2 Norway vets have 45 minute battle at 44.000 feet.

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2 Norway vets have 45 minute battle at 44.000 feet.

Post  Black Hornet on Sat 30 Apr 2011 - 6:20

in 42, then move on to Arado Jet in 44.

Horst Götz and Erich Sommer have practically fought the entire war together, from the Norwegian Campaign until September 1944 when their destiny took different paths.
After the Norwegian Campaign, they were both assigned as "attachés" of the Luftwaffe's Armistice Commission, and particularly to the surveillance of Maréchal Pétain's whereabouts to prevent him from leaving France by airplane.
We find them again in Casablanca, still attached to the Armistice commission.
At the beginning of August 1942, they are called in Beauvais to be part of high altitude bombing raids over England. The era of the "raiders" had begun.
After several missions without opposition in August of 1942 over Aldershot, Luton, and Bristol with their JU 86R (T5+PM) armed with only a 250 kilos bomb, they now prepare for a bombing raid over Cardiff on September 12, 1942.
Much to their surprise, they are intercepted at 44,000 feet by a Spitfire IX flown by Emmanuel Galitzine of BF 273 due to a transmission error. The pursuit in on and will last for forty-five minutes! H. Götz and E. Sommer will successfully bring their airplane back, having to land in Caen due to canon shells having pierced the airplane all over. It will be the first, and the only air battle at this high altitude during the entire war.


On August 2nd 1944, the weather is satisfactory, and the order is given to fly the first reconnaissance mission.

Sommer has very little room to move around in the cockpit of his twin jet airplane. On his left, there are two levers, which must be manipulated with the "hand of an angel" to control the regime of the engines.

One last look outside indicates that everything is OK. Via radio communications, the control tower provides the latest instructions, and the airplane is ready for takeoff.
Slowly, the Arado accelerates...

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