Mission Date: 16-08-1940 1200-1330
Aircraft: Bf-109 E3
Markings: Brown 4
Status: Pilot OK / RTB
We took off from Crepon airfield for an escort mission of a Ju87 formation which were about to bomb Tangmere. We made visual with them shortly after they left the French coast at Fécamp. With us was the 7th Staffel which arrived just in time from the Reich to fly this mission. Some battleharded veterans from the 4th and 5th Staffel were transfered into the 7th, to lead this newbies.
I ordered my Staffel into escort position at the high 5 too 7 o'clock of the Stuka formation. We didn't have to wait long for the RAF. At 2/3 of the way across the channel, multiple contacts were called out heading towards us from the north. The enemy!
The enemy formation consits only of hurricanes. Three of them stayed up high, the rest dove down. The first schwarm took care of the high Hurricanes and I ordered the rest of my Staffel to engage the others. We took a few shots at the hurricanes and I was able to damage one with my MGs so he went into a defensive break and spinned. After that, we perfomed several Boom and Zoom manouvers to clear the Stuka's six and engaged every enemy aircraft which tried to sneak up behind them. I lined up a Hurricane in my ReVi which was focused on the Bombers to much and pulled the trigger. MG round hammered into the airframe and the cannon shells ripped of huge parts and panels from the aircraft. Water radiator and oil cooler popped. The enemy pilot made a desperate turn to the right and dove away. This chap won't be a threat to us any longer for today. Unfortunatelly, this wasn't observed by my comrades.
By now, the Stuka formation had reached the english coast at Bognor Regis. There were several other enemies in the area, so I let this guy go and gained altitude again.
Actually, Spitfires with high energy had joined the fight a couple of minutes earlier, so staying at this place in a fight became heavily dangerous. I ordered everyone to stay with the bombers but we were put under pressure by several Spits now and were heaviliy outnumbered. Unteroffizier DaHeld was lost tragically, as he went into an evasive dive and wasn't able to recover it due to high speed. The rest of my Schwarm defended himself and we managed to stay together. The cat and mouse game with the Spits went on for a while and we could damage several Spits until the second Bomber formation arrived. This meant reinforcements of our fighters as well. Over radio, I heard Pitti's voice, when he ordered the 4th and 5th Staffel to help us out and engage the enemy fighters. I was relieved to know that my men had a better chance now. With this new morale boost we turned in again. I was able to damage a Spit which was in pursuit of my wingman HuffDuff and got him with my cannons. He broke off damaged and we let him go.
After a glance on the fuel indicator, I gave order to RTB to the rest of my Staffel. HuffDuff and Apache managed to shake of the enemies and set course for France. With 50 Liters left, I landed at Crepon. After I climed out of my aircraft and litting up my usual cigar I noticed that my rudder was missing. Clean cut off of the rudder blade. Unteroffizier HuffDuff landed shortly after me and we made our way to the beer filling station from were we saw Apache landing.