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After Action Report
Date of Action: Septebmer 18, 2009
VMF-251 took off at 2303 with seven Bf-109Es. Squadron formed up by flights:
1st Lt. Trol
1st Lt. Bodie
Squadron proceeded to screen bomber formation of Rolling Thunder for strike on A204. VMF-251 took up screening position ahead of main body, turning E towards the target area.
En Route, 251 sighted enemy aircraft to S along strike package flight plan. Rolling Thunder diverted N to evade, with VMF-251 executing a 360 to allow Rolling Thunder to catch up. Short of target small group of I-16s contacted strike package. VMF-251 turned to assist defense.
Blue Flight maintained top cover while Red engaged with additional escorts provided by Rolling Thunder. I-16s successfully driven off, but with some losses by the bombers. VMF-251 returned to altitude as formation approached target area, but unable to reach starting position.
Squadron engaged defenses over target. Coronado collided with enemy aircraft at 2347. Sidle shot down I-16 at 2350. Bombers made drops and VMF-251 provided rear guard to cover withdrawal, tying down defenders with handful of fighters from Rolling Thunder.
Additional I-16s arrived at high altitude, forcing VMF-251 to attempt egress. Elements of Rolling Thunder turned back in effort to assist. Sidle shot down 2356. Nelson shot down 2357.Wyatt and Millsaps shot down 0002. Trol shot down 0008.
Bodie managed to withdraw successfully and recovered at 0018.