Bio / Text:
Ferdinand Mervyn 'Mervyn' REIM
4 Squadron SAAF pilot
From the National Archives AIR/27/56 4 Squadron SAAF ORB
On the 3rd, a formation of four of our aircraft led by Lt. Pretorius whilst providing escort to 11 Marauders bombing Conigliano M/Yards, were jumped by 12 plus FW.190's amd ME.109's. No sooner had Commander reported ""Bandits"" in the area than a very hearty ""A/C at 6 o'clock - Turn left!"" from No.4 - Lt.Reim pressed home the fact that the formation had been jumped!!
Lt.Reim's warning command was immediately followed by ""Duck left"" from Lt.Pretorius. Quoting the leader ""We broke away left immediately and then saw Lt.Reim flick twice and bale out successfully at 16,000'."" jumping ""Tail-end Charlie"" he was naturally the first to be attacked and was unable to profit by his own warning given to the rest of the formation.
Meanwhile a FW.190 then closed in on Leader from 9 o'clock and broke away down - Leader and his No.2, Lt.de Jong followed him down and No.1 gave him two fairly long bursts and strikes were observed on the port wing and fuselage and the right of black smoke was seen to pour out of his port engine cowling. Other aircraft coming in made it impossible to continue the attack.
Lt Pretorius then made a head-on attack on another FW.190 but no results were observed. After No.3 - Lt.Neser, verified that No.4 - Lt.Reim had baled successfully, he saw a FW.190 do a medium turn across him breaking down - and quoting Lt.Neser,""I got him in my sights and followed him down giving a 3 second burst observing strikes and the black smoke coming from the port cowling"".