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Thread: PRU Mosquito flight to Berlin 13-15 March 1945.

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    Default PRU Mosquito flight to Berlin 13-15 March 1945.

    Hi All,

    I’ve received a request from a mate in Germany who asked Willi Reschke of JG301 flying a Ta152 was ordered to intercept a Mosquito PRU flight near Berlin between the 13- 15 March 1945, does anyone know from which Sqn this aircraft came from?

    From what I can see only 540, 541 & 140 Sqns were flying Mosquitos in March on PRU duties but I am happy to be corrected.

    Regards,

    John.

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    Hello JOHN,

    544 Squadron too as well as 680 Squadron (from Italy)...and 25th B.G. (US) too!

    May have something for you, but the guy who have all about PR activity is Andy Fletcher....he is THE GUY about PRU

    Adriano

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    Hi Adriano,

    Thanks for the quick reply, hopefully Andy will see my request.

    Cheers,

    John.

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    Hi John,

    Adriano rightly points out other possible units. 60 Sqn SAAF operating from Italy is also another contender although I think Berlin would probably have been too far north for Italian based units (680 Sqn and 60 Sqn SAAF) to be operating. Most likely it would have been either 540 Sqn or 544 Sqn which were responsible for northern Europe. However, by this late stage of the war the operational area had shrunk so much that maybe their areas of coverage overlapped. My books and notes are boxed up at the moment but I will have a look what I can find.

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher

    P.S. 541 Sqn never operated Mosquitos

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    Hi John,

    I have had a look through a few ORBs. Not much I'm afraid.

    540 Sqn flew no sorties to the Berlin area between 13th-15th March. It appears this unit was mainly covering targets in western, central and southern Germany at this time.

    544 Sqn looks like the most likely contender. At this time it was covering more easterly German targets as well as western Czechoslovakia. Two sorties from the period mention Berlin. On the 13th rivers in the Hamburg-Berlin area were the objective but no photos were taken due to solid cloud. No mention of any interception. On the 15th waterways in the Hamburg-Berlin area were again to be covered but the pilot returned ill after photographing a target on the Jutland Peninsular.

    140 Sqn was mainly flying night photo recce ops during this period and was not operating in the Berlin area.

    I haven't got access to anything on 680 Sqn or 60 Sqn SAAF from the period but I believe 60 Sqn SAAF was covering Poland and eastern Europe and 680 Sqn the Balkans while they were still occupied by Axis forces. Not sure what the state of play was by March 45 and the rapidly advancing Red Army.

    As to 25th BG I'm afraid this is outside my area of research so cannot comment on what they may have been doing at this time.

    I hope the above is of use.

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher

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    Hello,

    For the record, here are Willi Reschke's own words on the incident:

    "Late one afternoon I was sent up from Stendahl in a Ta 152 to intercept a Mosquito flying reconnaissance high over Berlin. There were two radars near the Geschwaderstab's dispersal, a Freya and a Wuerzburg, and I received excellent guidance, sighting the Mosquito near Genthin. It was on its way home. Flying at a height of more than 9,000 meters. As I was still a few hundred meters lower, I tried to at least reach the same altitude while closing the distance.

    Although the Mosquito was an extremely fast aircraft at high altitude, I was able to overtake it very rapidly even though I was in a shallow climb. In my Ta 152 everything was ready; I had the Mosquito in the illuminated reticle of my gunsight and my fingers were on the firing levers. I had already informed ground control, with which I was in constant contact, that I was about to attack. Suddenly a jolt shook the Ta 152 and my speed dropped; the third stage of the supercharger had cut out, even though it had functioned well when it was engaged at about 7,000 meters. The Mosquito continued on its way unharmed, its crew probably unaware that they had barely escaped destruction".

    See:
    Jagdgeschwader 301/302 "Wilde Sau":In Defence of the Reich with the Bf 109, Fw 190 and Ta 152.
    Reschke,Willi
    Atglen:Schiffer Publishing,2005.
    p.236

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 30th August 2018 at 03:03.

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    Hi Andy & Col,

    Thanks for the information and I’ll pass it on to my mate in Germany. Looks like as you said Andy 541 Sqn looks the most likely with the 13th sorties being again the most likely. As Willi said in what Col provided the crew may well have been unaware of the presence of the German fighter.

    Regards,

    John.

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    Hi John,

    'a little late to this thread.

    In terms of establishing the date of the incident, it's worth pointing out that Willi Reschke didn't record any missions from Stendal airfield in his Flugbuch (Flying Logbook).

    He recorded a transfer flight from Sachau to Stendal in Ta152 "Schwartz 3" on 13 March 1945, between 16.13 - 16.25h. The next entry in the Flugbuch is an operational sortie from Neustadt-Glewe airfield on 14 April 1945 (his Flugbuch only records two operational missions flying in the Ta152, both in April 1945).

    Another potential source of information are the daily Luftwaffe OKL FüSt Ic Reich Luftlagemeldungen (air situation reports), which record enemy and German air activity over the Reich.

    The Abendmeldung (evening report) for 13 March 1945 records:

    "Own employment: no fighter employment. Flak employment and Flak successes not yet reported".


    A Nachtrag (Supplement) to the Abendmeldung for 14 March 1945 records:

    "With own employment: Against Reconnaissance flights over central Germany: 1 Jagddivision: 2 Me 163 (JG 400). No successes or losses".


    The Abendmeldung and a Nachtrag for 15 March 1945 record no missions against reconnaissance aircraft, only:

    12 Me 262s of JG 7 against a four-engined raid (no successes or losses)
    9 Me 163s of JG 400 against a four-engined raid (no successes, 3 Me 163s lost)
    12 Bf 109s of JG 300 guarding the jet airfields (no successes or losses)


    The Abendmeldung (evening report) for 16 March 1945 records:

    "Own employment: against four-engined raid. Against Reconnaissance flights over central Germany: 1 Jagddivision: 3 Me 163 (JG 400), 1 probable (victory). No losses".


    A Nachtrag (Supplement) to the Abendmeldung for 16 March 1945 records:

    "With own employment: Against Reconnaissance flights and fighter aircraft in the Berlin area: 1 Jagddivision: 5 Me 262 (JG 7). 2 Certain (victories) (0+2) (meaning 2 twin- or single-engined), 4 Me 163 (JG 400), 1 probable. Airfield protection against low-level attack: 1 Jagddivision 52 aircraft (JG 300 and 301). No losses".


    The Abendmeldung (evening report) for 17 March 1945 records:

    "Own employment: no fighter employment. Flak employment and Flak successes not yet reported".


    A Nachtrag (Supplement) to the Abendmeldung for 17 March 1945 records:

    "With own employment: Against four-engined raids no employment. For airfield protection: 1 Jagddivision: 8 aircraft (JG 300). No successes, no losses".


    The Abendmeldung (evening report) for 18 March 1945 shows no employment against Reconnaissance flights.


    A Nachtrag (Supplement) to the Abendmeldung for 19 March 1945 records:

    "With own employment: For airfield protection: 1 Jagddivision: 24 aircraft (JG 400), No successes, no losses. Against Reconnaissance flights over central Germany: 1 Jagddivision: 2 Me 262 (Kdo. Welter). No successes, no losses. 4 Me 163 (JG 400). No successes, Losses: 1-0-0, 1-0-0." (meaning one pilot killed and one aircraft destroyed)

    The Abendmeldungen through to and including 25 March 1945 show the same pattern - occasional missions against reconnaissance flights by Me262s and Me 163s only. JG 300 and occasionally JG 301 flew airfield protection missions.

    Thus, it's hard to verify Willi Reschke's post-war recollections since his own Flugbuch and the OKL FüSt Ic Reich Luftlagemeldungen don't record his flight against a reconnaissance Mosquito. I don't have copies of the OKL FüSt Ic East Luftlagemeldungen (against the Soviets) to see if there were missions against Russian aircraft around Berlin. Willi Reschke apparently flew the Ta152 for the first time on 24 January 1945, so I wonder if he possibly flew the mission against the Mosquito earlier than 13 - 15 March 1945. I know from the OKL FüSt Ic Reich Luftlagemeldungen that the Luftwaffe did employ a few piston-engined aircraft against reconnaissance flights in that month.

    In looking at other JG 301 Flugbücher to see if JG 301 flew any missions from Stendal, Walter Loos only flew four Ta152 missions from Neustadt-Glewe between 20 and 30 April 1945. There are several other JG 301/Ta152 Flugbücher available to researchers, but I don't have copies of them.

    Cheers

    Rod
    Last edited by RodM; 1st April 2019 at 01:24.

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