28 B-24’s took off to bomb VIENNA South Ordnance Depot. Solid overcast at the target coupled with mechanical failure of both PFF a/c caused the formation to bomb a last resort target: TRIESTE Port Installations. 2 returned early. 25 dropped 50 tons of 500 lb (.1 and .01 fusing) RDX bombs on target at 1201 hours from 23,600 to 26,500 feet, on a heading of 250 degrees true. 16 returned to base at 1428 hours. 10 landed at friendly fields, 5 of which returned to base by 1600. 25 effective, 1 non-effective sorties were credited.
II. ROUTE AND ASSAULT
Rendezvoused with the 450th, 376th, and 98th Groups on line Manduria-SanVito at 9,000 feet at 0756 hours. The briefed course to Zapuntel (4415N – 1449E), Vrbovsko (4522N – 1505E), Toplice (4608N – 1500E), St. Georgen (4712N – 1430E), to Hieflau (4736N – 1444E) was followed. After crossing the IP, Kl Zell (4758N – 1543E) the target was seen to be totally obscured by cloud cover. The formation executed a 180 degree turn to approach Trieste. A run was made on an axis of 250 degrees true. The rally was left and the formation returned directly to base. 28 P-38’s were encountered at 4540N – 1505E at 0955 and remained with the formation until 1200 hours over Trieste.
Strike photos reveal: Approximately 60 bursts in residential area of town with a few hits on San Andrea Engine and Boiler Works; about 40 bursts in Azule Bay with one hit on each of 2 ships already lying on their sides. 4 bursts on land among oil installations. Two camera ships are at friendly fields; therefore, phot0 coverage is incomplete. Complete overcast obscured the primary while the target struck was CAVU. Malfunction of both PFF a/c prevented bombing the primary or alternate by that method..
IV. ENEMY RESISTANCE
A. Fighers. None.
B. Flak. S-I-H at target.
[No losses. Two aircraft with minor damage by flak. No casualties.]