Saturday, March 31, 2007
As the German air effort intensified, the started making fighter sweeps against the tanks and RAF bombing effort. Robert and his men witnessed a Douglas Boston start descending with trailing smoke. There was one parachute and they saw the plane go into a vertical dive into the ground. Immediately after that, they saw some fighter aircraft flying at low level, headed straight for them. Robert and his crew dived into the bottom of their Stuart and they could hear the machine gun bullets hitting the hull. They looked up out of the open hatch and could see the black crosses on the underside of the wings. Air attack was an unwelcome development. Robert and the other soldiers had assumed that only the B Elements would be attacked, and now they were also on the list of targets. When they reached the rendezvous point at dusk, they found that they would be camping close by, rather than off in the desert. Robert interpreted that as meaning that the immediate area was considered "safe". I believe that this occurred on the 23rd day of the Crusader Battle, now in December 1941. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.