Punchy: tell us about your first encounter

The place to ask a Veteran a question related to the 352nd Fighter Group. Look for some answers as one of the team browses through the forum.

Punchy: tell us about your first encounter

Postby Parson » Wed May 04, 2005 9:32 am

Not THAT kind of encounter!You once told me a story about winging with your CO, in P47's. When you two got down, he asked, "Punchy, what WERE they?!"Tell us THAT story!
The Parson
User avatar
P-51A Mustang
Posts: 845
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 6:43 pm
Location: Charlotte

Punchy's first encounter

Postby PunchyPowell » Wed May 04, 2005 1:37 pm

Although I had flown a number of combat missions escorting bombers, attacking ground targets, etc. my first aerial encounter was on Dec. 22, 1943. Col. Ev Stewart liked to sort of test his 328th pilots by flyig with each on his wing at least once. This was my first mission as his wingman and as we returned from what had been a milkrun and I was patting myself on the back for staying in perfect position on the mission and was checking the sky for bogeys, I looked back to where Col. Stewart was supposed to be and he was gone. I almost panicked, frantically looking around to find him. Looking down I saw him going down inverted in a split-S so I flipped over to catch him. As we both pulled out of the split-S I realized I was about to pass him (a cardinal sin, passing your leader), so I started fish-tailing to slow up and get back in my proper combat position on his wing. As I moved almost even with him I noticed his guns were firing. At that point I had seen absolutely nothing. Looking out in front of him I was shocked to see a twin-engine German plane and he was getting hits on it. Suddenly I saw movement in front of me and realized I was directly behind another similar plane, probably 500 or so feet in front of me. I don't think I even looked through the gunsight, I just started shooting and getting hits all over the enemy aircraft. That was the first time for either of us to engage an enemy plane in the air and we both got victories. Returning to base we were real excited and he asked me what they were. I said, "Damned if I know, Colonel, but they had big black crosses on their fuselage. Later, when we reviewed the combat film we immediately recognized they were Me-110 two-engine German fighter-bombers. So much for all the aircraft identification sessions we had in training.
Robert H. "Punchy" Powell328th Fighter Squadron352nd Fighter Group"West 'by gawd' Virginian"
User avatar
352nd FG Veteran
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Postby Dduck » Thu May 05, 2005 8:57 pm

I cannot imagine how scary that must have been. Your flight leader "disappears" and the next thing you know there is the enemy and the battle begins. Did you even have any time to be scared or nervous, Punchy?

Proud Owner of the 1991 Mustang 352nd Tribute car. Best time to date : 9.85 @ 140 mph.
P-47 Thunderbolt
Posts: 346
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 4:00 pm
Location: Lake Villa, Ill. (NW burbs of Chicago)

Return to Ask a 352nd Veteran

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest