I was gaining on them thanks to the terrible speed I’d built up, but they were gaining on Blakeslee, and he was doggedly pursuing his prey. I pressed my mike button. “Break, Horseback Leader, break hard right!” It was just in time. Don broke into a tight right turn, but the 190’s turned with him. We were well under 10,000 feet by now, where the FW190 could out-turn a Thunderbolt. But it gave me the chance to cut the corner, and zoom up under the last 190. He was intent on what was going on ahead of him and it was easy for me to close to where I could see the yellow nose and black crosses on the fuselage and wings. My first burst scored hits, so I gave him three more in quick succession. I was hitting him mostly around the starboard wing root. Suddenly there was a flash and a puff of smoke and his wing came fluttering off. The wing and the wildly spinning plane tumbled past me. I took a quick glance behind. Incredibly Wehrmann was still there, and I blessed him for it. There were other German planes above, but not dangerous – yet. The danger was up ahead. Blakeslee was twisting and turning in a desperate effort to shake the leading 190, but the German was sticking with him like glue and he was scoring a few hits. The second FW was pulling up to close the trap on what he still must have thought was a lone Thunderbolt; but I was closing on him fast. My attention was on the lead German and Blakeslee in their deadly duel. “ Hang on, Horseback, I’m gaining on him!” I had plunged the stick forward to pick up more speed. Soon I was right under the second 190. I pulled up, laid off deflection aiming in front of his engine, and fired. I was too close to miss. The fire was concentrated. Flashes appeared on the engine and continued down the under-belly in for long bursts. The engine must have stopped, because I hurtled past him. The FW went straight into a vertical dive, trailing smoke, and exploded in a field not far below. Now I could concentrate on taking the last 190 off Blakeslee’s tail. “I’m coming up, Don, hang on!” He was too busy to answer. I wasn’t quite in range, but I was gaining. Each second like an hour. I saw more flashes on Don’s Thunderbolt. I had to try to hit his attacker even if I was out of range. I took careful aim and fired from dead astern. There were not hits. I tried two more bursts. Nothing. Then on the fourth burst, I saw a flash! “ I’ve got him, Don!” I said. “The hell you’ve got him. He’s got me!” was Blakeslee’s breathless reply.