COL NEEL E. KEARBY
U.S. Army Air Corps
Near Wewak, New Guinea
11 October 1943
Col. Kearby led a flight of 4 fighters to reconnoiter an enemy base at Wewak. The aviators collected intelligence and secured important tactical information then headed for home. Kearby saw an enemy fighter below them and made a diving attack shooting.
Col Kearby sighted approximately 12 enemy bombers… accompanied by 36 fighters.
They still had a little fuel left and the odds were only 12 to 1… in the enemy’s favor.
Kearby gave the order to attack. Col Kearby dived his P-40 into the midst of the enemy airplanes shooting down 3 in quick succession.
He spotted one of his men trying to shake 2 Zekes from his tail so he turned his Thunderbolt in for the attack. – Kearby added both pursuit fighters to his tally of that day’s Aerial Kills.
The enemy swarmed Kearby’s aircraft in a multiple aircraft attack – The Col. Turned in toward his attackers and made a gun run before fleeing to the safety of the clouds.
He called his flight together and led them, all of them, home.
Col. Kearby personally brought down 6 enemy aircraft in this single action.