Rendezvoused with the 449th Bomb Group over Manduria at 0751 hours on course to San Vito D' Normanni at 5000 feet and with other Wing Groups at San Vito D' Normanni. Continued on course until I.P. was reached then made left turn onto target but turn evidently was wide for target was attacked on an axis of 180 degrees instead of 166 degrees as directed. Rallied slight right then left and returned to base on prescribed course. The escort of 20-25 P-38's were first encountered at 0940 hours at 21,000 feet while the second escort was first sighted at 1058 hours at 21,000 feet Both types of fighters stayed with formation providing excellent cover and did not depart until 1250 hours at coast on northern Adriatic. The weather was slightly hazy over the Adriatic on the way to the target thickening to 3/10 cumulus over the Alps at 18,000 feet and to between 6/10 and 7/10 cumulus over the target up to 13,000 feet. On the return the weather was substantially the same as encountered on the way up.
III. RESULTS Visual observations, when possible on the part of crew members, tended to substantiate the photo result that some bombs were west of the target about 15,000 feet. An effective smoke screen had been thrown up prior to the arrival of the Wing formation but had partially dissipated and was spotty rather than even. However, coupled with the cloud condition very few if any check pints could be observed between the I.P. and aiming point so it was necessary to bomb through the haze. P.F.F> in the lead aircraft had become inoperative due to mechanical failure so it is understandable that some of the hits were wide and to the west. Smoke and haze effectively screened the bombed area as to observed results. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> IV. ENEMY RESISTANCE <![if !supportLists]>A. <![endif]>Fighters: Three ME-109's were seen at 1207 hours at 21,000 feet attacking a straggling B-24. Three other ME-109's were seen at 1230 hours at 15,000 feet in the Udine area but appeared to be on a reconnaissance flight as they made no attempt to intercept. Our group was not attacked by any enemy aircraft. <![if !supportLists]>B. <![endif]>Flak: Flak was encountered at the following locations: Bratnau, heavy, moderate, inaccurate; Friedbugg, heavy, moderate, inaccurate; Muhldorf, heavy, intense, accurate; Target, heavy, intense, accurate; Gorizia Area, 10 guns, heavy, slight, inaccurate; Salziberg, heavy slight, inaccurate; Markendorf, heavy, slight, accurate; Bad Feichenhall, heavy, slight accurate. Observed bursts were almost entirely black with some white puffs mixed in. Ten of our aircraft were holed but the damage in every instance was minor. V. OBSERVATIONS Air: At 1153 hours from 22,000 feet over target one B-24 seen with number 2 engine on fire and flames shooting out of bomb bay – 5 chutes seen. At 1141 hours from 23,000 feet 17 miles north of Munich a B-24 seen in controlled dive – 4 chutes seen. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Smoke screens: At 1113 hours from 22,500 feet effective smoke screen around unidentified area believed to be industrial. At 1124 hours from 20,700 feet a large industrial area with 20 large buildings partially smoke covered from pots place all around perimeter area. From 1144 hours to 1154 hours smoke pots observed along roads from I.P. (Shrohenhausen) to target with effective smoke screen around electric railroad yards and shops and Neauabing factory. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> At 1133 hours from 20,000 feet a large motor transport convoy was seen proceeding north at Obr. Lundhart with an estimated strength of 50-75 vehicles. VI. CASUALTIES One crew member slightly wounded by flak. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> One aircraft lost to flak. 5 chutes seen. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> One aircraft lost, crashed landed at friendly field. <![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Ten aircraft received minor flak damage. VII FLIGHT LEADERS: Davis Leavett Mikkelson Gilbert Jeff Cherry Shackelford Myers