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  #11  
Old 19th January 2018, 23:17
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Snautzer Snautzer is offline
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Re: Straffing on Fliegerhorst Agram and Pleso on 11. October 1944.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojeras View Post
Gentelman,
who performed attack is not the issue. Neither date.

Subject is the damage assessment. Damage of Luftwaffe planes, that is.
You have to have puzzle pieces to make a puzzle .
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  #12  
Old 20th January 2018, 00:35
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Re: Straffing on Fliegerhorst Agram and Pleso on 11. October 1944.

Frame is complete. And most of the middle. Only few detail pieces are still searched for. ;o)
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  #13  
Old 20th January 2018, 11:28
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Straffing on Fliegerhorst Agram and Pleso on 11. October 1944.

The Luftwaffe losses summaries database cover two of these, N.S.Gr.7 and Nahaufkl.St. Kroatien. According to the base both had losses on the 10th (1 aircraft shot down by enemy aircraft for Nahaufkl.St. Kroatien, 1 shot down by AA fire, and 3 damaged (by enemy aircraft, by infantry fire and without enemy action) for N.S.Gr.7) but none on the 11th.

This base is in 1944 one of the two main sources for Luftwaffe base with the NVM (that cover only case with personnel losses), but still you can see in this example that it is not complete: Matti had in the NVMs two aircraft destroyed for 2./NSGr. 7 on 10 October, while the base had only one.

Still the base will usually list ground losses too, listing some for Nahaufkl.St. Kroatien on 12 Nov 1943, 6 Apr 1944, 23 Apr 1944, 25 May 1944, 26 May 1944, 28 May 1944, 1 June 1944 and 19 January 1945. None at all are listed for N.S.Gr.7. Maybe the data is incomplete here too.
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  #14  
Old 20th January 2018, 12:02
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Re: Straffing on Fliegerhorst Agram and Pleso on 11. October 1944.

Hello,

Ian Piper, author of, We Never Slept The Story of 605 Squadron (Author, 1997 rep.) states:

" On October 10th (1944), 605 dispatched three Mosquitoes even further afield on a 2,500 mile trip deep into occupied territory to attack two German held airfields 60 miles south of Prague, Czechoslovakia and another two at Zagreb in Jugoslavia. The three crews consisted of the CO, W/Cdr Mitchell with F/Lt Stan Hatsell, S/Ldr Ian McCall with F/Sgt Tommy Caulfield and F/Lt Jack Pengelly with F/Sgt Couchman. The three departed Manston on the morning of the 10th and called at Istres (Grouppe 3 East) for fuel and a weather report . They night stopped at Jesi in Italy before setting off the following morning in an inverted vic three formation, passing over Ancona on course for their first target of Zagreb where W/Cdr Mitchell damaged an Me 110 which Jack Pengelly finished off.

Jack also shared a B.71 with Ian McCall before the CO called up ordering the three to leave the area and set course for the aerodrome at Pleso Where Jack destroyed destroyed an Me 109 and the CO claimed two Junkers Ju 87's and Ian McCall a Ju 52. As they broke away from the airfield 'Mitch' called up and said that he had been hit, so Jack and Ian formed up on him and escorted him safely back to Jesi, where they found that all three aircraft had been damaged by flak."

See:
"We Never Slept" The Story of No. 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force 1926 - 1957.
Piper,Ian
Tamworth(Staff.):Author,1997 (rep.)
p.201

The Players:

62259 W/C Richard Angelo 'Mitch' MITCHELL DFC*/151901 F/L Stanley Harry HATSELL DFC
39321 S/L Ian Frederick McCALL/F/Sgt T 'Tommy' CAULFIELD
60295 F/L John Isaac PENGELLY DFC/F/Sgt C R COUCHMAN

Col.

Last edited by Col Bruggy; 20th January 2018 at 14:51.
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  #15  
Old 20th January 2018, 18:28
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Straffing on Fliegerhorst Agram and Pleso on 11. October 1944.

Splendid digging, Colonel. Strange how these obscure gems turn up even though they are not mentioned in the usual places.

However, one thing does bother me. Why would they have sent three Mosquitos all the way from RAF Station Manston/U.K. via S France and NE Italy to bomb a couple of obscure and relatively unimportant airfields around Zagreb? We certainly had enough air assets in the Mediterranean by October 1944 to handle this operation, and the 4 Zagreb area airfields Gorica, Lucko, Pleso and Stadt) were under 'round-the-clock surveillance and frequent air attack. (see: http://ww2.dk/Airfields%20-%20Yugoslavia.pdf - under Agram (Zagreb).

Was there any mention in your 605 Squadron history of there suddenly being a vital or very important target there that needed to be eliminated, and that only Mosquitos brought down from England could perform this mission because of the need for utmost secrecy and/or special on-board equipment that no aircraft in the Mediterranean Theater had?

Most perplexing.

L.
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  #16  
Old 20th January 2018, 19:27
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Straffing on Fliegerhorst Agram and Pleso on 11. October 1944.

Larry, I had the same question. Why send UK-based Mosquitoes to Croatia ?

I wonder if it was ordered at high level or decided at Squadron level, the idea of the level being to go where "game was to be found". Some days before, crews of 605 Sqn flew other Day Rangers to Vienna (on the 7th) and to the Baltic (on the 2nd). I wonder also if with most of the Luftwaffe back in Germany the usual area for Day Ranger (Denmark, Baltic) was not becoming too dangerous and Mosquitoes went to other areas for this reason. It seems to me that Day Rangers stopped after October 1944, maybe 605 Sqn crews try to score as most as possible before they were ordered to stop these operations ?
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  #17  
Old 20th January 2018, 19:29
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Straffing on Fliegerhorst Agram and Pleso on 11. October 1944.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry deZeng View Post
Was there any mention in your 605 Squadron history of there suddenly being a vital or very important target there that needed to be eliminated, and that only Mosquitos brought down from England could perform this mission because of the need for utmost secrecy and/or special on-board equipment that no aircraft in the Mediterranean Theater had?
Don't know for 605 Sqn here, but over Denmark the Mosquitoes used were FB.VI fighter-bombers type, without radar or any special electronic device AFAIK.
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  #18  
Old 20th January 2018, 22:20
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Re: Straffing on Fliegerhorst Agram and Pleso on 11. October 1944.

That is right question!
All three Mosquitos were FB VI and attack was performed with 20 mm cannons. No bombs.
Mission was Daylight Ranger (attack on tagets of opportunity) in Budapest area.
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  #19  
Old 20th January 2018, 22:43
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Re: Straffing on Fliegerhorst Agram and Pleso on 11. October 1944.

Boris Ciglić and Dragan Savić in their book 'Dornier Do 17 - The Yugoslav story' state that on Borongaj aerodrome one Croatian Do 17E of 3. zrakoplovno jato burned out completely and one Ca.311 of 15. zrakoplovno jato was destroyed (missidentified as Avia B.71 by Mossie crew).

Croatian People's Protection (Narodna zaštita) unit report state that one Dorier plane was set on fire on Borongaj aerodrome and one three-engine plane ignited on Pleso aerodrome.
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  #20  
Old 21st January 2018, 02:39
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Straffing on Fliegerhorst Agram and Pleso on 11. October 1944.

Laurent and Marko:

Very interesting thoughts and comments along with additional details. What came to my mind an hour or two ago was the possibility that the Mossies were after a VIP and his entourage. Borongaj (Agram-Stadt to the Germans) was the principal Croatian Air Force airfield in the Zagreb area, while Zagreb-Pleso was the gateway airfield at that time (Oct 44) for many of the evacuation transport flights between Athens, Salonika and Belgrade and north to Austria and Germany. Is it possible a German or Croatian message transmitted by radio was intercepted by the Allies to the effect that: (1) a high-ranking German general would be passing through Pleso at the time of the attack, or, (2) that Poglavnik would departing or arriving at Borongaj? If so, the Allies might have seen this as a prime opportunity to liquidate them. Just speculating, but it almost sounds from what we have so far that the Mosquitos were intentionally targeting transports or multi-engine aircraft that could be used as a transport.

L.
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