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12th June 1940

Laws was blooded on this day, participating in the hunt and destruction of what appeared to be a lone He 111. The battle is still in its early days and this is reflected by the length and detail of these combat reports. Later on in the battle Laws is to comment "closed into attack and usual dog-fight ensued". Here, both he and Gilbert describe every twist and turn of the engagement.

The incident also shows the deadly effect of radar and observer tracking. The lone bomber trying to sneak out at zero feet was not to be allowed to escape.

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Gilbert's Personal Combat Report
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Laws' Personal Combat Report
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Laws and Gilbert, supposed to fly in section, left the ground ten minutes apart. So it was Gilbert who found the raider first and emptied his guns into the enemy aircraft. One engine was damaged and one gunner was neutralised.

A short time later the He 111 was to become the object of Laws' attention. He hounded the damaged bomber to wave-top height with two passes. While two other Spitfires arrived to take shots at what was now a wallowing enemy, Laws emptied his guns and watched the Heinkel settle on the water.

His reluctance to leave his first kill is evident as he describes circling the plane and seeing the crew inflating their dinghy. Considering the number of bullets that had gone their way the remaining members of this crew were lucky to get out alive.

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Punch Ltd.

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