ISTORIA UNUI URAGAN DE FOC
O nouă lucrare vine să completeze biblioteca istorică a celui de-al doilea Război Mondial, raftul dedicat aeronauticii. Cartea celor doi autori (dl. Prof. Dr. Valeriu Avram nu mai are nevoie de prezentare, fiind cunoscut de zeci de ani de către consumatorii de istorie a aviaţiei de la noi şi de peste hotare, iar Alexandru Armă şi-a rezervat deja un loc de cinste in micul grup al specialiştilor de la noi) se ocupă de un Grup unic prin natura lui, prin dotare şi tip de misiuni.
Până la o recenzie mai amplă, imi permit să ataşez aici doar rezumatul în limba engleză, la care am şi eu un foarte mic aport.
THE 8TH GROUP OF THE ROMANIAN AIR FORCES
According to the Order of the Air Force Staff no. 530 /7.06.1943, beginning with May the 11th 1943, the 8th Fighters group of the 2nd Wing, based on the Târgşor airfield will receive Henschel 129 B2 aircraft, and was turned into the 8th ASSAULT Group. On the first day, the Group had 12 officers, 18 petty officers, 18 technical petty officers and 270 privates. Captain IOAN CARA was appointed commander of the Group. The Group was made of three squadrons: 41st, under the orders of Lt. Şotropa Leonida, 42nd – Lt. Nicolae Serescu and 60th, commanded by captain Ştefan Alexandrescu.
All the pilots were sent by train to Kirovgrad, and there, for a short time, they had flying courses for the twin engine attack aircraft He 129. It is remarkable that the pilots were mainly petty officers coming from fighters and having two years of experience, namely hundreds of flight hours in war missions. In June 1943, the pilots of the 8th Group started formation flights, so that in July they should start operation activities. For a short period they moved to the base airfield from Mariupol and then, on August 10th, they started operational flight from Kramatorskaia. The first missions were flown against Soviet infantry and tanks; the first pilot missing in action was Adj. Petre Sârbu, on August 16th. By August 30th 1943 a new commanding officer was appointed, Lt. col. Duţu Vasiliu. Between August 20th and September 2nd 1943, the 8th Group came to Mariupol, acting daily on the southern front. On his 26th mission, Adj. Constantin Georgescu’s aircraft was hit by the enemy AA fire. Even witn=h an engine ant and a r 1st 1943 on thedamaged wing he was able to land his No. 122 safely. In early September, Adj. Ion Enache from the the 42nd Assault Squadron landed in no man’s land and he only managed to come back to the airfield a few days later.
The 8th Assault Group moved, during the first week of September 1943 on the Starâi Blinetî airfield. New pilots came from Bucharest: Lt. Rada Ion to the 42nd Squadron, Cap. Pretor Dimitrie to the 60th Squadron, Second Lt. Ion Buda to the 42nd Squadron. Lt. Ion Rada died in a flight on September 6th, and a few days later their former German instructor, Lt. Orth Dieter, liaison officer to the 4th German Air Fleet. Adj. Theodor Zăbavă could come back on foot after he was shot down on September 14th, during a bombing mission.
The squadrons of the 8th Assault Group were moved to the airfields from Herson and Ganisetsk (September 19th – October 29th). Adj. Ioan Poenaru was shot down by the enemy AA but he suvived and was taken prisoner. He came back in 1945. Starting with October 29th, e 8th Group moved to Tschaplinka airfield and operated from there until November 2nd. Lt. Muntean Lazăr was shot doen over Soviet positions and was saved by Plt. Av. Reitberber . Adj. Stoian Ion Dumitru from the 60th Squadron died on November 2nd. The same day, the whole Group moved to the Cherson airfield. There, the pilots made a real proof of their combat capabilities. The Russians broke the southern front line and tens of thousands of Romanian soldiers were threatened to be taken prisoners. For eight days the 8th group managed hundreds of missions under enemy fire, saving Romanian troops from death and captivity. During these fights, five He-129s were shot down and two pilots were killed. Adj. Mladin Constantin fell inside the enemy lines but was saved by Adj. Marinescu Ovidiu in a daring landing, as he was taken away under the Russians fire.
Between November 12th and January 7th 1944, the 8th Group was based on the Nikolaev and Lapetika airfields. Two pilots were lost, Adj. Verdeş Enache from the 42nd Squadron and Logofătu Ion, from the 41st Squadron.
The 8th Assault Group moved tom Odessa airfield and fought from there on April 4th 1944. Then they came back to Romania to Tecuci airfield. Apt. av. Vlăsceanu Ion was appointed commander of the 41st Squadron and Cpt. Eftimopol Ion took the command of the 60th.
From June 30th to August 20th, 1944, the 8th Assault Group was based on Matca airfield, near Tecuci. Starting with August 2oth, they fought from the airfield from Gherăieşti-Bacău.
After the events of August 23rd, when Romania joined the United Nations camp, the 8th Assault Group went to Craiova. Starting with September 1944, they were moved to Balomir airfield, in Transylvania. Till September 25th, the assault squadrons completed hundreds of missions against the German and Hortyst forces for the liberation of Transylvania, a thousand year old Romanian territory.
In this battle for Transylvania were lost in action Lt. Ştefănescu Ion Dan, 2nd Lt. Năsturaş Vasile, 2nd Lt. Ungur Ovidiu and were severely wounded Adj. Bulhac Trifan And. Marinescu Jean and Lt. Munteanu Lazăr.
Those important loses in pilots and materials led to the unification of the 8th Assault Group to the Diving-bombers Group. Till November 14th they fought from Someşeni airfield qnd then from Turkeve and Miscolcz, Hungary. Adj. Scripcaru Vasile died on the field of honour on January 13th, 1945.
The 8th Assault Group actually took part in the liberation of Czechoslovakia. For months, they fought the enemy and the bad weather. By the end of January, after repeated attacks and bombing missions at low altitude, they had an important contribution in the liberation of Lovino-Bana, Roznova, Brezno and Mihailovo. In February-March 1945, the 8th Assault-Diving Bombers Group fought on the Hron River, for the cities of Kremnika, Hronska Breznika, Ocova. On February 25th, `1945, the 8th Assault-Diving Bombers Group dropped on the enemy 20 tons of bombs from a low altitude near Liehovek and Zolna. Lt. Dumbravă Victor was shot down by the enemy AA. Even with a badly damaged aircraft, he crash landed and survived. The 8th Assault-Diving Bombers Group decisively contributed to the battle for Zvolen and the industrial and communication center of Uherski Brod.
Fighting for Czechoslovakia, they completed 119 missions with 422 sorties and 370 flight hours. They dropped 130 tons of bombs, destroyed 9 important communication centers, 13 tanks, 66 land convoys, 185 trucks etc. They dropped 225 tons of bombs over the enemy troops.
They were acknowledged their value and their contributions by several references in the daily orders on the army.