4th Fighter Group 03/18/1944
FOURTH FIGHTER GROUP
A.P.O. 637, U.S. ARMY
PILOTS PERSONAL COMBAT REPORT
VIII Fighter Command F.O. 273 A
- 18 Mar 1944
- 4th Fighter Group
- 1425 hours
- 10 miles South of Augsburg
- 8 FW 190’s
- One FW-190 destroyed
I. We had made R/V with the bombers at 1425 in the vicinity of Augsburg. The bombers were flying at 23 to 25,000 and we were at 27,000. As we made R/V we saw a large gaggle of S.E. E/A approaching the bombers on a parallel course about a thousand feet above them. We dove to intercept but in my dive I lost sight of the main group of E/A but saw about 8 FW-190’s 3000 feet below at about 9 o’clock and same level to the bombers. I and my No. 2, Capt. Gentile of 336 Squadron continued in our dive to intercept these. As we approached them the 8 A/C split with 4 diving line abreast, so we followed them to the deck, closing to 50 yards before opening fire. I took the #3 E/AC and Capt Gentile took the #4. The E/AC attempted to evade by running away and when they turned they swung into line astern. When I finally closed to within 200 yards of the #3 A/C I saw strikes all along the tail, fuselage, cockpit and engine. The cockpit hood fell off and the engine started to smoke and burn and the left under carriage fell down. I pulled up when 150 yards from the E/A and did not see him go in but Capt Gentile saw him hit the ground. I saw a parachute open up after I had gained altitude but I am not sure if it came from the A/C I had shot down or the one Capt Gentile destroyed.
The #1 and #2 E/A apparently ran away during the combat with the #3 and 4. Most of our firing took place at tree top level.
I claim one FW-190 as destroyed. See Capt Gentile’s combat report of same date for confirmation.
D.J. M. BLAKESLEE
Colonel, Air Corps.
Official US Army Air Forces Combat Report by Don Blakeslee of the 4th Fighter Group. This material is a transcription of official reports-testimonials of Don Blakeslee's combat experience.
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