An Ace and His Angel: Memoirs of a WWII Fighter Pilot by Herbert Brooks Hatch

By Herbert Brooks Hatch

Memoirs of a WWII Fighter Pilot

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We hadn't flown more than four or five minutes more when another 38 joined us. He was John Allen from the 94th squadron. We were happy to see him and hoped he had some ammo. When we called to ask, we found out his radio was out and we couldn't talk to him. We hadn't gone more than twenty or thirty miles west and were just getting a little altitude when we ran into a bunch of flak. Morrison got separated again because he couldn't move as fast as we could and we had to go back again and find him.

Get out or chance the landing. He was evidently more scared of trying to bailout than getting blown up landing. He elected to take it home. We headed back and 1 told our tower what the problem was and suggested they clear the runway and parking area. _.... made sense, so we flew around for a while. When the area cleared to land, I called the kid and said, '']' II take the fl ight in fi rst. If you go first and don't make it, we won't have a runway to land on. Wait for clearance from the ground.

My guardian angel was still with me! I kept going and, when I was sure I'd lost the 109, I pulled back up through the overcast and started looking for Hoey or Allen or Joe, but I couldn't see anyone. I heard Joe calling for help, but my fuel level was getting down to the point where J couldn't afford to go looking around anymore. 63 When I landed back at our base, I was the first member of the squadron who had been in the fight to return. Blue flight had come in a short time before and had met no enemy.

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