BOB User Stories: Attack Height 50 Meters Episode I

Attack Height 50 Meters Episode I

I always wondered how our Kommodore was able to keep his voice so calm and matter-of-fact. I also wondered, what did my own voice sound like when knowing I might die or be crippled or have murderous pain engulf me in the next few minutes? Anyway, after his comment, “There it is – at 11 o’clock.” I peered intently over the nose of my Me 110. This was one of my first combat sorties, yet I already knew how important it is to see and recognize the enemy as early as possible.

Now I did see the hangars. Their camouflage was much darker than the background. The field seems to be in front and it extends to the left. Yes, indeed. Ok, now I need to see if there are any parked airplanes and of course spot the airport FLAK. On the right end of the airport is a row of maybe five dark shapes. Ah-ha, they are trucks. A fuel truck is an especially nice target. They are packed so close together that I could take out several trucks with only one bomb. No, I would rather find the airplanes.
There they are! They are near the hangars, a bit to the left side. I have to change my heading only slightly. A quick look for my comrades shows me they flew a slight S curve to the right so that they will attack from the East precisely. The Kommodore will chew me out for not noticing that. I will have to deal with that later. My comrades are also heading for the airport again and should arrive directly after me. I cut my throttle – if we arrive at the same time, the FLAK can not shoot at all of us and flying slowly I have a better chance of hitting my target. The FLAK does not seem to have awakened yet, so flying slow is perhaps still a good idea.

One last time I mentally do the bomb run drill. I am flying straight towards the parked airplanes now and am committed. I have to keep the airplanes in my sights. I now see that they are single-engined fighters. Even if I saw the FLAK or my comrades, I could not change anything now even if I wished to. I concentrate 100% on aiming. I am getting slight PIOs. First I am too far right, then too far left. I shoot for probably less than a second, then pull a bit, then I release the bombs.

Full power! Now I have to make life for the FLAK gunners as hard as possible. Fast and low is my dictum, apart from that I can do nothing. I do not yet know where the FLAK actually is. I do know that an airbase this close to the sea just has to have several. I have a burning sensation in my back from expecting the shot that will kill me outright or perhaps kill my bird and make me fight for my life.

Then Rudi comes over the intercom – “The FLAK is opening up on someone else. They are in the South Western corner”. Seated facing backwards, he has now a much better view of the airport than I have. I breathe a sigh of relief. We are almost out of range. Maybe 10 seconds later I know I am out of their field of view and a bit later I pull up the Messerschmidt, reducing speed by gaining height and do a 180. On the highest point of the path, I have a good look at the airport. I see the tracers from the FLAK that Rudi told me about. Strangely I see no other FLAK firing. Maybe all of us are out of range of any FLAK.

I decide to attack the FLAK if I find no better target. There is an airplane about 200 meters above the ground, at my one o clock, but I quickly see the two engines. It is obviously just another Me 110. So, my eyes sweep back to the airport and I see a fighter before me. It is a single-engine plane. It has brown camouflage, even down the sides, as the Tommies use it. I can not see the roundels, but recognize it is a Spitfire. Forget about the FLAK, this will be my target! The Spitfire has one gear extended and one is only half extended. Is it crippled and landing?

Read the next entry in this user-created story here, whenever it becomes available.