HEADQUARTERS
450TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H) AAF
APO-520 US ARMY
S-2 NARRATIVE REPORT
MISSION DATE: FEBRUARY 22, 1944


MISSION NBR. 29

TARGET: Regensburg, Germany - Obertraubling Aircraft Factory

I. CHRONOLOGY
Forty-two B-24's took off at 0815 hours to bomb the Messerschmitt Assembly plant at the airdrome near Regensburg Obertraubling, Germany. There were thirteen early returns. Twenty-nine were over the target at 1258 hours. Of these, twenty dropped 58 tons of 500 lb G.P. bombs from 21,000 - 23,500 feet. Five other aircraft not discerning target through clouds, jettisoned 16 tons of 500 lb G.P. bombs in Graz area when attacked by enemy aircraft enroute back from target. Four aircraft missing disposition of bomb load unknown. Of the thirteen early returns, 12 returned 36 tons of bombs, while one salvoed 3 tons of bombs in Adriatic Sea due to failure of number 2 engine which forced this ship from the formation.

II. ROUTE AND ASSAULT
The Group proceeded to Fesano and Ostuni, Italy where the first and second attack units respectively, joined the 376th and 451st Bomb Groups. Thence to Bitonto, Volkemar, Reichshoffen thence to I.P. Mallersdoff, over target and a reciprocal course back

III. RESULTS
The target area was covered with smoke, but those dropping bombs at this point believe they were on target for a good coverage of bursts. At least 7 hits observed near southeast corner of target rectangle. Photos taken show bursts and bombs falling in direct line with the target area. The ground was snow-covered and observations were made through an opening over target area.

IV. ENEMY RESISTANCE
A. Fighters: Around target area and south of Graz 25 to 30 ME-109's and 10 to 15 FW-190's were seen. Sixteen of our aircraft were attacked in Regensburg area, seven near Klagenfurt and three at Graz. The enemy aircraft came up through the clouds in formations of 6 to 8 then broke off in pairs which joined at 4, 5, and 7 o'clock high, diving under formation going into a wide sweeping turn. Attack followed from all angles. Duration of attacks were approximately 40 minutes. There were not overly aggressive and pilots were probably inexperienced. Some ME-109's believed to have fired rockets. Peculiar with balls of smoke bursting in chain were noted. Markings on enemy aircraft were noted as follows: some ME-109's had yellow cowling with white spinners, FW-190's had yellow diamond shaped designs on cowlings with white spinners. Our claims from these encounters are 7 ME-109's and 1 FW-190 destroyed; 4 ME-109's and 1 FW-190 probably destroyed and 5 ME-109's damaged.

Enemy aircraft attacked all elements of "B" in formations of 6 to 9, with a diversionary sweep by another formation which stayed out of gun range and swept around entire "B" formation. The attacking aircraft dived through formation form 2, 5, 6 and 8 low and high, and succeeded in knocking down the lead bomber, aircraft #228, after which successive waves using same tactic, cut various bombers out.
B. Flak: Over the target, barrage type, heavy, moderate to intense and accurate flak was received. No observation of position possible due to clouds. Enroute to and from target area, flak in varying amounts received at the following points: Graz, Linz, Stenoge, Maribor, Straubing. Nine of our aircraft here holed by flak.

V. OBSERVATIONS
An unusual B-24 with no identifying marks flew through formation. Ship seemed to have unorthodox speed and did not join any formation. Seen at 1306 hours from 21,000 feet. An airport located just north of Valkermarkt at 1207 hours form 24,000 feet was seen with 30 to 40 JU-52's on field.

VI. CASUALTIES
One crew bailed out over enemy territory, reason unknown. Three bombers shot down over target for a total of four aircraft missing from this Group. Nine aircraft damaged by flak, 1 severe, 8 minor. Two aircraft received minor damage from fighters. One crew member seriously wounded, two others, slightly. Two crew members received sever frostbite.

VII. FLIGHT LEADERS
Orris Lehman Davis Artzer

NOTE: The following is quoted from the War Diary of 721st Bomb Sqdn.

"This was a very important target and was also the longest mission that the Group had flown and it was the first time that they flown over Germany. This factory was credited with producing 50 per cent of the Messerschmitt production and one third of Germany's single -engine fighters."