The formations of Amerikosi bombers were in a shallow dive to gain speed and to get out of range of most of the Soviet fighters and interceptors. The tactic had worked very well and the Tarans where the only conventional Red Air Force planes in contention for an attack at the moment. The MiG 9s had got a few but not anywhere near enough. A number of the Fargos had gone down in flames to the guns of the P-80 jet fighters who found themselves in the enviable position of being in the majority for once in this war.
It’s hard enough trying to hit a small fighter plane coming in from the front quarter high and low. Add in a slide-slip and you're pretty much untouchable. The reason that fighters weren’t successful more often in this kind of attack was twofold. The escorting fighters usually prevented you from taking the time to line the attack up and second it was even harder to hit a target with your own shells when you were side-slipping towards it.
Boris got his fourth ramming kill with a absolutely perfect strike on the Winnie May that barely damaged his wings. His prop was gone but he could glide with ease towards a possible easy landing in some farmer’s field. 6 of the other Tartans fared as well with 3 going down with their intended victims. All were able to get out of their damaged planes and complete their trip to earth beneath a stark white canopy of silk destined to fly again. Nikolai Zelenko died as he bled out with a piece of the Milk Maids rudder in his neck.
The other Tartans took down another 14 bombers in twenty more semi controlled collisions and 7 Soviet pilots died along with 84 American crewmen in a matter of 2 minutes of utter chaos and horror for the bomber crews. The US had never seen this kind of attack in such a controlled and obviously choreographed manner. Some has seen the odd Kamikaze but never such a organized dance of death. It profoundly affected the thought processes of the surviving crews. This was of course, one of the main reasons to keep such a primitive form of attack in the Soviet arsenal and it was amply demonstrated here. This attack would stay in the minds of perhaps a thousand American flyers for the rest of their lives and profoundly affect every one of them forever. This was real war. No killing from afar, no shooting some machine out of the sky but physically ramming your opponent. This was personal, and this was how the Slav fought the Germans, Napoleon, the Golden Hoard and now the Americans.