History of Battle


Brief History of the battle

“On September 11th, 1944, over the Ore Mountains (in the area of the Czech-German border), a formation of B-17G Flying Fortresses of the 100th  Bomb Group from the 3rd Bomb Division encountered a large group of German fighers, consisting of ME 109 and FW 190 from II (Sturm) and III Gruppe Jagdgeschwader 4.  This formation was escorted by P-51 Mustang fighters of the 55th and 339th Fighter Group of the 8th US Air Force.  During the battle, more than 50 aircraft were shot down.   Because of the brevity of the battle, most of the shot-down planes fell in a relatively small area of the Czech and German Ore Mountains (KrusnohofF/Erzgebirge).  This sunny September day is written in the history as the ‘Black Monday over the Ore Mountains.’  During the battle, the 100th Bomb Group, known as “The Bloody Hundredth”, had lost more than one-third of its aircraft that had been sent on this particular mission.   Losses of the JG-4 were fifty percent

Noon, September Eleventh, 1944.  The sky over the crest of the Ore Mountains is dotted with fire, parachutes and the burning wreckage of planes torn apart in the air.  Multitudes of engines howling in high pursuit, firing of machine guns, destruction and death.  Resolve, Courage, and Decision.   Clamour of the frightened, groans of the injured, silence of the dead.  Such was the air battle that took place on the second Monday in September 1944 over the Czech-German borderland.  After twenty or thirty minutes there remained only more than fifty columns of smoke that reached for the sky as the first, and for a long time, the only monuments for those who knew that resolve, courage and sense of duty weren’t only empty words.  Twenty or thirty minutes, in which eighty young lives have fallen.. Each of them had a bit of Ikarus inside.  They died in the great air battle whose entirety would be but a brief moment of that pointless war.   Twenty or thirty minutes that must never be repeated.