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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 4th March 2015, 15:22
happymeal happymeal is offline
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Last combat of WWII in Europe

Hi All,

the "legend" says the last aerial combat of WWII in Europe took place on april 11th, 1945, with Duane Francies and his observer Martin shooting down a Fieseler Storch, using their Colt .45 from their Piper L-4H.
The story is seducing, but browsing through the 354th Fighter Group story, I read that P-51s from its squadrons had some aerial fights on april 16, shooting down 13 Fw 190, on april 17th, Capt Jack A. Warner shooting down a Me 262, on april 19, 20, 22 and 26 – this last day, Edward Bickford shooting two Fw 190D and Kenneth Wise one.
Any of you exoperts have on hand the combat reports for these ? Or any input re. the myth of the last aerial fight in Europe ?
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Old 4th March 2015, 16:08
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Nick Beale Nick Beale is offline
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Re: Last combat of WWII in Europe

For the RAF, No. 350 (Belgian) Squadron shot down an Ar 234 on 2 May 1945, for example.

The Soviets were officially in action a few days more than the Western Allies (on cease fire after 4 May) and I think if you use the search facility you'll find old threads here about late encounters over the Baltic.
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Old 4th March 2015, 16:21
happymeal happymeal is offline
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Re: Last combat of WWII in Europe

Thank you Nick !
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Old 4th March 2015, 17:22
Tom Semenza Tom Semenza is offline
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Re: Last combat of WWII in Europe

Frank Olynyk in his USAAF(ET) Credits List shows 9 claims, all confirmed destroyed, on May 8, 1945 all by 9th AF units. The last was a Si-204 at 20:05 By 2/Lt. Kenneth L. Swift of the 439th FS, 474th FG (P-38).

As for the RAF, the last claim was also for a Si-204 shot down on May 5 by Spitfire XIVs of 130 Sqn. shared by F/L Gibbons and F/Sgt. (W/O?)Gilmour. Unfortunately I don't have the time of the claim or the full names and service numbers of the pilots. Perhaps someone can fill in those details? (Sources: Foreman Fighter Command War Diaries, Part 5 and Thomas Griffon Spitfire Aces.)

Cheers,
Tom
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Old 6th March 2015, 14:03
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Peter Kassak Peter Kassak is offline
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Re: Last combat of WWII in Europe

I think that on 9 May 1945 over Czech Republic some combat was recorded. Have to look for details.
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Old 7th March 2015, 23:57
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Last combat of WWII in Europe

AFAIK the last air battle over Europe of WWII was on 11 May 1945 when a lost RAF Anson was attacked by three Yaks.
See http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showth...?t=7258&page=2 for details

As for battles between German and Allied aircraft, there were many on 8 May 1945, with three known German claims and tens of claims made by Soviet fighters over Courland and the Baltic Sea as they intercepted German transports and bombers flying from Norway to pick up as many men in Courland as possible before the surrender. Details of the German operation can be found in "Luftwaffe into focus Spezial n° 2".
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Old 29th May 2015, 14:51
jiri jiri is offline
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Re: Last combat of WWII in Europe

US post-8 May 1945 victim to Soviet fighters:
This "friedly" fire accident took place on 9 May 1945 over Prague-Ruzyne aerodrome, Czechoslovakia.
The case is in fact unknown, and if not for witness memories that started the unravelling of this mystery, it would be totally forgotten by now. A thorough research in both American and Russian archives has shown that this incident had been preceded the day before by another shooting down of an American aircraft from the same unit over Saxony in Germany.
American Lockheed F-5 photo-recco planes (unarmed version of the famous Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter plane) of the 39th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron/10th Photographic Group, belonging to the 9th U.S. Air Force were then operating from Y-10 airfield in Wiesbaden, Germany.
On 8 May 1945, the unit was on a Prisoner-of-War Camp Pin-Pointing Mission in Dresden airspace, i.e. in the area recently seized by Soviet troops. Several Soviet Yak fighters of the 106th Guards Fighter
Air Regiment from Cottbus airfield attacked Captain Malcolm L. Nash. Second Lieutenant Lazuta wrongly took Nash´s F-5E for a German Focke Wulf Fw 189 (twin-fuselage plane like F-5), and shot it down in Reichenbach area, approx. 40 kilometres West of Dresden. Captain Nash made a belly landing in the field. Though himself escaping serious injury his F-5E was totally demolished.
On the next day, 9 May 1945 afternoon, the 39th Photo-Recco Squadron sent six F-5s to search for the missing Capt. Nash. Two of the F-5s piloted by 1/Lt Thomas P. Petrus and 2/Lt. Thomas Jackson, flew as far as Prague. By coincidence, this happened when six Soviet American built Bell P-39 Airacobras patrolled the area. They were part of the 100th Guards Fighter Air Regiment (part of the renowned 9th Guards Fighter Air Division led by famous ace, Colonel Alexander I. Pokryschkin), operating from Neuhausen airfi eld (10 km South-East of Cottbus). Soviet fi ghters covered Soviet tanks advancing to Prague, and one of them, Major Vasilyi A. Pschenitchnikov, took the American twin-fuselage F-5 for a German Fw 189. In three machine-gun rounds, he shot down the plane that went down in flames on the Northwestern part of Prague, nearby the Ruzyně airfield.
While 1/Lt Petrus, suffering heavy burns, saved his life on parachute, Maj. Pschenitchnikov on his return added to his score the kill of „Fw 189“, his thirteenth and the last WW2 kill.
The sad irony of all this remains: the last „German“ aircraft shot down over Prague was in fact an Allied one. Even more paradoxical is the fact that the last American plane shot down in European Theatre was not only shot by an Allied pilot but also by an U.S. made aircraft, one of the many supplied by Americans to Soviets under the Lend-Lease Act.

English summary from the article:

Jiri Rajlich: Zapomenutý incident nad Ruzyní 9. května 1945. Historie a vojenstvi, No 3/2008, pp. 24-34.
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Old 29th May 2015, 22:11
Broncazonk Broncazonk is offline
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Re: Last combat of WWII in Europe

On the last page of the book, Lieutenant Gerhard Thyben of JG 54 described his last victory while escaping the Courtland pocket on 8 May, 1945 in Focke Wulf Fw 190 by Robert Grisnell (1980).

Along with wingman Fritze Hangebrauck, Thyben engaged and downed a Pe-2 at 0754.

Bronc
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Old 31st May 2015, 05:59
Nick Hector Nick Hector is offline
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Re: Last combat of WWII in Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Broncazonk View Post
On the last page of the book, Lieutenant Gerhard Thyben of JG 54 described his last victory while escaping the Courtland pocket on 8 May, 1945 in Focke Wulf Fw 190 by Robert Grisnell (1980).

Along with wingman Fritze Hangebrauck, Thyben engaged and downed a Pe-2 at 0754.

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15 RAP. Major Grigori Davidenko, Major Grashchev and Starshina Mikhail Murashko all KIA
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