V1 KillerBy kenwas
Air Defense of Great Britain (ADGB) had the vital task of intercepting the deadly V-1s, preventing them from penetrating far inland and keeping London safe from another Blitz. Throughout the V-1 attacks, RAF fighter squadrons achieved a remarkable degree of success.
On 16 June 1944, the Newchurch Tempest Wing began anti V-1 patrols and shot down thirteen in one day. Tempest patrols were flown daily and claims for bombs destroyed were filed every evening, more or less as a matter of course. Tempest pilots developed techniques for dealing with the V-1s, “writing the book” on this unique form of air combat.
It was found that firing on the V-1 from a range of 300 yards gave positive results and allowed the attacking fighter to get clear before the bomb exploded. The V-1 usually came in at altitudes between 1500 - 2000 feet and at speed around 400 mph.
Tempest had a better speed margin than other fighters at that altitude and their steadiness, as a gun platform was a useful advantage. When the V-1 offensive continued into hours of darkness, intercepting fighter pilots now faced an even greater challenge. Their aiming point was a point of bright light - the V-1s pulse jet exhaust. Beamont developed tactics to overcome this problem. He had the Tempest fly below the bomb, then climb until they felt the V-1s slipstream. He then advised his pilots to center the exhaust flame in their gun sight and press the trigger!!
The V-1 offensive lasted until the end of August. By the end of the campaign Tempest pilots had claimed a total of some 800 V-1s destroyed. No less than 55 pilots had became Divers (V-1) aces. The top scorer being Squadron Leader J. Berry of the Fighter Interception Unit and No 501 Squadron, with a total of sixty and one-third destroyed.
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