4th Fighter Group 01/31/1944
FOURTH FIGHTER GROUP
A.P.O. 637 U.S. ARMY
PILOT’S PERSONAL COMBAT REPORT
SIXTY-FIFTH FIGHTER WING F.O. 85
(B) 31 January 44
(C) 335th Fighter Squadron
(D) 1525 hours
(E) Vicinity of Zevenbergen, Holland
(F) Thin haze
(H) One ME-109F destroyed
(I) I was flying Green Four and at about 15:00 hours we saw several large groups of smoke trails approaching from the North, at eleven o’clock to us. We continued on until we were close enough to identify them as ME-109’s. We then started a Luftberry to the right and after one complete turn, three of them started down on my section but they were unable to position themselves due to their speed and dived on through; in the meantime Number Four man of their section stayed up above to bounce anyone of us who broke down upon them.
Green One started down and I told him to go ahead as I was watching the one behind. My section followed them for a short while and unable to close, pulled up to the left. At this time I observed one coming in at 9:00 o’clock and when he started to pull deflection on me, I called a break and immediately flicked over into an aileron turn down, with plenty of bottom rudder. After a turn I saw three E/A off to my right at about 16,000 feet, approximately 1500 yards from me. I decided I could catch them, so I pushed everything forward and closed very quickly.
When he started his pull out to the left at about five thousand feet, I pulled deflection on him and opened fire. After a short burst I let my nose fall behind him so I could see the effect. As there was none apparent, I pushed my nose through again and fired a longer burst. When I looked again he had straightened up in front of me. I closed immediately to a 100 yards, seeing strikes all over the cockpit, pieces falling off the tail and a fire started. I continued firing until I had to break off to the right and as I did, I passed within a wing span of his plane. His plane lazily went into a spiral dive to the right and continued on into the ground where it exploded on contact. Although watching closely at all times, I saw no parachute; evidently the pilot was killed.
I claim one ME-109 destroyed.
A/C Used: P-47C 5RE 41-6369
Ammunition Used: 785 rnds .50 Cal. API & T
RAYMOND P. CLOTFELTER,
2nd Lt., Air Corps.
Official US Army Air Forces Combat Report by Raymond Clotfelter of the 4th Fighter Group. This material is a transcription of official reports-testimonials of Raymond Clotfelter's combat experience.
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