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Book One World War Three 1946

Book One World War Three 1946
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Escort Service

October 2nd, 1946

CAPTAIN NICLAUST M. PAUST JR., 475TH fighter Squadron: 

“I was weaving back and forth trying to save fuel and yet still stay with the bombers. We were in a loose finger four[1].

I was leading Blue Flight in the second section of our squadron in the Baku area when six bogies were called out at nine o’clock low. I called my section to drop their tanks and we peeled off low on a flight of six Fleas (name given by NATO for Stalin’s Dart). I made almost a head on pass at their number one man and gave him about a two or three second quirt around the cockpit and he broke away to his right. As I turned to the left I was almost on top of another. I split-S with him and got hits with a three second or more burst around the engine and cockpit area. After I passed him my flight saw him bail out.

Than everything changed and I was in a world of swirling missiles and fighters with the bombers almost a forgotten piece of the fight. It was every man and wing man for themselves. I never did get another good shot at one of those red bastards but they sure messed up my ride. A 30 mm cannon round makes a big hole in your stabilizer. I’m surprised it didn’t fall off. Luckily it must have been a tracer because it basically just went through without the usual HE explosion. That’s probably what saved me, every fourth round being a tracer.

I could only take quick glances at the bomber stream and they seemed to be getting the brunt of the missile action. Big ones coming from the ground and little ones coming from those medium bombers we called Bats. I really didn't believe the stories of those bastards turning but I saw it with my own eyes…out of the corner of my eyes anyway. Those missiles of both kinds seemed to be controlled and honed in on the lead bombers. Those bomber jockeys have some balls. They just hung in there and took the hits rather than try and dodge those missiles.

One of the missiles did seem to be coming my way and when I made a slight turn if follow so I decided to try something more drastic that we had all talked about. I turned hard right waited for the missile to commit and then reversed and dove to my left. The missile just kept on going. They were pretty easy to dodge if you were flying a nimble fighter but you had to hang in there if you were a bomber in formation.

As we got closer to the target the flak started and man was it intense. The missiles seemed to be more in number as well but the fighters kind of backed off. Many of the Fleas seemed to be out of fuel and were making their way back to lower altitude but then we saw the contrails high above us. I spotted the first bunch of Fargos sliding on down to take a crack at the bombers. Those B-29s normally don’t have to worry about betting attacked from high and to the front. The MiG 9s would come almost straight in, shoot a burst and then slide over the top of the bomber they just attacked and would spit-ess and dive to do it again.

We had to gain altitude fast and help our big brothers so we burned the candle at both ends and broke up a good number of future passes before they could get into position. All we could do was to frustrate them and make them give up their attack and I got no hits that I observed.

Captain Abraham, leading Red flight got permission to tangle with the missile firing bombers. The big ones (Pe-9 Beaches) we called Bitches seemed to be the easiest targets and were firing the most missiles so Bill headed for them. He was going to have to fight his way through a couple of squadrons of what looked like Yak 9s who were pretty much useless but could not be ignored especially during the first pass when they were head to head. From the looks of things we got twice as many as they got. Red flight started with 12 planes and came out the other side with 9 while 6 Yaks were smoking or exploded. They then tore into the big bombers and that pretty much stopped their action for a while as 4 of them went down real fast with loss to Red. The rest of the flight was a milk run for me as I had the hole in my tail and had to take it easy to get back home.”

CAPTAIN WILLIAM P. WALLACE, 475TH fighter Squadron:

“I was wing to Sam in Red Flight. We were ordered to stay high and with the bombers. While the other flights were mixing it up with those Stalin’s Dart, Fleas, we were to stay in formation to intercept any other threats to the big boys and man did they come. There was nothing we could do about the bigger missiles coming from the ground but when those old Bitches (Pe-9 Beaches) showed up we were ordered to take them out. Those smaller missiles they launched were much more deadly than the ones coming from below.

Our Flight Leader, Bill Abraham, did a wing over and we dove on the Red bombers. They were escorted by some old prop jobs with some big ass cannons in their nose. We found out the hard way that making a head on pass probably was not a good tactic. I got one but they got Bill. Torn him up real bad…stop the tape for a second…”

A minute passed.

“Yeah, I’m ok now. I took over the lead and we tore into those Red bomber-missile launching assholes real good. We lost another… Yost as I recall, but we broke up their little party before some of their jet jobs curtailed our fun. Not much to describe after that as it was a swirling mass of fighters and missiles streaking in from all over towards our bombers. I got no more hits but kept the most of the Red fighters off the bombers.

Lieutenant Scott Walton, 457Th Fighter Squadron:

I dove on a Yak 9 and as I pulled up another was almost in front of me and as I closed in on him he split-S and I followed him. I was getting hits all the way through and I finished up with a burst into the cockpit and I believe that I killed the pilot because he went straight into the clouds. As I pulled up another was coming almost head on and I fired a burst into his engine and he split-S and I followed. I closed in on him and got hits in the right wing root and cockpit and he started smoking and burning in the right wing and fuselage, as he went straight into the clouds. We pulled off this one and I was almost behind another. As I closed in he split-S and I followed him and he went into a dive. I got hits in the root of the left wing and before he went into the clouds I saw smoke coming out of the wing. I fired all my remaining ammunition at him and followed him down into the clouds to about 350 or 375 mph and elevation of the ground was about 1,000 feet. He was going almost straight down and made no move to shake us. I don’t believe he could have pulled out.

I got into deep shit for following that plane all the way down but I got carried away and I was just kind of transfixed (that’s what the shrink said). Didn’t take long to get back up to altitude and catch up to the bombers with that P-80. They don’t call it a Shooting Star for nothing. The rest of the flight was a series of dog fights and near misses. Since I had no ammo left I just spent my time scaring the piss out of commie pilots by getting on their tail. Luckily they didn’t notice I never fired. ”

[1] - Case Studies in the Achievement of Air Superiority pg. 568

Yes that is right. There are footnotes in the book as well. Check them out for just a buck.

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