April 1945

April, '45

A few interesting things happened in April. On the 4th, the 446th's CO, Colonel Crawford, was shot down behind enemy lines by his own men (see the details below). The April weather was unusually warm until a freak snow storm at the end of the month. On the 12th, the group started a 30 period of mourning after learning of the death of FDR. The blackout in England was ended on the 23rd. But the biggest news came at the end of the month. Even though the war was not quite over, the 446th was going home.

Click on a date for details

Apr 4th Wesendorf airfield
Apr 5th Bayreuth
Apr 6th Halle
Apr 7th Dunenburg
Apr 8th Roth airfield
Apr 9th Landsberg
Apr 10th Rechlin airfield
Apr 11th Regensburg
Apr 14th Royan area, France
Apr 15th Royan area, France
Apr 16th Landshut
Apr 17th Kladno, Czechoslovakia
Apr 18th Passau
Apr 20th Muhldorf
Apr 21st Salzburg
Apr 25th Salzburg

Mission Details

Clicking Photos in any mission below will show you photos for that mission in a new browser window. Simply close that window to return here. Click here for all photos for April 1945.

April 4: Wesendorf airfield
The airfield was bombed with good results. Colonel Troy Crawford, 446th CO, was flying in an RAF Mosquito as an observer. While trying to join with the group, 2 ME 262 fighter jets flew along side Colonel Crawford's plane. The RAF Mosquito, like a German ME 262, was a twin engine aircraft and, from a distance, they look a bit alike. When the crews saw what they thought were 3 ME 262's coming at them, they opened fire and did their job well, knocking the Mosquito out of the air. Colonel Crawford and his pilot parachuted to the ground and were taken prisoner. In just a week and a half, their POW camp would be liberated. Photos

April 5: Bayreuth
9 planes hit the marshalling yards. 13 planes flew with another group and hit their targets. "Pin-Up Girl" (42-94941) was shot down by anti-aircraft fire, killing 4 crewmen. 4 more were taken prisoner, though one escaped.

April 6: Halle
21 planes attacked the marshalling yards with unobserved results.

April 7: Duneburg
32 planes hit an ordnance depot with good results. Explosions and fires were seen.

April 8: Roth airfield
1,000 pounders and incendiaries were dropped with good results.

April 9: Landsberg
Numerous hits were reported on runways and planes at this airfield.

April 10: Rechlin airfield
32 planes attacked and good results were reported.

April 11: Regensburg
30 planes hit the airfield with good results. 2 planes collided while trying to land, killing 22 crewmen. Photo

April 14: Royan area, France
Each plane carried 4 2,000 pounders, and no guns or gunners to conserve weight, as the group bombed German defensive positions guarding the port of Bordeaux.

April 15: Royan area, France
The group dropped incendiaries and Napalm on German troops. French troops broke through an hour later.

April 16: Landshut
Good results were reported as the group bombed a marshalling yard.

April 17: Kladno, Czechoslovakia
18 planes attacked a railroad junction with good results.

April 18: Passau
A marshalling yard was attacked with good results. Photo

April 20: Muhldorf
Excellent results were reported on a rail junction.

April 21: Salzburg
The mission was aborted due to bad weather.

April 25: Salzburg
A bridge over the Salzach river was bombed with good results on the 446th's last mission. 2 days later, 6 crewmen were killed on a night transition flight when their plane crashed, the last casualties of the war for the 446th. Photo

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