This Wednesday, the last day of October, Tempests from No. 274 Squadron and Dora-9:s from III./JG 26 would once again battle out in the area around Plantlünne airbase.
III./JG 26, took off during the early morning, led by the Gruppenkommandeur Hauptmann Walther Krupinski, was on a mission to München-Gladbach, to attack fighter-bombers supporting the US Army's advance on that city. Six Tempest from No. 274 Squadron, led by Sqn. Ldr. David Fairbanks was on a search and destroy mission patrolling the Hamm, Münster and Osnabrück area.
After the Tempest pilots had attacked a locomotive they returned to Fairbanks old "hunting grounds" and once close to the airfield they spotted "40 + Fw 190s and Me 109s". At around 08.00 in typical fashion, Fairbanks led his flight into an attack, and a hard fight began.
It was the JG 26s third Gruppe that was bounced at 5,000 feet by the Fairbanks flight. More than willing to mix up, they engaged the Tempests, the Allied pilots, badly outnumbered by five to one, were soon fighting for their lives.
Faribanks recollect "I closed the range on this aircraft and before I was ready to fire I noticed some traces coming my way. It was close to the ground and thought it was flak tracer. A few traces went by me and I was ready to fire at the enemy aircraft. I fired and hit the Fw 190 who burst into flames, The next instance I was hit hard."
The pilot on the receiving end of this battle was Uffz. Franz Schmidt from 9./JG 26 flying in his "White 17". Hit by Fairbanks, Schmidt was able to belly land his stricken Dora-9 only to die later of his wounds.
The pilot who in turned hit Fairbanks Tempest was Uffz. Karl-George Genth from 12./JG 26. Gent had attacked his target from a difficult position, passing from right to left in a tight bank, and had seen his fire strike the wing region; the Tempest flew right through his cone of fire. This was to be Genths third and last abschuss of the war (more of Gents last combat would follow next week).
In all two
Tempest was shot down this day by III./JG 26, the another Tempest
was flown by Flg Off Spence, both pilots survived bailing out
and was taken prisoner.
Please note that there is not any known photos of Faibanks, Schmidt or Genth's machines, the profiles is therefore based on other machines from those units, blocks and the period of time.