Mission Date: 19-07-1940
Markings: Black 7
Status: Pilot ok / Aircraft bent some what out of shape
Departed Marquise with schwarm 1, flying on the Staffelkapitans wing. Over the Channel near Manston, contacts were spotted, a formation of Defiants reportedly, though I didn't lay eyes on them myself, concentrating on staying with the leader as he turned towards the E/A. Suddenly, out of nowhere it seemed, a Spitfire appeared and I was soon in trouble, the Tommy on my tail. I took a few hits, not doing any significant damage, before Lt. Atreides engaged the Spitfire and forced him to break. While I extended and regained altitude, I heard Atreides calling that he had taken damage and was forced to ditch in the Channel. With a sinking (pun soooo intended
) feeling I headed to the area off Deal at 4000m, hoping the Seenotdienst were on hand to pick up the Staffelkapitan.
I soon spotted a bogey a little higher, on my 1 o'clock, too far away to identify. Before I could close, I saw a Spitfire on my 10 o'clock only a few hundred metres away. The Tommy seemed equally surprised at seeing me, as I rolled my plane left, the Spitfire turned towards me right into my Revi! I snapped a burst at him, and saw bright flashes from the impact of my shells on th E/A. He was still flying and fighting though, and we danced a little, but when I lost sight of him, I thought better of it and nosed down and extended towards France, levelling out at 2000m and heading back in a turning climb to the battle area.
At this time Gruppenkommandeur Pitti ordered the remaning aircraft to egress toward France, so I lingered mid-channel, in case my comrades required support as they returned. However, I saw no-one, And when Pitti again ordered RTB, I set course for Marquise, and on final was elated that I was for once getting back not wet, unfortunately all those bails outs and ditchings have had a detrimental impact on my landing technique, as I misjudged my height and snapped the landing gear as I came down to0 hard.
The crew chief was pretty decent about it, saying there was quite a few salvageable parts he could use as spares. The couple of cases of liberated French wine I turned over to him might have had something to do with that.