F/L. RICHARD JOSEPH AUDET, An ace in ten minutes.

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by CXX, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. CXX

    CXX New Member

    An Ace in ten minutes

    Richard Joseph Audet, a Canadian from Alberta, joined the RCAF in August 1941, qualifying as a pilot, being commissioned 14 months later. He was one of many pilots retained for training and other non-operational duties for several months, and it was not until September 1944 - by then already a Flight Lieutenant - that he finally joined an operational squadron - 411 Squadron. On 29 December 1944, the first occasion on which he was to meet enemy aircraft in the air, he claimed five German fighters, four of them within the space of two minutes.

    He reported: "I was leading Yellow Section of 411 Squadron in the Rheine/Osnabruck area when Control reported Huns at Rheine and the Squadron turned in that direction. An Me 262 was sighted and, just at that time, I spotted 12 e/a on our starboard side at two o'clock. They turned out to be a mixture of approximately four Me 109s and eight Fw 190s.

    "I attacked an Me 109 which was the last a/c in the formation of about 12 all flying line astern. At approximately 200 yards and 30 degrees to starboard at 10,000 feet I opened fire and saw strikes all over the fuselage and wing roots. The 109 burst into flames on the starboard side of the fuselage only, and trailed intense black smoke. I then broke off my attack.

    "After the first attack I went around in a defensive circle at about 8,500 feet until I spotted an Fw 190 which I immediately attacked from 250 yards down to 100 yards and from 30 degrees to line astern. I saw strikes over the cockpit and to the rear of the fuselage. It burst into flames from the engine back and as I passed very close over the top of it I saw the pilot slumped over in the cockpit, which was also in flames.

    "My third attack followed immediately on the second. I followed what I believed was an Me 109 in a slight dive. He then climbed sharply and his canopy flew off about 3 to 4,000 feet. I then gave a very short burst from about 300 yards and line astern and his aircraft whipped downwards in a dive. The pilot attempted or did bale out. I saw a black object on the edge of the cockpit but his 'chute ripped to shreds. I then took cine shots of his a/c going to the ground and the bits of parachute floating around. I saw this aircraft hit and smash into many flaming pieces on the ground. I do not remember any strikes on his aircraft. The Browning button only may have been pressed.

    "I spotted an Fw 190 being pursued at about 5,000 feet by a Spitfire which was in turn pursued by an Fw 190. I called this Yellow section pilot to break and attacked the 190 up his rear. The fight went downwards in a steep dive. When I was about 250 yards and line astern of this 190 I opened fire. There were many strikes on the length of the fuselage and it immediately burst into flames. I saw this Fw 190 go straight intc the ground and burn.

    "Several minutes later while attempting to form my section up again spotted an Fw 190 from 4,000 feet. He was about 2,000 feet. I dived down on him and he turned in to me from the right. Then he flipped around in a left hand turn ana attempted a head-on attack. I slowec down to wait for the 190 to fly in range. A: about 200 yards and 20 degrees I gave a very short burst, but couldn't see any strikes. This a/c flicked violently, ana continued to do so until he crashed intc the ground. The remainder of my sectior saw this encounter, and Yellow 4 (Fig 0~ McCracken) saw it crash in flames."

    Audet was soon to show that this initial display of virtuosity was no fluke. By the end of January 1945 he had claimed a further five victories and shared a sixth: the last of these victories was over an Me 262 jet on 23 January, when he also claimed a second of these aircraft destroyed on the ground. The award of a DFC in February was followed by that of a Bar to this in March. Having seen no further hostile aircraft during February, he was killed on 3 March 1945, when he was shot down by Flak whilst strafing a train whilst flying Spitfire IX DB-A, MK950.

    '2nd Tactical Air Force' Vol 2 - Shores / Thomas.

    CWGC :: Casualty Details

    Initials: R J
    Nationality: Canadian
    Rank: Flight Lieutenant
    Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
    Unit Text: 411 Sqdn.
    Age: 22
    Date of Death: 03/03/1945
    Service No: J/20136
    Awards: D F C and Bar
    Additional information: Son of Paul and Edewisca Audet; husband of Iris Christina Audet, of Pinner, Middlesex.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 278.

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