36 B-24’s took off at 0758 to 0823 hours to bomb TOULON Submarine Pens and Dry Dock Facilities. Two returned early. 32 dropped 79.25 tons of 500 lb RDX bombs, with .1 and .01 fusing, on target at 1320 to 1322 hours from 23,000 to 24,500 feet. Of the 32 a/c over the target, one jettisoned .75 tons. 29 returned to base from 1616 to 2045 hours. 5 at friendly fields. None lost.
ROUTE AND ASSAULT.
Rendezvoused with 376th Group at SAN VITO at 8,000 feet at 0918 hours behind the 376th as the fourth Group in the Wing formation. Thence to ANZIO (4127N – 1237E) at 14,000 feet, thence to 4155N – 0920E to Keypoint PALAZZO PT. (4222N – 0832E) at 20,000 feet to 4245N – 0525E to IP 4300N – 0530E, where a 360 degree turn was made to avoid groups ahead, thence to target attacking on an axis of 67 degrees true, the rally was right, thence to 4250-0600E to 4040N -1440E to Base.
There appeared to be a good coverage of the target based upon visual observations. Bomb strike photos show 34 hits in dry dock area within 1,000 foot circle. Many scattered hits northeast of A.P on dock and adjacent built up area. Photos also show near miss on a probable DD, and a direct hit on a tanker, believed to have been left sinking.
Flak. Over the target this group experienced intense accurate heavy flak, black and white in color, of three to five minutes duration. One crew reported rocket flak employed at the target.
One crew reported the possibility of phosphorous flak at the target. Very small pieces hit ship with very little force. An ineffective smoke screen was in operation at the target. Smoke pots on land and from ships in harbor. Ground winds evidently hindered its effectiveness. The smoke generating apparatus evidently had not been in operation long when the group reached the target. One B-24 (of another group) was seen to go down over the target flaming. 5 chutes were seen.
[Losses: None. Damage: From Flak — 11 ships holed (minor). Casualties: 2 wounded (1 serious, 1 minor). No victories.]