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Our air war in Europe was fought at high altitudes much of the time at temperatures of 50 to 70 degrees below zero Fahrenheit... .Fantastic aerial duels with the stakes being air supremacy and victory. It is a story of great sacrifices. Most of what has been read about air superiority has been about our side and I think you’ll find it shocking to know what a German pilot went through. This story is just nine months of the war in the life of Luftwaffe ace Heinz Knoke in 1943, five years after Germany started the war.

MAY 14, 1943: Today the Yanks bombed Germania shipyards. I am impressed by the precision with which those bastards bomb; it is fantastic! I dive for a frontal attack upon about 30 Fortresses and my salvo registers hits right in the control cabin of one Fort. It rears up like a great animal that has been mortally wounded and drops away in steep spirals to the right. At about 10,000 a wing breaks off and it crashes near Husum at 12:17 hrs. Today my flight got down five heavy bombers and one was our flight’s 50th kill of them.

MAY 15, 1943: Twice I move head-on into a group of Fortresses and they take evasive action by sort of a weaving flight. That makes a frontal attack more difficult, for the firing time is limited to three to four seconds only. Perfect timing is essential due to the terrific closing speed, which is 600 m.p.h. I get a Fortress on the outer flank and hit his right inside engine, but he simply closes over into the middle of the formation. I dive steeply from behind another Fortress and shoot up his left two engines, they begin...

Next...The Heavy Water Operation

Continued...contact W4SID@attglobal.net for information.