31 B-24’s took off at 0820 hours to attack Verona Locomotive Repair Depot, but because it was cloud obscured attacked the alternate at Ferrara R/R Bridge. There were two early returns and one prior return. 12 dropped on the target 24 tons of 500 lb RDX bombs with .1 nose and mixed .01 and .025 tail fusing at 1307 hours for one box and 1315 hours for the other box from 23,000 to 24,000 feet. 9 returned 17.5 tons to base, 6 jettisoned 12 tons and the bombs of one a/c are unaccounted for. 24 returned to base at 1512 hours. One lost, one missing and two at friendly fields of which one has since returned to base.
There were 12 effective sorties and 17 non-effective sorties.
II. ROUTE AND ASSAULT
Rendezvoused with the 376th Group as the second group in the Wing line at San Vito on course to Manduria at 11,000 feet at 1010 hours. Proceeded to Ancona (4336N-1330E) to splitpoint at 4457N-1230E. Proceeded on course to 4505N-1215E, made a dog-leg to right to avoid flak observed at 4503N-1203E, returned to course at 4527N-1129E, turned right to avoid collision course with lead group coming up from south and then followed them to 4533N-1115E and did a 180 degree turn to 4520N-1148E to 4513N-1210E to IP at 4501N-1205E to target, attacking on a heading of 252 degrees true. Bombing was done visually by individual boxes, with only two boxes abble to bomb. Rallied left to 4443N-1200E to 4445N-1245E to reciprocal of route out to base.
The weather showed 8/10 low and middle level clouds up to 14,000 feet over the route out to Pescara area where clouds began to thin and the Northern Adriatic was clear. At the primary target, there was 10/10 high cloud from 20,000 to 28,000 feet. At the alternate target, there was 5/10 low clouds. No trouble was experienced from weather on return route in let-down and landing. 3/10 scattered cumulus over base on return.
No escort was sighted.
Not radio jamming was reported.
Photos from one box show a compact pattern of strikes on the south approach to the bridge and in the M/Y, with one near miss on the south end fo the bridge and one hit on the approach. The other box had incomplete camera coverage but the photos show the major portion of their pattern on and very near the bridge.
IV. ENEMY RESISTANCE
A. Fighters: No enemy fighters were sighted..
B. Flak: Flak at the target was I-A-H and of 3 to 6 minutes duration
[Losses: From flak — 1. Damage: From flak, 13(2 major, 11 minor). Casualties: None.]
Item 2. Description of Loss of Classy Chassy
Enemy Evasion Aid Report (22 Nov 1944) [This was written on day the plane was lost]
Pilot: Lester L. Ludtke, 1st Lt
Co-Pilot: James R. Lowe, 1st Lt
Nav.: Ira D. Clare, 1st Lt
Bomb: David M. Roush, 1st Lt
Top Turret: Clement B. Scarborough, S/Sgt
Nose Turret: James H. Sherman, T/Sgt
Ball Turret: Richard K. Langford, Sgt
Tail Turret: Fred S. Kirby, Jr, S/Sgt
Right Waist: John E. Aulner, Jr, T/Sgt
Left Waist: Michael W. Gusky, Cpl
Witness’ Statement: At 1310 hours aircraft #48 [Classy Chassy] was hit by flak coming from Rovigo, Italy (4505N-1148E). The plane was hit in the bomb bay. One bomb crashed through the bomb bay and shortly thereafter all bombs were salvoed. Seven crew members were seen to bail put; four parachutes were seen to open. The formation was in a left turn. Aircraft #48 went off to the right. A fire was blazing in the plane’s bomb bay and smoke was issuing from it. Plan was later seen to explode and then crashed into Valli Di Comacchio at 4440N-1210E. Witnesses: Lt. Ode and crew (716th B.S.), Lt. Grover and crew, Lt. Trumbull and crew, Lt. Wilde and crew (717th B.S.)