28 B-24’s took off at 0821 hours to attack loop in Brenner R/R line (4658N-1125E) There were 2 early returns. 13 dropped on the target 31.5 tons of 1,000 lb RDX bombs at 1140 hours from 23,300 to 24,000 feet. 13 others jettisoned their bombs as described in next paragraph. 25 returned to base at 1453 hours. One lost (crashed at friendly field), none missing, none at friendly fields.
II. ROUTE AND ASSAULT
Departed San Vito on course at 8,000 feet at 0900 hours as the first group in the Wing line. Proceeded to control point at 4532N-1243E to Farra (4607N-1221E) toward IP. Because of a faulty interphone, an incorrect heading was taken shortly after Farra. When the mistake was discovered at 46323N-1131E, a 180 degree turn to the left to avoid flak at Bolzano and to reach the IP, A-1 and A-2 boxes executed this turn but were not followed by B-1 and B-2 boxes who elected to proceed directly to the IP. A-1 and A-2 completed their turn, came in east of the IP, and attacked on a heading of 353 degrees true. Bombin was done visually and by individual boxes. Rallied right and proceeded to Lappago (4657N-1148E) to Farra (4607N-1221E) and then reciprocal of route out to base.
At the time that A-1 and A-2 boxes made the 180 degree turn to the left, B-1 box decided to turn right to the IP and was followed by B-2 box. B-1 and B-2 boxes received flak at the IP and on the bomb run. The lead plane of B-1 box was badly hit by flak before Vipiteno, pulled off sharply and down to the left, jettisoning his bombs at 4650N-1126E, B-1-5 and B-1-6 also jettisoned at the same time. The box scattered and turned left following the leader. A wide turn was made to the left and at 4620N-1040E, B-1-1 gave up the lead to B-1-2 who had a wounded navigator and bombardier and so, in turn, relinquished the lead to B-1-3. B-1-3 took over the lead and reformed the widely scattered box at 4600N-1035E. Executed a 180 degree turn to the right at 4540N-1020E, proceeded to 4620N-1100E, and planned to attack the Brenner R/R line on a heading of 80 degrees true. However, the lead bombardier could not synchronize on the R/R Line and the bombs of the three remaining planes were jettisoned at 4632N-1120E at 1206 hours. From this point, returned to course and returned to base on reciprocal course of route out.
B-2 box had followed B-1 box to the IP and on the bomb run when B-1 box scattered, B-2 pulled to the right to avoid the B-1 box. Continued to the target on an axis of 340 degrees true but could not synchronize on the target and rallied left to make another attack on the target on a heading of 220 degrees true. Could not synchronize on the target on this attack and so continued on through and turned south to return to course. The lead plane was hit by flak, causing its bombs to be salvoed and the rest of the box salvoed on the lead plane at 4648N-1150E at 1201 hours. B-2-2 took over the lead of this box and returned to course at 4625N-1145E and from this point proceeded to base on reciprocal course of route out.
There wee a few scattered low clouds along the Italian Coast below flight livel on route out with visibility about 20 miles. Over the Po Valley there was 1/10 high clouds at flight level (23,000 feet). The weather was clear at the target with visibility over 30 miles. On return, there were few low clouds over the eastern portion of the Adriatic and the Italian Coast wiht only high clouds over the base on return.
No escort was provided or sighted.
No radio jamming was reported.
A-1 box dropped on the mountain side and valley short of the target with approximately 25 bursts plotted from 2,000 to 4,000 feet short of the aiming point. From A-2 box approximately 15 bursts are plotted 500 to 1,000 feet short of the target with two bursts falling on the tunnel approximately 1,000 feet from the mouth of the tunnel. The bombs of B-1 and B-2 boxes were jettisoned as explained above.
IV. ENEMY RESISTANCE
A. Fighters: No enemy aircraft were sighted.
B. Flak: Flak at the target was M/I-A-H and of 4 to 5 minutes duration
[Losses: One (Hit on bomb run, limped back to friendly field and crashed with crew bailing out just before. 3 parachuted when plane was hit and one killed in crash when parachute caught in plane.) Damage: 23 (2 serious, 21 minor). Casualties: From flak — 2 (1 serious, 1 minor); Other — 1 killed in crash.]