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PRATT, David Laurence

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rank: F/Sgt
status: kia
airforce: RAF    (no: 1613112 )
born: United Kingdom

added by: Justin
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Bio / Text:

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73 Squadron
Arriving at the squadron the beginning of May 1944.
Lost in aircraft Spitfire LFIX MJ835 on the 26th March 1945. Left at 13.15 on armed recce, shot down west of Jzbacici, pilot baled but parachute failed.
F/Sgt D.L.Pratt with F/O J.B.Baker, Capt W.F.Maritz and Lt R.D Collins set off in pairs to bomb Ostrozac and Jizbacici. In all three near misses were claimed by the first section and four direct hits by the second pair on 30.40 M.T. which were grouped by the bridge they were attacking. Light flak was encountered from the bridge attacked by the second section. One aircraft (F/Sgt.Pratt) crashed to the ground and a few seconds later his No.2 seen a streaming parachute floating down but failed to see it balloon.

Aircraft was hit by flak at high altitude and despite being blown clear his parachute never deployed. The aircraft is said to have fallen near the village of Ostrozac, whilst his body came down near Jezerane. He was buried by the Germans and later reinterned to Belgrade CWGC Cemetery and was the last pilot of 73 Squadron to be KIA in the war.

Death and burial details
Age: 22
Date: 1945-03-26
Country of death: Yugoslavia
Country of burial: Yugoslavia (Serbia)
Cemetery: Belgrade War Cemetery
Circumstance: Killed in Action

Squadrons:

Squadrons add
AirforceSqdrnDate
RAF 73 1944-01-01

Aircraft:

Aircraftadd
SerialNoteDate
EF652 Search for wreckage reported in sea. None found. 1944-05-04
JK978 Air test 1944-05-06
JK446 Air test 1944-05-07
Air test 1944-05-10
JK383 Searched for pilot in dinghy. Found Him Scedro island. Patrolled until H.S.L arrived. 1944-05-14
JK383 Flew to Vis & contacted convoy 'TOPSAIL' & patrolled. 1944-05-16
MA345 Air test 1944-05-17
MA345 Shipping recce at Ploca saw 70-90 landing barge. 1944-05-19
JG871 Air & cannon test 1944-05-25
JL393 To Grottaglie 1944-05-27
ER666 From Grottaglie. 1944-05-27
ER228 Offensive sweep landed at Vis to refuel. 1944-05-28
ER228 N.W of Ripac saw saw two large M.T's & heavy tanks. Many soilders killed. W/O Baker was hit by flak & aircraft blew up. No hope of survival. 1944-05-28
ER666 Air test & practice flying. 1944-05-29
MA332 From base to Vis 12.45 to 13.25 1944-05-30
MA332 Sweep out to Knin, Bos Grohovo & Glamač saw 30 small M.T's. Attacked & 15 framers & 5 damaged. To base. 1944-05-30
EF530 Base to Vis for refueling 04.35 to 5.15 1944-05-31
EF530 Sweep Drvar, Sucevici & Kistanje at 05.50 to 08.10. No targets seen. 1944-05-31
EF530 Vis to refuel 1944-05-31
EF530 Sweep Padene M.T one flamer & one damaged. 12.00 to 13.50 1944-05-31
EF530 From Vis to base (Foggia) 1944-05-31
JK741 To Vis refuel. 04.50 to 05.45 1944-06-04
JK741 Patrolled Brac island, no incidents 10.30 to 12.25 1944-06-04
JK741 From Vis to base 19.50 to 20.30 1944-06-04
JK454 Air test 1944-06-05
JG871 To Vis to refuel 1944-06-05
JG871 Sweep Ston, Dunta Doli attacked M.T with fuel drums & was a flamer. AT Ormsac 1 M.T flamer. 1944-06-05
MA339 From Vis to base. 1944-06-05
ES342 To Vis to refuel 1944-06-06
ES142 At Sinj attacked 4 M.T one flamer & strikes seen on other 3.W. of Muć attacked armored car & damaged. 1944-06-06
ES142 To Vis 1944-06-06
ES342 Sweep Celebic destroyed four logo's all wagon strayed. Returned to base. 1944-06-06
JK805 Refuel At Vis. Attacked convoy of 20 M.T at Bos Grohovo. One exploded nine framers damaged five. Returned Vis refueled then to base. 1944-06-07
ES347 Refuel Vis. Owing to bad weather returned to base. 1944-06-08
JL309 Escort to aircraft with important passengers to Sv Andrija. 1944-06-09
JL309 Vis to base 1944-06-09
JL309 Air test 1944-06-10
JK193 To Vis to refuel & bomb up. 1944-06-11
JK193 Dive bombed Benkovac. All bombs among buildings. 1944-06-11
ER666 To Vis to refuel. 1944-06-12
ER666 Sweep costal roads Šibenik, also covered Zara, Obrovac & Skradin. 1 M.T damaged. Return to Vis. 1944-06-12
ER666 Target Dragočaj. Bad weather so proceeded to secondary target bridge at Skradin. 4 near misses. 1944-06-12
ER666 Vis to base 1944-06-12
JK660 Air test 1944-06-16
JK667 Air test 1944-06-16
JK278 To Grottaglie 1944-06-17
ER666 Base to Vis 11.40 to 12.20 1944-06-17
ER666 Target Monastery W. of Korcula town, six near misses. Returned to base. 1944-06-17
ER666 Practice formation. 1944-06-21
JG871 Out to Vranjica covered secondary roads, no targets. 1944-06-22
JK450 Escort to DC3 from Vieste point to Drvar & back. 1944-06-23
ES142 To Vis from base. 1944-06-26
ES142 Target bridge at Skradin, 3 direct hits. 1944-06-26
ES142 Sweep Niksic area all major roads. No targets returned Vis then base. 1944-06-26
JK519 From base to Vis. 1944-06-29
MA655 Air & cannon text. 1944-06-29
MA345 To Vis to refuel. 1944-07-01
MA345 Sweep Knin area. Covered road to Bihać no targets seen. 1944-07-01
MA345 Vis to base. 1944-07-01
MA345 Air test 1944-07-01
MA345 Vis to refuel 1944-07-04
MA345 Orbited Sarajevo for 15 minutes no E/A appeared. 1944-07-04
MA345 Vis to base. 1944-07-04
EF553 Vis to refuel 1944-07-05
EF553 Sweep Imotski, Jablanica areas. Unable to Pentwater further 10/10 clouds. 1 M.T & lorry framers. 1944-07-05
ER550 Sweep Skradin, Obrovac, Svrak areas. No targets returned to Vis. 1944-07-07
ER550 Vis to base 1944-07-07
JK329 Base to Vis 1944-07-10
JK329 Sweep Gospić areas. Attacked & damaged M.T No.2 (Sgt Wilson) hit by flak & forced landed near Gospić. Pilot safe. 1944-07-10
JK329 Vis to base 1944-07-10
MA708 Local flying practice 1944-07-17
ER309 Local flying 1944-07-19
JL254 Scrambled the told to return plot faded. 1944-07-21
JK161 Amendola to base 16.20 to 16.40 1944-07-23
MH607 Patrol of Vis 14.20 to 14.50 1944-07-24
MA693 Patrol Vis 14.30 to 15.50 1944-07-25
JF893 Patrol Vis 18.15 to 19.05 1944-07-25
MA311 Recce of damaged E.boat at Raciste. Drifting wood & oil patch seen. 1944-07-26
JF560 Patrol Vis 1944-07-27
ER309 Vis to base 1944-07-27
MA485 U.boat patrol 1944-08-06
MH602 U.boat patrol 1944-08-06
JK803 To Grottaglie 1944-08-06
ER718 Operating from Grottalie on U.boat patrol. No results. 1944-08-06
U.boat patrol 1944-08-07
JK803 Grottaglie to Foggia 1944-08-07
MA383 Patrol Vis 1944-08-20
BS511 Patrol Vis 1944-08-21
BS514 Vis to base 1944-08-21
BS511 Patrol Vis 1944-08-22
MA297 Air test 1944-08-23
Patrol Vis the to base. 1944-08-23
MH602 Patrolled Vis to then to base 1944-08-25
MJ116 Practice battle formation. 1944-09-09
MH721 Escort 6 Venturas boming Kraljevica. 1944-09-19
PT498 Biferno to base with replacement aircraft. 1944-09-27
PT618 Patrolled Zagreb & Noviska areas. 10/10 clouds at Zagreb so set course for base. Sibenik encountered flak Sgt Shearer was hit & forced to bale out. Was seen safe in dinghy. 1944-10-05
NH297 Sweep Zagreb areas. Clouds over whole area, returned to base. 1944-10-13
MK444 Sweep Zagreb area two logo's destroyed. 1944-10-17
NH271 Shipping & weather recce Yugo coast to Fiume. 1944-10-21
PT498 Sweep Split, Peconic, Knin areas. 1 M.T destroyed 1 damaged. 1944-10-25
PT498 Sweep Zagreb bad weather forced to return to base. 1944-10-29
NH271 Sweep Sarajevo areas. Foul weather forced to return to base. 1944-11-01
PT498 Air test 1944-11-03
PT498 Patrol of Sarajevo 1944-11-04
PT498 Sweep at Jezerane noticed 3 six-wheeler bowers approx 3000 gallons well camouflaged. Attacked & 2 blew up violently. Loco she'd at Karlovac attacked 1 explosion seen. 1944-11-06
NH271 Top cover for Wellingtons & Liberators bombing train yards at Sarajevo. Intense 88mm flak. 1944-11-18
NH271 Provided cover for bombers operating in Sarajevo area. 1944-11-20
PT498 Air test 1944-11-27
PT498 Swept from Zeljusa to Ilidza roads & railways, no targets. 1944-12-04
PT498 Sweep of Zagreb, bad weatherinlandfrom coast. Returned early. 1944-12-06
Half Squadron moving to Athens F/Sgt Pratt included. 1944-12-08
PT498 To Brindisi to refuel. 1944-12-08
PT498 Brindisi to Athens (Kalamaki) 1944-12-08
PT671 Recce of Agia Paraskevi in Athens area. 1944-12-11
MJ992 Strafed Kastella (Piraeus) 1944-12-14
PT617 Strafing slit trench positions on Lofos Strefi 1944-12-16
MJ629 Strayed buildings & slit trenches. Many buildings left burning. Beaufighters were also strafing. 1944-12-17
PT498 Search for R.A.F personal seen at Kifisia. 1944-12-19
MH607 Recce outer areas of Athens. 3 M.T framers 3 damaged. 1944-12-21
PT498 8 spits strafing buildings 10 minutes intervals. 1944-12-22
PT671 Many sorties flown throughout the day patrolling Athens & Piraeuse 1944-12-26
PT498 Gun recce (bad weather) personal & guns not seen. 1944-12-29
PT618 Strafing M.T one hit one caught fire. 1945-01-01
MJ835 Patrolled bomb line. Destroyed 6 M.T & damaged 7. 1945-01-05
MJ835 Patrolled bomb line. Destroyed 6 M.T & damaged 7. 1945-01-05
PT498 Escort armoured column at Koropi 1945-01-07
PT498 Escort armored column. Destroyed 1 M.T 1945-01-09
MA484 Recce Porto Rafti & coast of Attica. 1945-01-09
MH607 Air test 1945-01-12
NH271 Recce & Message drop in area R.A.F, P.O.W's 1945-01-13
Truce between E.L.A.S & British, Greek opposing forces 1945-01-15
Nine Spitfires left Kalamaki, Greece to return to Italy (Canne) 1945-01-21
MK113 Sweep Senj to Bihać. 1 M.T damaged at Otoča.c 1945-02-17
PT498 Sweep Banja-Luka to Okučani. No movement seen. 1945-02-21
MK113 From base to Prkos a partisan held airfield in German held territory. 1945-02-25
MK113 Escort to DC3 Prkos with troops & equipment. 1945-02-25
MK113 Prkos to base 1945-02-25
MJ835 Base to Prkos 1945-02-27
PT498 Escort DC.3 from Prkos 1945-02-27
MJ769 Air test at base 1945-02-27
MA408 Air test 1945-03-07
EN135 To Prkos 1945-03-09
EN135 No escort work (weather) return to base. 1945-03-12
PT671 To Prkos from base 1945-03-12
PT671 Weather recently pola, Zagreb & Bihac 1945-03-13
PT671 Attacked & damaged 2 schooners in Cherso harbour. 1945-03-13
PT671 Bombed German Message Lussinpiccolo. 1945-03-14
PT671 Strafing searchlight sites Lussinpiccolo areas 1945-03-15
PT671 Bombed & strafed 105mm gun on Rab Island. 1945-03-17
MJ769 Air test 1945-03-20
JL255 Air test 1945-03-20
JL239 Air test 1945-03-21
JL239 Base to Prkos 1945-03-24
JL239 Recce for reported M.T convoy near Bos Krupa. Near misses. Later destroyed 7 M.T & 3 damaged. 1945-03-24
JL239 Recce for M.T & mule convoy near Senj. Hit mules & destroyed mule carts. 1945-03-24
JL239 Prkos to base 1945-03-24
MJ835 Base to Prkos 1945-03-25
MJ835 Escort DC3 1945-03-25
MJ835 Bombed Bridge at Otoka 2 near misses, no flak. 1945-03-25
MJ835 Bombed Ostrozac & Jizbacici. F/Sgt Pratt hit by flak and crashed. Pilot missing. 1945-03-26

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