I want to present here a history. She is like the famous history when a German Fighter escort an Amercian bomber in many details but more tragic...
I will write all the flight, from takeoff to landing, with all the details mentioned by the author.
But it was at dawn on May 18, 1940 that I discovered all the absurdity of the war, and that day marked for me the most moving memory of this short and dramatic six-week campaign. Short, it may have been for those who, in retrospect, have written the course. it certainly was not so for those who, for forty days, were plunged into a murderous action, as on the ground. Eleven Curtiss of the group II / 5 had taken off at dawn of Toul-Croix-de-Metz, under the orders of the commander Hugues. their mission: general destruction on the sector Longwy-Dun-sur-Meuse, altitude 5000 meters. At this early hour, we would not miss game. We were not disappointed. A quarter of an hour after our arrival on the sector, we intercepted over Conflans a formation of eighteen heinkel 111, without close protection of hunting. All of Curtiss's device went to the parish, but the Heinkel's rear gunners, who were flying in very close patrols, began to weave a barrage of fire which disassociated our attacks. After a clearance, I saw a plane coming up. behind me. I faced. It was Svetlik, a Czech of the group, who had lost his patrol during the engagement. He comes a few meters away from me and, with his cabin open, he makes a friendly gesture. I inspected the sky around us and I did not discover the others. The Heinkels had trained them. Lightning fights where we crossed 8 kilometers in one minute. The sun had risen above the horizon and was now blazing in the limpid azure. the visibility was excellent. I consulted my measurer. I still had three quarters of an hour of gas. I decided to stay in the Svetlik sector, a confident teammate despite his youth, and very brawling. My eyes went down to the ground. At 1500 meters below, the Chiers snaked through a narrow corridor, dominated by wooded rumps. A light mist covered Luguyon. Suddenly, my attention was fixed.
Lower than us, a plane was returning to enemy territory. A Dornier 17 who, after a reconnaissance towards the end of the night, far inside our lines, returned quietly home, at very low altitude. He had not noticed us, for he did not deviate from his path. I pointed it out to Svetlik, who nodded. We dropped into a deep dive, engines at full throttle. The Dornier did not flinch. the three men were probably drowsing. It was not until my first gust, fired less than 100 meters away, that the pilot seemed to be concerned, as he tilted his plane to the left, straightened it and, after a very sharp bend to the right, to the ground. I went after him. At the water's edge, the German is recovering. My balls lapping on the smooth surface of the river. Svetlik, who was also attacking, stopped his right engine. In spite of this handicap, the German still approached the ground, and at a few meters altitude, obediently married the curves of the valley, while the machine gunner laughed at full flow. I tried to avoid as far as possible his range and I placed myself 30 meters behind him, sending him short bursts. One of them seemed to crush the glassmaker's dome, which stopped shooting. On the right, on the left, dominating us, the wooded hills were moving at great speed.
I write the following later ;D