Sometimes things happen in the game almost precisely as described in books. This time it happened to myself and my wingman, almost exactly as pictured in a recent excerpt from my book, “Wingman – the virtual pilot’s companion to team combat”. The book offers a bit of historical background, hard-won insights and graphic examples of how loners, gaggles and consummate team-players do combat in the online skies. If you are into online air combat, or know someone who is, this book is for you. Anyway, here’s what happened a couple of days ago:
T/O Maubeuge-Elesmes in H81’s [P40-B], climbout 090 on continuous revs and max boost, in combat spread. Shortly east of Merbes, Robino spotted a high contact at 12 o’clock moving west – a FW-190. We made a cross turn and set after him just in case. He vanished in the haze to west seemingly without having spotted us. We cross-turned again and resumed our eastward march.
A few yellow squares [E/A reports] appeared round Ciney and Verviers well to the east, we kept on trucking and levelled off at 4500m. Squares disappeared and we turned N for Waremme which had a solid yellow due to ground battle in progress. Battle plan: sweep Waremme high, turn for Verviers and then let down vicinity Liege heading to Waremme on a fast and low sweep with Robino hanging back a few seconds to take advantage of whatever I missed or spotted off my track. There was nothing high at Waremme, so we stuck to the plan.
Swinging round at Liège just outside flak range, I cut back on throttle and started the run. I clocked 600 km/h initially while letting down to 1500m – nothing to be seen on approach to town. On arrival, two cons low to left and several more to front. I kept going. High con over town, approx 2500-3000m, turned out to be a 109 coming down. I opened the throttle then, having completely forgot to watch my airspeed! Rob was on my long six without a shot on either of the spotted EA. I zoomed close past the now diving 109 and exited the area to northwest. We were pretty low and slow then, in a multi-bogey situation!
On exiting it became apparent that Rob had a FW on his six and closing, with several more EA straining to catch up. I swept around and dinged the FW somewhat, scaring him off Rob, and called exit north! That single turn-around was enough to attract attention and we had soon created a small conga line: bmbm/109/Rob/109/109. Neither was in shot range however and closure was small so we kept on going for a while to clear the general area, converting to westerly as we went on.
Then ensued a very brisk fight, 2 vs 4, on the deck: I did a high oblique reversal on my 109, Rob dinged him, and I then concentrated on the two coming in hot on Rob. We had good separation and managed to clear each other visually and with fire in succession. Rob scotched one 109, I dinged one other and then there was just the one, still following Rob around. Despite atrocious gunnery on my part I finally got him with a no-bullshit shot to the canopy. We made clear, cut back on revs and headed westwards low to land at Brussels-Evère.