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  #291  
Old 26th September 2006, 23:24
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Another pacific case

By late November 1943, the 9th FS was declared as operational (after receiving P-47). The commanding officer of the 9th, Maj. Jerry Johnson, would get the squadron's first victory with the P-47. Yet, it was a victory that should have been passed up. Taking an opportunity to fly with Kearby's 348th FG, Johnson accompanied them on a sweep over Finschhaven (New Guinea). Spotting a radial engine aircraft flying about 3,000 feet above the jungle canopy, Johnson raced down and put a burst into the plane's engine. A parachute was observed.

Upon his return, Johnson was deeply disturbed to learn that the radial engine aircraft was not Japanese. Johnson had shot down an RAAF artillery observer flying an Australian built Wirraway (the Wirraway was essentially, a modified North American BT-9 which was the predecessor of the AT-6 and SNJ advanced trainer. Wirraways were built, under license, by Australia's Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation). The pilot of the Wirraway had escaped serious injury. Nonetheless, he was sufficiently rattled and angered to file a complaint with the 5th Air Force command. Johnson, in a successful effort to make amends, hand carried a case of bootleg gin to a very forgiving Flight Officer R.M. Stewart. 5th Air Force legend has it that General Kenney personally provided Johnson with the alcoholic bribe.

Source:
http://home.att.net/~historyzone/Sev...Republic6.html
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  #292  
Old 29th September 2006, 11:35
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Many thanks Laurent

Trust you are well.

Cheers
Brian
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  #293  
Old 2nd October 2006, 21:07
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

12 May 1941, in Iraq

An He.111 bearing Major Axel von Blomberg, the newly appointed liaison officer to Rashid Ali and the son of the German field-marshal, had come in to land at Baghdad. As the aircraft flew in low over the north bridge some irresponsible tribesmen fired off a few pot-shots with their rifles. When the reception-party at the airport opened the door of the aircraft they found, not the vigorous adviser and coordinator they had expected, but a dead German with a bullet in his head.

Source:
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/U...-RAF-I-11.html

Brian, I should have the time to send you more about the French cases in the end of the week.
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  #294  
Old 22nd November 2006, 11:28
seesul seesul is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

And here are the pics of Willi Reschke´s Me-109G-6

Roman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s View Post
A few more personal remembrances from those at the sharp end...


29 August 1944
Bf 109G of JG 302 was shot down by a German fighter from the same unit:

"... Once again I was in the first wave, and again the B-17s opened fire very early ... my first burst was directed at the tail gunner: he had the widest field of fire to the rear and was the greatest threat to me ... Although I had not yet completed my attack and my rounds were dead on target, tracers from the man behind me were passing close to my Bf 109. Then the inevitable happened: there were several hard blows in the rear of my machine. I had been hit by one of my own people and I knew that I had to go down ... my tail surfaces had been badly damaged. The aircraft was extremely nose heavy ... My forced-landing took place near Ungarisch-Brod in the Banor area of Moravia. I never did discover the identity of the impatient comrade whom I had to thank for the subsequent train ride ..."
Willi Reschke
I. Gruppe/JG 302


2 March 1945
Now flying Ta 152H fighters with the high-altitude Staffel of JG 301, the same pilot recounts how they were misidentified and attacked by Bf 109s from his own outfit:

"... On this day the newly formed IV./JG 301 flew its first major mission against enemy bombers as part of the Geschwader. Equipped with the Bf 109 G-10, those Staffeln initially caused some confusion. III. Gruppe ... put a mixed group of fighters in the air, twelve Ta 152s and about the same number of Fw 190 A-8s and A-9s. The Ta 152s, which were led by Oberleutnant Stahl, climbed to altitude very quickly and flew far above the rest of the formation ... flying at a height of over 8,000 meters, and there they encountered a formation of Bf 109s. The pilots of the Ta 152s were certainly not upset by this unexpected reinforcement, especially as the aircraft wore the same yellow and red fuselage band.
But seconds later we could not believe our eyes: the group of Bf 109s opened up on us and the first tracers flashed by. Unteroffizier Blum was the first to be attacked, and his immediate warning made us realize the situation we were suddenly in. There was immediate confusion and the radio traffic that followed did nothing to change the situation. The leader of the Ta 152 Staffel received the order to 'Climb up and stay with the formation!' But even this did no good, for the Geschwader's own Bf 109s continued to pursue and attack. It was not possible to determine whether it was just Bf 109s of our own unit that were chasing us or if there were also fighters from other units. The Ta 152 pilots found themselves in a situation which words can scarcely describe: we were all fleeing from our own comrades, whom we did not want to shoot down. Many came to realize just how small and pitiful one feels when he is unable to defend himself. The Ta 152s were thus scattered to the four winds by our own fighters and took no further part in the mission ... "
Willi Reschke
III. Gruppe/JG 301

See p.146-147, 228-230, Reschke, Willi. Jagdgeschwader 301/302 "Wilde Sau" (Atglen, PA: Schiffer Books, 2005).


* * *

18 September 1940
RAF Spitfire R6772 was shot down by a Spitfire over Canterbury:

"... I'm quite sure it was another Spitfire that did me in. Because I saw this other aircraft and I turned to display my wing plan, which is the obvious one because the 109s had straight-edged wings cut off at the tips and the Spitfire had this elliptical wing, so that it was an instant recognition for him. So I let him see it. But it was too late and he shot off his bolt, and it hit me in the petrol tank. The only thing to be done was get out of the barbecue as quickly as possible. The flames were coming out and sort of burning off my uniform, and a bit of me in the process. And the next thing I knew I was floating down through the air without an aircraft ..."
Iain Hutchinson
222 Squadron, RAF

See video interview from the television documentary series Spitfire Ace (2000).


* * *

15 October 1940
RAF Spitfire X4418 was shot down by a Spitfire over Maidstone:

"... I was shot down at the end of a battle -- and by a Spitfire! This actually happened quite often -- a Spitfire shooting down a Spitfire. With inexperienced chaps and the sky full of planes, there wasn't all that much difference between our fighters and theirs at certain angles. We camouflaged the planes at first, trying to make the wretched things invisible, but then our own anti-aircraft guns used to go for us, so we gave them a more spectacular underside. The incident in question happened over Maidstone on October 15, 1940. There had been an engagement and I was gliding back to Biggin Hill after using up all my ammunition ... I throttled back at about 25,000 feet. There was nothing in the sky except three Spitfires behind me. Then suddenly -- bang! The aeroplane was full of holes. I was bloody indignant I can tell you. All at once I realised, 'Christ! I've got to bail out!' I had a bullet through one leg and my controls had gone. I had to get out!
As I was parachuting down I remembered that I was wearing a German Mae West! It was one that had been taken from a crashed plane -- they were a sight more comfortable than ours. At that I began to get very worried. There I was dangling on my parachute going down outside Maidstone, and I could see a crowd gathering below. What if someone decided to take a shot at me, I thought! I believe there were instructions then to the Home Guard on how to deal with parachutists -- apparently some of the Germans were coming down disguised as nuns! So one instruction said, 'In order to ascertain sex of the parachutist, put hand up up skirt.' Those were certainly desperate times! Anyhow, I landed safely, and the crowd soon realised from my language that I was English. In fact, as I said, it was by no means uncommon to be shot down by your own planes. I could name you a half dozen who were -- the commander of Biggin Hill for one. And another chap I know of was deliberately shot down and killed by his own squadron. They didn't like him, apparently ..."
Brian Kingcombe
92 Squadron, RAF

See p.72-74, Haining, Peter, ed. The Spitfire Log: A 50th Anniversary Tribute to the World's Most Famous Fighter Plane (London: Souvenir Press Ltd., 1985).


* * *

May 1941
RAF Blenheims and FAA Fulmars were attacked by British Navy AA fire:

"... On Crete, we spent most of our time escorting convoys -- and I think I am right in saying that we never lost a ship. Escorting the Navy with fighter Blenheims was not funny, we looked too much like Ju88s. Despite approaching the convoy into the sun, line astern, undercarriage down, at 1,000 feet ahead of the convoy, furiously firing off the colour of the day, they still plastered us. And the sight of a cruiser such as HMS Carlisle letting rip with all its guns was not a pretty sight if you were on the wrong side of the barrel. It became quite dangerous ... we had one more go when the Fleet Air Arm, who had a couple of Fulmars there, said they would lead us out to a big convoy which had eight destroyers as escort, saying, "They never shoot at us". They did, and the Fulmars high-tailed it for home and were never seen again. In another incident, Flt Sgt Innes-Smith, flying a Blenheim, having established his identity with the convoy he was protecting, was turning to intercept an oncoming Dornier Do 17 onto which he had been 'vectored'. As he was closing to attack he was hit and nearly shot down by RN AA fire. Fortunately he just managed to crash-land back at Maleme! ..."
John Jarvis
30 Squadron, RAF

See p.60, Forty, George. Battle of Crete (London: Ian Allan Publishers, 2001).


* * *

September 1943
USAAF A-36 fighter-bombers were attacked by British Navy AA fire and FAA Seafires during the Salerno landings; U.S. ground troops attacked by their own fighters:

" ... We took off from our landing ground at San Antonio, Sicily, at first light on 9 September 1943. Our assignment was to fly the Salerno-Agripoli patrol line as soon as we reached the beachhead. We proceeded to the north end of Salerno and then turned south ... About this time the sky turned white beneath me. The British Navy had fired a barrage of 40mm guns at us. At this time, Buzzy Sheftel, the controller on duty aboard the aircraft control ship, called me and said that our ships were firing at us. I replied to Buzzy that I knew that and that I thought I would move over and fly where the Germans were because the shooting was not as intense over there! ...
We had suspected that the British would be 'trigger happy'. During the Battle of Britain, the square wing tipped airplanes were the Me 109s and the round tipped airplanes were the Spitfires and Hurricanes. That thought was ingrained into the minds of the British. In 1943, the Me 109F and -G had round wing tips, the A-36A had square wing tips. Prior to the invasion of Salerno, we had sent an A-36 to Malta for the British to see. We had hoped they would realise that square wing tips were on our side now. We found out that it was the British Navy's policy to shoot at all airplanes that flew overhead. We did not receive an order or letter to that effect; we found out by getting shot at! We learned quickly...
Some British carriers were providing Seafire aircraft for the patrol line between Salerno and Capri. They lasted about a week! Word was that they damaged all of their aircraft trying to land on the carriers. They spent most of their time when they were aloft, attacking the other Allied aircraft which were also on patrol. At first, we took evasive action. Later, because of their vague idea of what constituted a 'curve of pursuit', we did not pay much attention to them. We figured that they needed the practice but they never seemed to get themselves into a position where they could do damage to another aircraft! ...
As for getting shot at by the Royal Navy, we got shot at as often by our own troops and we shot and dropped bombs on our own troops quite often. One day in the spring of 1944, we got a message from our higher Headquarters. It pointed out that there had been thirteen instances in one day where our airplanes had shot at or dropped bombs on our own troops. The next person who did it would face a court-martial. The following day, there were fourteen instances where we shot up our own troops!
The outcome of our getting shot at by the Royal Navy was that we were ordered not to attack a ship at sea in the Mediterranean. During the winter and spring of 1943-44 the Germans ran small boats and Siebel Ferries up and down the west coast of Italy. The Navy did not attack them and we did not give a damn whether they did or not, because we just bombed them when they reached a port ... "
Joseph Kelly
27th Fighter Bomber Group, USAAF

See p.121-123, Smith, Peter. Straight Down! The North American A-36 Dive-Bomber in Action (Manchester, UK: Crécy, 2000).
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  #295  
Old 26th November 2006, 02:10
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George Hopp George Hopp is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

There appeared to be a policy amongst AA gunners that boiled down to: If it flies, it dies!
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  #296  
Old 18th December 2006, 13:36
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

The following was submitted by a forum guest:

This link is likely to be of interest to your 'friendly fire' pages which I was just looking at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/57/a8966857.shtml
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The very pulse of the machine;
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A traveller between life and death;
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  #297  
Old 18th December 2006, 13:56
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Thanks Ruy, thanks Nigel

I would like to use this in my forthcoming book, perhaps Nigel will contact me.

Incidenally, the unnamed gunner was Flt Sgt T. Hayday (according to Chorley)

Cheers
Brian
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  #298  
Old 18th December 2006, 14:19
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Ruy Horta Ruy Horta is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Brian,

Unfortunately Nigel Whittingham, the author of the linked article, wasn't the one to forward the link.

Perhaps you can contact Nigel through the BBC site:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/a...tml#usecontent

"If you wish to use the content in a commercial context (eg a publication, CD or website the public needs to pay for to obtain, or a project such as a broadcast series or film), please contact the BBC to obtain permission. Use the Contact Us link on the left hand side of the page to do this."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/feedback/

Looks like the BBC claims all legal ownership.

Good luck.
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The very pulse of the machine;
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  #299  
Old 29th December 2006, 17:48
Norman Malayney
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Dear Brian,

The latest issue of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society journal, Volume 44 No. Four, Winter 2006, published an article, "Hampden Ops with 44 Squadron RAF" by W. J. Lewis DFC, W/lC RCAF (retired).

On page 127 the author states.
"Late in December (1939), we were sent out with 49 Squadron from Scampton to search for the German navy up the coast of Norway. We found nothing. We were operating as a wing led by the Commanding Officer of 49 Squadron (also flying Hampdens). Coming back he led us right into the middle of a big thunderstorm. Our squadron commander and his navigator decided to detour around the thunderstorm. When we reached the other side, 49 Squadron had disappeared. We found out later they had turned south and made a landfall in that direction. We went in through the Firth of Forth where we were met by three Hurricanes from 111 Squadron, who recognized our colours of the day. Waggling their wings, they turned away and flew off. They were followed almost immediately by 12 Spitfires of 603 City of Glasgow Auxiliary Squadorn, who didn't recognizes the colours--they waded in and shot down two of our Hampdens.

Fortunately, ten of us escaped and landed at a fighter base. We sat in their officers' mess with the station commander standing in the middle, seeing that neither side got at the other.

Yours very truly,
Norman Malayney
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  #300  
Old 29th December 2006, 19:08
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Thanks Norman

I do have an account of this tragic incident but not first hand, as such. Thanks for your time and consideration. Incidentally, it was 602 Squadron that was involved, not 603 Squadron. One crew member from one of the downed Hampdens was killed, the others rescued.

Wishing you all the best for 2007
Cheers
Brian
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