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Old 9th March 2005, 06:30
Leo Etgen Leo Etgen is offline
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Weber & Wurmheller

Hi Franek

I will take the liberty of sharing the combat report of F/O Fleming kindly provided to me through e-mail by Ota Jivorec. I hope that you find it as interesting as I did.

22nd June 1944
441 Squadron
Spitfire IXB
1440 hours
Southeast of Domfront
One FW 190 destroyed

I was flying on the port side of Black Leader as Black 5. I sighted
two aircraft on the deck and immediately went down on them.

I took the leading aircraft and opened fire at approximately 400
yards. He broke immediately, and pulled straight up in the air. I
held my fire and, when within 50 yards of him, I saw strikes and
then he blew up. I flew through the debris and, upon returning to
base, found that a piece had been knocked off the tip of my
propeller. Also, only one cannon had fired.

I claim one FW 190 destroyed.

J.W. Fleming, Flying Officer

No assurance that it was Wurmheller but it may very well be describing the last moments of one of the Luftwaffe's greatest aces. Thank you Ota! As to Weber, I will limit myself to say that as he was one of only nine aces that claimed over a hundred victories with JG 51 he is of definite interest to me. I believe that he was a experienced and skilled veteran who flew over 500 missions and claimed 88 victories in 1943 and 26 in 1944, at a time when skilled Russian pilots had developed flying what were to be the primary types flown by the VVS such as the Il-2, LaGG-3, LaGG-5, Yak-7, Yak-9 and Pe-2. Most of his victims apperantly were the various Lavochkin and Yakovlev fighters, which would lead one to assume that he was skilled in air to air combat with enemy fighters. It is my personal opinion that one cannot draw conclusions as to the relative merits of air combat on the two fronts based upon the eventual fate of individual German aces. However, the fact remains that Weber was killed in action on his first mission over the Invasion Front. In my personal opinion, what this episode demonstrates is that even having the experience of over 500 missions and 136 victories against capable opponents is no guarantee of invincibility when facing well trained, experienced and skilled pilots flying excellent fighters, who did not necessarily always need rely upon numerical superiority to achieve success. After all, in the interest of fairness, it is my understanding that Weber and his comrades were also badly outnumbered on the Eastern Front as well. I would be pleased to read what you would have to write about this as you are a regular contributor to this board with far greater knowledge about the Luftwaffe than I do.

Horrido!

Leo
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