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Shot Down Over Nazi Territory: The Unbelievable Story Of Jim Moffat | War Story

May 30, 2024
Those people, the French, people who helped us and risked their lives so many times and in so many ways. I can't thank you enough for what you have done. The resistance couldn't take prisoners because we had nowhere to take them. they took care of them and the Germans never captured the resistance they

shot

them all it was a cruel war that was our 13th operation the target was Nurburg which was the worst target we went to because there was a bright moonlight we never went In the bright moonlight over Germany. Why, because they would take you down, they didn't have to look for you, they could see you?
shot down over nazi territory the unbelievable story of jim moffat war story
We were like flies crossing the ceiling. I was grateful that we had an excellent pilot. He was an excellent pilot, but he was very scared all the time. bombed but the Germans were waiting for us I counted 22 of us falling in 20 minutes my pilot was so nervous he said uh I want the bottle and I thought he's thirsty but it wasn't the bottle you drink from, it's the right one you go to the bathroom in it he tried pee in the bottle but apparently it failed and then I heard the wireless operator below the pilot, he said Captain, I think we have an oil leak, the drip slowed down, the radio shorted out, the H2S shorted out, which is our navigation, so we had no navigation and we had to look because there were about 7 or 800 planes all in one stream after almost an hour there was an accident, a Lancaster crashed on top of us.
shot down over nazi territory the unbelievable story of jim moffat war story

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shot down over nazi territory the unbelievable story of jim moffat war story...

I look over here, everything is fine. look here there is no line it's gone I'm leaving I jump I kick the plane I go out into the darkness pull the opening cable GR for hi

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shot down over nazi territory the unbelievable story of jim moffat war story
I see two jarms come out and I come. He comes out and he runs to me and hugs me and kisses me. I get in the car. There is another man dressed in civilian clothes and he is an aviator. A British aviator. They drive 40 kilometers north. We entered the house and stayed there for 6 weeks. the risks were becoming phenomenal Hitler had just given a new order to become much stricter with those who helped the aviators and had ordered them to be

shot

and uh also the Germans who evaded the air they got rid of the Geneva Convention one day there is a knock on the door.
shot down over nazi territory the unbelievable story of jim moffat war story
I wake up and see Jones jumping out the window, he didn't wake me up and I hear Cil shout BOS, BOS, the Germans are coming after you. I could hear it crashing into the front door and Cecil was running screaming, Bosch, Bosch and that's what they call the Germans we were running across the field and the Germans were now up at the window that's when I knew that the rifle bullet makes a sound because it spins. as it passed and it passed by my head and the gun St. I didn't make a sound until H landed them and I thought, how come they didn't hit my legs?
I just ran, I'm running down and now I'm out of sight of the window. All these garden plots have barbed wire from World War I and the bullets go ping ping ping hitting these barbed wires and I thought, "Oh my God, I'm not going to jump over the next one. I'm going to dive, so I dove but my pants got caught but I couldn't get them out." I go into the woods with my pants and then I hear German voices and everyone is on the other side, they know I'm somewhere, he's looking for me, he knows I'm somewhere, I'm a dead duck, so I wait until he Sun is starting to get a little dark and I thought I don't have pants, my map and Compass are in my pants, so what am I going to do?
Louis Paul took me to his resistance group in the woods, he introduced me and I shook everyone's hand and then we got back in the van and drove to his town and his house and he was talking to me telling me that they would fly me out in two or three days back in England and the wife started shouting Bosch, Bosch, The Germans come shouting at this guy's door. I'm outside and I'm crawling away. I wait until midnight and there is bright moonlight and I thought I would go back. I'm sure I can find Louis Paul.
Sure enough I can see the trail and I thought that's not good, it's as clear as day, so I went in and there was no guard, so I thought we always had a guard in Belgium, so I went, everyone was sleeping in this little clearing , so I said charra, that was me. Char, no one moves here. I reached down they're cold as ice everyone's shot that was the only time I panicked I had no control I just ran until I dropped my G I announced on the radio after D-Day that all the uh officers and Sue's officers as if the sergeants were back in the army under the command of the accord resistance, I encountered a French underground group, they kept me prisoner, they thought I should and they could shoot me, they said I wouldn't waste a bullet, we will hang you. in AV, 3 days later someone came and identified me and then I started operating along the roads in France against the Germans, the retreating Germans we were operating for two months following their instructions, they sent a message to go to this shoot on the road.
On that highway, go to that highway. I had a small brand cavalry rifle from World War I, it had a three-round magazine and the first action we took, the first time I shot someone, we lay down in the grass and when the tanks were moving. by large groups of trucks we still lay down and then there was a staff car so he said no and we all jumped in and there were three on each side so we had to wait until it passed us. or we shoot each other and then shoot. I remember one time we cut the phone lines to the radar station and these two old Germans from, you know, real old men with rifles on a bicycle and they came oh here Kut here Kut we Open fire and one of them is still alive and he's shouting I have kids, you know, don't kill me, etc., and he couldn't have done anything except the Germans had shot the other guy, his family, so he just left. and shot him, but it's different to play War at 20,000 feet than on the ground, the resistance couldn't take prisoners because we had nowhere to take care of them and the Germans never captured the resistance, they shot everyone when they caught them, it was a cruel war, so that I operated with them for a month and a half shooting at the Germans on the road and finally they said: "There is someone in the village." "You and two guys fall, it could be the Americans or it could be Germans, so we come into the back of this Village and there's a sergeant with his feet on the windshield and a big star on the side of the Jeep that they're Americans, like this that I come in and I'm wearing a German jacket. and I have my rifle why were you wearing a German jacket?
I needed a coat it was September how did you find a German's German jacket? Yes, it had a bullet hole in it, but I didn't care. elated. I was elated, I was on my way home and then I went home and I got the telegram that I had sent 3 weeks before, so it was a big surprise, we had a little dog named Buster and when I came up he was dragging this big big suitcase, the taxi driver took me off the train and I said Buster Buster Buster and he came like it was yesterday, he came running up to me and licking me and so on, it was fantastic and of course I found out later that my mother cried almost every day there was no. news for 6 months I walked in the door and she almost fainted she screamed and we hugged yes you know you are 2122 you know what strong urges are we had two big wishes both starting with F the first.
He was flying he didn't want to be a hero, none of the boys did, but when they ask you to do something, you do your best to do it, get it over with, and go home. I guess you develop an attitude that well. I have to understand that some of us are going to die. I could be next. All of us fighter pilots knew that they wouldn't kill us, but some of their friends now, some of them were wrong, of course. I was absolutely fascinated when I was a child of about. 10 these planes come in and land and take off and land.
I just looked at this and was mesmerized. There was a guy, a mechanic, I guess he was working on this one and he said to me, have you ever flown? and I say: you have never flown. I never never flew she I would love to try it although he says come on I'll take you for a ride and I remembered getting to this take off point and thinking I don't think I can do this. I was so scared why I don't know, but I was really scared, so I opened the throttle and before I knew it, the plane was already in the air.
Well, once you go down, you land, the noise impressed me, it was quite exciting, maybe hard to describe. I don't have time to think about anything else and time goes by very quickly and it's so much fun. I went down the runway, took off, circled the airfield a couple of times, arrived and landed. I made a decent landing. I did a solo. I remember telling my mom that That was an eventful day and surely here is one of our newest weapons, the rocket-launching typhoon known in our Air Force as flying artillery. Every day, the Army calls in the Tiffy to destroy enemy tank headquarters gun positions and other targets.
These fast moving dive bombers are pushing the Germans out of Normandy the typhoon was an incredible plane the typhoon makes the Spitfire look like a toy don't take it away from the Spitfire but it was a big plane the typhoon and it's very powerful it was really too much plane for the At that time I think it had a 2,400 horsepower engine, the Spitfire had a 1,800, the Typhoon weighed 6 tons and 12,000 pounds. A lot of guys, including me, called him a beast to fly, what can you say about a 21 year old with all this power around him? Heroes, but we hoped we were, it was originally designed as a high level fighter, but it didn't perform well at 10,000 feet, it was okay, but it wasn't good enough to be a fighter, so someone had the idea.
Well, let's do it. a ground attack aircraft and it was perfect, absolutely perfect, there were four rockets on each wing and I think the rockets weighed about 60 pounds each, you could fire them in pairs or bursts, one pressed the button and they all fired at the time. "Say the Salvo was equivalent to a broadside from a light cruiser. That's how much arm I had on my first combat mission in a typhoon. I wasn't really scared because once you got involved in an operation you were so busy that you didn't do it." You don't have time to get scared, you start the plane and then in turns depending on where you are located, form a line heading to the edge of the runway.
We take off in three until we had a fatal accident and the high command said that was too dangerous, take off from two by two, the torque was such that it wanted to turn violently to the right all the time, so I had to give a lot of R to the left to keep the thing on the track and then it would climb fine to 10,000 feet. We would get army targets and they would radio and say that a tiger tank or some German opponent was blocking a road. We chose the objective, located it and attacked that way.
There was a saying on the Canadian Army whistle. a Tiffy, which meant that when they ran into a problem that occurred frequently, where there were large concentrations of troops or tanks or artillery, whatever, we would get the message from headquarters, they would give us the map coordinates, the objective was chosen essentially by the men who really needed it, you would fly to the target and then at 10 you would be at about 10,000 feet. Usually you could tell the target because the plane's anti-aircraft fire would start exploding around you and you would see Flack approaching, it was amazing Flack.
They would have fluorescent caps so they could track their shots and I remember the first time I saw it coming it looked like it was coming straight at me but then it went from both sides we were terrified, terrified because people are shooting at you and this. Plane fire is all around you and if you see a plane in front of you it suddenly explodes in a big cloud of black smoke which doesn't make you feel any better, all your thoughts had to be on the flight and look around because if You were afraid of losing your life or getting injured.
I don't think you could be a decent pilot. I know you couldn't be a decent pilot. We lost many planes. We lost many. Yes, when someone shoots you, it's all luck. Well you. I got used to the fact that they were going to kill people. All of us fighter pilots knew we wouldn't get killed, but some of our friends would. Some of them were wrong, of course, the typhoon. ​​Snoop on the roads looking for tanksenemies, motorized battalions and trucks. In fact, it carries any kind of enemy concentration they can find, boy, this reminds me of those good old days or those good old days anyway, but a typhoon, we would fly at about 10,000 feet, choose our target, turn around and we would fall on a 60° dive and our air speed increases probably 450-500 M per hour, you just turn to your side and your back and your nose go down and you straighten up and put your gut which is on your screen against the wind. your target, you can see your target, did you look at the altimeter when you looked at your altimeter, yeah, it was spinning around like crazy, but do you look at the little ha that would give you the exact altitude of thousands when you came down? about 4 to three, you know you're getting close, the plane's torque was twisting, so you had to fight the ruers, so you fell like this and then just when you wanted to drop the bomb, you right yourself, you try to see how close you can get to what you're aiming at and then when you got down to about 2500 feet you hit the Bomb Launch button we had eight rockets they had a 60 lb Warhead and uh they could be fired in a salvo where we fired all the rockets at once.
They say the Salvo was equivalent to a broadside from a light cruiser. That's how much armor it had. There's no backtracking, you just press the Room button and you wouldn't even hear a sound, you'd just see the whole job blow up like this, you see the four of them going like this, converging like this, that tremendous damage they would do, you'd see these people you're chasing with armor. cars or tanks and we had rockets instead of these rockets these things these rockets would explode there are people in them but I didn't see them as people I only saw it as a target the rocket carrying the typhoon dives into position not happy with the rockets alone The Tiffy's pilots return to action after their first strafing dive.
Enemy military targets of all types, including transport, are being fired upon with devastating precision. The Tiffys are helping our guys on the ground get the H into the race for one of the lucky things. about being a fighter pilot is that we never saw the bodies that the plane dropped, you didn't see it if you shot at trains or trucks or dropped bombs, you didn't see anyone who died if you had been in the army and having to shoot someone in Cold Blood I would have felt it but one of the Curiosities of being a pilot you don't see your victim you don't see your victim which is different some of the things that happened to me I have great horrors thinking really, yes, this group is marching along of the way and we got to a very low level and if you fly at a very low level you can't hear them coming, so we were flying at a very low level here with these troops and we just opened up. with cannon fire and we must have killed 50 or 60 of them and they had no other defense than to run into the ditches and they bother me a bit and of course when you get out you get G forces you start fainting it was quite common to faint, It wouldn't last long, it could last 5 seconds, but suddenly you go completely black when you came out of it, you were back at 10,000 feet and you were screaming like hell saying boy, I'm glad I got my way that time, I opened the bar, we're at home, when I came back after the trip was over, if whatever happened, I would think about it, it would completely disturb me, then it's the people I know.
I've killed young people and it really bothers me now and people say, well don't be silly, for God's sake, they're the enemy, they've killed you, but no, what I mean is they're A human and I We kill them as Canadian and Allied forces draw ever closer to Germany. Typhoons move with them. If they need a new airfield, no problem. They simply find another farmers field and build a track. The pilot still manages to make three sorties each day. How many men in your squad, about 25, and how many of them did you lose during your 100 S? Well, all 25 didn't die, but we probably lost about 40 or 50, someone would die, someone else would come in, we lost.
More than 125% of our strength in the first month is bad for morale, but you have to do your job. You know you have to do it like the camaraderie is so strong. I don't know if they relied on each other. but you had a very strong bond every night we would gather around the bar and I used to joke about my Canadian accent we would sing pretty profane songs we would have a really good party we played poker a lot and I was good at it so when I left I had a reasonable amount of money, maybe 500 for two, we Leaf, at the end of the two weeks, it was all gone, 500 lbs, yeah, it was

unbelievable

at one point.
Someone took a 3 ton truck and went to Conac in France and loaded it with Conac. We used to bring beer back from England in a gas tank, a new gas tank, they filled it with beer, took it back and put it on. draining it and putting it in a barrel in the mess was that Air Force regulation I think we were selling some rules, we slept on camp cards and if your camp cot was making little twists or swirls, you know you had a good time. and you're going to have a headache in the morning if you knew you had a chance to fly the next day you'd never drank you needed everything about you you didn't need even the slightest alcohol and if you were During your leave you made up for that, but a few shots of alcohol helped.
I don't think you had time to think about the boys who disappeared and were murdered. I never got too involved in their personal lives or anything because, like I say we could be sitting here today having breakfast to fly this afternoon, he's gone, he just blows up and, uh, Catch the Fire, where he's killed immediately, He doesn't come back with us, it was war time, we lost people, they lost. people Andy Anderson this good friend of mine when they landed I came back and they told me that Andy hadn't come back this is the only friend he had in the Air Force and that broke me up In fact, I guess I cried.
I'm not sure he broke me enough to send me back to London on leave. One of my biggest regrets was not writing to his parents. He was a great guy. There is another story I can tell you, this one is at the end. of the war and I was doing this aerial test in a typhoon. ​​I'm at about 6,000 feet and the radio is open, we have an enemy here flying over the airfield, at about 3,000 feet and I look down and Jesus, right below me, is this wolf. 190 flying right across the airfield. What the hell? So I went down and I went after him and I got behind him and you know he was never buried one way or another so I snuck up behind him, he wasn't moving so I threw him away. turn and stop like that, uh, and he looked at me and, from what I assumed, he was a damn young man, a very young boy, and he looked at me and I don't know how I could tell who he was. terrified but he just looked, his eyes were wide open, he was almost, I could almost see him shaking and I wish he was just a kid, so I thought, well, what the hell is he?
The war is almost over, we already have it. so I just pulled it, took it out and threw it away, so I went back to base. They criticized me a lot for that. Why did you catch him? Why didn't you catch him? I say I just couldn't do it. What's the point? to kill him when we have the first war, what's the point of taking such a young life? And that's the only thing that really makes me feel good now about the whole damn war.

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