CONFIDENTIAL

 

373RD FIGHTER GROUP

412TH FIGHTER SQUADRON

APO 151, US ARMY
24 DECEMBER 1944

A)

COMBAT.

B)

23 DECEMBER 1944.

C)

412TH FIGHTER SQUADRON, 373RD FIGHTER GROUP.

D)

1500 HOURS.

E)

VICINITY OF EUSKIRCHEN.

F)

CAVU.

G)

E/A, ME-109'S.

H)

2 - ME-109'S DESTROYED.

I)

   I WAS LEADING GREEN FLIGHT, TURMOIL SQUADRON, ON A DIVE

BOMBING MISSION AGAINST AN ENEMY AIRFIELD NE OF BONN, GERMANY,

AND HAD BEEN ON COURSE HOME ABOUT FIVE MINUTES WHEN WE MET

APPROXIMATELY THIRTY ME-109'S HEAD ON AT ABOUT 13,000 FEET.

THEY WERE FROM 500 - 1,000 FEET HIGHER THAN MY FLIGHT.  I

PUSHED EVERYTHING FORWARD AND TURNED TO THE RIGHT INTO A

FLIGHT OF FOUR ME-109'S WHICH WERE IN STRING FORMATION AT

2 O'CLOCK TO ME.  THEY BROKE LEFT AND AWAY FROM ME, SO I RE-

VERSED MY TURN, GETTING ON THE TAIL OF THE NUMBER FOUR MAN.

I HELD MY FIRE UNTIL ABOUT 150 YARDS FROM HIM THEN OPENED

UP OBSERVING MANY STRIKES, THEN PIECES BEGAN COMING OFF THE

E/A, THE RIGHT LANDING GEAR FELL DOWN AND HE STARTED TO SMOKE.

 

   THEN I CLEARED MY ELEMENT AND STARTED LOOKING FOR MORE

E/A.  I SAW SEVERAL SO PICKED OUT ONE AND WENT AFTER HIM FAR-

ING A SHORT BURST AT DEFLECTION AND OBSERVING SOME STRIKES.

THEN HE DID A VIOLENT SPLIT-ESS IN WHICH I MANAGED TO PICK UP

AMPLE LEAD ON HIM, SO I STARTED TO FIRE.  I SAW THAT I WAS

GOING TO MUSH PAST HIM AS WE PULLED THROUGH DUE TO MY GREATER

DOWNWARD ACCELERATION, BUT I CONTINUED FIRING AND AS I CLOSED

TO ABOUT 50 YARDS MY FIRE CAUGHT HIM FROM ABOVE AND HE EXPLODED

INTO ONE MASS OF FLAMES.  I DON'T THINK THE PILOT GOT OUT.  MY

WING MAN LOST ME ON THE SPLIT-ESS SO DIDN'T SEE THE PLANE

EXPLODE.

 

   I CLAIM 2 - ME-109'S DESTROYED.

GEORGE E. COOPER,

1ST LT., AIR CORPS.


 

 

 


Declassified
On public record at the National Archives
Courtesy of David Schwartz - Nephew of 373rd CO (15 Aug 43 - 17 Nov 44) William  H. Schwartz, Jr.

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