At the same moment someone from our unit cried, ‘To the right of us, nothing but bombers, to the right of us!’ Schall, as well as the rest of us, saw the bombers, flying north in a fomiation that was new to us. They flew staggered, about 1,000 metres deep and 2,000 metres wide. They were not US bombers, however, but Tommys in night-flight formation, doing a daytime attack on Hamburg. Schall ordered us to take up attack formation, already having long forgotten the order ‘assume 180’. We were lucky to reach the band without fighter protection and Schall, a fighter with real heart, was not going to pass up a chance like this.
We were headed east. We were in an area where anything could happen. Over the radio … I told the rest of the men to hold their fire until we positively identified the planes below us. You see, I thought they might be Russian planes. I certainly didn’t want to get in a fight if they were. So… we dropped in behind them. They never knew we were there. They were flying a pretty sloppy formation. Sort of strung out in a long uneven line. I closed up behind the last plane … about 150 feet from him. There was no doubt about it … they were Jerry planes.