Messerschmitt Bf 109 K-4

Chevron 4 of Stab III./JG 53, possible flown ny Oberfänrich Horst Potreck, Kreuzstrasse/Germany, 7 April 1945

Early April 1945 the collapse of the German western front accelerated. while the German defense disintegrated. In the North it was the British and in the south it was the Americans. Spearheads of the the U.S. 9th Army had by this time been able to encircled the Ruhr area, trapping around 100 000 men of the 5th Panzer Army and 15 Armies. So during this period the III./JG 53 was engage the enemy in mostly low-level arttack against the Americans in this area.

Days later after conducting a frie-jagt mission in the Würzburg area combatting enemy fighter-bombers and P-51s, the Kommandeur of III./JG 53 was to be seriously injured in an accident. According to Lt. Ernst-Deiter Bernhard:

" Following a mission Hptm. Luckenbach landed at our airfield followed by Obfhr. Potreck, his wingman. while taxied to his revetment, where he made a slight turn, possible he wanted to get out of this "kite" quickly because of the danger of several American fighters had followed his formation and would soon bounce the machines sitting on the ground. Luckenbach had opened his cockpit and was standing on his left wing when Potreck rammed his machine, seriously injured him, possible a result of he being struck by the propeller".

Hauptmann Siegfried Luckenbach was quickly taken to the hospital, where he remained util the end of the war.

During the first week of April, the JG 53 "Ace of Spades" filed losses for another seven Bf 109 K-4s, with three pilot casualties and one pilot listed as POW, all for the total claims of eight US aircraft, most of them Austers, one of which was claimed on 7 April 1945 for Hptm. Luckenbach 55th and final abschüsse of the war.

This machine was later found by the allied forces in a poor condition, ripped off spare parts.

Little is know of Horst Potreck others than he was injured after a crash near Hockenheimin his Bf 109 G-6 "Yellow 22" on 8 September 1944 after running out of fuel.

This is one of three profile made during the week, all of them would be included in the Profile Book No 15, due to be published in 2024.

This is one of 130 profiles that is to be include in the future Profile Book No 15

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