The day was 2 Nov 44. I had damaged a couple 109s and got a couple when another 109, with his wingman, came at me. I was in 'Little One III' and 109s had been easy meat for my P51D 10. But this SOB was not a regular 109. Not only did he outperform me, but his wingman was right there with him. When I was instructing in P40s I used to take trainees up and work on individual combat as part of their training. We would do the normal, split off 90 degrees, fly for 30 seconds, do a 180 and when we psssed each other, start the fight. As an instructor it was real easy to close on a trainee. This time, just as I got my guns on him, but not through him for a lead to fire, he disappeared. I looked around and finally found him. Again I closed on him. The same thing happened again. I called for a form-up and landed at base. We didn't even go into Operations. We took off again and practiced what the trainee had done. The maneuver had no name so we made up one. It was an 'Inverted Vertical Reverse. Here's how it goes. When you are at max power, pulling as many G's as you can and are shaking on the edge of a stall, the guns are on you, (but not through you for a lead), you do this: 1. You pop the stick into your gut. 2. You hit full bottom rudder. 3. You throw the stick full forward. Here's what happens: Your head hits the top of the canopy, the nose drops down and under, the prop twists you around 180 degrees and you end up at about 45 degrees down at zero G's and under 100K. All this happens in less than one second.And, remember, it takes almost one second for your eyes to register anything. In effect, you just disappear. I did NOT go back looking for that SOB." -- Don.
Don Bryan328th Fighter Squadron352nd Fighter Group"Little One III"