|S-2 NARRATIVE REPORT|
|MISSION DATE: FEBRUARY 25, 1944|
MISSION NBR. 31
TARGET: Regensburg, Germany - Prufening Aircraft Factory
Twenty-nine B-24's took off at 0841 hours to bomb Regensburg Prufening Aircraft Factory. Two returned early. Twenty-two dropped 64 tons 1000 lb G.P. bombs on target at 1300 hours from 19,300 - 21,000 feet. One returned 1 ton of bombs because of malfunction of bomb release mechanism. Twenty-one returned to base at 1500 hours. Two were lost, two missing. Two landed at friendly airdrome.
II. ROUTE AND ASSAULT
Rendezvoused with the 376th Bomb Group over Noci at 6,000 feet at 0928 hours and proceeded to Bitanto. Thence to Joke Chiem to I.P. (Rottenberg) to target which was attacked on an axis of 10 degrees. Rally was left and proceeded on a reciprocal by way of Valkermarkt to base.
The density of the smoke from proceeding bomb bursts make an analysis of our bomb strikes impractical except among personnel barracks to the north and west of the target area were several direct hits were observed. However it is believed that the target was well covered and that the pattern was excellent. A huge column of smoke was visible to the trailing ships from 20 to 30 minutes after leaving the target.
IV. ENEMY RESISTANCE
A. Fighters: While still three hundred miles from the target fifteen to twenty enemy aircraft consisting of ME-109's and JU-88's attacked the formation. They came in line abreast in twos and threes and singly. Further north in Ljujana over twenty-five ME-109's and ME-110's made an aggressive attack and shot down one of our bombers. At the target fifteen to twenty ME-109's and a few FW-190's attacked. None of these attacks seemed to be coordinated, but the fighters hung to the formation for over an hour seemingly in wait of stragglers. A total of over sixty enemy fighters were encountered in the entire missions. The P-38 escort from the 82nd Fighter Group picked up the formation shortly after it left the target on the route back to base and there was no other interference from enemy fighters.
B. Flak: This Group experienced intense, accurate, heavy flak of the predicted type over the target causing several of our aircraft to straggle later on and holing eleven aircraft. Enroute from I.P. to target intense, accurate, heavy flak was encountered, believed to have been thrown by one heavy battery north of Regensburg to an area approximately ten miles deep. Our observers noted between 20 to 25 guns firing moderate to intense, inaccurate flak of the heavy variety. Further along, moderate, accurate, heavy flak was encountered at Salzburg, Muhldorf and Villach. No other flak was seen enroute to base.
Extreme activity in Marshalling Yard at Regensburg observed at 1300 hours from 21,000 feet but contents of yard could not be described because of smoke screen. At 1203 hours from 18,000 feet, 7 trains in marshalling yard at Spittol sighted. At 1313 hours from 20,000 feet 100 cars were seen in marshalling yard. At 1338 hours from 19,500 feet 75 cars in marshalling yard at Salzburg were seen. At 1130 hours from 9,700 feet on a heading of 300 degrees at Sodrozica, a marshalling yard was seen filled with cars (no estimate as to numbers obtainable) and one merchant vessel was seen loading at dock located NE of marshalling yard. A smoke screen was started around the marshalling yard at Regensburg as our formation approached the target. A landing strip was observed with 12 JU-88's parked. Another strip was seen at Metteheim with many ME-210'sdispersed along the adjacent area. At 1248 hours from 18,000 feet, camouflaged buildings and roads in regular pattern were observed in a forest near a highway and a single track railroad. Just west of this highway appeared to be a building which probably was a factory.
Two of our bombers were shot down by fighters, 10 chute were seen to open. Eleven of our bombers received minor flak damage. Two crew members were slightly wounded from flak and two from the fighter attacks. One ME-109 was claimed as destroyed.
VIII. FLIGHT LEADERS