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Northrop P-61 Black Widow

"Lady in the Dark" - last kill

From E-mail of  Lee Kendall:

Hi, Jiri,
I will type part of the mission report, at least the part that pertains to me.
CONFIDENTIAL
CONFIDENTIAL
548TH NIGHT FIGHTER SQUADRON, AAF APO # 245
548TH NIGHT FIGHTER SQUADRON MISSION REPORT #548-4 15-16 AUG 1945
1. A. TWO P-61 AIRCRAFT
    B. ONE JAP TOJO
2. A. NONE
    B. ONE JAP TOJO DESTROYED.
3. NIGHT INTERCEPTIONS
4. LT. JONES----ETC BOB 72
    CAPT. SOLOMON-----ETC BOB 55
(I changed my name in 1962 from Solie Solomon to Lee Kendall)
TAKEOFF: BOB 72 - 1910     LANDED: BOB 72 - 2116
                   BOB 55 - 1910                        BOB 55 - 2203
BOBOLINK 72 WAS AIRBORNE ----------ETC
BOBOLINK 55 WAS AIRBORNE AT 1910 ON REGULAR CAP WITH PINEAPPLE CONTROLLING. ABOUT 2000 CONTROLLER INFORMED PILOT THAT THERE WAS A BOGEY ON HEADING OF 180 DEGREES,ALT. 4500 FT. ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AI CONTACT WAS MADE AND BOB 55 CLOSED TO 2000 FT. RANGE AT A SPEED OF 300 MPH. IN CLOSING RADAR OBSERVER PICKED UP WINDOW NUMEROUS TIMES AND ALSO DURING THE CHASE. BOGEY MADE A HARD RIGHT TURN. GCI CUT OUT THE RO AS HE DIRECTED THE PILOT TO MAKE A PORT TURN AND SECONDS LATER, AS MESSAGE WAS REPEATED OVER INTERPHONE, BOB 55 HAD LOST ADDITIONAL RANGE. PILOT MADE TURN AND BEGAN CLOSING AND WINDOW WAS AGAIN DROPPED BY BOGEY, AS HE CONTINED HARD, EVASIVE ACTION, UNTIL HE WAS OVER POINT OKIE WHERE HE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE GEOGRAPHY AND DUE TO GROUND SCATTER, RO LOST CONTACT. BOB 55 SEARCHED OVER POINT OKIE FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES WHEN PINEAPPLE GAVE PILOT A HEADING OF 270 DEG. AND THEN CHANGING TO 240 DEG. BOB 55 USED ALL SPEED OF 300 MPH OR BETTER IN TRYING TO CLOSE BUT EVEN SO, PINEAPPLE INFORMED THEM THAT BOGEY WAS PULLING AWAY. DURING THIS PERIOD, WHILE BOGEY WAS USING VIOLENT EVASIVE ACTION, AI CONTACT WAS PICKED UP FORE TIMES AND LOST EACH TIME. BOGEY HAD WORKED HIS WAY TO POINT UNCLE WHERE BOTH GCI AND BOB 55 LOST CONTACT. LATER A SPLASH WAS REPORTED ON POINT UNCLE BY PINEAPPLE. PILOT ORBITTED OVER THAT AREA FOR A HALF HOUR DURING WHICH TIME BOGEY DID NOT APPEAR. BOB 55 PULLED OUT TO NORMAL PATROL AREA TO FINISH REMAINDER OF CAP. PANCAKED AT 2203.
CONFIDENTIAL
CONFIDENTIAL
 ----------------
One more thing: an excerp from: Aircraft Number 106
Squadron/Signal Publication
"Probably the most famous Black Widow was Lady in the Dark of the 548th NFS. The Lady was credited with the last two kills of the Second World War. Both kills were achieved without firing a shot when the P-61 forced both Japanese fighters into the sea."
This publication failed to mention that Lady in the Dark was assigned to me and my crew.It also failed to give the date of the first kill on the 14th of Aug. 1945 and the second kill (mine) on the night of 15-16th of Aug. 1945, almost 24 hours after the war was offictially over!
No wonder history is so often distorted or plain wrong.
Best regards, Lee

Jirka Wagner

 

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Last updated 01.01.2017