Born: 25 August 1909, Fratautii Noi
- September 1942 - November 1944: 5th Bomber Group
Combat missions: over 140
- Virtutea Aeronautica Order Knight class with two bars
- Eiserne Kreuz 1st class
On 21 September 1943, cpt. av. Popovici took off together with another 4 Ju-88A4s from
the squadron he commanded (the 79th) to bomb a target near Balshoy-Tokmak. They knew that
the objective was heavily defended both by AAA and fighters and the fact that they hadn't
been provided with escorts didn't make them very optimistic. On the way to the
Balshoy-Tokmak they were intercepted by 12 Soviet fighters. After their first pass the
Ju-88A4 no. 115A on the extreme left simply exploded. Soon they entered in Soviet AAA
barrage as they were preparing to bomb. The P-39s disengaged, but reappeared after the
Romanian bombers had dropped their cargo and were returning home. Again, the airplane on
the extreme left of the formation was hit and forced to crash-land (in friendly lines).
They descended to tree-top level in order to reduce the fighters' room for maneuver. But
still the lead airplane was hit, burst into flames and hit the ground. There were only two
Ju-88As remaining. Cpt. av. Popovici's bomber was hit by several bullets. But the
machine-gunners managed to shoot down one of the attackers, which disengaged after this.
But their troubles weren't over yet. As cpt. av. Popovici was landing, the undercarriage
leg which had been damaged during combat broke and the aircraft belly-landed. This was one
of the most terrible days of the elite 5th Bomber Group.
Died: 2000, Bucharest
Profile courtesy of
Cpt. av. Eusebie Popovici flew this Ju-88A4 when he was part of
the 5th Nomber Group.