The Yom Kippur War, 19.10.73 (16:30)

Location: Dwer Suer, Downed Plane: two Egyptian Sukhoi-20s


Time: 16:30 on 19.10.1973.

Formation: Epstein - Dror, Harish - Edres. Plane: Nesher No. 61.

Location: Dwer Suer.

Result: two Sukhoi-20s shot down, one with a missile, the other with cannon.


In the afternoon I was on readiness again. Just before 16:30 Yigal Ziv came on the phone and announced that he was sending us in a quartet to head off an attack that was approaching the bridge.

 

We were scrambled in a quartet. After we finished the flight westward, we were told that we were to join forces with a patrol from 'The One' squadron, which had been circling at low altitude over the lake. I had learned my lesson in the afternoon, and this time I approached at lower speed.

When we reached the lake, we saw the Phantoms. We began joining them, when we suddenly discovered a pair of unidentified planes pulling in from the south, in a leftward turn to the west, to an altitude of about 8,000 [feet]. I reported this immediately and we pulled towards them. They looked like MiG-21s to me. I went in right after them and fired a missile on the right-hand [plane]. The missile struck the plane and it exploded.

I started to go for the second one, when I saw the entire row of attackers - about eight to twelve planes - to my south, pulling into attack in a leftward turn near the lake's shore. We immediately let go of the lone [plane] that escaped westward, and turned towards the attackers, while reporting to the Phantoms. I got set to go for a Sukhoi, when Number Two requested permission to go in ahead of me. I gave my okay, but it turned out he was referring to a different pair, and he dove in after them. This pair was going after a pair of Kurnas Phantoms from 'The One' Squadron. The Sukhois began closing in on them, and all of our shouting on the radio did not help - but in the end, my Number Two hit one of them, and the second one escaped.

I went after my [Sukhoi] and at a range of about 400 [meters], when we were about to open fire, Number Three suddenly butted in and announced that he was taking him. I didn't have any choice and gave the okay. He fired a missile from very close range, which missed, of course, and went on past the Sukhoi. I went on after the Sukhoi, which swerved hard to the right and pulled upward. At about 250 - 300 meters, I shot a burst at it, which immediately hit it. It exploded, turned over and fell into the lake.

I turned to search for more targets and discovered a quartet of Sukhois escaping westward. A pair of Phantoms was chasing the northern pair [of Sukhois]. I went in after the southern pair and began closing in on them, when the rear one suddenly spilled on the ground. The second one was far away from me, and disappeared off to the west. I joined the Kurnas Phantoms and saw Zohar shooting down a Sukhoi-7 with a missile. Huldai fired a missile at another Sukhoi; it missed, but the Sukhoi turned too hard and slammed into the ground. We reorganized ourselves into formation on the eastern side of the Canal, and returned for landing.

In the debriefing, later that day, after watching the films from the planes' weapon systems, it turned out that the planes I had shot down were Sukhoi-20s. All in all, we shot down 15 planes at Refidim.

In the evening, [singers] Yaffa Yarkoni, Arik Lavi and several other artists came by and organized a quite cheerful party. Yaffa had brought some cakes with her from the north.