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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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  #1  
Old 12th January 2005, 16:05
jiri jiri is offline
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US Lightning shot down by Soviets 9 May 1945 over Prague, Cz

Shortly after the German capitulation, on 9 May 1945 afternoon, an US Lightning (P-38 or F-5) was shot down by Soviet fighters (Yaks or Airacobras) over Prague, Czechoslovaki. Soviets took off from Praha-Ruzyne A/F, where its unit was stationed. US Lightning crashed in Sarecke udoli (now part of Praha 6), US pilot, apparently Capt. Thomas Petrus (or Peters) was slightly burned in the head and hands and was obliged to bale out. He was interned by Soviets at Ruzyne and next day, 10 May 1945, was repatriated to US zone. This is all I know about this accident, confirmed by many Czech soldiers and civilians, but no mentioned in any US or Russian books.
Can anybody help me with search about details of this accident? I´ve still desperately haunted for US unit, s/n of A/C, confirmation of name of US pilot, US (or Russian) report about accident etc.
Thanks
Jiri
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  #2  
Old 13th January 2005, 10:44
Ota Jirovec Ota Jirovec is offline
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Re: US Lightning shot down by Soviets over Prague

Ahoj Jiri,

the Lightning was from 67th TRG (at least according to J. Rajlich´s Mustangy nad Protektorátem). Interestingly, the MACR listing does not show any casualty of this unit for 9. 5. 1945, but there is one P-38 (42-12413) listed as lost the next day, on 10. 5. 1945. Perhaps this is "our" case. The MACR 14405 should contain more details about this loss.

And yes, it was just one of numerous encounters between US and Russian aircraft in 1944 - 45.

Hope this helps a little,

Ota
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  #3  
Old 13th January 2005, 23:18
jiri jiri is offline
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Re: US Lightning shot down by Soviets over Prague

Hi Ota,
thank you for your reply. But I´m J. Rajlich, author of book Mustangy nad Protektoratem, mentioned in your message.
When I write this book, I was sure that Lightning shot down by Soviets over Prague was 42-12413 from 67th TRG lost on 10 May 1945 (MACR 14405 - do you have this record?) because one Czech eye-witness record mentioned this date. But now, eight years after book mentioned above was published and after new sources were discovered, I´m sure that this accident took place a day earlier, on 9 May 1945 - so must be another P-38 or F-5 aircraft loss, unfortunately no mentioned in MACR index.
Jiri
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  #4  
Old 14th January 2005, 00:13
Larry Larry is offline
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P-38 lost 9/5/45

Jiri,

Loss records are notorious for being inaccurate. It is often found that an incident took place a day before the loss of an aircraft was officially struck off charge. The P-38 may have been shot down on the 9th but simply recorded as lost on 10th May (as almost every Allied serviceman in Europe was celebrating the end of the war on 9th!)

It would be worse if the loss was officially recorded by the USAAF on a date prior to the date your witness can confirm.

So your book was correct.
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  #5  
Old 14th January 2005, 19:38
JACK COOK JACK COOK is offline
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Tom Pettrus

This was a F-5. Lt Pettrus told his story in a past issue of the P-38 assoc. magazine "Lightning Strikes". I'm sure I've have it packed away somewhere but try their historian John Stanaway at: STSJCS@aol.com
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  #6  
Old 14th January 2005, 23:35
jiri jiri is offline
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Re: Tom Pettrus

Many thanks, Jack. I´ve found it!
Jiri
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  #7  
Old 15th January 2005, 11:56
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Re: Tom Pettrus

This Lightning may be the "FW189" claimed on 09.05.45 by capt Pshenichnikov from 100 GIAP flying Airacobra. According Soviet documents, German plane was shot down and fell near NW outskirts of Prague.
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  #8  
Old 15th January 2005, 15:00
Ota Jirovec Ota Jirovec is offline
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MB, many thanks for your information. It seems to match pretty well - the location of impact given by J. Rajlich is on the north-western edge of Prague....
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