Extract from Broken Eagles
…Flight Lieutenant R.H. Thomas, Blue 1, and Sergeant H. Bowman, Blue 2, took off from Leconfield at 12.35 hours. When airborne they were given a vector of 100º on which they flew at 2,000 feet until 12.45 hours, when it was changed to 80º. After about two minutes the vector was changed again, to 360º, with information that an enemy aircraft was in the vicinity at about 20,000 feet altitude. Blue 1 and Blue 2 flew on this vector for some five minutes, after which they sighted a Messerschmitt Bf.110 with an additional fuel tank fitted underneath the wing on the outside of each engine. The enemy machine was flying west towards Flamborough Head and towards a convoy that was visible just off the coast. When the German saw the approaching fighters, he swung around, first to the south and then to the east, diving at the same time at a speed of about 430mph.
Blue1 and Blue 2 followed the Messerschmitt in the descent but Thomas, being on the off-side position, was behind in the dive and lost sight of the enemy machine in the thin haze which lay over the sea up to a height of 1,000 feet. This haze also caused Blue 2 to temporarily lose sight of his quarry so he pulled up to 3,000 feet, from where he could get a clearer view of what lay below.After a short search he saw the raider about fifty feet above sea level and dived to give chase. Bowman opened fire with a two-second burst from 250 yards astern on the port side. He saw his first bullets hit the water slightly ahead of the fleeing target:with a slight correction of aim, his bullets then began to find their mark. Crossing over, Bowman delivered a similar attack from the starboard side of the enemy aircraft and registered another series of hits but he did not notice any return fire.
The Messerschmitt continued to fly close to sea level with Blue 2 one hundred yards dead astern and firing off regular bursts of .303 bullets . The German attempted evading action by making wide swinging movements – but, at least on one occasion, he must have been reminded of the danger of such manoeuvres at low altitude when the tip of his starboard wing actually touched the water…’
[from an account of an Me110's encounter with Spitfires 129(Mysore)Sqdn off Flamborough Head, 8 August 1941]