Lou Prucha WWII Service   

416th Mission #277  --  Thursday, April 19, 1945
Ulm, Germany
(Marshalling Yards)

Pilot's Flight Log

12th Army Group Situation Map

On this mission, Lou was flying in Position 1, Box 2, Flight 3.
His aircraft was 668 Bomb Sq. Fuselage code 5H-Z Model A-26C-20-DT Invader, Serial # 43-22508.

See also the 416th Bomb Group Mission # 277 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.)

Photo from the collection of 416th BG Aerial Photo Officer Captain Francis J. Cachat. Carl Sgamboti initially published nearly 800 of these photos on his 416th Bombardment Group (L) Photo Gallery web pages. An expanded set is available on Wayne Sayles' 416th BG website Captain Francis J. Cachat's 416th Photo Collection page.

Group, Unit and Historical Extracts for Mission 277

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

After a morning mission was recalled before it could cross into enemy territory, 38 planes took off in the afternoon of the 19th to attack the Neu-Ulm marshalling yards, the second largest between Munich and Nuremburg. All 38 planes dropped their load of 4x100 lb bombs squarely on the target. Out of six flights, four superiors and two excellents were scored. Between 150-160 cars were destroyed, 40 bursts on the tracks cut them, several roads were cut, and 22 buildings were destroyed or damaged.

Enemy fighters were reported over the radio to be in the target area. One single engine fighter closed in on the formation while it was circling the R.P. Staff Sergeant Felix Di Orio fired two short bursts, but made no claims. The approaching plane broke away at about 800 yards and disappeared. Sgt DiOrio was the only man in the formation to spot the fighter and was unable to identify it as to type.

The box leaders were Capt Miller (Lts Connor and Vollmayer, B&N), and Major Sommers (Lts Kupits and F/O Cardinale, B&N).

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 255

Mission #277 - 19 April - Ulm Marshalling Yard. This is the afternoon mission, the first mission in the morning took off and just about reached enemy territory when it was recalled, so no credit was given to the boys. This marshalling yard is the second largest between Munich and Nuremburg. We've been there before and wreaked havoc on it on previous missions. All 38 planes got to drop their bombs, destroying 150 to 160 boxcars, 40 bursts on the tracks between them, 22 buildings demolished and several roads cut. One enemy fighter made a pass at the formation with gunner Sergeant DiOrio firing two short bursts at him, with no claims made on either side. DiOrio was the only gunner to have sighted the invader, who moved away when he got to within 800 yards of the formation. Of the six flights attacking, four scored superior and two rated excellent. With no hindering clouds, our bombardiers show their mettle. The two box leaders were Captain Miller with Lts. Conner and Vollmayer BNs, and Major Sommers with Lts. Kupits and F/O Cardinale, BNs. Flight leaders included Lt. Warren and Lt. Forbes BN, Captain Sutton and Lt. Reed BN, and Lt. Van Noorden and F/O Brandt BN.

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

No mission was flown on the 18th of the month, but on the 19th the Ulm Marshalling Yards were bombed with superior results. Capt. Miller, with Lts. Conner and Vollmayer, led the entire formation, while Major Sommers, with Lts. Kupits and Cardinale, led the Second Box of the formation. When the aircraft turned away from the target, it was observed that all the rail lines had been cut and the entire marshalling yard had been rendered useless.

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

On the 19th of April 1945, two missions were flown, the morning mission was against Deggendorf, but due to weather conditions, no attack was made. No credit for a sortie was given. Mission #277 was flown in the afternoon and produced excellent to superior results in an attack on the Ulm Marshalling Yard. Lt. Warren and Lt. Forbes led our flight. Enemy fighters were reported in the area of the target and one single inline engine fighter closed in on the formation while it was circling the rally point. One gunner opened fire at the approaching plane, which broke away without returning fire. No further attacks were made on the formation.

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

After being recalled before reaching enemy territory in the morning due to weather conditions at the target, the 416th went out again in the afternoon to bomb the Neu Ulm Marshalling Yard, midway between Stuttgart and Augsburg. Captain Sutton and Lt. Reed scored a superior on their bombing and Lt. Van Noorden and F/O Brandt chalked up an excellent on their first attempt at visual bombing. The other flights also annexed excellent and superior results, rendering the yard unserviceable. Tracks were cut in many places, overpasses were knocked in and numerous buildings and goods wagons were destroyed. Again flak was not encountered and all crews returned.

"USAAF Chronology of WWII, month by month"

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): In Germany, the 9th Bombardment Division hits marshalling yards at Ulm, Neu Ulm, and Gunzburg (primary targets), the city of Donauworth and a target of opportunity at Schelklingen; weather prevents 70+ of the 450+ dispatched aircraft from bombing targets; fighters fly escort to the bombers, carry out patrols and armed reconnaissance, bomb a radio station, and cooperate with the US VII Corps in the Halle-Dessau area, the XII Corps attacking SE from S of Bayreuth, the XX Corps in the Bamberg-Nurnberg area, preparing to drive toward Austria, and the XIX Corps along the Elbe River in the Magdeburg area. The 31st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Ninth AF [attached to 9th Tactical Reconnaissance Group (Provisional)], moves from Maastricht, the Netherlands to Wiesbaden, Germany with F-6s.

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Last Updated: 08-Sep-2013