The German was crafty, he wanted to bag a Yak for his trophy wall. He planned to use the “boom and zoom,” the Luftwaffe’s favorite tactic. For this, their despised Bf-109 is unparalleled. He set up again for the joust with Tamara, but he was in for a surprise. He bore in on her, Tamara’s damaged Yak virtually immobile. We heard her calling out his position, as we jockeyed to get our sights on our own targets. We were keeping these two 109s out of the fight!
“Steady, Tamara. I’m coming!” It was Lilya!
The German was fixed on his target, he did not see Lilya sweeping in behind him as he steadied up on Tamara’s crippled Yak. As he closed, suddenly 20mm and 12.7mm tracers from behind! Lilya was closing in, firing her Yak’s two guns!
Frantically, the German corrected his travel-path, yanking into a hard right bank, trying to get out of Lilya’s sights as Tamara screamed by him. Lilya’s tracers played over the German’s wings as he maneuvered back to the left.
Suddenly, as he dove for safety, a critical hit! Parts flying off the 109, its pilot was forced to parachute to safety.
Galina and I were having a tough time of it ourselves.
Galina Ivanovna was a marvelous pilot, who could wring every last drop from the Spitfire’s thundering Merlin engine. She hung behind me tenaciously, holding off the German flight leader as I worked at killing his wingman. The British aircraft was amazing in its dexterity! Nothing turns as tightly, flies as smoothly, incomparable! Its two 20mm Hispano cannon and four .303 machine guns spat tracer at the frantically evading Bf-109.