Lou Prucha WWII Service   

416th Mission #279  --  Friday, April 20, 1945
Annaburg, Germany
(Fuel Storage Depot)

Pilot's Flight Log

12th Army Group Situation Map

Lou flew Box 3, Flight 1, Position 1;
piloting 668 Bomb Sq. A-26C-20-DT Invader, Serial # 43-22505, Fuselage code 5H-Y.

See also the 416th Bomb Group Mission # 279 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 279

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

In the afternoon of the 20th, the German Air Force fuel storage depot at Annaburg was attacked. Dropping 100 pound demolition bombs, the attack, which started many fires, was highly successful. Many roads were cut, 12 buildings destroyed, and 500 hits were scored in the fuel storage area. There was no flak.

Lt Hale landed his plane with a flat tire. The propeller was bent as the plane swerved of the runway over rough ground. There was no further injury to the plane or crew.

Three boxes made the attack. They were led by Major Dunn (Lts Brewer and Hanna, B&N) and Lt Brown (Lt Kerns,B-N), and Lt Prucha (Lt Reeves, B-N).

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 256

Mission #279 - 20 April - PM - Annaburg Fuel Depot. Demolition bombs started many fires on this target (When aren't any bombs demolition?) scoring very successful results. About 500 hits were counted on the fuel storage area, and roads leading in /out of the target were severly damaged. Superior and excellents were scored by the flights. Three boxes made this mission with Box I led by Major Dunn with Lts. Brewer and Hanna BNs Lts. Brown with Lt. Kerns BN, and Lt. Prucha with Lt. Reeves, as BN. Another brand new pilot BN team Lt. Barausky and Lt. Sheehan led a flight, with success.

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

A Fuel Storage Depot at Annaburg was the target for the afternoon mission. Superior results were attained by the flights led by Lts. Jordan and Turner. Lt. Jordan led the Second Flight of the First Box and had Lts. Mulgrew and Morley flying with him. Lt. Turner led the Third Flight of the First Box and had Lt. McGivern as his Bombardier-Navigator.

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

Mission # 278 flown on the morning of the 20th of April 1945 produced excellent to superior results against Deggendorf Oil Storage Depot. 1000-pound GPbombs were used on this mission. 12 of our aircraft participated, with Major Ferris/Lt. Kirk and Lt. McNutt leading the formation. Major Ferris’s flight had superior bombing. Lt. Brewster/Lt. Dennis and F/O Conley led the second box and scored excellent results. The second mission for the day, #279, again produced excellent to superior results in an attack on Annaburg Storage Depot. 6 of our crews flew on this mission with Lt. Barausky and Lt. Sheehan leading a flight, for the first time on a mission, with excellent results. One of the original crewmembers who came overseas with this squadron, Capt. Frank J. Harrold,Jr., left today for the 70th Reinforcement Depot on the first step of his journey to the Zone of the Interior for a 30 day leave. Capt. Harrold was the last of the West Point Officers to leave the squadron for leaves at home.

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

Two fuel depots were smashed by the 416th on the morning and afternoon of April 20th 1945. Both missions were run without loss or battle damage and results of both missions were very successful.

The target in the morning was the Deggendorf Oil Storage Depot, located on the Danube River, 75 miles northeast of Munnich. The thousand pound bombs caused large fires, the flames and smoke rising to almost 9,000 feet. Bombs from the two 671st flights fell into the smoke of previous flights and ratings were not given. Two superiors and two excellents and an undetermined were scored by the other flights.

In an after supper attack the 416th hit a fuel depot for the German Air Force south of Berlin at Annaburg with highly successful results. Major Dunn, Lt. Brewer and Lt. Hanna led the formation and as usual bombed the target with superior results. The center of the burst hit on the DMPI and the target was blanketed. Lt. Brown and Lt. Kerns led the second box and due to the smoke and haze over the target area failed to hit on the DMPI. The bombs, however, cut roads in the area. The formation left the depot ablaze.

"USAAF Chronology of WWII, month by month"

Ninth Air Force: In Germany, 564 A-20s, A-26s and B-26s strike oil storage at Deggendorf and Annaburg, marshalling yards at Memmingen and Wittenberg, ordnance depots at Nordlingen and Straubing, and other targets including flak positions; fighters escort the bombers, fly patrols, sweeps, and armed reconnaissance, attack special targets, and cooperate with US ground forces including the VII Corps W of Dessau, the VIII Corps between Plauen and Chemnitz, the XII Corps in the Grafenwohr area, the XX Corps attacking toward the Danube River and Regensburg, and the XIX Corps in the Magdeburg-Barby area. Unit moves in Germany: HQ 370th Fighter Group and 401st Fighter Squadron from Zwartberg, Belgium to Gutershoh with P-51s; HQ 373d Fighter Group and 410th Fighter Squadron from Venlo, the Netherlands to Lippstadt with P-47s; 39th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Ninth AF [attached to 9th Tactical Reconnaissance Group (Provisional)], from Maastricht, the Netherlands to Wiesbaden, Germany with F-5s; 573d and 575th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 391st Bombardment Group (Medium), from Amy Airfield, Roye, France to Assche, Belgium with B-26s.

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Last Updated: 08-Sep-2013