe nicht freigegeben).
Niederschrift Nr 6717 from Damiler-Benz, dated 19.1.45, states that DB 605 D engines from Kassel are delivered at 1.80 ata boost with B4 and Mw 50. Die Motoren DB 605 D werden in Kassel allgemein mit Ladedruck 1,80 ata mit B4 und Mw 50 abgenommen.
Niederschrift Nr 6730 of Daimler Benz dated 24 January 1945 details discussion at a conference held 20 January 1945 in the office of the Chief engineer of the Luftwaffe in Berlin: It states that testing of 1.98 boost pressure may be done provisionally at Group 2/11, only engines with 1.8 boost may be supplied and strict punishment is threatened if this instruction is neglected. Also of note is mention of problems due to poor quality fuel as well as a devastating comparison of the Me 109 and the Mustang.
Niederschrift Nr 6731 of Daimler Benz also dated 24 January 1945 discusses a meeting held at Rechlin on 16.1.45. Some of the same material is discussed as in Nr 6730, the conclusions being that 1,98 ata is not to be used on the front line. Testing at Rechlin will continue.
Messerschmitt's Erprobungsbericht Nr. 15 vom 16.1.45 bis 15.2.45 dated 22.2.45 states that 1.98 ata is blocked, testing done at 1.80 ata: WM 50 Betreib - Nach Mitteilung der E'Stelle sind 1,98 ata gesperrt. Die Erprobung (Funktion und Kerzentemperatur) wird vorläufig mit 1,80 ata (2800 U/min) durchgeführt.
Reparatur-Anweisung 2. Nachtrag Nr. 191/345 from des Reichministers für Rüstung und Kriegproduktion dated 14 March 1945 gives instructions for the adjustment of engine settings. Sämtliche Änderungen sind durch die Forderung bedingt, für die leistungsgesteigerten Motoren auch B4 Kraftstoff minderer Qualität ohne Gefahr verwenden zu können. Da kraftstoff C3 in unverminderter Qualität zur Verfügung steht, werden Motoren 605 ASC und 605 DC, falls sie in dieser Ausführung aufgebaut werden, unverändert wie bisher abgegeben; da jedoch, sowohl von Neubaufertigung als auch Reparatur, die Abgabe gewöhnlich in Ausführung 605 ASB und 605 DB erfolgt, werden nahezu alle 605 Motoren von diesen Änderungen erfasst. The following table from this report shows that special emergency power remained at 1.8 ata, further power levels being reduced by about .05 ata.
No evidence has come to light proving operational use of 1.98 ata by combat units, however, its clear from surviving documentation that the Luftwaffe felt a pressing need to increase the performance of the 109 and that 1.98 ata was tested and proposed for use. Prien & Stemmer have written about the desperate situation confronting the Luftwaffe in 1945:
II./JG 11, the Me 109 unit that had earlier experimented with 1.98 ata, also disbanded during the first few days of April:
Jochen Prien wrote of directives effecting Luftwaffe operations on the western front in 1945:
The Reichsmarschall issued an order 25 January 1945 "in connection with the ongoing widespread weakening of the fighter arm within the Reich":Military situation and development in the east demand the calling away and transfer of previously subordinate fighter and close-support units. Stepped-up offensive action must also be expected in the west. We therefore have to meet our Anglo-American opponents in the air with fewer units than before, and consequently we must focus our efforts on providing the army with the air support it needs to continue its difficult defensive struggle to protect the homeland. I know that every brave and right-thinking airman of the Geschwader and Gruppen under my command feels exactly the same way and will do everything in his power to inflict damage on the enemy at every opportunity through ruthless aggressiveness. The hour is more than serious, you can only use complete men who are determined to give their utmost. Everything is at stake. Hail to victory and to the Führer! 4
John Weal wrote of JG 27, the principal Me 109 unit in the Spitfire XIV's main area of operations, during 1945:
Prien wrote of the pressure put on JG 27 after Bodenplatte by the oppressive, pervasive Allied fighters and scarce fuel supplies:
As of 12 April 1945 the Spitfire XIV pilots along with the balance of the 2nd TAF force of Tempest, Typhoon and other Spitfire squadrons were facing within their area of operations a mere 41 serviceable Me 109's of JG 27 and 60 serviceable FW 190's of JG 26. 9
Kurt Setzinger of II/JG 53, (JG 53 being the Me 109 Jagdgeschwader allocated to the defense of south-west Germany), recalled the fate of his unit after suffering a devastating bombing attack in mid April:
We were to take charge of training machines - old G-6s - as replacements for the aircraft lost at Ristissen. 10
Prien noted "on 23 April the unit had four Bf 109 G-6s, on 24 April this figure had already risen to 32 Bf 109 G-6s, of which none where servicable, however". 11
The following passages from the work of Werner Girbig provide insight, from a German point of view, into the plight of the Luftwaffe in the west during the last 6 months of the war:
The following passages from Ring and Girbig touch on JG 27's activities during 1945:
No evidence has yet been found that +25 lbs boost was employed in service by Spitfire XIV squadrons prior to VE day. Even at +25 lbs. the Spitfire XIV still fell short of the sea level performance of the Tempest V and highly boosted Mustangs. There is clear documentation that 2nd TAF Spitfire XIVs had their Griffon engines set to +21 lbs boost. Its also clear that the Griffon engine was eventually approved for +25 lbs maximum combat boost. Although the Spitfire XIV's strength was in the medium and high altitude role, the paucity of Luftwaffe opposition led to the Squadrons engaging in ground attack, where flak was a much larger threat than Me 109s.
Ian Ponsford who was credited with 7 enemy aircraft destroyed, 1 probable and three damaged whilst flying Spitfire XIV's with 130 Squadron recalled:
Spitfire XIV of 402 (RCAF) Squadron with 126 Wing, 2nd TAF, Heesch, the Netherlands, March 4, 1945
F/Lt L. J. Packwood of 2 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 January, 1945:
I was flying as No.2 to F/Lt. YOUNG on a Tac/R of Amersfoort area. East of Amersfoort we sighted 2 Ju. 88's escorted by 30+ mixed Me. 109's and F.W. 190's flying west. We turned up sun of the formation and attacked the last section. I attacked a Me 109 from dead astern and above, the enemy a/c took no evasive action. I gave it a 5 sec. burst with cannon and machine guns, closing from 400 - 150 yds. I observed strikes on the cockpit and fuselage, the enemy a/c disintegrated, the starboard wing broke off and flicked over on its back and hit the ground in flames at E.3596. This was also observed by F/Lt. YOUNG. I pulled vertically upwards and broke off the engagement.
F/Lt J. R. MacElwain of 2 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 10 February 1945:
I was flying as No. 1 with F/O JEFFERIES on Tac/R in ARNHEM and had pulled up to 8,000-ft. when I saw 2 unidentified a/c at 200-ft. flying S.W. along the Canal towards LOCHEM.
F/Lt C. J. Samouelle of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 April, 1945:
I was blue 3 and at 1930 hours we were at 5000 ft going North East near WITTSTOCK. I heard Red 3 (F/Lt Walmsley) report two aircraft at 12 o'clock. I saw these two aircraft at about 6000 ft going in the same direction as ourselves. They were ME 109's and they began to climb immediately. I opened up and gained height rapidly. I caught one of the e/a at 8000 ft and closed in and opened fire at 300 yds from astern and I saw strikes all round the cockpit and on the back of the e/a. There was a big red flash white smoke came out and I found myself flying through debris. I had to pull up sharply to avoid hitting the e/a. When I was able to look again the e/a was in a flat spin and at 4000 ft the pilot bailed out. I saw the aircraft go down and crash in a wood. I claim this e/a destroyed. 16
W/Cmdr George Keefer D.S.O. D.F.C. flying with 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 April, 1945:
I was flying with 130 Sqn and was leading Red Section. Our mission was an Armed Recce. About 1930 hrs we were in the WITTSTOCK area at 5000' going N.E. when we spotted two M.E. 109s slightly above us at 12 oclock to us and going the same way. We opened up and caught up with the e/a. I picked one and opened fire at dead astern. I saw strikes on the fuselage. I gave him another burst at closer range whereupon the e/a caught fire, crashed into a field and exploded.
F/Lt J. Lavigne of 350 (Belgian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 February, 1945:
I was Red 1 and I was leading nine aircraft of 350 Squadron on an armed recce. We had chased several Me 262's which were all heading N/E towards the aerodromes at Rheine and Hopsten, so I decided to re-form the squadron and orbit these aerodromes. I re-formed the squadron at 8,500 feet and at 1730 hours we had reached Hopsten. I saw two Me 262's going in to land E/W. I was preparing to attack them when I saw three aircraft below me at between nought and 500 feet. I went down and had picked out No. 2 in the gaggle. The pilot of the e/a saw me and broke left. I followed him in his turn and allowing about one and a half rings deflection I opened fire with all armament from 200 yards closing to 100 yards, finishing up dead astern of the e/a. I saw a big explosion in the right wing root and the e/a which was then at 500 feet flicked over on its back and slowed up. It was smoking badly and dived in in the circuit south of the aerodrome. I claim this aircraft as destroyed. During the dogfight I saw about 20 e/a. 18
F/O A. Van Wersch of 350 (Belgian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 February, 1945:
I was Blue 1 and I was flying with eight other aircraft of the Squadron on an armed recce to the Rheine area. With others of the Squadron I had chased several ME 262's but with no luck. They were all heading N/E and the squadron reformed to recce the aerodromes at Rheine and Hopsten. Just south of Rheine I saw two Me 109's right on the deck and as I pulled up one passed underneath me going in the same direction as myself. I dived on to him from behind and opened fire at 400 yards allowing slight deflection. Closing to 250 I fired with all armament and saw many strikes on the left main plane. The e/a climbed to cloud which was at 5,000 feet and I followed. The e/a came down again pouring black smoke. I followed and opened fire again from 400 yards astern. I gave him a long burst and the e/a turned over and went right into the ground south of the town of Rheine, between Rheine and the aerodrome. I claim this e/a as destroyed. The e/a was camouflaged light blue grey. 19
P/O Louis Lambrechts of 350 (Belgian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 February, 1945:
I was flying as Red 3 with eight other aircraft of the Squadron on an Armed Recce to the RHEINE area. The Squadron had reformed above cloud after several of the pilot's had chased ME 262's without result. At about 1730 we were near to the RHEINE Aerodrome when I saw an ME 109 at 600 to 700 ft. There was a dog fight going on and as I went after the e/a the pilot pulled up and went above cloud which was between seven and eight tenths at 5,000 ft, with clear patches. I went after him and at about eight or nine thousand feet attacked. I came up behind him and I had closed to between 75 and 100 yards. I was dead astern and opened fire with all my guns. There were strikes all over the cockpit and engine. The aircraft went on its back and dived vertically down out of control smoking badly.
P/O Louis Lambrechts of 350 (Belgian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 March, 1945:
I was Blue 3 of 350 Squadron and we were being led by W/Cdr Keefer on a fighter sweep to Rheine. Huns were reported by control when we were near Enschede, and the Wing turned towards Rheine. The W/Cdr who was with 130 Squadron led 130 down and 350 were told to stay above. As 130 went down a dog fight started below at about 12,000 feet so I went down with F/Sgt Pauwels who was Blue 4. I picked out a Me 109 which was turning very steeply. After about two or three turns I got in behind the e/a and the e/a then dived to the deck. I followed and the e/a then pulled up again in a steep turning climb. I followed him and when at about 2,000 feet I managed to get in to about 150 yards behind the e/a. I opened fire with all guns at a 10 degree angle off. I saw strikes all over the engine and the cockpit and the e/a immediately dived away out of control. I followed and the e/a crashed to the ground.
F/Lt Hoornaert of 350 (Belgian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 March, 1945:
My Squadron was operating with 130 Squadron on a fighter sweep to the Enschede-Rheine area, and the W/Cdr was flying with 130 Squadron. 350 had seven aircraft airbourne and I was Blue 1. Just N/E of Rheine 130 went down on about fifteen e/a which were flying at about 11,000 to 12,000 feet and these Huns were flying S/W. I joined in the dogfight and there were aircraft turning everywhere. I started to turn in the middle of them. I found that there was a Me 109 trying to get on my tail and there began a game of hide and seek in and out of the clouds. Finally I stayed underneath the clouds and I saw the e/a quite a long way away so I opened up to full throttle and went after him. I caught him up and closed in behind to between 50 and 100 yards and I gave him everything I had. There was a big explosion and my wind screen became covered with oil and muck from the explosion. The e/a pulled up and I went underneath him. The e/a after pulling up dived down out of control and I saw it crash into a wood.
F/Sgt Jacques Groensteen of 350 (Belgian) Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 March, 1945:
I was flying Blue 2 to F.Lt Hoornhaert, and the squadron was operating with 130 Squadron led by W/Cdr Keefer on a fighter sweep. We were N/E of Rheine and we were giving cover to 130 who had gone down to attack. When at about 10,000 feet I saw a gaggle of e/a at about seven or eight thousand feet. I followed my No. 1 down and I picked out a Me 109 which was flying at an angle of about 90 degrees to me. I turned and got on to his tail and the e/a began to turn. I kept on to his tail and I opened fire from 400 yards closing to about 100 yards. I was dead astern and I fired with cannon and machine guns. I had closed to what I estimate about 50 yards when the pilot of the e/a jettisoned his hood, turned the aircraft on its back and baled out.
Spitfire XIV of 350 (Belgian) Squadron, Lympne, September 1944
F/O G. Lord of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 March 1945:
I was Blue 1 and was with the Squadron on a sweep to the Rheine-Osnabruck area. When Huns were reported at about 0930 I dropped my tank and went down and saw a number of e/a circling the aerdrome at Rheine at about 1,000 ft. I went in behind one ME 109 and closed very fast. The e/a took no evasive action and I opened fire with all guns from dead astern from about 200 yards closing to 50 yards. I saw strikes behind the cockpit. I overshot this e/a and I saw him crash land on the aerodrome. I claim this e/a damaged.
F/Sgt G. Hudson of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 March, 1945:
I was flying Red 3 with my Squadron sweeping to Rheine-Osnabruck-Munster. We were at 12,000 ft when Red 2 (W/O Edwards) reported e/a orbitting the aerodrome at Rheine. I saw the e/a about 10,000 ft below and went down with my No 2 (W/O Miller.) We were the first in and we went for six 109's which were orbitting the aerodrome. I picked out one e/a and attacked from almost dead astern; opening fire from about 200 yards. I saw strikes on the jet tank and on the underside of the fuselage. There was a terrific burst of flame and the e/a went straight into the aerodrome and crashed. I claim this e/a destroyed.
W/Cdr George Keefer of 125 Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 19 March, 1945:
I was leading 130 (Punjab) Squadron on a sweep in the Rheine-Osnabruck area and at about 0930 when we were at 12,000 ft between the aerodromes at Rheine and Hopsten e/a were reported below. I led the Squadron down and a dog fight began at deck level near Rheine aerodrome from which there was intense light flak. I found two ME 109's going round in a turn. Eventually one straightened out and flew due east. I gave him a quick squirt from dead astern and saw strikes on the starboard wing. Closing in further I fired again and this time there were strikes on the top of the cockpit and I saw that the hood was dragging. The e/a slowed, pulled up and he stalled in from about 20 feet. I saw the e/a crash into a field. I claim this enemy aircraft destroyed.
F/O Harry Walmsley of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 December, 1944:
On 8th December I was Yellow 3, and my squadron had been detailed on armed recce to cover Dulmen, Hamm, Munster. There were 9 aircraft airbourne at 1409 and W/Cdr. Keefer was leading. About 1505 we approached Burgstein. Red and Blue sections went to one side of the town and my section went to the other. We saw a locomotive with about ten trucks. We had made one attack on the loco. and two on the trucks and were preparing to make another when about a dozen aircraft appeared from the east and they dived straight past us as if they wre joining in the attack on the train. These aircraft had cigar-shaped drop tanks slung under the centre of the fuselage and I thought at first they were American aircraft. I then saw the crosses on the wings and I could see that they were Me 109's and FW 190's. A dog fight started with everyone milling round. After about five minutes I found myself alone. I saw another train pulled up in a station so I went down and had a squirt at it and saw strikes on the locomotive. When I pulled up I saw a Spitfire in trouble. It was smoking and the undercarriage partly down. I joined up with it to protect it. There were five Spitfires there. I do not know what happened to the damaged Spitfire for suddenly six e/a probably some of the ones I had first seen came diving down out of cloud. They had obviously climbed and reformed after the initial attack. This second attack made from 10/10th. cloud at 1,500 feet was obviously directed against the damaged Spitfire. Some of the others in the Squadron chased them off. I went for two which were making an attack. I made a quater attack on one of them, an Me 109, closing to 300 yards and giving a two second burst with all guns. I saw strikes behind the cockpit the e/a dived straight into the ground. I found I was being fired at by two e/a so I used full evasive tactics for about five minutes and finally got away into cloud. I landed at Heesh as I was short of petrol and made my claim to the Intelligence Officer there. I then returned to base. I claim this Me 109 destroyed.
Spitfire XIVs of 130 Squadron with 125 Wing, 2nd TAF, Deurne, Belgium, October 1944
F/Sgt. G. W. Hudson of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 December 1944:
On 9th December (actually the 8th) I took off with the squadron (nine aircraft) on G.C.17 (armed recce. to Dulmen, Munster and Hamm). I was yellow 2. Near Burgstein we found a train and my section which was led by F/L. Hume and which comprised F/L. Walmsley and myself went down to attack. I was last to attack and as I flew through the smoke my windscreen became badly covered. I flew around for awhile and then I saw some aircraft coming from the S.E. at about 500 feet and they were diving on the train. I could not see very well and at first I thought they were Mustangs. They looked as if they were camouflaged silver-gray. Someone then called up and said they were Huns. I looked round and found that one of them was on my tail firing at me. I did a steep climbing turn to the right and evaded them by getting into cloud. I flew above cloud for a minute or two and then came down again but could see nothing of the e/a. I then heard some one call again saying "There are Huns up here". I went up but saw nothing. By this time my windscreen had cleared so I came down again and then saw a dog fight going on about two miles away behind me on my port side. I saw two Me 109's going away on the deck. I could now see they were 109's. They had black spinners and there appeared to be a black ring behind the propeller. I went after them and I attacked what appeared to be the No. 1 of the section. I came in from the starboard side and fired from about 300 yds., but my first burst was behind. My angle of deflection had been about 35°. I pulled the stick back hard and my next burst of about 1 1/2 seconds from 200 to 250 yards. at an angle off of 25-30° hit him. I saw strikes all over the wings and the fuselage. The e/a broke left and the other broke right. The one I had attacked was wobbling very badly. I nearly overshot as he broke and I got above him. I could see the machine wobbling, the pilot had the hood open, there was smoke coming from the starboard side and I could see the holes in the wings where I had hit him. I broke away to the left as the No.2 was now attacking and I climbed away into cloud.
F/O K. M. Lowe (AUS) of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 December 1944:
On 8th December, 130 Squadron led by W/Cdr. Keefer were engaged on an Armed Recce coevering Dulmen, Hamm, and Munster (G.C.17). At 1505 when just N.E. of Burgstein yellow section was attacking a train. F/O Lowe says " I was Blue 1, and my section, with Red section, were patrolling at deck level as Yellow section attacked the train. Yellow section reported Huns, so I turned my section to starboard and flew towards the train. I saw five e/a. at 2,000 ft. in line astern turning to port and I climbed up and picked the last one and came in at a rate two turn. I opened fire with all armament from 250 yards, using 1½ rings deflection. I saw no result from my 3 secs. burst. I closed in to about 150 yards, the e/a. which was a 190 taking no evasive action. Allowing 10 - 15° deflection I again opened fire with all armament. I saw strikes on the engine and this caught fire. I pulled out to the side of the e/a. It hovered in the air and then dived straight into the ground. I saw what appeared to be the pilot get out, but no parachute opened. The e/a. was camouflaged dark green and appeared almost black. I claim this FW 190 destroyed. I lost sight of the other e/a. in cloud.
P/O F. C. Riley (AUS) of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 8 December 1944:
I was Red 2 to W/Cdr. Keefer. I was with the squadron which was on an Armed Recce in the Dulmen, Hamm, Munster area. Between 1505 and 1510 we were near Burgstein when e/a appeared. I covered my No. 1's tail as he went up through cloud firing at one of the e/a. The cloud was thick so I came down below it again and while doing an orbit at about 1,000 ft. below cloud about six Me 109's came from the east in a gaggle. They obviously saw the Spitfires and they at once started to make for the cloud. I followed one 109 into cloud, got within about 300 yds climbing and in a slight turn to port. I fired with all guns at a slight angle and saw strikes on the cockpit. Smoke began to pour from the engine. The e/a dived very steeply through the cloud and I was unable to follow as I was occupied pulling out myself. I lost sight of the e/a. I do not think this e/a could have got home as he could not have pulled out of his dive. F/Lt. Walmsley confirms that he saw a 109 dive into the ground from cloud and crash south of Burgstein at approximately the time and place of my combat. I claim this 109 destroyed.
F/L J. B. Lawrence of 402 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6th October, 1944:
We were scrambled after Huns coming in from Venlo - Wesel area. I was flying Red 1 and led the squadron south. On following the vectors from Kenway we came up underneath the Huns as they were approaching Nijmegen. We climbed under a loose gaggle of 15 plus 109's when I sighted one 109 alone crossing in front of me. I turned into line astern and closed quickly. I fired one very short burst and the 109 went into a diving turn to starboard. I turned inside him and at about 20° off 200 yds. range I fired another burst of about 2 secs. Strikes were observed on cockpit and engine. Pieces flew off, and white and black smoke poured out. The enemy a/c turned into a steep spiral to port. He dived into the ground two or three miles S. of Nijmegen. I saw no parachute. I claim one Me 109 destroyed. All observed by Red. 2.
F/O W. H. Whittaker of 402 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6th October 1944:
When at approx 17,000 ft. a Me 109 passed above and in front of my No. 1 who turned towards the e/a while in a steep climbing turn. Red 1 however was not able to get a shot at the e/a which then passed directly in front of me turning and climbing steeply. I fired a two secs. burst from about 200 yds. at 40° - 50° angle off. The a/c seemed to shudder and stall and went down in an almost vertical spin. The e/a then disappeared under my nose as I climbed to regain Red 1.
F/O A. G. Ratcliffe of 402 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 5 April, 1945:
I was flying Red 6 on patrol over LINGEN/RHEINE area when twelve plus E/A ME 109's and FW 190's were sighted flying westerly course at about 2,000 ft. We broke starboard into them. Red 5 went for the last one in a section of three and I closed in on the leader as they circled anti clock wise. I opened fire at about 400 yds about 20° starboard and held fire until 50 yds. I saw tracers going into cockpit and watched him go down. The plane on hitting the deck burst into flames. It was a Me 109, did not see the pilot get out. Fixed sight, C G G used. I claim one ME 109 DESTROYED. 33
F/L E. R. Burrows of 402 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 21 April, 1945:
I was leading McDuff section on a patrol in the HITZACKER area when McDuff No. 2 reported a/c at 8 o'clock, we turned into them. My No. 3 shot off his ammo at one and I gave cover. I went into the same a/c, his evasive action was turning steeply. I kept on his tail and to avoid a spin he straightened out. I opened fire from 50 yards line astern. Part of his wing disintegrated and his a/c caught on fire. He jettisoned his coupe-top and baled out. His parachute never opened. His a/c was seen to crash by myself, No. 2 & No. 3. Fixed sight and cine used. I claim 1 ME 109 DESTROYED. 34
F/Lt I. R. Ponsford of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 April, 1945
I was leading Yellow Section and at 0825 we were over RECHLIN aerodrome when Yellow 4 (F/Lt Bruce) reported A/C taking off. I told him to go down and saw him attack an E/A without results. I then went down with my No.2 (W/O Coverdale) and I saw a 109G with its wheels down making a slight turn to Port. I closed to about 50 yards and started firing at 20 degrees off. I saw strikes all round the cockpit, engine and wings. The E/A began to pour white and black smoke and it rolled over slowly onto its back, crashed into some woods and exploded as it hit the ground. We were reforming when I saw a F.W. 190 about 3000' above us and I climbed with my No.2 When the Pilot of the E/A saw me it rolled over and spiralled down, pulling out at about 1000'. I had followed it and I closed with it and started firing from about 150 yards closing to 100 yards, at 30 degrees off. I saw strikes on the side of the fuselage by the cockpit. I broke away and the E/A went into a steep spiral dive for the aerodrome and I thought it was destroyed. It pulled out just above the ground and I saw the E/A getting light flak from its own defences. We circled the aerodrome waiting to see if it would crash, but it did not.
130 Squadron attacked Me 109s at Parchim Airfield on 18 April, 1945
W/Cdr George Keefer stated: I was leading 130 Squadron of 12 aircraft on an armed recce. At 19.30 hours whilst flying at 6,000 ft I saw 11 ME 109's parked at the end of the runway on PARCHIM Airfield. I dived to attack followed by my No.2. I levelled out at 50 ft and when 1,000 yds from the nearest E/A opened fire with all my ammunition. I saw strikes all over five of the E/A which caught fire and explosions took place. The E/A burned fiercely.
S/Ldr Shephard of 41 Squadron got lucky, encountering a by then rare ME 109 late in the war, recording in his Combat Report for 30 April, 1945:
I was flying as Kudos Red 3 on ELBE bridgehead patrol; Ground Control reported Huns approaching bridges. Just then our A.A. opened up and I saw an FW 190 bomber, slightly above and 12 o'clock, coming towards me. I pulled up and around on to his tail as he passed and gave him a short burst; he immediately caught fire and crashed in flames a few miles North of LAUENBURG. He jettisoned his cockpit hood, but no pilot appeared to get out.
610 Squadron's Intelligence Officer recorded on 7 March, 1944 what may be the Spitfire XIV's first aerial combat:
Black section, (P/O Hussey and F/Sgt. Harding) were patrolling on an east west line about 20 miles south east of Start Point 500 feet above sea level, under the control of Kingswear C.H.L. Station.
F/O Hegarty of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 January, 1945:
After witnessing the Squadron Commanders combats I was chased by a FW 190 and broke very sharply to port, so that I was able to see the 190 trying to follow my maneouvre which he failed to do and flicked out of his turn and went straight into the ground from 500 ft. I took Cine pictures of the wreckage. W/O P. H. Hale confirms the destruction of this e/a and saw it go up in flames at A 9130.
F/Sgt Clay of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 March, 1945:
I was flying Red 4 with 130 Squadron, which was engaged on a fighter sweep with 350 Squadron to Enchede, Rheine and Munster. W/Cdr Keefer, who was leading the formation went down on enemy aircraft which had been reported and which were sighted just north-east of Rheine. I spotted one 190 and came up on him from a long way off. The Hun pilot must have spotted me because he immediately dived away after rolling on his back. I was able to go down inside him and when I caught him up the Hun did a spiral turn. I came in line astern and from 300 yards opened fire with all guns. I saw strikes and either the cowling or the coup top came off. The e/a started to spin. I followed the e/a down and he continued to spin out of control. I followed to 5,000 feet and the e/a continued to spin down until I saw it hit the ground and blow up. I claim this FW 190 destroyed. 40
F/Lt. H. Walmsley of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 March, 1945:
I was flying as Spinner Blue 1. We had passed South of Munster heading east at 11,000 feet when I saw 8 plus aircraft flying South at 2,500 feet. I called up and went down after them, intercepting over Hamm, and, finding that they were long nosed FW 190's, engaged the one on the extreme left. He broke down and proceeded due East at zero feet. After chasing him for 10 miles, firing occasional short bursts, I hit him around the cockpit with several cannon shells and quite a bit of debris came away. The range was 200-250 yards; angle off 5°. He pulled up steeply to port and the pilot baled out at 1,500 feet, the aircraft crashing close to where the pilot landed and lay on the ground without releasing his parachute. Both the e/a and I had long range tanks, neither of which were dropped, and at no time did I have to go "through the gate" in order to stay on his tail. 41
F/Sgt Clay of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 March, 1945:
I was flying Spinner Blue 3 at 11,000 feet south of Munster, heading East, when F/Lt Walmsley led us down on 8 long-nosed FW 190's which were flying South at 2,500 feet. I had no time to jettison my tank, but the Hun I attacked dropped his as I was closing in from behind and slightly below. He started to weave gently when I was about 500 yards behind. I opened fire at 400 yards closing right in; he turned sharply to port and I followed, still firing. Then I had to slide over to port to avoid hitting him as he slowed up very suddenly. His hood flew off and his aircraft was wallowing badly, out of control. We were now down to 700 feet and suddenly he nosed straight in and blew up in a railway siding in or very near HAMM. I could not see my strikes owing to a sheet of oil which covered my windscreen as soon as I went through the gate. My ringsight was almost obscured and sighting was difficult.
F/Lt I. R. Ponsford of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 March, 1945:
I was flying as Spinner Blue 4, and when approximately 10 miles East of Hamm, Blue leader called that he was going down. I followed and saw 4 e/a in line abreast at 2,500 feet. The whole section chased the e/a for about 3 minutes. I selected one and when at 400 yards dead astern I opened fire but saw no strikes. The e/a commenced to weave and I closed to 250 yards firing another 2 - 3 second burst at about 10° deflection at which the e/a started to smoke. I noticed tracer passing over my port wing so I broke and, as I did so, the e/a started to burn. Almost immediately afterwards I saw a large explosion and fire on the ground. Whilst doing tight turns following this combat at 2,500 feet I saw 4 e/a orbiting at 1,000 feet. I selected one and dived. The e/a saw me and tightened his turn but I got in one burst at 80 yards with full deflection and saw a cannon strike on the left wing. I had no more ammunition and broke away. I claim one FW 190 destroyed and one FW 190 damaged. 43
S/Ldr F. Woolley of 350 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 March, 1945:
I was leading Black Section of 4 aircraft on a bomber escort. The Wing was flying as four independant sections of four aircraft. The bombers were flying over 8/10 ths cloud at about 16,000 ft when I saw a gaggle of a/c through a gap at 6 o'clock travelling in the opposite direction, in the HAMM area. I rolled over and dived after them. On breaking through the cloud I saw a gaggle of about 20 a/c 1 mile ahead. They were travelling very fast and it took me about two minutes at full throttle to catch them up. I was not certain of their identity, so I attempted to pull up alongside the outside aircraft on the starboard side. The a/c turned into me and I recognised it as a FW 190. I got on to its tail and the e/a climbed up into a layer of wispy cloud. I opened fire from dead astern at 100 yds. I saw many strikes on the wing roots and fuselage. The aircraft then burst into flames from the port wing root and base of cockpit. I had to break sharply away to avoid flying through the debris.
F/Lt H. Walmsley D.F.C. of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 28 March, 1945:
I was Red 1 and was leading eight aircraft of the Squadron on an armed recce to the DUMMER LAKE - GUTERSLOH area. At approximately 16.45 we were at 3,000 ft and were flying north when I spotted about 12 aircraft approaching head on. They flew through Yellow Section so I called up and asked the Section what they were. The reply came "Huns". We broke into them and I could see that they were FW 190's of the long nosed variety. The Huns climbed into cloud, the base of which was about 4,000 ft. We went after them and a dog fight followed with us chasing the Huns in and out of the cloud. Finally I got on the tail of one and from line astern opened fire. I saw strikes all round the cockpit and the engine and the e/a went over on its starboard wing and down to the ground. I saw it crash in a field just East of a little village and it caught fire.
F/Lt P. E. Sibeth of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 28 March, 1945:
I was flying Red 2 on an armed recce with the Squadron to the DUMMER LAKE - GUTERLOH area when at 3,000 ft we saw enemy aircraft approaching from the north at the same height a ourselves. We broke into the aircraft which were FW 190's. I fired at three of them but saw no strikes. I was coming down when I saw another one and this one was trying to get a beam shot at me. I turned and got on his tail and he went up through cloud. He came down again and was just to the port of me. I slipped in behind him and from almost dead astern opened fire from about 250 yds. We were then at about 900 ft. I gave him a long burst and saw strikes where the port wing joins the fuselage. The e/a immediately flicked over on his back and crashed straight into a small wood where it caught fire. I saw the aircraft burning in the wood. I claim this enemy aircraft destroyed. 46
F/Sgt P. H. T. Clay of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 28 March, 1945:
I was Red 3 and the Squadron was doing an armed recce in the DUMMER LAKE - GUTERSLOH area. Yellow 1 and 2 had left the formation leaving six of our aircraft. At about 1645 I saw aircraft approaching us as we were flying north. They were about 3,000 ft and they approached us to port. Red 1 called up and said "Watch these" and we broke round after the aircraft which were FW 190's of the long nosed variety. I chose one and he started to turn going down and I went through cloud after him right down to about 200 feet. I got in behind him and opened fire and I saw strikes to the engine. I closed right into him firing all the time. I broke away to one side and then I saw the pilot jettison his hood. He climbed to 500 ft and then he rolled over on his back and he baled out, but the parachute did not open. The A/C went straight into the ground and I took a photograph of it was it was burning.
Sgt G. D. Warren of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 28 March, 1945:
The Squadron of eight aircraft was on an armed recce to the DUMMER LAKE - GUTERSLOH area and I was flying Red 4. We were near WARENDORF flying north at 3,000 ft when the Huns appeared coming from the opposite direction at the same level. We turned into them and we all picked one for each. My Hun climbed at first and then did a half turn down. I went after him and opened fire from line astern at 800 yds closing to 200 yds. I saw strikes round the fuselage and on the wings and smoke began to come out. Down he went and I followed him. When near the ground the port wing of the e/a hit the ground and the aircraft turned over and crashed and blew up.
W/O J. A. Boulton of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 28 March, 1945:
I was flying Yellow 3 with F/Sgt Woodman as Yellow 4, and the formation of eight aircraft was on an armed recce to the DUMMER LAKE - GUTERSLOH area. We were at 3,000 ft flying North when I saw about 15 aircraft at the same height coming towards us. I do not think they saw us and they passed us on our port side about 1,000 yards away. I identified them as FW 190's and my No 2 (F/Sgt Woodman) and I turned into them. We were then the first to attack. The Huns climbed for cloud, we climbed and passed through the Huns and they then came round back into us. I completed the circle and got on to one. I opened fire from about 300 yards at a angle off 30° and following strikes parts of the aircraft began to fall off. Then it caught fire and it went down vertically out of control with black smoke pouring from it. I last saw it at 1,000 ft going down vertically with flames and smoke coming from it and it would have been impossible for the pilot to have pulled out, that is if the pilot was still alive. I claim this e/a destroyed.
F/Sgt B. W. Woodman of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 28 March, 1945:
I was Yellow 4 and we took off at 1547 with eight aircraft for an armed recce in the Dummer Lake - Gutersloh areas. Yellow 1 and 2 had left us as Yellow 1's engine was giving trouble so W/O Boulton and myself comprised Yellow Section. Just after 1645 we were flying North when aircraft, which I identified as long nosed 190's passed us on the port side travelling in the opposite direction. We broke round into them and I found there were three of them in front of me. I picked on the last one of the three and climbed after him. I opened fire from about 800 yds and I saw strikes on the wing. The e/a rolled away. I claim this e/a damaged.
Spitfire XIVs of 130 Squadron
F/O Robert Muls of 350 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 5 April, 1945:
On April the 5th I was leading Yellow Section of 350 Squadron which was on an armed recce in the QUAKENBRUCK area. At 10.55 hrs whilst Yellow 3 & 4 had detached themselves to strafe ground targets I went down at V.8885 followed by Yellow 2 F/Sgt. NEULINGER, from 3000' to attack a vehicle. After hitting it I climbed and levelled out at 1000' on a Westerly course. At that moment I saw a F/W.190(long nose) coming towards me at my port side. I called No.2 and turned port towards the E/A; he turned also port but after 180°, I had him in my sights and opened fire at 200 Yds. I observed strikes on fuselage. The E/A rolled on its back and I closed to 50 Yds astern firing all the time. To avoid collision I broke away and climbed. Then No.2 came in and fired; at this moment the enemy pilot bailed out.
S/L J. B. Shepherd, D.F.C. of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 April, 1945:
I was leading Kudos Squadron (seven aircraft) as Yellow 1, on a sweep around NEURUPPIN/WITTSTOCK area. At a position approx. halfway between ORIENBURG and NEURUPPIN 10 A/C were sighted, identified as FW 190's and attacked. In the ensuing dogfight five FW's were shot down by the Squadron. I fired at one from approximately 200 yards getting strikes on cockpit and engine. This A/C went down in flames.
F/O Doncq of 350 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 April, 1945:
I was No. 3 to P/O Watkins who was leading Yellow section of 350 Squadron engaged on a fighter sweep on the NAUEN - NEURUPPIN Area. We were on a course of 050°(M) at about 9,000 ft when Red 1 leader F/L Muls ordered Yellow section to go down on 2 E/A which had been sighted by Red 3. Yellow 2 F/Sgt Kicq went down and we were about to follow him when we noticed two more coming towards us on a reciprocal course and slightly below. Yellow leader and I went in to the attack - the leader taking the E/A on the port side and I selected the other one. The time was then about 19:40 hours. As soon as the E/A which I identified as a FW 190 saw me, it made a sharp turn to starboard and jettisoned its auxiliary tank. I turned to port and opening full throttle followed it as it started climbing very steeply. It then went on its back making a half roll during which time a had closed to within 200 yards. I fired twice a 2 second burst and E/A blew up.
P/O Watkins of 350 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 April, 1945:
The Squadron was flying in formation as two sections. Red section consisting of 4 A/C and led by F/L Muls, and Yellow section consisting of 3 A/C of which I was the leader, on a fighter sweep in the NAUEN - NEURUPPIN Area. At approx: 19.40 hours whilst on a north easterly course at 9,000 ft, Red 3 reported E/A below coming from the opposite direction. Yellow 2 immediately went down and I was on the point of doing so when I noticed 2 FW 190's coming towards me and my No. 3 slightly below us. I selected the one on the port side and made a sharp turn to port and gave a quick burst as E/A was overshooting me. I observed strikes on starboard mainplane. E/A then rolled on its back and in the process caught a long burst in its belly. E/A turned into a tight spiral and spun towards the ground when I saw it blow up.
F/Lt Howarth of 350 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 April, 1945:
I was flying Red 3 in a section of 8 A/C, consisting of two fours, on a sweep round the West of BERLIN. When in the NAUEN area I saw four F.W. 190's going in the opposite direction South below, but owing to R/T being in use was unable to report them for the moment. Eventually Yellow Section went down on them, and I was about to follow when I saw a F.W. 190 coming down on me from above. I pulled to one side skidding and he overshot me. I turned in amd gave him a two second burst at about 100 yards closing and climbing slightly and turning starboard. I saw strikes on the engine and cockpit. I broke away to avoid the debris. The pilot of the F.W. 190 left the cockpit but no parachute was seen to open. I was at about 8,000'. There being no more enemy A/C I climbed above cloud (about 12,000') and rejoined the rest of the Squadron. I claim this F.W. 190 destroyed.
F/Sgt Kicq of 350 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 April, 1945:
I was flying as Yellow 2 with 350 Sqn on a fighter sweep to NAUEN. We were on a Northerly course at the time when Red 1 reported E/A at 3 O'Clock. I turned to starboard and caught sight of two F.W. 190s some 3000' below me proceeding on a South Westerly course. I continued to turn and dived down on them. As soon as the E/A observed that I was chasing them, they dropped their jet tank and dived onto the deck. They were in line abreast at 30 yards interval some 300 yards from me. Every time I closed in the one on the Port side turned to Port followed 3 or 4 seconds afterwards by the other one. Whilst turning after them I fired many short bursts and observed strikes on the fuselage of the starboard E/A. I then climbed and waited until they were again below me and I resumed the chase once more. That happened four times. On the fourth occasion they split up and I dived from 4000' on one of them and fired line astern from 250 yards for a second. E/A again turned to Port but crashed into a tree.
F/Lt H. Walmsley D.F.C. of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 April, 1945:
On April 20th, I was leading Blue Section of my Squadron on an armed recce in the KREMMEN area. At 1510 hrs. when we were at 5,500 ft. I spotted 3 aircraft at 2 o'clock to us and slightly above. We turned in behind them and I saw that they were 190's (long nose). I got on to the tail of one which was climbing slightly. I fired a burst from 600 yards from line astern and saw strikes; whereupon the undercarriage came down. I closed to 300 yards and firing again, saw strikes all round the cockpit. Debris flew off narrowly missing my port wing. The enemy aircraft went into a vertical dive, pouring smoke and I saw him go down and crash into a lake. I claim this e/a destroyed. 57
F/Lt I. R. Ponsford of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 April, 1945:
I was Blue 3 in a section of 4 aircraft on an Armed Recce to the KREMMEN area, and at 1510, when at 5,500 feet I saw approximately 8 aircraft above approaching on our starboard side. They were FW 190's of the long-nosed variety. We broke round on them and two of the e/a broke upwards and started to turn together. I got in shots at one of them from 100 yards at about 20 degrees angle off and I saw strikes round the wing roots and cockpit. The e/a caught fire and the pilot baled out. I claim this e/a destroyed.
F/Lt C. J. Samouelle of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 April, 1945:
I was leading Yellow section of 130 Squadron and we were at 7,000 ft when Yellow 3 (F/Sgt Woodman) reported an A/C at 9 o'clock to us. We were flying East at the time. I immediately gave chase and we steadily overhauled the E/A which was diving towards the aerodrome at NEUSTADT. Just as we approached the A/D F/Sgt Woodman got within range and gave the E/A a short burst. It rolled over to starboard and crashed into a field. I also saw F/L Bruce (Yellow 5) attack a FW 190 on my starboard side. There was a great red flash from the E/A and the pilot baled out. This A/C crashed into a field S.E. of the aerodrome.
F/Lt Bruce of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 April, 1945:
My section was on an armed recce in the PLITZ WALK area and we were at 7,000 ft going East when Yellow 3 (F/Sgt Woodman) reported a F.W. 190 at 7,500 ft going N.E. As we approached the aerodrome I saw another F.W. 190 at a 1,000 ft with its wheels down about to make its approach and land. I pulled up to the right to lose speed and then came down behind the e/a opening fire at 300 yds, at 30 degrees off. I saw strikes on the fuselage near the cockpit. The e/a had retracted his undercarriage and turned to port. I closed to 50 yds and saw him jettison his hood. He turned tightly across me. I fired again as he crossed me and I saw more strikes on the starboard wing. The e/a slowly rolled on its back and went down vertically to about 500 ft at which height the pilot bailed out. The A/C went down and crashed about 2 miles from the A/D.
W/O R. E. Coverdale of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 April, 1945:
I was flying Red 6 and we were on an armed recce in the LUBECK - WISMAR area. At about 17.35 we were at 6,000 ft when I saw a F.W. 190 at 1,000 ft going West near HAGENOW. It was first attacked by Red 3 (F/O Trevarrow) and Red 5 W/O Miller without result. The e/a had gone down to about 50 ft when Red 5 broke away and the e/a broke right. I fired at once from about 150 yds full deflection and I saw strikes on the wing roots and cockpit. The e/a turned and went down in a gradual dive. I fired at him again as he went down and I saw him crash into a field. I clain this e/a destroyed.
F/Lt W. N. Stowe of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 April, 1945:
I was leading Blue Section at 1935 hrs we were 6000' West of RECHLIN Airfield when I saw 2 E/A crossing over the 'drome heading N.E. The Section started to attack these when I observed three or four F.W. 190's with wheels down about to land. I went for these and closed in on the last one firing from dead astern. I just had time to observe strikes and a big flash from the tail of the E/A. I was closing so fast I had to pull away. I did not see the E/A crash but Sgt Lewis who was orbitting the arifield saw the E/A which I had fired at, go in, crash, and catch fire.
P/O Edwards of 130 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 April, 1945:
I was Blue 3 flying on and Armed Recce and when in the PRITZWALK area I saw six A/C in the circuit of an airfield. They were FW 190s. We dived down in them and I chased several of them without any luck. Eventually I singled out one and chased him across the field at 0', firing at him at 15 degrees angle off. I followed him round on a left hand turn and I fired at him again. He steepened his turn and I pulled up and concentrated on another one and then the first one that I had attacked turned into me and started firing. I pulled my nose up and gave him a short burst from about 150 yards at 120 degrees. He started to smoke so I turned and followed him and came in on his tail. I was about to give him another burst when the Pilot of the E/A baled out. I saw the E/A crash into a field just off the aerodrome. I took a picture of the crash.
P/O E. Pauwels of 350 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 April, 1945:
On the 25th April I was Red 4 in a section of 4 A/C led by S/L Walmsley and engaged on an armed recce in the WISMAR - ROSTOCK area. At approximately 12.50 hrs. a gaggle of 20+ E/A was sighted some 15 miles west of MURITZ LAKE at 8,000 ft. We were flying at 7,000 ft at the time on a course of 140° (M); apart from the four rear ones flying as a four two abreast, remaining E/A did not seem to be flying any particular course nor in any sort of formation. I had jettisoned my auxiliary tank as soon as E/A were reported. I opened full throttle and followed Red Leader as he went in first to attack. I selected two E/A on the port side which I identified as FW 190's, flying in line astern and started chasing them as they dived down. I closed in very quickly behind them and fired one long burst 5 sec. at the rear one from dead astern within 250 - 200 yds. I observed strikes on cockpit and on wing roots and debris flew off E/A with black smoke pouring out. The E/A went on its side and pilot baled out - a fraction of a second aferwards E/A blew up in the air. I claim this FW 190 destroyed.
S/L H. Walmsley of 350 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 April, 1945:
I was leading Red Section of 350 Squadron of 4 A/C on an armed recce in the WISMAR - ROSTOCK Area on the 25th April. We were flying at 7,000 ft in a south westerly direction when at 12.50 hours 2 E/A were reported by Red 2 at 12 o'clock at 8,000 ft flying in the same direction. We closed in to attack and noticed that the 2 E/A were in fact the reargaurd of a gaggle of some 15 + Fw 190's in a disorganized formation. I approached the starboard rear one and fired at at 15° angle of attack from 250 - 200 yds as E/A began a gentle turn to port. I observed numerous strikes on the cockpit and mainplane and debris flew off E/A. The pilot subseuqently baled out and the aircraft went diving towards the ground.
W/Cdr. George Keefer of 125 Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 25 April, 1945:
I was leading Spinner Blue Section on an armed Recce when just East of an Airfield in the Pritzwalk area Blue 3 reported A/C in the circuit of the airfield. We dived down on them from 6000' and as we went over the field, more were taking off. I picked out one and fired on him from 30 degrees angle and saw one strike. The E/A turned to Port and went down to the deck, straightened and flew straight and level. I gave him another burst and got strikes all over him. He crashed into a wood. I claim this enemy aircraft Destroyed.
F/Sgt Gigot of 350 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 26 April, 1945:
I was Red 4 in a section of 4 A/C led by S/L Walmsley engaged on an armed recce in the PRITZWALW - WUSTROW Area. At about 13.00 hours whilst flying North at 7,000 ft in the PLAUER LAKE area, Red Leader reported E/A at 2 o'clock some 4 - 5,000 yds ahead flying North, north east and climbing, Red leader ordered the chase and we started climbing after them. We caught up with E/A, three of them, and still climbing, and when within a range of some thousand yards and some 1,000 ft below them, the E/A on the port side made a 180° turn to port to attack us from above. We allowed E/A which we identified as a FW 190 to come within range of 600 -700 yds and then climbed steeply and got on its tail. The E/A then made a 360° climbing turn but in doing so stalled. We then saw the pilot bale out and the FW went spinning down towards the ground. This FW 190 is claimed destroyed by the four pilots of Red Section.
F/O R. W. Lawson of 402 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 31 March, 1945:
I was flying Yellow 3 in 402 Squadron on Sweep/Armed Recce when I saw two aircraft passing under our section. Heading S.W. I called Red 1 and half-rolled down after the aircraft. I recognized them to be F.W. 190's. I picked out No.2 and fired from 150 yds. a second and half burst from approximately 10° port and slightly above. I saw strikes and a burst of flame from near the cockpit. He then half-rolled into a woods and exploded.
F/L F.A.O. Gaze of 610 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 January, 1945:
I had been split up from my section by intense accurate light friendly flak from just N.E. of Leige and was returning alone to base.
F/L Warren M. Middleton of 430 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 15 April, 1945:
While on a Tac/R Mission flying South at 4500 feet on April 15, 1945, at 0930 hours, I sighted a F/W.190 flying North at 5000 feet. I broke port and closed on his tail. I opened fire at an opening range of 450 yds. dead astern and closed to 250 yards. I saw strikes on the fuselage, the coup top flew off, the aircraft trailed black smoke and then burst into flame and I saw it crash and blow up on the ground. The pilot was seen to bail out and his parachute open. F/O Anderson, the No. 1 of the Section, saw the enemy's parachute open. No. 1, F/O Anderson, fired at enemy aircraft from 450 yard range with cine gun exposed but makes no claim. The attack took place near Uelzen.
S/L J. B. Prendergast of 414 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 May 1945:
I was leading a section of 2 aircraft on a Tac/R mission in the Wismar – Schwerin area. I Tac/R’d the roads from Schwerin to Wismer, flew east of the town and was making a 180° turn over the harbor at 1500’ to get below some scattered cloud, when I observed two aircraft which presumably had just taken off the Wismar Airfield as they were at 800/1000 feet flying in a northerly direction and gaining height. I immediately turned into the aircraft, and recognized them as FW.190’s. I at once closed and made a stern attack on the E/A on the left. When at approximately 400 yds. I opened fire with a 3 second burst of .5 M.G. and cannon breaking off at approximately 250 yds. many strikes were seen along the E/A’s fuselage, from the pilot’s position to the engine. Pieces fell off and the E/A rolled on its back and disappeared into a cloud going straight down with a large amount of black smoke streaming from it.
F/L D.I. Hall, DFC of 414 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 May 1945:
I was on a Tac/R mission which I was unable to complete owing to weather. I lost my No. 2 in the cloud and instructed him to return to base. I went below cloud and while flying WEST at 0’ at 1310 I sighted one FW190 flying NORTH at 50’ at 100 plus m.p.h. I broke starboard and rapidly closed on his tail. I opened fire at 250 yds using approximately 25° port deflection and closed to 100 yds. I saw strikes on the fuselage and the e/a went straight in. Immediately in front I saw another FW190 which I overtook very rapidly and obtained only a short burst, opening fire at 50 yds. I saw strikes on the a/c but was unable to observe the results due to the speed at which I passed him. A further FW190 was immediately ahead and I opened fire at 200 yds and closed to 50 yds. I saw strikes and flames and then observed port wing falling off. Once again there was another FW190 immediately in line and I opened fire at 200 yds closing to 100 yds. I saw strikes on the e/a which broke to port began to pour black smoke and broke into flame. I then broke starboard and saw 2 Me108’s flying line abreast, South, at approximately 50’. One broke starboard and one port. I closed on the one which broke starboard opening fire at 200 yds and overshot, but obtained strikes on the a/c. He continued to break starboard and I broke port and closed on the other Me108. I opened fire at 200 yds closing to 50 yds. I saw strikes and the a/c went in and exploded on the ground. The attack took place near and over NEUSTADT GLEWE Aerodrome.
Spitfire XIV of 430 Squadron, Hengelo, Netherlands
F/L F.A.O. Gaze of 610 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 14 February, 1945:
On 14/2/45 I was leading Wavey Black section of two aircraft on standing patrol over NIJMEGEN. At about 1630 hours I sighted an Arado 234 pulling up from attacking the CLEVE area. I dropped my tank and attempted to intercept but despite the fact that I cut the corner it pulled away easily at 7,000 ft. After this we continually chased Arados over this area. I fired at two without result. At about 1700 hours when it was apparent that the jets were diving down through the cloud which was from 9 - 11,000 ft. I climbed up through it, leaving Black 2 below, hoping to warn him when they dived. Then I did an orbit at 13,000 ft. to clear off the ice on the windscreen and sighted 3 M.E. 262's in Vic formation passing below me at cloud top level. I dived down behind them and closed in, crossing behind the formation and attacked the port aircraft which was lagging slightly. I could not see my sight properly as we were flying straight into the sun, but fired from dead astern, at a range of 350 yards, hitting it in the starboard jet with the second burst; at which the other 2 aircraft immediately dived into cloud. It pulled up slowly and turned to starboard and I fired obtaining more strikes on fuselage and jet which caught fire. The enemy rolled over on to its back and dived through cloud. I turned 180 and dived after it, calling on the R/T to warn my no.2; on breaking cloud I saw an aircraft hit the ground and explode about a mile ahead of me, at E.9859. I claim this M.E.262 destroyed. Black 2 also witnessed this explosion. 73
F/L F.A.O. Gaze, having transferred to 41 squadron, recorded in his Combat Report for 12 April, 1945:
I was leading Red section of four aircraft on a patrol DELMONHORST - VERDEN. At about 1700 hours Red 2 sighted an aircraft which I identified as an ARADO 234 and chased, managing to drop my tank. The E/A which was flying South turned North and I cut the corner closing to 800 yds. I opened fire and got strikes on fuselage and starboard wing. I continued firing closing slowly and more strikes were followed by the starboard jet catching fire. I closed to 100 yds and broke away as the E/A flicked inverted after some wild jinking. It spun violently down flicking one way and then another and I last saw it disappear in the haze inverted at about 1,000 ft. Red 3 saw it recover at 300 ft and finished it off.
Spitfire XIV of 41 Squadron flown by F/L F. A. O. "Tony" Gaze, Spring 1945
F/Lt. D. J. Reid of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 March, 1945:
I took off from B.80 at 0702 as Blue 1 with F/Sgt Kelly as Blue 2, to patrol Nijmegan. At approx. 0735 Planet reported a Jet aircraft N.E. of Weert. I flew towards Weert in thin layers of cloud, then returned towards Nijmegen still between cloud layers. On emerging near Nijmegan saw a single aircraft about one mile in front and about 1000 ft. above. I immediately gave chase instructing my No. 2 to slow down and drop his jet tank, being unable to do so myself due to high speed. The E/A turned slightly to Starboard and continued towards the North East, weaving slightly from time to time. I kept out of the enemy pilot's view by keeping under his tail plane and slowly overhauled him at an I.A.S. of 340 m.p.h. at 8/9000 ft. Whilst astern of the E/A I was only able to say it was jet propelled and not an Me.262 (or Meteor). I closed to 100 yards or less, firing with .5 M.G. and cannon whilst still overtaking. I saw strikes on the Port wing, Port jet engine and fuselage. E/A immediately emmitted dense clouds of brownish smoke, possibly jet exhaust. I continued firing and saw flshes in the smoke, breaking away at extremely close range, and being hit in the port radiator by debris. I next saw E/A going down in a wide spiral to Starboard with white smoke or vapour pouring from holes all along the Port wing, and dark smoke from the fuselage. I could then see the long nose of the a/c and the straight tapered wings with rounded tips and identified E/A as an Arado 234. A large piece of E/A suddenly flew off, and one person baled out, parachute opening. E/A steepened its dive and crashed somewhere near Enschede, being completely destroyed by explosion. Some fire from the ground was seen at this time. I returned to patrol being rejoined by my No. 2 who witnessed the destruction of this enemy a/c.
350 Squadron filed a joint Combat Report for 2 May, 1945:
P/O Watkins states: I was leading Flounder section of 6 a/c on an armed recce in the RENDSBERG area. At about 1710 hrs whilst flying at 8000 ft, I saw in the circuit of HOHN aerodrome, a jet aircraft which I identified as an Arado 234 going in to land. I dived from 8000 ft followed by the rest of the section, closed to within 50 yards behind E/A and sprayed the mainplane and side of fuselage with machine gun fire. I broke away port as I saw aircraft smoking.
F/O Howard C. Nicholson of 402 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 13 March, 1945:
I was flying Yellow 3 on a fighter sweep in the Gladback area when I sighted a ME 262 at about 5000 feet flying South West. He did not appear to see me. I broke and fired a 3 second burst from 250 yards line astern into his starboard wing and the base of the fuselage. Smoke poured out and pieces flew off the starboard wing. I kept firing, observing many hits and the aircraft tended to fall out of control, regaining slowly. At 2000 ft. he went into a sharp dive to port but owing to the extremely heavy flak from Gladback, I broke to starboard. I did not see him crash, but this is comfirmed by the C.O. of 402 Squadron.
130 Squadron filed a joint Combat Report for 25 April, 1945:
F/Lt Stowe states: I was leading Red Section and at 5000' near Lubeck Aerodrome I saw Red 5 (P/O Edwards) attacking a F.W. 190 in the circuit of the Airfield. I saw at the same time, a M.E. 262 about to land on the runway. I dived onto it and fired at a steep angle. I did not see strikes but as the E/A was half way down the runway I saw something white stream out behind the E/A.
F/Lt. Cowell of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 April, 1945:
I was leading Kudos Blue Section of six aircraft and had finished attacking a train near NEUMUNSTER and was orbitting with the rest of my section at 6,000 ft. prior to turning for a course for home, when I observed two ME 262's flying in line abreast, in an Easterly direction. I reported these aircraft and turned in sharply after them, as they passed over the top of me, at the same time jettisoning my long range petrol tank. The E/A were then 1-2,000 yards ahead and they opened up and dived for the deck. I followed them doing 440 mph in the dive and 400 mph on the deck and was closing slowly. The A/C were heading straight for LUBECK and obviously intended to lead us over flak area and it was obvious that we should not catch them before this happened. I then pulled up to 3,000 ft and observed the E/A making for the aerodrome south of LUBECK. The ME 262 on the starboard side did a turn to starboard and put his wheels and flaps down with the intention of doing a right hand circuit to land west to east. I was therefore able to cut him off and make a short head on attack. No results were observed. I then broke sharply to port and was able to make a 60° beam attack as he continued in his circuit. I observed strikes in the cockpit area and between the starboard nacelle and the fuselage, and a large sheet of flame issued from this point. The pilot of the E/A then landed his machine on the grass beside the runway where it slewed round to starboard and volumes of white smoke issued from it. The other machine landed on the runway in the opposite direction (W-E) and it appeared that either the starboard tyre burst, or the starboard leg collapsed for the aircraft slewed round off the runway on to the grass, dragging its starboard wing tip on the ground. Final results of the fire on the first ME 262 were not observed owing to intense light flak from the aerodrome defences.
Spitfire XIV of 41 Squadron with 122 Wing, 2nd TAF, Eindhoven, Netherlands, early Spring 1945
1. Jochen Prien & Gerhard Stemmer, Jagdgeschwader 3 "Udet" in World War II, Vol 1., (Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, PA, 2002), p. 365.
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