We watched a dual in British skies.
On 30 October
, 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.
The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
2194 Days Of War.
For a complete list of sources