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One that could have been done faster.

This afternoon Boot led out Stickz and myself on a combat patrol from Klin to Solodilovo.

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One kill that could have been three if I was a better pilot.

Because of a lot of activity over our tank base near steparcevo,  Cina & I were sent up from Alferevo to try to help.

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Hoist On My Own Petard

This afternoon I was patrolling over the Kuban not far from the enemy base at Anapa.   I had been on station about ten minutes when I spotted a contact in the distance on my 3 o/c

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The Germans lose an ace
Yesterday Boot, Myself & Talisman were escorting two PE2s on a strike mission.

Soon after leaving the airfield Boot thought he saw something passing below at treetops and peeled off to check. He was right, there was a 109 down there but Boot must have overflown it unawares because I could now see it was behind Boot!

Boot had spotted it himself and was evading as I dove in quickly and got behind the 109.

I fired two bursts hitting his tail, engine & wing and starting his engine smoking. The 109 pilot was very lucky as one of my shells exploded on his instrument panel but did not appear to injure the pilot!

I put another burst in damaging his wing and fuselage as he tried to climb away from me...

...but I had plenty of E from my dive and I climbed with him and got a good burst into his tail & belly and could hear his damaged engine grinding as I passed him.

He started to tumble down streaming coolant and oil...

...but he managed to pull out after a few hundred feet before diving again. I came round and lined up to finish him off in case he recovered again but just as I was squeezing the trigger to let him fly into my stream of shells I saw tracer arcing out from the blind spot behind my canopy frame. Boot had re-entered the fight.

I stopped firing immediately and luckily my short burst passed in front of Boots nose without harm. One of Boots shells hit the enemies weakened wing which broke in half and the 109 continued his dive in to the ground.

When we landed we drove out to the crash site North of Tyurmino and found they we had finally put an end to an old enemy from the Channel campaign, Turk_Can. His remains have been buried with honour and a message sent to the LW at Gzhastsk.

Kuban Mission and another trek for me.
Yesterday we were sent to the Kuban region to undertake a vital strike mission. Boot was to take out a target beneath a heavy enemy CAP and Cina and I were to escort him.

Boot decided it was best if he flies through the valleys and wanted us escorts stay down with him.

This seemed like a good plan but the enemy were being clever and a few minutes from target we spotted a couple of 109s down in the valleys as well. Boot told us to just stay low as the 109s did not seem to see us yet...

...but one of the 109s managed to spot Cina and dove in to attack so I had to help.

I fired a burst at the 109 but I do not know what damage it did.

It did however cause him to evade violently and stall. Seconds later he crashed into the trees.

We now headed back towards Boot. The second 109 had vanished without attacking either Boot or us escorts. When we got to the target area Boot had already hit his targets unmolested and was heading back.

We swung in behind and dropped low for the RTB but I had failed to notice that he second 109 was still in the area down low and following us. His first burst damaged my engine badly before I could evade.

Cina turned round to engage but we could not see where the 109 had gone. He had in fact just stayed low and continued on to attack and damage Boot. Boots gunner managed to damage the 109s engine though he was mortally wounded doing it and Boot had turned to attack as well so the 109 was forced to run

As we continued towards home the 109 was last seen running West being followed by another Mig who watched him bail in the mountains.

Still a few minutes from our base my own engine finally died and I quickly turned the speed into altitude and bailed while Boot took note of my position to send out a rescue party for me when they landed. His brave gunner had meanwhile died.

Dancing In The Dark
Having drawn the short straw to be on early callup, I was told to got check out reports of headlights in the woods West of our tank base. With a bit of coaxing the Migs freezing engine was persuaded into starting and off I went into the pre-dawn gloom.

It was not long before I spotted what I was looking for... a dozen German panzers heading for our tank base!

I was not armed for tank busting but after radioing in my report I decided to at least see if I could give them a headache. I lit up one of the tanks and no doubt caused a few pairs of German Army issue underpants to become badly solied...

...but the tank itself was unaffected apart from the noxious gases now loose inside.

Unfortunately my gunfire just served to attract the attention of three patrolling 109s and now I was in trouble.

I managed to dodge them for a while and maybe get a few rounds on one or two without causing serious damage.

but the result was inevitable as finally one got a hit on me and damaged my engine.

This was my signal to turn tail and run for home but then I spotted a 110 in the searchlights and knew I needed to at least try to stop him damaging our base before the panzers arrived even if I had to bail over the base.

With the 109s temporarily in disarray I fired off a damaging burst at the 110 to set his left engine smoking then followed up with a burst to the right which erupted into flames and black smoke.

The downside of this was that I was now blinded by the smoke and when I came through I was very close. As I pulled off his plucky gunner got a few rounds into my belly despite the flames licking ever closer to him and a fatally wounded pilot.

One of the 109s emboldened by the damage done to me worked up the courage to swoop in and add some more damage.

My cause was hopeless now and the 110 was finished so I undid my straps and jumped.

Just my luck I landed in a copse and was left hanging from a tree as the 110 made its death dive straight for me but luckily he crashed 50 metres short.

Alas the tank base was unable to resist the panzers and after cutting my shrouds I jumped in a retreating lorry to return to base.

The One That Got Away... and A Lesson Learned
My beloved Mig-3 was available again this morning so I took her up for a shake-down and Dawn Patrol.

The weather was glorious and I was feeling relaxed but then I spotted something to ruin my day... or make it, depending on how I handled it. A 109 heading East towards one of our depots with a huge bomb underneath.

I curled round behind hoping he had not seen me but it was too much to hope for on such a clear morning and he started evading. I was almost in range so tried a deflection and come damned close.

It was close enough to convince to drop his bomb though which was good for the depot and not so good for me.

He turned into me and we went head on narrowly avoiding a collision but even though we both fired there were no hits on either side.

We attempted a second pass but neither of us got a gun solution and we just passed each other harmlessly without firing.

I had conserved my E better and was now gaining the upper hand and took a shot which barely missed.

Another pass and if he had continued his turn I would have had him but he flipped on his back at the last moment and my shots went over his belly.

It was at this point that I made my mistake and realised I had not learned all the Migs weaknesses. As I passed over him, I tried a half roll and pull through to get on his tail at 300kp/h which was stupid; I was too low and she would not have it. I struggled to bring the nose up as she threatened to enter a high G stall.

I barely avoided the woods but still clipped a wing on an outlying tree just as I had got her level only a few feet off the ground and I slid unceremoniously to a halt as the 109 flew away to live another day.

Still, it did show that the Mig-3 can hold its own against a 109-F2 in a tight dogfight as long as it is treated carefully. A bit more patience when he was low and slow below me and I would have been celebrating back at base instead of coming home on the back of a cart balanced on a pile of turnips.
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Trying To Help The Tanks... And Failing.
Todays task was to soften up the German tank base so our own tanks could capture it and push back the lines. We first went in with P40s and took out the AA and some anti-tank guns and other targets which was enough for our own base to launch an attack. Phoenix & myself returned with PE2s while Cina took a P40 to provide cover and watch for any AA being repaired.

I made the first attack and destroyed a howitzer then Phoenix came in on the tanks.

I made my second run but was too hurried and knew I would not hit anything so aborted the run.

Phoenix then came in and dropped his second bomb but as he pulled up the Germans managed to get an AA gun back into operation and it opened fire on him

Cina Immediately dove in to use his bomb on it but the smoke from the bomb dropped by Phoenix blew at the wrong moment and obscured the target forcing Cina to abort his attack.

He turned back quickly and this time was able to hit it and the blast from the massive 500lb bomb also took out another nearby gun.

Phoenix and I now made another attack but communication failure meant we both arrived at the same time from opposite ends.

We manged to drop and avoid each other OK

Phoenix was just far enough away when my bomb blew first while I was already climbing out when his blew.

I had dropped close enough to my tank to damage it and the crew had abandoned it as it sat smoking.

A few minutes later the magazine blew, destroying the tank, but beside it the remaining tanks were now firing on our own newly arrived tanks.

Suddenly a rocket launcher also opened up on our tanks!

Cina Dove to attack but his first run missed.

I tried as well but only got a couple of bullets on target and it was able to continue shooting its rockets.

Cina now made a second run and this time got many bullets on target causing the crew to run for cover as it began smoking.

Phoenix and I were now out of bombs and bullets so turned for home while Cina destroyed another AA gun and turned for home himself. Unfortunately all but one of our brave tanks were now dead as Cina passed and the last blew up seconds later.

All three of us landed safely but then we had to go report our failure and the loss of all our tanks.

An Unwelcome Twilight Caller
Tonight I was on airfield defence duty. Usually a boring job sitting in my plane freezing my balls off 'just in case' but suddenly there was an alert and I was told to launch immediately! We had received intel that our field was due to be attacked tonight and they wanted me in the air ready.

I took of to the North-West and turned East and clawed my way up to 2000ft then turned back just in time to see a JU88 diving towards the field. I thought I would be too late as he would beat me there but when he saw me he decided to abort his attack and run for home without dropping his bombs. Perhaps he though his JU88 could outrun a soviet fighter but I was in a Mig-3 and doing 500 kph already while he had just scrubbed off his speed doing a tight turn. The JU88 is fast and I will admit I was not closing fast but I was still closing and was soon close enough to take a shot and put some holes in him.

He panicked and tried to evade which only helped bring me closer and my next shot got his right engine streaming. He was still going full speed though so I came in again and set his right engine afire and pulled off but before I got out of range, a shot from his gunner damaged my engine and oil started spraying on my screen.

I climbed away knowing he was finished and watched him try to crash land but lose a wing and go in.

With the searchlights still on I found the field again easily and came in just as another aircraft was waiting to take over the patrol.

Going for the source
Because of the trouble we had earlier with panzers breaking through, we were told to attack the panzer base itself to stop them attacking again.

We took four IL2s to do as much damage as possible and headed out at low level with Phoenix leading.

Arriving at the target we climbed and dove in. I could see the AA fire Phoenix was flying through and it was quite scary. Some of it was already heading my way with flack bursting around me.

Phoenix was so knocked about by the flak that he could not get off any rockets and his guns went wide.

I came in as he was climbing out and put a rocket on two targets and seemed to get good hits...

... but took a big hit on the egress, I felt the plane shudder, but we were still flying and Oleg wa still firing so I assumed we were OK.

Cina was following just behind but turned off to one side and took out an AA position from *extremely* low level!

He then curved round again quickly and dropped a single bomb on the ammo dump and destroyed the whole thing.

Turning back for another attack I nearly fell out of the sky as I had not realised I had lost a tailplane but I caught it and launched a rocket before coming back and launching another. Oleg had to fight off 109s as we were making the third run.

Lats came in with eight smaller rockets and launched them all in one pass.

One more pass with guns did not get anything vital so he turned for home.

I now had no more rockets but I made one last run on the fuel dump with guns though with all the ack bursting around me I was only able to hit one of the smaller dumps and I was hit again egressing.

Cina had attempted to use his last bomb but it appeared to fail to go off then on egress he took a hit and had to crash land in a field.

Phoenix now made a second pass and fired one of his rockets but was hit two or three times on egress

Phoenix had now had enough and decided to head home so called for us to RTB.

I was glad to comply as my aircraft was getting quite beat up as well and the 109s were getting through our cover.

We had been flying home at treetops for 5 minutes when I suddenly came under attack by a 109. My gunner, Oleg, gave him a bloody nose and he sheered off smoking badly but we were also very badly damaged and I had to put it down in a field.

To our joy we saw the 109 also crash landing in a nearby field where he was captured by Soviet troops.

Looking at his aircraft after the pilot had been taken away we could see how close Oleg came to taking the pilots head off but Fritz had been lucky as he had the thicker glass that many German pilots choose to install in the field.

Phoenix limped home full of holes and landed successfully. Lats had to put down in a field almost within sight of the airfield.
Cina & his gunner Jozef made his way on foot to the 109 crash site where our troops we and we all got a lift home to the airbase. No deaths and three crash landed aircraft that we were able to bring back for spares.