Mission Number: 11
Date: 20 Jan ’44
Target: Guidonia, Italy Air Drome
449th A/C Over Target: 30
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 75 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 0
Thirty-three B-24-H’s took off at 1013 to 1035 hours to bomb the Guidonia A/D. Thirty of these A/C were over the target area at 1252 hours. Three A/C returned early. One A/C landed at Foggia, with 2 engines feathered. Results of the bombing are poor. Difficulty was experienced in locating the assigned target and it is believed that few bombs actually hit the target area. Preliminary examination of photo coverage confirms this fact. Lead bombardier evidently sighted on wrong target. Assigned target located by other bombardiers in both first and second sections. Lead ship dropped, whereupon other ships in formation, dropped. This was evidently done because of instructions that mission was a formation show and that formation was to be maintained at all times. Lead ship hit by flak at or about time of turn after dropping. The foregoing statements based upon observations of other crews. Lead ship landed at Foggia and crew has not been interrogated by this section. 75 tons of 500-lb GP .1 and .025 bombs were dropped on the bomb run at 1254 hours from 19,000′ to 20,700′. 20 bombs were returned by A/C returning early. 10 bombs were jettisoned in the Adriatic. The A/C and its crew down at a friendly A/D, have not yet returned to the base. (Its bomb load was included in the total tonnage dropped, based upon observation of other A/C on the mission).
None of our A/C are missing.
There was one attack by E/A/C. Four FW-190s at a position approximately 5 miles West of Foggia made one pass. First sighted above the one B-24 on reciprocal of B-24’s course, at one o’clock, turned on course of our A/C, attacking from the rear abreast at 5 o’clock, breaking out at 6 o’clock. Fired when about at 5 o’clock and RW Gunner fired 3 bursts 15 to 25 per burst. TT Gunner fired couple of bursts. FW’s did not press or return the attack. This B-24 had followed Capt. Nosker’s A/C (2 engines feathered) into Foggia to give protection. 16 unidentified A/C near Guidonia flew over formation at 22,000′ headed 270° at 1300 hours observed at 20,000′. At 1340 hours 71 bombers headed North at 10,000′, 4115N – 1440E. 2 S/E unidentified A/C took off from A/D bombed, climbed and disappeared. Two JU-88, 1300 hours 15 miles West Avezzano, 20,000′ below and at 12 o’clock appeared to be firing one burst of cannon fire from 3,500 to 4,000 yds away. No effect. Seven ME-109s, black with white stripe, 4150N – 1345E, 20,000 ‘ at 1330 hours above. Identification not certain. 2 Silver T/E A/C on ground just NE of Rome. Did not get coordinates.
Flak was reported at the target as heavy, intense, and accurate.
Interrogation of the crew of lead ship (completed at 1955 hours 20 Jan ’44) disclosed the following: Lead ship was five miles right of IP. This was caused by leader taking flight north of turn point on East coast. Route as set out in F. O. [Flight Ops] would have taken formation over point on Tronto River where this group encountered heavy flak on 19 Jan ’44. As the A/C came down flight line from the point 5 miles to right of IP, [the] bombardier picked up large installation, large building NE of Monterotondo and Rentena, bombed what appeared to be the target, broke away to the left and passed to left of Guidonia A/D where flak (as heretofore stated) was encountered. This A/C also encountered flak over the battle line in an area centered on 4144N – 1402E. Near town of Alfedena.
Weather over target CAVU – Haze slight.
May we suggest that the matter of supply of maps and charts is becoming a major problem. Sufficient supplies have not been available to this group to adequately equip its combat crews for missions.