In February, 1943 Jim was leading his flight of 12 planes into an attack on a formation of Fokke-Wolf 190s and Messerschmidt 109’s. Then he dove after one Focke-Wolf that was trying to get away and finally hit it with a burst of machine-gun fire just a few hundred feet above the ground. Almost at the same moment, his Spitfire shook with a violent explosion. Jim’s plane began to buck and shudder. He asked his wingman if he could see what was wrong with his aircraft. The Wingman replied “I can see right through your plane!” An artillery shell had blow a 12-inch hole in the cockpit. Miraculously Jim was able to nurse his damaged airplane back to his base.
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.