“Clash over the Rooftops of Paris”
Capt. Leonard ‘Kit Carson & 1st Lt. Ted Conlin over the Seine River in Paris
Victory Followed by a Daring Escape
Signed by Ted Conlin and Merle Olmsted
Late in July, 1944, a group of Mustangs began a sweep in the vicinity of Paris and encountered a group of 25 Me 109 and FW190 attacking a group of P-38 Lightnings. Kit Carson describes his encounter:
“I Chased a 190 clear across the city of Paris and finally nailed him after a weird rat race past the Eiffel Tower. You could identify the major boulevards in my combat film. It wasn’t until the shooting was over that I fully realized where I was and then clearly recall asking myself, ‘How the hell am I going to get out of this place?’ I shoved everything forward – throttle, mixture, RPM and stick. It was one of the few times that I asked Rolls Royce to deliver everything advertised. The Merlin was laying down black smoke out of both rows of exhaust stacks. I almost never ran an engine at full power in combat. I was at house top level, flat out at 72 inches of HG and 3,000 RPM. Half the flak in Paris was coming up.”
Ted Conlin clearly remembers his experience:
“The game was on and I was on a wild ride earthbound trying to stay in position on Carson. At the time it seemed we were diving almost vertical and the 190 pilot was doing big barrel rolls, and we were right with him.
As Carson closed range, he started getting strikes on the 190. This and the ground coming up caused the German to flare and level off. We were now at about 300 feet and every soldier with a weapon was firing at me. I even saw one officer whip out a pistol and shoot at us! The Germans had AA weapons on the roofs and in parks – they were all concentrating on me! I saw the Seine River off to my right and swung over and down onto it, hugging the north bank which got to be about 50’ high. The guns could not repress enough to reach me that way.
Carson had taken the same route and I confirmed his victory. I had a new appreciation for the daring and flying skills of the man who would ultimately become the leading ace of the 357th, Leonard K. Carson.”
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