Fuchida is at 7000 feet, immediately above Biak airfield, circling waiting.
About him, 6 other tigers, on the ground, 12 more, men in cockpits, waiting.
To the south, at the same altitude, a pack of gearge fighters. At 14000 feet, some more. And somewhere, way up there out of sight, up sun, 20 plus more.
Carefully, he reaches down, takes his water bottle from its pocket. Sticks the stick between his knees, unscrews the Cap, drinks carefully.
The leader rocks his wings.
'bandits, 20 plus, 20000 feet, 3 oclock" Calm. Controlled. In charge.
There is no hurry. Replace the bottle, check about, slide the canopy forward , take the stick lightly as ever, throttle to the wall......
They climb steeply, they climb fast.
The p 38's dive, sacrificing hieght for speed, seeking the zeros they hope to slaughter.
But these are no zeros.
The thirty eights fall upon the gearges, the goerges sidestep.......pull up and away, or roll clear, almost......almost contemptously.
The thirty eights do what they do, boom, and zoom...........straight into the second wing diving down upon them........
47th swing in, the classic follow me down attack, down into this mad snarling cat and dog fight in the blue........
Fuchida D, follows his friend, and wingman Fuchida G down, down, still banking, ...........
A 38 drifts across their bow..floating, floating, Fuchida G fires, fires, the 38 rolls, bursts into orange and death, falls underneath, banking hard left now, hanging on, hanging on, wingman down and lower on his shoulder, they seek, seek that next 38 turning inboard of them, and some buka races across, aiming for, for G, D fires, fires, misses, the 38 zooms up, up, away, ..........and a george nails him.
Speed, energy, hieght, team work. Stick with your man, protect his arse............
A 38 slants in from behind, twinkling lights on his nose, stick slam into thigh, rudder thumping to the stop, opposite rudder, rskidding, skidding, , under the barsted, stick, rudder, head bouncing, teeth gritting, plane rolling like a wet log in the stream, under him, FIRE!, hit!, hit the barsted!, barsted shovelling smoke.........and get away as some other buka flashes past.
And the sky is clear.
The true battle for Biak begins
16 p38 die today
For 1 george
47th sentai take 3, now they have 34 kills
Fuchida would like to claim his. But he does not.
There will be opportunities enough tomorrow.