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47th Bomb Wing
One Year In Italy







“. . . . . . it is with great satisfaction that I look back over this first year in Italy, The record of that year should be a source of pride and a feeling of accomplishment to every man in the organization. This team of ours depends on every individual . . . . . all form a part of one of the best integrated and most efficiently operating unit in the Army Air Forces.”



HUGO P RUSH
Brig. Gen. U.S.A.
From a speech, 1 Nov. 1944















Prepared By - - - A-3-Statistical - - - Public Relations



BOMB TONNAGE ANALYSIS.

From the beginning of heavy bombardment operations on 19 November 1943, B-24s of the 47th Wing dropped a total of 42.847.78 tons of bombs on enemy targets. It should be pointed out that these figures include tonnage dropped by the 451st Bomb Group, then assigned, between 30 January and 4 April 1944, on 21 missions. Also it will be remembered that the 98th and 376th Bomb Groups were non-operational during the month of January 1944. Freshman missions of the 449th and 450th Bomb Groups were flown 8 January 1944.

Below is the distribution of the total Wing tonnage among different types of targets:


  TONS PERCENT
Communications 22,760.65 53.2%
Oil 6,044.25 14.1%
Industry 4,810.40 11.2%
Airdromes 4,855.48 11.2%
Ground Support 2,979.00 7.0%
Other 1,398.30 3.3%
  42,847.78 100.00%


Bomb tonnage charts will be found on the following page



BOMBING ACCURACY.

With a scoring system based on percentage of strikes within a 1000-foot circle of mean point of impact, all Groups showed a steady increase from the outset of operations. Emphasis on training in all units at the direction of the Wing Commander paid ever increasing dividends in accuracy scores as the year progressed.

In August and September, the 47th Wing had the distinction of being the first to lead the entire 15th Air Force for two months in succession. The score for August was 51.9% and for September, 60.2%.

It should be noted that the September score of 60.2% stands as the highest achieved by any Wing of the 15th Air Force from its inception to the date of this report.

The highest single Group score during this period was that of the 98th Bomb Group's September record of 70.5%.

          For detailed charts see the following page.



47th BOMB WING (HV)

BOMBING ACCURACY


(PERCENT OF BOMBS FALLING WITHIN 1000FT OF MEAN POINT OF IMPACT)

JAN 1944 THRU 18 NOV 1944













EFFECTIVE AND NON-EFFECTIVE SORTIES AND EARLY RETURNS.

In analyzing the chart on the following page, it should be understood that the term “Non-Effective Sorties” includes aircraft actually reaching the target but unable to bomb, as well as those flying into enemy territory before turning back. The majority of the sorties reported in this category actually reached the assigned target.

The largest number of the non-effective sorties was due to weather conditions rather than mechanical failures, with the early spring and late fall missions obviously accounting for the greater part of these totals. Those early returns attributable to mechanical difficulties were largely the result of internal engine failure.

It is interesting to note that the last quarter of the year's period showed a sharp drop in early returns indicating a steady improvement in maintenance throughout all Groups. The period began with a reported 12% early returns as against an average of 4½% in November 1944.



VICTORIES AND LOSSES.

April was the biggest month on the credit side of the ledger with the four Groups of the 47th Wing rolling up in a total score of 211 enemy aircraft destroyed. It was also the record month for a single Group as the 449th Group accounted for 87 enemy fighters. 44 of these were shot down on their famous “4/4/44” mission, flown to Bucharest, Rumania, on 4 April 1944.

July was the last month for victory totals of any note. Two lone aircraft were shot down since that month; one in September and one in November.

However, as less and less fighter opposition was encountered, the loss to flak mounted steadily in inverse proportion during the period covered by the report. As of 19 November 1944, 136 B-24s have been lost to anti-aircraft fire while 119 were shot down by enemy fighter action.



47th BOMB WING (HV)

VICTORIES & LOSSES


(PERCENT OF BOMBS FALLING WITHIN 1000FT OF MEAN POINT OF IMPACT)

19 NOV 1943 THRU 18 NOV 1944





AWARDS AND DECORATIONS - 19 NOVEMBER 1943 to 1 NOVEMBER 1944

  98 376 449 450 HQ TOTAL
Distinguished Service Cross 0 3 0 0 0 3
Distinguished Service Medal 0 0 0 0 0 0
Legion of Merit 4 4 3 0 6 17
Silver Star & Clusters 59 55 41 55 4 214
Distinguished Flying Cross & Clusters 334 202 211 352 8 1107
Soldier's Medal 23 33 22 11 0 89
Bronze Star 22 7 14 1 6 50
Purple Heart & Clusters 395 339 227 281 3 1245
Air Medal & Clusters 6544 7543 6034 6179 22 26322
TOTAL AWARDS 7381 8186 6552 6879 49 29047
             
As of 1 November 1944, the 376th Group had three War Department Citations; the 98th and 449th Groups
each had two while one was pending for the 450th Group.




PRECISION BOMBING - - -





THE

LEADING ACCURACY SCORES

BY

GROUPS






- - - - - 19 NOV. 1943 TO 18 NOV. 1944 - - - - -






















Courtesy of the 450th Association archives




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