And now your entire world, your entire life, narrows down to this moment.
There is no time to be afraid
You just have to, have to get a strike
Instantly you push the stick forward, open the throttle wide, and the bomber begins to gain momentum
Above you, the zeros, peeling away, some up, many streaking below you
18 strong, Zuikaku's Jills lead the attack
You see it instantly, to attack straight in, is suicide.
So does your leader, the unit banks gently to the left, now the enemy gunners have a three dimensional problem.......if you get close enough
You sense them more than really seeing them, the hellcats banking in, slicing in from the flank
Your rear gunner fires.......a pathetic hammering in the wave of chattering cannons and guns flling the sky about you
A hellcat screams past, and both men to your left fall flaming, and you can do nothing but hunker down, and grimly pick your target
Zeros, S bending ahead, weaving, rolling, trying to hold of the enemy fighters, planes falling all around you as you reach 300 feet, bank again to the right, and make your run
There is an Essex, there, nearly 3 kilometres away, dead ahead.........two more of your campanions disintergrate, the flack is streaming towards you, the sea erupting ahead, under, below, shrapnel rains and clatters upon your beast, and you know, you will never make it.
Wasp is sliding past your right, towars of bombs about her, and almost alone, their are only four of you left now, you slam the stick over, fighting to hold her nose up, balancing lift, slip, drag, that monstrous wieght strapped to the belly, you need to put in top rudder to keep the bitches nose up, you have never flown so well, been so in the moment, got it so right.............
Stick hard back, groaning she responds, holes string across the wing, a cry, a scream of agony behind you, the release under your hand, a scream of rage, of triumph, of life, you cannot miss...
You roar over wasps bow..moments frozen in time, men scattering, a man, in cooks whites for heavens sake staring at you...and the column of water rises hard against her belly...........Banzia!
And then something slams her from behind, ,drifting, no controls.....spinning, ocean.............
wasp 1 TT hit, one bomb hit
40 zeros lost
Just 11 bombers return