PRATT, David Laurence


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

added by: Justin

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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 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.


Squadrons add
RAF 73 1944-01-01


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
JK660 Air test 1944-06-16
JK667 Air test 1944-06-16
MJ835 Bombed Ostrozac & Jizbacici. F/Sgt Pratt hit by flak and crashed. Pilot missing. 1945-03-26


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