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Old 15th March 2008, 00:42
Steve Coates Steve Coates is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Re: Cham, Germany Losses April 1945

Here's a fairly rough and ready translation of Lankenau's chronicle.

19.30 hrs - set out for Cham. I will land there in the twilight. I reckon the American frontline should have reached the pasture land, approximately 100 km north of Cham. I fly through rain showers and see burning farmsteads beneath me. At Cham I see tanks in the square. On the assumption these are German tanks, I fire off recognition ammunition and instantly receive back flak. The Americans have already reached Cham although I am still of the opinion that German tanks are mistakenly shooting at me. I set the Fi 156 on its nose until almost at ground level and the shots no longer trouble me. For the second time this day I benefit from uncanny luck.

I set down to land. There are burned out fighters. I see two Fi 156s in front of me. Then I notice American markings on the ground surfaces. It then dawns on me and I give some gas and escape in a low altitude flight. The Americans shoot but don't hit me. Twilight is falling and I can only indistinctly recognise the surrounding area. To the south of me are closely packed rain showers. I follow a south west course. It is now dark. I can no longer follow the map. My aim is to reach the Danube. I know from experience that Regensburg lies to the west of me, east of me is Straubing. The showers hang over me and I must take great care not to collide with any trees.

At last the broad expanse of the Danube is beneath me. In the west, in the direction of Regensburg, I can see flak. Therefore I try to fly eastwards in the direction of Straubing. I can't get through because of the rain showers and must turn around again. Then beneath me I see the shining white shining tower of a church in a village along a road. Between the road and the forest, there's a patch of empty land. Quick decision, land and roll out my Fi 156. Smooth landing, thank God ! Had there been any ditches or furrows I could easily have had an accident.

The other pilot, Schmid actually managed to make it through to Straubing.

Now to see if it's possible to get to the bottom of Lex's capture.
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