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An encounter with an Ar 234.......


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#1 Erich

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 05:44 PM

I'll be revising my notes today from a phone interview I had last night with 13.33 victory ace Don Bryan of the Blue nosers, 352nd fighter group.
some interesting materials not availbe even in the offical 352nd fg history which I own. The guys is a crack up ! an eager beaver of one if I have ever interviewed. His voice spoke elloquently of a detrmined pilot still !
check Troy White's wonderful painting of don;t last encounter of an Ar 234 at :

www.starduststudios.com/per.htm

I have stuff to share about Don's Mustand pictured at the bottom of Troys article/painting.

also a fun little project that I helped with Troy about two years ago.....check this :

www.starduststudios.com/newpage5.htm

the Kühl thing is that my lovely wife gave Troy the name for the painting ! yeah babe'

more to come later today...

~E
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#2 Martin Bull

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 06:06 PM

Erich, you may be interested to know that UK warbird enthusiast Robs Lamplough has restored, and regularly flies, a P51D in the colours of Captain Ray Littge, 352nd FG.

The aircraft was recovered some years ago from a kibbutz in Israel and was, I believe, traced back to service with the 352nd. Robs then had it restored to the exact WWII spec, and even found the correct shade of blue on the wall of an old latrine block at Bodney ( truly ! ;) ).

The 'plane, which is based now at North Weald and regularly features on the UK Airshow 'circuit', looks wonderful : -

http://www.ukwarbird.../Miss Helen.jpg

[ 29. April 2003, 04:06 PM: Message edited by: Martin Bull ]
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#3 Erich

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 06:21 PM

Very cool Martin ! The 352nd has about 6 P-51's repainted in the Bodney blue and the vets are really proud of these modern-day owners of history. thanks for the link, and very interesting background history on Littge's a/c

thumbs up !

~E
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#4 Erich

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 11:36 PM

ok this is going to be somewhat mixed up as this was the case with Don as he started to reminisce about other missions with the materials on the Ar 234.
first off midway through our conversation Don was telling me about contrails, since the 352nd had some time on the east coast of the USA before being shipped over to England. They were practicing flight formation continually anywhere between 15 and 25,000 feet in theri P-47's and the first time they formed contrails Don and his wingman both announced that each other was on fire with smoke billowing out of the tails......we both had a good laugh over this as Don was just telling me about "us" kids going up having some pure fun and scaring the New Yorkers like crazy as this seemed to be the first time contrails had been seen over the city.

alright then, this will be in order I hope and bear with my spelling please....
The first time Don witnessed an Ar 234, and the (date is unclear to him except it was probably September/October 44) don was flying with his flight heading towards the sun, a scary proposition as they had already escorted some A-26's of the 9th Air force and having a difficult time keeping up with them since they were so fast. P-51's on air portection would fly zig-zag over and under the light bombers, but as the bombers flew a straight course the P-51's would lose contact and the A-26's would crank on ahead. During this withdrawl called out an A-26 coming towards them and overhead, don;s number 4 man shouted over the intercom it looks like an A-26 with big black crosses on it ! After the mission and almost 2 hours of debrief intel showed Don and the flight aerial pics of Ar 234's on an airfield for id as the guys could not really figure out what they had seen. So the A-26's without props and flying like hell were the Arado's. this was most likely the first time an 8th Air force pilot and flight were in contact with one of the new Jets.

Second instance with no date but probably November of 44, Don was above with his flight and he banked down and chased the Ar 234 to make a rear attack, " but the jet kept on going and I never caught up "

Third instance on December 31, 1944, saw my third jet and I dove down and behind it roughly 800 yards out and gave it a burst and saw strikes on one wing. My camera proved it though I didn't think I had made any hits. JC Meyer had me bank off as another Ar 234 was right behind me. We didn't know at the time that the jet did not have any forward armament......JC got in behind and gave it a burst in the fuselage which sent the Arado down confirmed. "My jet just kept on going.......damn !"

Fourth instance was on March 14, 1945 and this is the painting depicted in Troy Whites Perfidia. don was using another 352nd's pilots a/c at the time.
withdrawl with 9th air force B-26's heading west. Notice a Ar 234 below me heading and crossing me going south. I banked and chased him but he made a right turn and then "walked away" from me then as I slowly caught up he made another right turn heading north to the Remagen bridge. I let him go and thought when he passes after his bombing I'll catch him. Well that is what happened, he flew past the bridge and pulled up and put on the steam but I got in behind and dove on him and got under and behind about 1000 feet. I rolled on my back and slid a 275 degree swing and up and watched him and closed the gap to within 50 to 100 yards, pulled in and behind and at 200 yeards gave him a burst which knocked out both engines. He kept flying and I had my whole 352nd fg and another 9th air force P-47 group right behind. Well I wasn't going to let anyone bag this one, so I follwed him until he finally all at once rolled over and in so doing his canopy popped off but the pilot didn't bail. He went straight in. I followed down to tree top level and pulled 8 g's over the trees....(laughing)...geez Don !

whoa !

a little extra as we were also talking about the big Bodenplatte mission on 1-1-45 too. Don and some of his 328th squadron buddies were in a 4 foot by 8 foot ditch at a right angle and they watched as the Bf 109's and Fw 190's of JG 11 came screaming over the airfield of Y-29, Asch Belgium. The German a/c were making repeated dives and strafes at the end of the field where lined up were B17's, B-24's a Wellington or two (south-west corner)// I've got to include this....don and his mates went to the bombers previously and drained all the fuel from the bombers to use in their camp stoves for heating as it was one of the coldest winters in Belgium on record// anyway the German a/c kept going after the vacant bombers and hit after hit with the heavy 20 and 30mm kanons did minimal damge except to scatter aluminum all over the end of the field. They could not understand why the bombers were not going up in flames with their hits........now you know why !
JgC Meyer and his 428th fs had just tanken off and with their expertize massacered JG 11 as the German a/c were trying to get away. Don witnessed some unbelievable flying and on two occassions this day saw and could not believe two Bf 109's trying to split-S 50 feet above the tarmac. The end result was scattering(disintegration) of both a/c all over the field.
The only P-51 that the 352nd lost this date was Don's gorgeous P-51 "Little one III", named after his honey and future wife. Was Don pissed off to say the least.......so Don traded with Lt. George Middleton and flew P-51 "Worra Bird 3rd" till wars end, coded PE*J.

~E
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#5 Erich

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 08:53 PM

*(bump)* sort of.....

going to start a new thread next week with some interivews of US fighter pilots against the Me 262 jet. First on the list is 352nd pilot Charles(Buck) Patillo and his shoot down on April 10, 1945.......

~E
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#6 FalkeEins

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 12:58 PM

*(bump)* sort of.....

going to start a new thread next week with some interivews of US fighter pilots against the Me 262 jet. First on the list is 352nd pilot Charles(Buck) Patillo and his shoot down on April 10, 1945.......

~E


Erich,

did you ever get around to posting this .. there's some great stuff here (on the forum) ..taking a while to find it all though...

#7 Erich

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 07:58 PM

Neil no I haven't I did post it on an aircraft forum which seems to have gone bust up. In fact one of my thoughts was to post all my interviews at some point, just received another nice package from 78th fg ace. D. Hewitt and we have talked generally about his Me 262 kills many times by email and letter

#8 FalkeEins

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 01:14 PM

...Hi Erich,

..I'm a big fan of the Marc Hamel ' The Aces Speak...' series ...

The American Aces against the German jets would make a nice little volume... !!

#9 Erich

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 10:36 PM

Neil I am really debating what to do with my materials on just what you mentioned, I have some great first hand experiences from many of the 356th fg pilots although quite an unknown unit the guys pulled no punches and were very honest about their feelings tackling the jets and trying to catch them. I have an outstanding profile print signed by Barnhart, Ar 234 killer and a small corner pic which shows a painting of his lovely bride on the front part of his P-51. she was also kind enough to sign the profile as well. He was and is a gracious chap sending me quite a bit of first person info plus a copy of his combat report on the incident as one of the many guys I have come into contact with over many years.......




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