398th Bomb Group

Dresden/Prague Mission Recollections
14 February 1945

Nunzio Addabbo
Navigator, Palant crew, 601st Squadron

I was the navigator on Samuel Palant’s crew that day and my major regret is that I didn’t keep my log to prove my story. The winds were about 100 miles per hour and I knew it. I also knew we were being blown off course to Dresden. Unfortunately, we were not the lead aircraft that day and had to play “follow the leader”. I called our position to Sam and he radioed it to the lead. No action was taken and we bombed Prague instead of our primary target – Dresden. If memory serves me correctly, our 601 squadron dropped incendiaries. On our return to base at approximately 20,000 feet and 90 miles from that city, we could still see the fires and smoke pouring out of Prague.

During our usual de-briefing after each mission, I pointed out the bombing error and presented my log. It was not until the following day, after aerial photos were reviewed, that the error was quietly announced. I don’t know if I was the only navigator to report the error. I do know that no top-brass ever thanked me for being right!

Article transcribed by Lee Anne Bradley, 398th Group Historian, October 2007.

See also:

Printed in Flak News Volume 20, Number 1, Page(s) 5, January 2005

Note: The above article has been placed on the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association web site to share our history with a wider audience. You may view, download, print, copy and link to our content as you wish as long as the uses are personal or educational. 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association web page content cannot be used for commercial purposes nor placed on other web sites whether commercial, personal or educational, unless authorized in writing by the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association Official Board and/or the author.