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UberDemon
06-01-2006, 03:41 PM
Hungarian He-111 "Ace" Crew short testimonial

Reading another post about the fixed rear gun in the He-111H-6, I digged a testimonial from a Hungarian crew that is interesting. So i thought I'd share it with you, since it seems to be somewhat unusual.

The excerpt is from George Punka's book "Hungarian Air Force" (ISBN 0-89747-349-3), and takes place circa Summer/Autumn 1942 (no specific date mentioned):


During one mission a Heinkel He 111P-4 long range reconnaissance aircraft was flying toward Voronezh in excellent weather. Its mission was to cross the Don River and photograph the city of Voronezh. As it approached the target, all hell broke loose. Almost thirty anti-aircraft batteries were firing at the lone bomber. The He-111 cleared the anti-aircraft zone, when five Soviet fighters made their attack. The first of them pulled in directly behind the Heinkel, spoiling the radio/gunner's chance to fire because of the Heinkel's vertical tail. What the Soviet pilot did not know was that this Heinkel was equipped with a fixed machine gun, housed in the fuselage under the rudder, operated by the radio/gunner, who opened fire. Seeing the bullets coming towards him, the Soviet pilot turned and gave the dorsal gunner a clear shot with his flexible gun. The Russian fighter went down, emitting first white then black smoke. The second fighter approached from the left, rear and used the same tactics as the previous pilot. The previous situation repeated itself when the radio/gunner and the photographer used the fixed and the flexible guns to fire on the fighter which was seen to burst into flames. The mechanic/gunner, who was lying in the gondola, saw the third Russian fighter coming in to attack from below. He let it come in close and, as the Red-starred fighter opened fire from about fifty meters, he emptied the contents of an entire ammunition drum into the Russian aircraft, shooting it down. The remaining two fighters broke off the action. This particular aircraft, under the command of 1st Lieutenant Antal Kelemen, shot down a total of seven Russian aircraft.

UberDemon
06-01-2006, 03:41 PM
Hungarian He-111 "Ace" Crew short testimonial

Reading another post about the fixed rear gun in the He-111H-6, I digged a testimonial from a Hungarian crew that is interesting. So i thought I'd share it with you, since it seems to be somewhat unusual.

The excerpt is from George Punka's book "Hungarian Air Force" (ISBN 0-89747-349-3), and takes place circa Summer/Autumn 1942 (no specific date mentioned):

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">During one mission a Heinkel He 111P-4 long range reconnaissance aircraft was flying toward Voronezh in excellent weather. Its mission was to cross the Don River and photograph the city of Voronezh. As it approached the target, all hell broke loose. Almost thirty anti-aircraft batteries were firing at the lone bomber. The He-111 cleared the anti-aircraft zone, when five Soviet fighters made their attack. The first of them pulled in directly behind the Heinkel, spoiling the radio/gunner's chance to fire because of the Heinkel's vertical tail. What the Soviet pilot did not know was that this Heinkel was equipped with a fixed machine gun, housed in the fuselage under the rudder, operated by the radio/gunner, who opened fire. Seeing the bullets coming towards him, the Soviet pilot turned and gave the dorsal gunner a clear shot with his flexible gun. The Russian fighter went down, emitting first white then black smoke. The second fighter approached from the left, rear and used the same tactics as the previous pilot. The previous situation repeated itself when the radio/gunner and the photographer used the fixed and the flexible guns to fire on the fighter which was seen to burst into flames. The mechanic/gunner, who was lying in the gondola, saw the third Russian fighter coming in to attack from below. He let it come in close and, as the Red-starred fighter opened fire from about fifty meters, he emptied the contents of an entire ammunition drum into the Russian aircraft, shooting it down. The remaining two fighters broke off the action. This particular aircraft, under the command of 1st Lieutenant Antal Kelemen, shot down a total of seven Russian aircraft. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

ytareh
06-02-2006, 06:06 AM
Wow who would have fancied a 111s chances against 5 fighters....almost as unlikely as the Sunderland that fought off a lot of Ju88 fighters ....

TgD Thunderbolt56
06-02-2006, 10:51 AM
Poor tactics often end in unacceptable results...witness this very story. Obviously, had those fighters coordinated a pincer with 4 of the 5 aircraft in both the vertical as well as the horizontal, they would have (likely) fared much better. Nonetheless, underestimating one's opponents in any circumstance usually leads to surprising (and typically undesireable) outcomes.


TB

UberDemon
06-02-2006, 11:58 AM
When the IL-2 first introduced the UB in the back seat (after using improvised dual 7.62mm), it came to quite a surprise to Bf-109s that 12.3mm shots to the "little" DB engine didn't feel so good...

PBNA-Boosher
06-02-2006, 10:08 PM
The US's own misfit, Jay Zeamer, piloted a lone B-17E over the heavily defended Buka Airstrip. 20 Japanese Zeros attacked the B-17. The bombardier, Joseph Sarnoski, shot down 3 Japanese Zeros personally with his single gun. Jay Zeamer, having fixed a single .50 in the cockpit for himself to fire, shot down a Zero on his own. Several other members of the crew, including top turret gunner John Able, shot down several more aircraft. I believe the total was 8 Zekes shot down, many more damaged. The remaining Zekes gave up the fight. Only Joseph Sarnoski was Killed in Action, everyone else, save for the recon photographer, was heavily wounded. The B-17 managed to make it to a relief airstrip with the help of John Able, who, with no prior training in flying an aircraft, guided the plane on a straight course while Jay Zeamer advised him during the periods when he was conscious. During landing, Jay Zeamer, whose legs were shot to pieces, controlled the aileron and elevators, while his co-pilot, Britton, who had no control of his arms, used the rudder. They had no brakes or flaps. They landed the plane safely and brought it to a stop at the end of the runway. The photographs taken of Buka's defenses helped the allies take Buka a few months later. For their heroism on that day, Jay Zeamer, who survived despite horrifying injuries, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Joseph Sarnoski was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously.

One member of the reserve airstrip attempted to count the bullet holes in the ravaged B-17. Amazed, he stopped, saying, "After the first thousand it didn't seem to matter anymore."

UberDemon
06-03-2006, 11:32 AM
Wow, good account as well!

tigertalon
06-03-2006, 05:50 PM
Boosher, u sure those were zekes? AFAIK they were Oscars... big difference versus B-17.

Hurri-Khan
06-03-2006, 06:25 PM
There's that B-17E "lucy"'s story;

http://freepages.military.rootsweb.com/~hfhm/Awards/Sarnoski.htm (http://freepages.military.rootsweb.com/%7Ehfhm/Awards/Sarnoski.htm)


&gt;&gt;&gt;-H-K--&gt;

PBNA-Boosher
06-03-2006, 07:05 PM
Yep, they were Zekes. The Japanese planes had cannon and MG's.