Through the late summer and early autumn of 1942, the battle raged, and 260 Squadron was on the front lines. On September 6, Jim and his fellow pilots faced their toughest test. They took off to intercept several Stuka bombers and their escort of Messerschmitt fighter planes. Jim was flying top cover, leading a section of four Kittyhawks. After only fifteen minutes of flying, he spotted the German formation, and minutes after that, two Me-109s peeled off from the other German fighter planes and attacked him from above. Jim turned his section to face the attackers, as they had practised. The Messerschmitts climbed quickly back to their own formation without firing. But that was just the beginning.
The Messerschmitts now tried attacking in pairs, from both ends at once. The German pilots attacking them were being lured farther and farther away from their own lines. The desperate manoeuvring went on for twenty minutes as pairs of Messerschmitts attacked again and again. Jim’s Section turned into them dozens of times.
Adapted from: Hehner, Barbara. Desert Hawk: The True Story of Stocky Edwards, World War II Flying Ace (Kindle Locations 59-61). HarperCollins Canada. Kindle Edition.