Lou Prucha WWII Service   

416th Mission #283  --  Thursday, April 26, 1945
Plattling, Germany
(Landing Grounds)

Pilot's Flight Log

12th Army Group Situation Map

On this mission, Lou was flying in Position 1, Box 3, Flight 1.
His aircraft was 668 Bomb Sq. Fuselage code 5H-N Model A-26C-25-DT Invader, Serial # 43-22640.

See also the 416th Bomb Group Mission # 283 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 283

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

As April drew toward a close, we had seen the bomb lines of our Armies and the Russian Armies pushing closer and closer together. Around the 20th, a security silence veiled the advance of the Reds. The Germans carried reports of Red troops on the outskirts of Berlin and other by-passing it to the south. Finally, a short but exciting TWX was posted on the situation map that the Red Army had linked up with the forces of the American First Army at Torgau, northeast of Leipzig. Germany was cut in half!

That afternoon, the 26th, 44 aircraft filled a landing ground at Platting, in the lower part of what remained of Germany, with bombs and bomb craters. A total of 968x100-lb pounds bombs fell on the landing ground; 66x100-lb fragmentation bombs kept flak gun positions silent while the main attack went on. There was no flak.

The pictures available at briefing were very out-dated and inadequate. When the bombardiers tried to find their aiming points, they discovered that the field had since been reconstructed. Choosing secondary aiming points, in every case but one, they scored two superiors and four excellents. The other bombardier, Lt P.G. McGivern, flying with Lt D.O. Turner, was able to identify his aiming point and scored excellent. Many hits were scored on revetments and airstrips.

This mission, #283, the last mission in April, was led by Lt Brown (Lts Brewer and Kerns, B&N) and Lt Buskirk (Lt Hanna and F/O Semtanka, B&N).

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 258

Mission #283 - 26 April - Plattling Airfield, 40 miles southeast of Regensburg. This field hangared planes which were harrassing our ground troops. Fragmentation bombs peppered the landing runways and also the gun positions, silencing them while our formation flew over. Results of bombing showed two superiors and four excellents. Lts. Brown with Kerns and Brewer BNs led Box I with Lts. Buskirk and Hanna and F/O Smetanka BNs on Box II. Flight leaders were Lts. Heinke and Rosenquist BN and Lts. Warren and Forbes, BN.

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

Mission # 283 was the last mission flown by aircraft of this squadron for the month. The Plattling Airfield was the target for the attack. The flights led by Lts. Turner and Jordan again achieved superior results. With Lt. Turner, Lts. McGivern and Morley, led the Second Flight of the First Box, while Lt. Mulgrew flew with Lt. Jordan in the lead of the Third Flight of the First Box.

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

Seven flights, maximum effort for the group, took off on the 26th of April 1945 to attack Plattling Airfield. Twelve of our crews, led by Lt. Heinke, Lt. Rosenquist and Lt. Warren, Lt. Forbes, took part in this mission, which was #283. Excellent to superior bombing was achieved by all flights from the group.

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

The airfield at Plattling, 40 miles southeast of Regensburg, was rendered unserviceable by the 416ths’ bombing attack on April 26 1945. The field was used for tactical opposition to Allied Forces by single and twin-engine fighters. Lt. Brown, Lt. Kerns and Lt. Brewer led the first box and Lt. Buskirk and Lt. Hanna the second. Both scored excellent results. Three other flights also obtained excellent results, while two flights hit the target with superior ratings. Flak was not encountered.

"USAAF Chronology of WWII, month by month"

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 125 bombers hit Plattling Airfield; fighters escort the bombers, fly airfield cover, carry out armed reconnaissance in Germany and Czechoslovakia, drop leaflets, and cooperate with the US XII Corps as its forces cross into Austria SE of Passau, and the XX Corps as it begins a full-scale assault across the Danube River at Regensburg; fighters claim 19 combat victories. Unit moves in Germany: HQ IX Tactical Air Command from Lahn Airfield, Marburg to Weimar; 160th and 161st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons, 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Group, from Gutersloh to Brunswick with F-6s; 162d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), from Wiesbaden to Furth with F-6s.

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Last Updated: 08-Sep-2013