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"We Remember"
by Dwayne O'Brien



Bombing Summary
November 1944



Bombing Summary

 


HEADQUARTERS 450TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H), AAF

OFFICE OF THE GROUP BOMBARDIER

APO 520                                             US ARMY

 

 

1 December 1944

 

 

SUBJECT:              Bombing Summary for November 1944

 

TO:                  All Bombardiers

 

            1.            The following is an account of the bombing done by this group for the period from 1 November 1944 through 30 November 1944.

 

                        a.            Vienna South Goods Sidings                         1 November 1944

This mission was incomplete because the formation was forced to turn back because of weather.

 

                        b.            Moosbierbaum Oil Refinery                        3 November 1944

Three ships were sent out alone to bomb the Moosbierbaum Oil Refinery in
Austria by the PFF Synchronous Method.  The PFF set went out in the first ship at the I.P. and the bombs were released in the area.  The next two ships were able to go in on the target and drop their bombs.

 

                        c.            Munich West Marshalling Yard                4 November 1944

Three attack units were sent on this mission.  All bombing was done by the PFF Synchronous Method.  Lt. Myers of the 720th Sqdn. was the lead Bombardier and Lt. Dieckman of the 723rd Sqdn. was the "Mickey" Navigator.  Lt. Dieckman was not able to take a run of the primary target because of a course variation on the run.  He picked up another target in the area which gave a good return and made a run.  Coordination between Bombardier and Mickey was excellent and the bombs were released by the PFF system.  The third unit came in next.  The "Mickey" set went out near the target so this unit started to follow the first unit in to drop on them.  However, the set came back in and the bombs were released by the synchronous method.  It is believed that some bombs from this unit fell in the yard.  The last box in had a very satisfactory run and coordination between "Mickey" and Bombardier was excellent.  Lt. Brickett was Bombardier and Lt. Ryan was "Mickey" operator.

 

                        d.            Podgorica                                                         5 November 1944

This was the perfect mission. One box was sent out to bomb troop concentrations.  Captain Leavitt was the Bombardier.  He was given the center of town as an aiming point.  However, on approaching the target he noticed the center of town has already been bombed out.  Using excellent judgment he moved his aiming point to an area which had not been bombed and let them go.  This box did a 100% job of bombing.

 

                        e.            Florisdorf Oil Refinery, Vienna              5 November 1944

The main effort of the Group went to this target on this date.  The target was completely overcast.  All bombing was done by the PFF Synchronous Method.  No results could be seen because of the complete target cover.

 

                        f.            Ali Pasin Marshalling Yard                            6 November 1944

All bombs were returned to base on this effort because of weather.

 

                        g.            Moosbierbaum Oil Refinery, Vienna               6 November 1944

This was another PFF mission.  However, after the run was almost over, the Bombardiers were able to see the target.  It was too late to do anything about it.  The bombs were dropped by the PFF method.  The patterns could be seen some 3,000 feet right of the target.

 

                        h.            Brenner Pass Line                                              7 November 1944

Bombing was done by boxes.  The primary target was covered by clouds so the group went to aiming points along the Brenner Line.  The lead box was lead by Lt. Myers of the 720th Sqdn.  He used as his aiming point the center of the Marshalling Yards at Viniteno.  This box placed a 100% concentration of bombs in the center of the yard.  The second box was led by Lt. Friend of the 722nd Sqdn.  Lt. Friend had a malfunction on the run and was unable to release his bombs on the first run.  The #2 man dropped when he heard someone in the plane mention something about bombs.  The rest of the box also released after the #2 man.  This is just another case of where Bombardiers do not do as they are briefed.  This box cut 25% off the group's score for the day.  The third box was lead by Lt. Campbell of the 723rd Sqdn.  This box was forced to make three passes at the target.  On the third run the bombs were dropped cutting the Brenner Line in three places.  The last box was led by Lt. Frank of the 721st Sqdn.  The lead ship had an early return and Lt. Murphy assumed the lead spot.  He made an attempt to bomb the Marshalling Yard at Fortenza but dropped his bombs before he was completely synchronized.  No damage was done by this box.

 

                        i.            Novi-Pazar and Mitrovica                                  8 November 1944

Only one box dropped their bombs on this mission.  The rest of the boxes returned their bombs because the weather would not allow them to take a satisfactory run.  Lt. Miller of the 720th Sqdn. started his run under visual conditions.  About forty seconds away from the target a cloud obscured the target from his sight.  At the time he was very well synchronized.  He noticed at this time that his bubbles were not level and tried to make an arbitrary correction for them without being able to see the target.  His bombs fell some 3500 feet short and right of the target.  Poor judgment was used in this case.

 

                        j.            Ora R. R. Bridge                                              11 November 1944

Mission returned early because of weather.

 

                        k.            Ora R. R. Bridge                                              12 November 1944

Three attack units were sent out on this mission.  Bombing was done by twelve ship units.  The first two units were led by Lt. Myers of the 720th Sqdn. and Lt. Butner of the 722nd Sqdn.  Neither unit hit the bridge but the first unit hit both approaches.  The South approach was destroyed and the South span put out of use.  Bombing was satisfactory as far as percentage goes but could have been better as far as destruction is concerned.  The third unit was led by Lt. Kemp of the 723rd Sqdn.  This unit was unable to drop on the primary due to a malfunction of the auto-pilot.  This unit proceeded to the alternate target - - The R. R. Bridge at Casara and bombed the by-pass there with excellent results.

 

                        l.            Innsbruck Marshalling Yard                            15 November 1944

This was a single ship operation.  Five ships went to this target individually.  Bombing was done by the PFF Synchronous Method.

 

                        m.            Sjenica Troop Concentrations                        16 November 1944

No bombs dropped on this mission due to weather.

 

                        n.            Munich West Marshalling Yard                16 November 1944

This target was completely cloud covered.  All bombing was done by the PFF Synchronous Method.

 

                        o.            Florisdorf Oil Refinery – Vienna                       17 November 1944

Complete overcast of the target again forced us to bomb by the PFF Synchronous Method.  No results were obtainable.

 

                        p.            Aviano A/D Installations                               18 November 1944

Four units bombed this target.  Two units were complete attack units and the other two were boxes.  Clustered 100 LB Bombs were carried with the idea of destroying A/D installations and any parked aircraft in the area.  Captain Leavitt of the 721st Squadron led the first unit.  This unit did a superior job of bombing laying a good pattern over their aiming point and target area.  Lt. Hudson of the 722nd Squadron led the second attack unit.  This unit missed their aiming point completely but managed to get their pattern in a dispersal area about 1000 feet to the right.  Lt. Miller and Lt. Gawne both of the 720th Squadron led the last two boxes in.  Both of these boxes did an excellent job of bombing.  Both covered their aiming point and target area well.

 

                        q.            Vienna Schwecht Oil Refinery                        19 November 1944

Once again weather conditions forced us to bomb by PFF.  The first attack unit unable to pick up the primary satisfactorily proceeded to the alternate at Gyer and made a PFF run there.  The second attack unit bombed the primary by PFF.  No results were observed.

 

                        r.            Doboj R.R. Bridge                                          20 November 1944

Bombing was done by individual boxes on this mission.  A good percentage was scored by the three boxes but the bridge is still there.  The first box was led by Lt. Butner of the 722nd Squadron.  Lt. Butner was unable to completely kill his rate and his box pattern started some 800 feet short extending up to the approach of the bridge.  Lt. Feinberg of the 720th Squadron led the second box.  This box had an excellent pattern about 2000 feet over and right of the bridge.  No explanation has been found for this error.  Lt. Frank of the 721st Squadron led the third box.  Lt. Frank did a superior job of bombing by placing his pattern right on the bridge.  The last box led by Lt. Kemp of the 723rd Squadron scored a good percentage but missed the bridge some 300 feet to the right.

 

                        s.            Ferrara R.R. Bridge                                          22 November 1944

Bombing was done by attack unit on this mission.  Only two of the attack units made successful runs on the target.  The second attack unit broke formation because of an expected 3600 turn which didn't materialize.  The first attack unit was led by Lt. Miller of the 720th Squadron.  Only about one third of the bridge was visible because of the smoke cover over the target area.  Lt. Miller did a very satisfactory job of bombing.  His pattern fell on the north approach to the bridge.  A better job could have been done had Lt. Miller offset his vertical hair to the left even though the bridge was obscured.  He would still have been able to keep his lateral hair on the bridge and synchronize.  This procedure would have saved the bombs from the high right box.  Lt. Heryla of the 722nd Squadron led the three ships left from the second attack unit over the target.  No results were observed here.  The third attack unit was led by Lt. Caselli of the 723rd Squadron.  The entire target was obscured when this unit came in on its run.  Using excellent judgment Lt. Caselli used check points to synchronize on.  His pattern fell along the north approach to the bridge.  This was exactly what should be done when another run cannot be taken on a heavily defended target.

 

                        t.            Szenica R.R. Bridge                                          23 November 1944

Weather over the primary target was the cause for bombing this bridge.  Three boxes bombed the rail bridge and on the highway bridge.  The first box was led by Lt. McMahon of the 723rd Squadron.  Bubble trouble seems to have caused an error here and the bridge was missed.  A good percentage was scored by this box.  The second box led by Lt. Welch of the 721st Squadron was the third box to bomb.  Another good percentage was scored by this box but the bombs fell right and short of the bridge.  The third box led by Lt. Gawne of the 720th Squadron bombed the highway bridge because the rail bridge was obscured by smoke.  An excellent pattern was put very close the bridge with several possible hits.  The fourth box was led by Lt. Glass of the 722nd Squadron.  This box did a superior job of bombing.  Not only did they score a high percentage but they destroyed the target.  This is the kind of bombing we strive for.

 

            2.            Although we have flown but few visual missions this month our bombing has shown a marked improvement over the previous month.  We still have a long way to go before we reach our ultimate goal.  Bombardier's must keep working and practicing continually in order to assure a success on every mission.

 

Squadron Percentages for November 1944

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sq. Average to Date

Date

Mission

720

721

722

723

720

721

722

723

11-7-44

Brenner Pass

100

58

-

80

100

58

-

80

1-12-44

Ora R.R. Bridge

85

-

70

90

92.5

58

70

85

11-8-44

Mitrovica

0

-

-

-

61.7

58

70

?

11-20-44

Doboj R.R. Bridge

0

100

76

88

46.2

79

73

?

11-22-44

Ferrara R.R. Bridge

25

-

0

75

42

79

48.6

83.?

11-23-44

Szenica R.R. Bridge

94

88

100

90

50.7

82

61.5

84.?

 

Group Score for November 69.9%

ROLLAND R. CARR
Major, Air Corps.
Group Bombardier













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