I. CHRONOLOGY31 B-24’s took off at 0730 hours to attack loop in Brenner Rail Line (4658N-1125E). There was one early return. 22 dropped on the target 61 tons of 2,000 lb GP bombs at 1059 to 1103 hours from 20,500 to 23,000 feet. 7 dropped 18 tons at 4654N-1126E at 1101 hours from 21,000 feet because of an accidental premature release by the leader of B-2 box and the other planes in the box toggled on the leader. One a/c was shot down on the bomb run before bombs away. 28 returned to base at 1429 hours. One lost, none missing, and one at friendly fields which has since returned.
There were 22 effective and 8 non-effective sorties.
II. ROUTE AND ASSAULT
Departed San Vito on course at 0841 hours at 8,000 feet as the first group in the Wing line. Proceeded to control point at 4532N-1244E to Farra (4607N-1221E) to I.P. to target, attacking on a heading of 345 degrees true. Bombing was done visually and by individual boxes. Rallied right and proceeded to Lappago (4657N-1148E) and then a bit left of course to 4608N-1234E and back to course at control point at 4532N-1244E and to base.
There were scattered low level clouds in the extreme southern portion of the route, decreasing northward. From Ancona northward there were no clouds at any level with visibility over 30 miles. At the target there were no clouds and visibility was over 30 miles. The weather on the return was the same as the route out with broken low level clouds along the Southern Italian coast but clear over the base on return.
Rendezvous was made with approximately 20 P-38’s at 4530N-1238E at 1037 hours at 19,000 feet and provided penetration, target and withdrawal cover. Escort departed at 4532N-1244E at 1145 hours at 19,700 feet.
No radio jamming was reported.
A-1 box used a point approximately 1,000 feet from the mouth of the tunnel as their aiming point. Bombs from this box dropped slightly over with 20 burst visible on the side of the mountain above the RR tracks and no immediate damage visible. A-2 box used the mouth of the tunnel as their aiming point. 22 burst from this box are plotted on the side of the mountain above the tunnel with one hit on the mouth of the tunnel and one hit on the RR tracks 400 feet from the tunnel mouth. B-1 box dropped very short and the few photos obtained show bursts scattered widely over mountainous terrain with no indication as to how far short the bursts were. B-2 box released prematurely as explained above.
IV. ENEMY RESISTANCE
A. Fighters: No enemy aircraft were sighted.
B. Flak: Flak at the target was S/M-A-H and of 2 to 5 minutes duration. Some crews reported flashes from both sides of the valley in the mountains but it is believed that the flak at the target came from Vipiteno (4653N-1125E).
[Losses: One, from flak on bomb run.. Damage: 13 (2 severe, 11 minor). Casualties: None.]