Maurice "Maury" Mann


Combat Record

July 10: SAF AT-6 (in S-199)


Mann was named A flight leader and squadron XO.

Late on July 10, as the war flared up again after the first truce, Syrian AT-6s effectively attacked the northern Israeli forces and Maury Mann and Bloch were sent in two S-199s from Herzliya to provide air cover. They encountered two of the Syrian AT-6s over Mishmar HaYarden and entered combat. Mann shot one down while Bloch chased the other deep into Syrian territory, never to return. He crashed near Quneitra.

Consensus among the 101 pilots is that Bloch shot his propeller off with unsychronized cowl machine guns. Syria honors the AT-6 that survived the combat and awards the aircraft a legitimate kill. The truth will probably never be known.

The first Spitfire, designated D-130, was configured as a photo-reconnaissance machine. Only experienced Spitfire pilots were allowed to fly it. At first the list was was limited to Modi Alon, Syd Cohen, Maury Mann, and Arnie Ruch (and, as soon as he arrived, Leo Nomis), but as more volunteers showed up, particularly Canadians, the number of pilots eligible to fly it expanded. The aircraft's first 101 Squadron flight, a shakedown, took place Aug. 5 with Syd Cohen at the controls. On Aug. 8, Mann made a test flight to check camera function, then flew two reconnaissance missions, the first to Faluja and the second over Beersheva.

Mann was part of a CAP mission of S-199s on the morning of Oct. 16 when he suffered a mechanical failure and had to make an emergency landing at Kfar Sirkin. He hit hard, wrecking the airplane and suffering injuries in the process.

After Alon, the squadron's commanding officer, died on Oct. 16, the question of who would succeed him arose. The choice eventually boiled down to one of the squadron's flight commanders, ironically the two who had the best view of Alon's crash: Syd Cohen and Maury Mann. Mann, the 101's XO, desired to take command but Air HQ felt he was too aggressive (Red Finkel, pers.comm.) - and, in fact, he had crashed a S-199 earlier that day. Either through injury or temperament, Mann was disqualified from consideration, and in fact lost his flight leader status. Air HQ chose the experienced and greatly respected Syd Cohen to take over Alon's mantle, and he would lead the squadron throughout the rest of the war. Augarten and Weizman were promoted to flight leader.




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