December 25, 1941, the battle between the AVG P-40B’s and Japanese fighters and bombers. “On my last pass at the bombers, one of my wing guns was hit and fired all its ammo. Then I saw him - an Oscar coming straight at me head-on. We opened fire at about 400 yards. I could see the winking flashes from the muzzles of his guns. At our closing rate at about 600 mph, we only had a few seconds. I held my gunsight pipper directly on his prop hub and blasted away with all five guns. He took no evasive action and for a terrifying moment, I thought we were sure to collide.
Then miraculously he passed below me, our prop tips missing by bare inches. Immediately felt the turbulent wake of his prop wash and whipped into as tight a turn as I could with out blacking out, certain he’d be on my tail. But, I was lucky. Off in the distance, he was rolling lazily into a shallow dive, going down like a flaming Roman candle.” Flying Tiger pilot R.T. Smith. Robert T. Smith scored two bombers on December 23, 1941. On the 25th, he scored two bombers and one fighter, making him a Christmas Day Ace.