WWII Veterans of the 412th Fighter Squadron

373rd Fighter Group

9th Air Force, USAAF

9th AF insignia


CONFIDENTIAL

 

ENCOUNTER REPORT

A)

COMBAT.

B)

7 OCTOBER 1944.

C)

412TH FIGHTER SQUADRON, 373RD FIGHTER GROUP.

D)

1010 HOURS.

E)

15-20 MILES NW KOBLENZ.

F)

7/10 TO 8/10 AT 20,000 FT., VISIBILITY UNLIMITED.

G)

FW-109'S AND ME-109'S.

H)

1 - FW-109 DESTROYED, 1 - FW-190 PROBABLE.

I)

    I WAS FLYING TURMOIL RED 3 ON AN ARMED RECCE ALONG THE RHINE

RIVER BETWEEN BONN AND KOBLENZ. OUR BLUE FLIGHT WAS CLIMBING TO

INVESTIGATE BOGIES WHILE WE WERE BOMBING BARGES. AFTERWARDS WE

CLIMBED TO JOIN BLUE FLIGHT AND WERE AT 10-12,000 FEET WHEN BLUE

LEADER IDENTIFIED BOGIES AS ME-109'S AND FW-190'S. I COULD SEE

25-30 CIRCLING STILL ABOUT 5,000 FEET ABOVE AND STILL NORTH OF

US WITH HALF A DOZEN BELOW THEM EVIDENTLY ENGAGED IN COMBAT.  I

SAW WHAT LOOKED LIKE AN OD COLORED (PROBABLY LT. WIERDSMA, BLUE

4) P-47 IN A DIVE AFTER AN E/A WITH ANOTHER E/A FOLLOWING HIM,

BUT WE WERE STILL TOO FAR AWAY TO GIVE AID. RED 1 AND 2 WENT

DOWN AFTER 2 E/A AND I TURNED INTO 3 E/A'S AT MY LEVEL AT TEN

O'CLOCK.  THERE WERE ALWAYS 20-25 E/A ABOVE ME CIRCLING TO THE

LEFT IN STRINGS OF 4 - 6 AND 8 AT STEPPED UP ALTITUDES.  I BEGAN

TURNING TO THE RIGHT TO KEEP RED 4 AND MYSELF CLEARED AND TRIED

MANEUVERING INTO A POSITION TO ATTACK.  THEN 2 E/A BROKE DOWN

FROM ABOVE.  THE FIRST EVIDENTLY OVERSHOT AND KEPT GOING DOWN,

THE SECOND TRIED TO GET ON RED 4'S TAIL.  I THEN TIGHTENED MY

TURN AND GOT ABOUT A 30 DEGREE DEFLECTION SHOT AT THE E/A, A 190

AND OBSERVED STRIKES JUST BEHIND THE COCKPIT AND HE STARTED TO

SMOKE.  I GOT TWO MORE SHOTS AT LESS DEFLECTION HITTING HIM SOME

MORE AND GETTING MORE SMOKE.  THEN HE SNAPPED TO THE LEFT AND

WENT OUT OF SIGHT UNDER MY NOSE.  I CONTINUED TURNING RIGHT TO

CLEAR BEHIND AND AS I CAME AROUND SAW HIM TUMBLING, COMPLETELY

OUT OF CONTROL, ON FIRE WITH LOTS OF SMOKE POURING OUT.  I THEN

BEGAN LOOKING FOR MY WINGMAN.  I SAW HIM OFF MY RIGHT WING AND

HE STARTED TO FOLLOW ME WHEN I SAW 4 FW-190'S TURNING SLOWLY IN-

TO ME FROM MY LEFT.  I TURNED INTO THEM GOING AFTER NUMBER 4.

THE FIRST TWO DIVED DOWN AND AWAY AND THE OTHER TWO TRIED SOME

EVASIVE ACTION.  I FIRED ON NUMBER 4 SEVERAL TIMES CLOSING ALL

THE TIME AND OBSERVING SOME HITS BUT DID NOT GET ANY SMOKE.  HE

REVERSED HIS TURN A COUPLE OF TIMES, EACH TIME I WOULD GET A

BETTER SHOT.  THEN MY TRACERS STARTED CORKSCREWING SO I FIGURED

MY BARRELS MUST BE ABOUT SHOT.  ON HIS LAST REVERSAL HE FLIPPED

OVER AND HEADED DOWN.  I FOLLOWED HIM DIRECTLY ASTERN AND FIRED

AGAIN, AN IMPOSSIBLE SHOT TO MISS BUT NOW MY TRACERS WERE GOING

ALL AROUND HIM AND DID NOT SEEM TO CONVERGE AT ALL.  HIS DIVE

SHALLOWED OUT SOMEWHAT AND I CLOSED TO UNDER 100 YARDS AND FIRED

( second page )                          

AGAIN, GETTING SOME MORE HITS BUT NO SMOKE.  THEN HIS DIVE STEEPENED

AGAIN AND I DECIDED TO PULL OUT AS I WAS INDICATING OVER 450 AND HAD

PASSED 3,000 FEET.  BY NOW I WAS JUST EAST OF THE RHINE AND NO SOONER

HAD STARTED TO PULL OUT TO THE RIGHT THAN FLAK OF EVERY DESCRIPTION

WAS ALL AROUND ME.  THE FLAK WAS SO INTENSE I COULD NOT TURN AROUND

TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 190 BUT FIGURED HE WENT IN.  I CALLED

RED 4 BUT GOT NO ANSWER, CLIMBED TO ABOUT 9,000' AND CAME HOME ALONE.

 

    I CLAIM ONE FW-190 DESTROYED AND ONE FW-190 PROBABLE.

J)

2,120 ROUNDS, .50 CALIBRE.

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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last update: 02 May 09

 

412th Squadron patch image courtesy of Bruce Lowell and Bob Colangelo.