Occasionally, but not often, the enemy would predict our return routes and try to jump us on our way home. One time we were using the middle of the Mediterranean when we were jumped by a single German JU 88. This was a long range, twin engined fighter-bomber that was rugged and sometimes used as a night fighter. It was easy to recognize by its cockpit canopy that looked like a little greenhouse.
The JU 88 stayed with us for perhaps twenty minutes but it seemed like an hour. As was so often the case, he did not close for a kill but strafed the formation from a distance. Just about everyone that wanted one got a souvenir bullet to dig out of the plane but no major damage was done.
On still another occasion, October 6, 1942, returning from a raid on Benghazi, we were jumped by two ME 109's. The main difference this time was that one ME 109 was making head-on attacks. I think the reason that I remember this one after all these years, is that on one frontal attack, the string of tracers looked as if they were going to hit my hand that was on the throttles. I instinctively snatched my hand back. That burst of fire did not come very close to our ship and I was a little chagrined.
Again, we lost no planes. The enemy respected the firepower of a formation of B-24's. It was formidable. We all knew this. When under attack, we really tightened the formation so tight, that I think sometimes we were a danger to each other. I never heard of a mid-air collision because of this, however.