Outside of Cairo
Oct. 2nd, 1946
“Who was it?”
“What the hell happened?”
“From the descriptions we got it was a Soviet version of the He 162.”
“Refresh my memory.”
“It’s a late war jet supposedly made for the Hitler youth to fly against our bombers. Single engine job made out of plywood. I gave you that report on it when that British pilot ran one into the ground when the tail came unglued.”
“That right. The other pilot who flew it the most said it was a great plane but just needed better glue. What a thing to lose your life to. What are the performance specifications?”
“Let’s see…I had it right here…Hey Jenkins do you have…ah, found it. So top speed of 559 mph, range of 600 miles, small only 23.7 foot wingspan, 30 foot long and weighs only 3660 lbs. It was fired by a BMW 003 but who knows what the Reds have put into it. It probably had 2 30mm cannons from the way the witnesses were talking. Pretty much tore Finnegan’s Wake in two with only a few hits.”
“You said it. Rate of clime is 4615 feet per minute and ceiling 39400. The one described appears to be the planned D model so it should have greater range.”
“Shit! How did they get there so fast and how did they know we were coming? GOD DAMN IT, heads will roll if someone screwed up.”
“Sir…if I may? It was only one plane. It appears to be a fluke. Some guy on a training run. We got no increase in radar or electronic traffic. They must have had a training or research facility close by and the guy just got lucky. The others all go through without a hitch and the plane he shot down was the backup. Half of Baku is toast.”
LeMay almost chewed his cigar in half while he thought. He was pacing around the room deep in thought.
“Okay here’s how it’s going go. We hit them hard every day until they stop us. Push the number of ready aircraft. We need bigger raids than we initially planned and we need them starting tomorrow. We have to hit them as hard as we can until they get enough of those jets, missiles and whatever else they come up with. Today’s missions took out 50% of their oil production I want 5% more every day until they either stop us or we bring it to zero and keep it there. Get Higgins in here and setup a meeting in 15 minutes to work on the increase in tempo. I have a feeling we have a short window and we have to do it now or he war is lost.”
LeMay reaches over and picks up a field telephone.
“Get me Warren, NOW!”
He fumes as he has to wait a full 30 seconds.
“Warren get your ass in here and tell me how we are going to increase our sortie rate from projected by 25% starting tomorrow…that’s right tomorrow! Time is of the essence. Bring whoever you need to get the job done.”
He hangs up.
“Connors get me that Navy guy. We’re going to need a whole shit load more of supplies within days…not weeks, days.”
“Billings, telegraph Arnold…er wait I mean Spaatz and tell him we are increasing our sortie rate and to expect more casualties in the short run. Did you send the report on the raid so far?... Did you mention the loss of the Finnegan’s Wake?... Good so he knows what is happening and why. Add that a full report will follow in 2 hours then start producing the report.”
He hangs up and searches for someone else to assign a task to.