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Fortele Aeriene Regale ale Romaniei recieved 115 Dora -2's and Dora-3's in mid 1943. They were used in conjunction with the Luftwaffe Stuka's of St.G.2 Immelmann along the southern end of the front, working under the control of Luftflotte 4. The first Romanian group formed was Grupul 6 Picaj, with three squadrons in July 1943. At the same time Grupul 3 Bombardament was established at Bagerowo in early August. Both group's spent the whole of their time with the Axis under the control of Luftflotte 4 in the southern region.
With the Romanians changing sides on 23 August 1944 we had the unique occurrance of Stuka's being used against the Germans. By this time both Grupul 3 and 6 were low on aircraft, so they were combined as 'Grupul 3/6 Picaj'. In October '44 this unit became part of Corpul 1 Aerian, which was active against Hungarian forces defending northern Transylvannia. By December 1944 Grupul 3/6 was so reduced in numbers (no additional Stuka's being available) that the unit was reformed as 'Escadrila 74 Picaj', with just 9 Stuka's and 9 aircrew on strength. The unit was under the command of First Lieutenant Mircea Badulescu and immediately went back into action against the Hungarians, being based at Miskolc Field in north-eastern Hungary.
From late December '44 to the end of the war the stuka's of Escadrila 74 were in cionstant action, often causing confusion amongst the Germans as they did not expect Stuka's to attack their positions. On more than one occasion this saved the Romanian Stuka's from being attacked by Luftwaffe fighters. In February '45 alone the unit flew 323 sorties in support of the Romanian 4th Army in the Ocova-Detva region. In April the unit flew 124 sorties, with never more than five or six Stuka's being available at any one time.
By May the war was all but over, yet the tempo didn't ease for Escadrila 74. On the 5th they bombed batteries at Hulin railway station, the 6th they supported the Soviet drive on Prague, attacking German troops at Tovacov, Holesov, Hulin and Protejov. On the 7th Hulin and Protejov were hit again. On the 8th they attacked German toops at Vysovice and Urcice in Moravia. There final mission was on 9 may, when theydropped leaflets on German soldier announcing the end of the war.
The unit remained in Hungary as part of the occupation until 26 July 1945, when they flew back to Turda, Romania, where they were disbanded.
Only two Stuka's were lost to enemy action. one in February '45 when Adjutant Ioan Radu had to force land after being damaged by flak near Ocova (he and his gunner Sgt. Constantin Perjescu taken prisoner by the Germans), the other loss on 29 April '45 when flak shot down the Stuka of Adjutant Paul Lazaroiu over Dobikovice. Lazaroiu bailed out but his gunner Sgt. Gheorghe Popescu was killed.
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