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The Last Dogfight

You might imagine that the last dogfight over Europe in World War 2 was an epic battle; Spitfires & Hurricanes v. ME 109’s and FW 190’s, that sort of thing. It wasn’t, according the history books. In fact the total horsepower of the two aircraft involved equates to little over a tenth of that available to the pilot of just one of the fighters.

It was; to say the least; a remarkable duel. It involved two spotter aircraft, a Fieseler Storch (a very capable German Reconnaissance aircraft) and Piper’s Cub (also an extremely capable (but American) spotter aircraft, still flown and beloved by thousands). It wasn’t simply a case of being the only dogfight between spotter aircraft. Unlike other warbirds spotters don’t usually have guns, but in this instance the crew of the Cub had their service revolvers.

What then followed is the only instance of WWII of a revolver being used successfully in aerial combat; the Americans opened the Cub’s door and then fired at the Storch below and ahead of them. The Storch, which was very low, attempted to evade his attackers with some vigorous manoeuvres; the net result of which was that the aircraft’s wing brushed the ground with one wing and promptly crashed. The victorious Cub then landed nearby (you can do that with an aircraft which can fly at 30 knots) and the Americans offered first aid to the Germans before arresting them and finishing off the conflict’s aerial warfare with a casualty free flourish and a jolly good story.

To commemorate this final, very odd, victory we’re delighted to have teamed up examples of the two aircraft involved in the hands of our good friends Sam and Ben.

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