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We watched a dual in British skies

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We watched a dual in British skies.
On 30 October 1939, a Nazi aeroplane flew over a town on the north east coast, just as people were going to business. A British pursuit plane engaged it, and the ensuing fight is vividly described below by some eyewitnesses in The Daily Telegraph.

An A. R. P. storekeeper told with graphic detail how the machines engaged in combat. I saw a big black machine, he said it would not be any higher than 200 feet. And was about 100 yards away from us. Then a smaller plane loomed in sight. The machines were so close to me that I saw the machine gunner in the second plane rise in his seat as he fired a number of rounds. The first plane, up to this point appeared to be unaware of the fact that he was being pursued, but immediately the first round was fired from the British machine the Nazi darted off at a tangent in a northern direction.
A milkman said he was doing his rounds when he saw the first plane passed over, but he could not identify it. It had hardly passed over, he said, when another plane came into sight. I could see the swastika plainly because it was flying dangerously low and the roar of the engine was deafening. The machine was extremely lucky not to strike some of the higher buildings of the town, then it made of seawards and narrowly escaped striking the cliffs. Smoke could be seen belching from the machine as it made off in a northerly direction, and this at first led to the belief that the machine had crashed. However it appears to have got away.

A graphic account of how a German plane apparently the same as that over the coast and a few minutes later, flew down to within about 30 foot of a motor bus at a spot in Northumberland, was given by the only passenger on the bus. I had been up in that country for the weekend and was returning in the bus, he said. about 0825 hrs, I saw a large black plane flying very low towards us. The conductor and driver thought at first that it was a British plane, but I was in the Naval air service in the last war and believed myself that it was a German type. The plane eventually came down to within 30 feet of us, and I could plainly see the black crosses on the underside of the wings. I thought the machine was going to land, but it followed the bus and circled overhead for about three minutes. At one time, I thought the crew were going to open fire on us. I could see the pilot examining the bus, and it seemed to me as though he was trying to get his bearings from the destination board. Nothing happened, however, and eventually the machine turned and flew away. As soon as possible, I reported the matter to the police.

Mr William Dudgeon, when the planes passed my farm. They were going towards the coast and about 200 yards apart. I saw smoke coming from the second plane, which I took to be a German machine. The engine seem to splutter, but the machine kept going on. There was no machine gun fire. When they passed me. The German plane flew so low that it nearly high buildings at another coast town and narrowly missed the telegraph wires. It then made off seawards and smoke was seen coming from it. People thought it would crash into the sea, but when they reached vantage points they could see no trace of it.

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Sources

The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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