27 B-24’s took off at 0603 to 0651 hours to bomb FERRARA R/R Bridge. Nose wheel collapsed on 1 B-24 during take off, preventing take off. None returned early. 27 dropped 66.5 tons of 1,000 lb (.1 and non-delay) GP bombs on target at 0937 hours visually from 23,500 to 26,000 feet. 2 jettisoned a total of 1 ton. 25 returned to base at 1223 hours. One was lost to flak. One at friendly field returned to base at 1400 hours. 27 effective sorties were credited.
ROUTE AND ASSAULT
Rendezvoused behind 450th Group over MANDURIA at 9,000 feet at 0715 hours. Fell into Wing line enroute to SAN VITO behind 98th and 376th Groups. At SAN VITO a course to 4450N -1310E was flown. At 4450N – 1310E the Wing split sent the 376th and 98th Groups to their respective targets while the 450th Group lead into the TP (4503N – 1226E), thence to IP BERRA (4458N – 1158E), thence to target. The attack was made on a true course of 250 degrees. The rally was right to 4510N – 1140E to 4503N -1310E; thence a reciprocal course to base. No fighter escort was scheduled..
Bomb strike photos reveal both ends of the bridge covered with bursts. The center of the bridge appears to have escaped damage. Weather was CAVU with slight haze interference.
Fighters: 4 ME-109’s seen two minutes after target at 0940, peeled off, went under 1,000 yards away and went after lone B-24 that was straggling below formation.
Flak: Flak over target was I-A-H from 3 to f minutes.
Total Losses: 1 from flak. [0946 hrs, 4452N – 1245E, B-24 (#64) down apparently under control. Lost in haze and not seen to crash. 5 chutes were seen.] Damage: 12 — minor from flak. 1 – nose wheel collapsed on take off. Casualties: 2 wounded from flak (1 serious, 1 minor). Victories: None.