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Google Earth Plug-in: 461st BG (H), Mission 222, Linz Marshalling Yards

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25 April 1945

Linz Main Marshalling Yard, Austria

With the offensive in Italy progressing successfully, the Air Force suddenly turned to bombing in support of the Russian armies on the Southeastern front. The mission on 25 April 1945 was to Linz, Austria, with the Main Marshalling Yard as the primary target. Major Phillips led the mission with Lt. Colonel Gregory leading the second attack unit. In view of the extremely heavy anti-aircraft fire encountered, which damaged eleven of the twenty-six planes over target, the bombing was exceptionally good. Of the bombs dropped, 55 percent were plotted within 1,000 feet of the briefed aimed point.

The plane piloted by 2nd Lt. Lawrence R. Toothman was lost to flak over the target. The plane piloted by 1st Lt. Richard F. Reiland had a brief encounter with a FW-190 which opened fire at 600 yards. When the alert gunners fired back the Fock Wulf turned away and headed north to Germany.

In Austria, 467 B-17s and B-24s bomb the main marshalling yard station, and sidings, N and S main marshalling yards and freight yard at Linz, the major Austrian traffic center along the railline running N to Prague, Czechoslovakia, plus the Wels marshalling yard (an alternate) and several targets of opportunity. 119 P-38s and P-51s fly armed reconnaissance over N Italy, a few strafing road traffic. The P-38s dive-bomb road and rail bridges and raillines. P-38s and P-51s fly almost 300 sorties in escort of the heavy bombers, P-38 reconnaissance flights, and MATAF B-26 raids.

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