Twenty-eight B-24’s took off at 0720 to 0801 hours to bomb Markersdorf airdrome but instead bombed the alternate target, Graz/Thalerhoff airdrome. None returned early. Twenty-eight aircraft dropped 56.25 tons of 20-lb frags doubled clustered with instantaneous fuses on the target at 1210 hours from 18,000 to 19,100 feet, and jettisoned 6.75 tons in Austrian territory. Twenty-seven aircraft returned to base at 1443 hours. None lost. One missing. None at friendly fields.
Rendezvoused with 376th, 98th, and 450th Groups at San Vito at 0828 at 6,000 feet. Thence to key point, Scedro Isle (4305N – 1642E), to turn point Livno (4350N – 1700E), to turn point Kutina (4529N – 1647E), to turn point, Feldbach (4657N – 1553E), to turn point Murzzuschlag (4736N – 1540E). At this point the formation turned east, being forced over to avoid collision with other Groups, to Heinkirchen and Wiener-Neustadt. There was bad weather all around this area. Thence turned to the west and passed ten miles east of the primary target, the bombing of which was prevented by weather and other Groups. Thence to point (4618N – 1620E), then to alternate target Graz airdrome on heading of 240 degrees. Thence to briefed turn point, Kutina (4529N – 1647E) to turn point, Livno (4350N – 1642E) to base.
Weather clear at San Vito. South of Wiener-Neustadt intense vapor trails started and continued to target. Combination vapor trails and thin high cloudiness in this region to target. In target area was almost 10/10 coverage, 6/10 high clouds and 3/10 low clouds. At Graz there was 3/10 middle clouds at 20,000 feet and 3/10 alto cumulus at 9,000 feet, with 15 mile visibility. Return route practically clear.
Escort was good. Thirty to forty P-51’s were met at 4618N – 1620E at 1047 hours at 21,000 feet, and left at Livno (4350N – 1700E) at 1316 hours.
No radio jamming was experienced. Results. Visual observation claimed fairly good coverage of the assigned target with some hangars hit and one building (possibly ammunition storage) blowing up. Two columns of black smoke were seen.
Photo coverage in confirmation thereof showed strings across the southern portion of airdrome developing into hangars at SW corner of airdrome, and across complete central portion of airdrome with an explosion of ammunition or fuel. Incomplete camera coverage prevented plotting of more bursts.
Fighters: Four to five ME-109’s were seen at 4700N – 1520E at 19,000 feet at 1140 hours. These did not attack. At 4705N – 1526E at 18,000 feet at 1142 hours one ME-109 attacked one plane of our formation with only one pass from 7 o’clock high and came in to 75 yards before pulling off. At 1200 hours near Vienna at 15,000 feet another ME-109 from 3 o’clock high, slid off toward the tail and was shot down at 7 o’clock.
Flak. Over the target, this group experienced moderate to intense accurate flak of 2 to 5 minutes duration. It was of the aimed type and black in color.
Missing – 1.
From fighters: 0
From flak: 12 (very slight)
Victories: 1 ME-109 destroyed.