Title: "Bolt from Above "
Robert Winks in his P51D Mustang "Trusty Rusty" Scores a victory
against an Me262 Jet - January 1945
Signed by Robert P. Winks - Ace - 357th Fighter Group
Signed by Merle Olmsted MSGT, USAF (RET)
Historian, 357th Fighter Group
Robert Winks, 357th Fighter Group Ace achieved what most did not. Flying his P51D Mustang "Trusty Rusty", he shot down a German Me262 jet. Nearing the end of the war, Germany produced a technical marvel, the first jet to enter combat. A beautiful airplane, it was capable of speeds over 100mph faster than its prop driven opponents. Needless to say, they were hard to catch! Luckily for the Allies, it was another case of too little too late and the Me262 was not enough to change the tide of the air war.
Here Robert describes the remarkable event:
“I was at 15,000 feet near Munich when I saw a plane doing slow rolls on the deck - it was an Me-262. He had been flying away from what I later learned was the Schöngau Airdrome. I dropped my wing gas tanks, and rolled over into an 80 degree dive with 5 degrees of diving flaps. He made a 180 degree turn and flew back toward me, just before I started my dive. I was diving at a point ahead of his aircraft, and I had to adjust my dive angle to about 60 degrees. I closed to within 500 yards above him, and scored multiple hits across, and on both sides of his canopy. It flamed at once, rolled over...and that is all I saw because I was going straight back to 15,000 feet of altitude. But, I had a problem. My engine was without power, it was wind milling! Ack Ack was coming up at me from all directions! The engine had no power!!!? I had dropped the wing auxiliary tanks (which I was using), without turning the gas selector switch onto the internal wing tanks! If I had a vapor-lock, which I probably had, my P-51 prop was turning so fast as a result of my near vertical dive, that it sucked it out and took-off for fifteen thousand feet of altitude, which we made back, toot-sweet!”
“Looking back, that fool mistake may have saved my life, that day! My engine was making no noise, on my way down! The Ack Ack crews didn't notice me until after I hit the Me262, and that gave me time to get away from them.”
“Richard Peterson followed me down, but he never told me that he drew any Ack Ack! Immediately after I hit the Me262, Pete said, "Good shootin'!" to me on the RTA. Anyway, all is well that end's well! Right?”
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