45 B-24’s took off at 0709 to 0815 hours to bomb workshops at the Vienna/North M/Y. None returned early. Due to extremely poor weather conditions and almost complete smoke cover from oil fires at a target bombed by a preceding group, this group bombed numerous targets in addition to the primary. All a/c carried 500 lb. (.1 and .01) RDX bombs. Tabulation of strikes follows:
TARGET TIME ALTITUDE NO. A/C TONS
Primary 1201 25,000′ 4 7.5
Graz M/Y 1323 21,000′ 8 16.0
Papa M/Y 1224 22,300′ 6 12.0
R. R. Bridge 1252 20,000′ 3 5.5
M/Y 1248 20,000′ 1 2.0
R. R. Crossing 1217 21,300′ 1 2.0
R. R. Bridge 1216 20,000′ 1 2.0
Small Town 1220 20,000′ 1 2.0
Factory Buildings 1201 20,000′ 1 2.0
Maribor M/Y 1318 20,000′ 1 2.0
Jettisoned 3 6.0
Of the a/c dropping on targets, 2 jettisoned a total of 1 ton. 1 of the a/c whose bombs are reported above has not returned to base, but the crew has been ferried to base and bombs included in total.
Disposition of bombs of 15 a/c is not known.
29 a/c returned to base; 3 are missing, 12 are at friendly fields. 1 a/c is reported to have ditched with seven of its crew hospitalized.
Of the 30 a/c whose bombs are accounted for, 27 were credited with effective sorties.
II. ROUTE AND ASSAULT
Rendezvoused with 98th Group over San vito on course at 7,000 feet at 0825 hours. The course then was flown to 4624N – 1626E where the lead group turned sharply to the east, picking up the briefed course immediately south of Lake Balaton. From there the course lay over 4743N – 1800E, to 4852N-1708E ti 4854N-1637Em ti 4845N – 1613E). [At IP undercast was 10/10.] The lead formation turned left from course. Our group remained on course. The I.P. was missed because of undercast and because two groups found to be approaching our I.P on collision course with our formation. These groups forced our formation north and away from the I.P. The formation attempted to swing back to the briefed axis. A bomb run proved impossible because of the approach of a second group on a collision course, The formation was brought about on a 360 degree to the right for another approach to the target. On the second run, the ground was cloud obscured for over one-half of the run. When the target area became visibile, it was totally obscured by heavy oil smoke presumably coming from Florisdorf Oil Refinery. The lead did not drop and proceeded to Graz as a secondary.
Because of impossible weather conditions and gasoline shortages the formation began to disintegrate and chose the targets listed in I CHRONOLOGY.
No escort other than target cover was briefed. 15 P-38’s were sighted in the Vienna area.
Those ships choosing targets of opportunity did not observe the results of their bombs.
Strike photos reveal 31 hits in rolling stock and trackage in Graz M/Y.
40 bursts were photographed in the immediate vicinity of a railroad intersection at Papa (4720N – 1728E0 with trackage possibly cut.
IV. ENEMY RESISTANCE
A. Fighters. None
B. Flak. Vienna: I-A-H, Graz:S/M-A-H, Papa: S-I-H; Maribor: M-A-H. Flak bursts at Vienna were observed to be of extraordinary large size and appeared to be aimed.
[Losses: One lost, ditched. Damage from flak: 16. Casualties: 1 killed, 5 wounded.]