The Battles over the Channel

June 1, 2009
By
Flying Through Steel
Dear Journal,


Today is September 14, 1940 and it is 7:52 P.M. It was a rough day today, since I had another combat sortie. I had to wake up at about 6 o’clock in the morning during an emergency takeoff. Air command told us that they’re were 50 enemy aircrafts crossing the English Channel and were en route to attack London. We took of immediately but a Mark, a wing-mate of mine had to land because one of his fighter’s engines was jammed. I sort of considered him lucky because he was able to avoid combat for the day.
It was around 7:00 in the morning when we sighted the enemy aircrafts. The enemy was consisted of huge and metallic Junker 88’s which reflected the sunlight of their metal plating and the light sort of blinded me. We then started opening fire on the lumbering bombers and riddling each with holes in their fuel tanks. One by one, each enemy bomber started bursting into a fiery combustion and was quickly plummeting down to the Earth. I saw one pilot of an enemy bomber try to escape a burning bomber via parachute but was shot multiple times by a machine gun from a Spitfire fighter aircraft. The escaping pilot’s arms and legs flew a skewed across the sky spurting crimson red blood and fell through a cloud. It was a horrible sight to see and had shown the true meaning of war.

Enemy fighter reinforcements then came. The enemy was now composed for Bf-109 and Junker 88’s. The dogfight and air-to-air combat was like heavy rain storm and dodging a bullet is like dodging water during a heavy storm. I remember that I was shot once or twice in the wing but fortunately, it was not severe enough to shoot me down. It was hard to distinguish friend from foe, I had to get up close and personal with a plane to see its insignia and to tell if it was an enemy aircraft, I would’ve been shot up already by the machine guns.
At last, the last enemy aircraft was eliminated from the sky and we have finally gain air superiority for the day. Our squads then returned to our air base in London and headed back to our cabins to rest, eat, and have conversations. We talked about the battle and about the pilots on our side that was killed in action and we started to say good things about them and how they died for they’re country. Later we talked about how many kills we each made and about each of our own experience during the dogfight.
I remember that Jack was killed during the first 5 minutes of the battle. Jack and I have been friends since our days in primary school together. It was hard to know that he was gone but it felt like he was still here talking and laughing with us in the cabin. But I will remember that he will remain in my mind and spirit. I’ve always hated war and thought it was a stupid idea to kill people because of greed or power. But as I got older, I knew the war was inevitable so I started to train in the R.A.F. so I could protect my loved ones and my country.







Sincerely,









John Welkin





First Blood
Dear Journal,

Today is September 13, 1940 and I flew on my first combat mission today! It was a very exciting experience. My mission started I think around 7:00 A.M. We were given orders to prepare for combat at around 6:00 A.M. I was really shocked to hear that I was heading out to fight already since I was just transferred to this airbase from the training academy. I hastily putted on my anti-flak jacket and pants and my padded flight cap which would keep me warm when flying at high altitudes. We were then soon given a quick mission briefing from our squad leaders that we have to intercept a Germen air patrol squad.
If I remember correctly, my squad took off around 6:40 A.M. in an assortment of Hawker Hurricanes and Spitfires. I felt my blood rushed to my head and my heart was beating so fast it felt like it was vibrating inside my chest. My head then started to spin in odd angles and I soon felt very nauseous. Slowly, I soon to lose my control on the plane and soon I was starting descend quite rapidly. My squad leader then called me over the radio and asked if everything was all right. I responded and told him I was ok and my mind started to clear up. I was finally adjusting to the high flying conditions.
After about 10 minutes in flight we finally reached out targets. Our enemy was mainly composed of Messerschmitt Bf-109’s which were the Germen’s main attack aircraft. The Germens soon spotted us and started opening fire on us with they’re machine guns. A battle soon followed and it felt like a rain of lead and steel or, a rain of death. I was soon only focusing on one thing; surviving. I started to think back on my training and how to dogfight with an enemy fighter. Adrenaline soon started pumping throughout my body. I soon couldn’t concentrate and I started to lose my aim with the machine guns. Soon a Bf-109 snuck up behind me and shot at my left wing. I heard the bullets pierce through the light aluminum armor. My mind was going crazy and I was screaming in my head “I’m going to die, I’m going to die!” I also started going paranoid and saw every plane around me as an enemy. I pulled the trigger and started spamming my machine gun. I then started to calm down and looked at my rear mirror to see that Bf-109 still chasing me. I started to lose it by doing a series of turns and dives. I then checked my mirror again only to see the fighter still on my tail. I shouted out a few swears to rant out my frustration.

Suddenly, I heard a small explosion behind and me saw that the enemy fighter that was chasing me combust in flames. I saw that Mark, a wing-mate of mine had shot it down. I expressed my gratitude toward him over the radio. The dogfight lasted for another couple of minutes before the remaining enemy aircraft started to retreat. After the last enemy was out of our sight, we were declared victor of the battle. We then proceeded to return back to our base. As we flew back, I thought about what had happen. I felt like a coward when I had tried to escape the enemy fighter. I only thought about surviving. I hope to change this and become brave enough to at least damage an enemy aircraft the next time I’m in a dogfight. I hope to become strong enough to protect my country.





Sincerely,
John Welkin





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