(The following is an excerpt from Obersleutnant K. VonHess' diary I/JG52 Gruppen Kommandeur EAW Online world all entries are of missions flown the day before the entry date.)
15 Aug '43,
Yesterday was just another foggy morning in France. The smell of benzine from the nearby fuel trucks permeates everything i own, even max my hound smells of benzine. I have to remind my unteroffizier to not let him play by the trucks. Yesterdays mission was like all the others before them go up and look for any AMI or Brit planes making channel dashes primary targets are the photo recon Spitfires that seem to annoy all our ground troops along the coast. We have 2 new fliegers aboard and i was taking one of them that day as my kacmarek. I just hope he is skilled enough to stay on my tail. The flight consisted of Hptmn VonM and Leutnant Troz flying the second Rotte, while I flew lead plane in the First Rotte with Unteroffizier von Diesel as my Kacmarek. He is a fine flyer but still flies with his hands and not his head.
The take off was uneventful as was the ride out into the channel. Thats when the trouble started.10 minutes into the flight. The RT crackles to life and Hptmn VonM called out stating he was having mechanical troubles and had to fly back or risk swimming in the scheiss kanal again "White 1, white 1 this is white 3 i am having mechanical problems (severe network lag)request immediate RTB before i swim home again...over" I acknowledged his problem and ordered him to return to base "3 this is 1 rgr.. RTB acknowledged...4 go back with 3..over" He informed his Kacmarek to stay with the flight as we were only 10 mins away from the French coast and there were no reported enemy planes in the area by LOKI "Negative 3 stay with flight nearest indianer reported 100k from position vector 150 angels 5.... rgr 3 this is 4 wilco.. rgr 4 ..3 out" The flight continued on the vector given by LOKI for about 15 mins with slight course corrections, when the RT squelched both 2 and 3 reporting indianer at 11'oclock low. i ordered a split attack with me diving through the enemy formation as we had the sun behind us and at alt they couldnot see us, while 2 and 3 flew past them and attacked when they turned to engage me on my zoom climb back to alt. Strangely i didnt receive a confirmation on the RT so i check radio before i commenced my attack run on the formation as they were closing in fast. I received a response from 3 "rgr 1 reading you loud and clear.. will attack after your pass..over" Upon hearing that i dove down upon the enemy formation only to see white 2 already diving forward guns blazing at the now alerted Spit formation. We were outnumbered 3to1 and the only advantage we had, the element of surprise was gone. My only option now was to keep this hot head's 6 clear. His pass resulted in nothing but stiring up a hornets nest with me becoming thier intended victim.
On my dive i spotted my first target of the day, a spit that took a high G turn to gain the 6 of #2 while he was turning back into the now angry flight of spits. I pulled hard on my stick so hard that i neared blackout as my dive had given me too much speed. The spit appeared in front of me just long enough for me to try a lead pursuit deflection shot to divert his attention from #2, to my surprise i heard good kill! over the RT # 3 confirmed my kill. My eagerness to help Uffz von Diesel out of his pridicament had placed me infront of 3 very angry spitfires. I immediately nosed down to deflect thier shots them pulled my stick back hard to take advantage of the Gustavs climb rate and go into a vertical spiral to avoid my pursuers. I was screaming on the RT to get these spits off my 6 when i heard HORRIDO! coming from #3 i checked my 6 and found that the 3 spits were still trying to make me thier first kill of the day. Now in a high yo yo fight for my life i saw rounds going over my cockpit and saw that White 2 was now engaged in the fight also, but his 20mm and 13mm rounds were now joining the barrage of the Spits 20mm and 303s so now my predicament doubled in intensity.
The question of who was the real danger kept going through my mind as the following words kept repeating themselves "nothing more accurate than friendly fire" Taking advantage of the sudden deadly diversion i checked a vector for home. I made my last yo yo and snap rolled away to try and evade the incoming fire from the spits and lone 109. I was able to dive away and gain some distance but there was still a spit on my 6 along with white 2. Then rounds slammed into my crate and the RT squelched HORRIDO! then black smoke spewed forth from my now dead engine and my predicament just turned from trying to escape to trying to stay in the air. I checked 6 and to my surprise the spit was not hit but was still flying and SHOOTING! MEIN GOTT! i was White 2's first victim of the day! the irony struck me suddenly as i baled out over the Kanal and watched him dispatch the spit. Luckily i was rescued by an E-boat and brought back home. A lesson was learned that day. Stay clear of Friendly fire as much as possible as IT IS the most accurate fire there is.