Captain Todd Moore finally got an opportunity and went after some Hamps (late model Zeros) with his wingman.
As we dove, I remember thinking that I had to stick to Captain Moore's
wing no matter what happened.
was a veteran and this was my first air action.
We saw four Hamps doing lazy eights in a loose string over the B-29s.
closed on the tail of the string and exploded the fourth plane with a short 20 degree deflection shot.
At full throttle we began firing.
I was stacked in so close to the Captain that his
ejected shell casings were hitting my plane.
I flew within 60 feet of the third Hamp.
Its bottom was blown out and the plane was burning and falling rapidly out of control.
I fired a short burst at the number 2 Hamp with absolutely no results.
Frankly, I was more concerned with sticking to Moore
and not getting lost than in getting a Hamp.
Captain Todd Moore was distracted by a lone Zero on the tail of a P-51 amid the 45th Squadron.
To distant to intervene, he
watched as Sadaaki Akamatsu, a legendary Japanese ace, shot down Rufus Moore and sped on with seeming impunity through the escort.
Captain Todd Moore, 45th Squadron
had been an American he
would have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
had himself shot down two Jacks and a George in a series of savage actions, and as the battle waned he
played the tourist.