55th Fighter Group 11/02/1944
PILOT’S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER REPORT
B. 2 November, 1944.
C. 338th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group.
D. 1230 to 1245.
E. Merseburg, Germany.
F. 10/10 and three layers of clouds.
G. Me 109’s.
H. One (1) Me 109 Destroyed.
One (1) Me 109 Damaged.
I. We were about ten minutes away from the target on a general southeast heading, looking for the e/a that had been reported from up ahead, when we saw some bombers under attack. We were at about 29,000 feet, and the attacking e/a were about 5,000 feet below us. I broke away from my Acorn Red 3 position, and my wingman and I went after an Me 109. My first burst was from about 500 yards and with a 40 to 50 degree deflection from 8 o’clock. I got some good hits on his wing and fuselage. After that we went into a rat-race, and several times I got directly behind him and got in some bursts, securing hits. We went into the clouds at 18,000 feet and out on top again. It might be of interest to note that as I went into the cloud I throttled back to about 25 inches and slowed up a bit, yet as I came out again I was almost line abreast with the e/a. I was too close to being in front of him and couldn’t manuever behind him before he went back into the cloud. We went right through this time, and after I found him below the cloud, I tagged on behind him and we went into a series of very tight turns, but I couldn’t quite pull enough deflection on him. I was attempting to get in position, when he began to fall apart. I pulled away at this point. I claim this Me 109 as destroyed.
After leaving the first 109, I went down to the top of the first layer of clouds, looking for more e/a, none there; so spotting a hole in the cloud layer and seeing two other P-51’s (from another Group) go down, I went down through the layer. I broke out at about 4,000 feet and almost immediately spotted an Me 109 on the deck at about 10 o’clock to me. The other 51’s didn’t see him, and they turned to the right. I went after the e/a, crawled right up on his tail and let go, only one gun firing. The Jerry didn’t see me until he saw my strikes on his right wing. As my engine was rough and I was out of ammunition, I pulled up into the cloud. The action took place at about 500 feet. I claim this Me 109 as damaged.
J. Ammunition expended - 1050 Rounds.
1st Lt., Air Corps.
I was flying Lt. Alba’s wing at the time of the above encounter, and I followed a few hundred yards behind him during his chase of the Me 109. I observed numerous strikes on the e/a and clearly saw the e/a come apart and crash.
Official US Army Air Forces Combat Report by Michael Alba of the 55th Fighter Group. This material is a transcription of official reports-testimonials of Michael Alba's combat experience.
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