68 years ago: the 362nd FG demolishes the airfield at Muhldorf

Perhaps it was because the 362nd Fighter Group’s field had been strafed the previous night. Whatever the case, the group took out its displeasure on the airfield at Muhldorf on April 26, 1945. 16 planes of the 379th, led by Lt. Lon Jackson (who had led the attack at the airfield at Enger) first silenced the flak around the field with M27 fragmentation bombs and then strafed with relative impunity. “Captain Jackson did a great job of planning this mission,” remembered Gene Martin, one of the pilots in on this show. “When we left, the place was a real mess.” The squadron destroyed 42, probably destroyed 3 and damaged 17, almost all of them Fw 190s or Bf 109s.  Joe Mullen claimed three Fw 190s and two Ju 88s,  but for his trouble was hit five times by flak. After getting back to base, “I had to paint a new insignia for my ship” on the cowling, he wrote.

11 other missions were flown during the day, many against the town of Neustadt. During one of these missions, after bombing the town, Blue and Green Flights of the 379thwere looking for tanks on the roads out of town. “Capt. (Timothy) Ruane made a very steep dive from 2500 feet to check a small automobile,” said Lt. Raymond Morris, the Green Flight leader. “He hit a tree and pulled up, rolling to the left as he did so, and then crashed into the ground. He hit on his right wing and back. The airplane exploded and left three small fires.” Ruane was killed in the crash of P-47D-28-RE 44-89705.

One 378th mission attacked the rail yards at Stankau, which contained 25 flat cars with about 16 trucks on them and 10 additional boxcars. While working these over, they hit an adjacent warehouse, triggering a series of huge explosions. During one of the 377th’s missions, they were jumped by two Bf 109s, one of which was shot down by Lt. Kent Geyer, one of the group’s original pilots. The other was damaged but escaped into the haze.

Kent Geyer adds a victory marking to the side of his P-47

 

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1 Comment

  1. Stankau = Staňkov, Czechoslovakia


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