Lou Prucha WWII Service   

416th Mission #274  --  Monday, April 16, 1945
Wittenburg, Germany
(Marshalling Yards)

Pilot's Flight Log

12th Army Group Situation Map

Lou flew A/C Serial # 43-22505 (Model A-26C-20-DT), Fuselage code 5H-Y (668 Bomb Sq.)
in Box 1, Flight 2, Position 2.

See also the 416th Bomb Group Mission # 274 page.  View the target area in Google Maps.

Click to display the official 416th Bomb Group Mission Folder, Mission Report and Operational Report
scanned to PDF files by the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA).
(Note: Depending on Internet speed, these PDF files may take some time to download and display.)

Group, Unit and Historical Extracts for Mission 274

"416th Bombardment Group (L) - Group History 1945"
Transcribed from USAF Archives

The target in the afternoon was the Wittenburg marshalling yards. Only one flight, led by Lt Parker, Lt Shaft, B-N, was able to make an attack because of dense smoke and clouds. This flight flew a slightly different course, which enabled the bombardier to see the target. Crew members reported excellent results. Moderate to intense, accurate flak was encountered at the target and on the turn off, but only two planes received battle damage. The two box leaders were Capt Evans (Lts McCartney and Myrrold, B&N) and Lt Brewster (Lt Dennis and F/O Conley, B&N).

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 254

Mission #274 - 16 April - PM - Wittenberg Marshalling Yard. The flight to the target was uneventful except bad weather moved in making the aiming point invisible to all flights except one. This flight took a different bomb run from the scheduled Initial Point and got to drop his bombs with what was determined to be an excellent shot. Moderate intense, accurate flak came up at the target area and on the turn off, with two planes receiving battle damage. Captain Evans with Lt. McCartney BN led Box I with Lt. Brewster and Lt. Dennis and F/O Conley BNs on Box II. Captain Tutt and Lt. Orr BN led a flight.

"669th Bombardment Squadron (L) History"
Transcription from USAF Archives

On the afternoon of the sixteenth, the Wittenburg Marshalling Yards were attacked with undetermined results. Cloud cover made it impossible for all but one flight of the formation to attack. The results of the bombing done by this one flight were obscured. Major Sommers led one of the flights of the formation with Lt. Kupits as his B/N. Capt. Murphy, our squadron Flight Surgeon, flew along as Observer in Major Sommers' airplane.

"History of 670th Bombardment Squadron (L)"
Transcription from USAF Archives

Two missions were again flown on the 16th of April 1945. The morning mission, #273, target, the Zerbst Communication center against which excellent results were achieved. Our flight was lead by Lt. Warren and Lt. Forbes. # 274 was flown in the afternoon with 11 of our crews taking part. The target was Wittenburg Marshalling Yard, the results were undetermined. Our crews were scheduled to lead both boxes, but Capt. Evans of the 668th squadron led the first box with our wingman and Lt. Brewster with Lt. Dennis and F/O Conley led the second box. On this day Sgt. Elmer J. Willever, a gunner, was transferred to the 32nd Bomb Group.

A memorial service in honor of our deceased President was conducted with nearly all of the 416th Group personnel and the 4th Service Group personnel present. Chaplains Penticoff and Doyle gave excellent talks during the service.

"671st Bomb Squadron (L) Unit History"
Gordon Russell and Jim Kerns

Striking close to the heart of Germany Berlin, the A-69 Invaders hit two marshalling yards southwest of the city on April 16th 1945. In the morning the Group attacked the yards in Zerbst, dropping incendiaries on the buildings, tracks and cars with successful results. Fires were started in the center of the yard and spread rapidly. Flak was encountered on the bomb run, but all ships returned for the morning sortie.

The formation which was to attack the Wittenburg Marshalling Yard in the afternoon ran into bad weather near the target area and only one flight was able to bomb. A thick haze and clouds obscured the target, results being undetermined. Two ships received battle damage, but all crews returned safely.

"USAAF Chronology of WWII, month by month"

Ninth Air Force: In Germany, about 450 A-20s, A-26s and B-26s bomb the Zerbst communications center, Gunzenhausen marshalling yard, Kempten ordnance depot, and Wittenberg marshalling yard and gun positions; the IX Tactical Air Command's fighters claim 25 air victories during the day as they escort the bombers, fly patrols, area cover, and armed reconnaissance, attack airfields and other targets, and support the US 3rd Armored Division SW of Dessau, the 9th Armored Division in the Bennewitz-Colditz area along the Mulde River, the XX Corps which remains at the Zwickauer Mulde River bridgehead NE of Chemnitz, the VIII Corps crossing the Weisse Elster River between Gera and Plauen, the 2d Armored Division on the Elbe River near Magdeburg, the XIX Corps E of Barby, and the V Corps near Leipzig; the 354th Fighter Group (the pioneer P-51 group of the Ninth AF) claims its 900th air victory. Unit moves: HQ 391st Bombardment Group (Medium) and 572d Bombardment Squadron (Medium) from Amy Airfield, Roye, France to Assche, Belgium with B-26s; 33d Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Group, from Venlo, the Netherlands to Gutersloh, Germany with F-5s; the 160th and 161st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons, 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Group, from Venlo, the Netherlands to Gutersloh, Germany with F-6s; the 397th Fighter Squadron, 368th Fighter Group, form Metz, France to Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany with P-47s.

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Last Updated: 08-Sep-2013