[Archive] Re: Mosquito Shootdwon by the 15 AAF
On Fri, 18 Aug 2000 firstname.lastname@example.org
> be fired on, after repeated calls from our squadron lead, he suddenly
> came on the radio and said in a clipped "English" voice "Don't fire
> ..Don't fire ...I'm British" Needless to say there was a lot of things
> said about this idiot who would approach a formation with no
> identification until the last minute, ANY fighter that pointed its
> nose at a bomber formation took it's chances that some trigger happy
> gunner would not open fire AND some gunners DID. The Mosquito
My grandfather told me about this kind of thing several times. The 96th
had standing orders to shoot anything that pointed its nose at them
because he said it was almost impossible to tell a Spitfire from a
Messerschmitt 109 until they were close enough to start shooting at the
I think it was him that told me they fired a quick burst during a
September 1943 mission in the general direction of approaching targets.
They figured the bogeys would see the tracers...if they were friendly,
they'd get the message real quick. If they were, in fact, German, they
weren't going to stop anyway. In this case, they were Spits.
He was shot down before P-51s entered service and described the Spitfire
as the most graceful-looking aircraft in the sky. Looked like birds and
flew like poetry. The fact that they were there to save his ass probably
had something to do with it too!
He said they put a few shots out there 'across the bow' and the fighters
turned, revealing the distinct shape (planform) of the wings, and they
also broke radio silence angrily to call for a ceasefire. The impression
I get is that there were no enemy fighters and the Spits were just there
Maybe some RAF instructor somewhere forgot to tell 'em not to fly directly
toward the bombers.
"We should not forget that our tradition is one of protest and revolt
and that it is stultifying to celebrate the rebels of the past...while we
silence the rebels of the present."