SPECIAL NARATIVE REPORT No. 198
MISSION: MOOSBIERBAUM OIL REFINERY
DATE: 7 February 1945
35 B-24’s took off as a Red force of 18 a/c and a Blue force of 17 a/c to bomb MOOSBIERBAUM Oil Refinery. The Red force took off at 0731 to 0754 hours. The Blue force took off at 0905 to 0922 hours. 33 a/c (17 of Red force and 16 at Blue force) dropped 63.5 tons of 500 lb GP bombs on the target, the Red force dropping at 1246 hours and the Blue force at 1431 hours, from 24,000 to 26,100 feet, and jettisoned .5 ton at 4802 N 1457 E. 1 prior return and 1 early return jettisoned 4 tons.
13 a/c at Red force and 13 a/c of Blue force returned to base at 1530 hours and 1723 hours respectively. 1 lost. 3 Missing (all these a/c reported by other a/c of the formations to be over friendly territory and heading to friendly fields). 5 at friendly fields.
II. ROUTE AND ASSAULT
Red Force: Rendezvoused as the last group at the Wing with the 450th Group over MANDURIA at 0841 hours at 10,000 feet on source to SAN VITO. Proceeded from SAN VITO to keypoint, LITIJA (4603 N 1449 E) at 1121 hours at 23,400 feet) thence to turnpoint, JUDENBURG (4710 N 1440 e); to turnpoint, ZWETTL (4836 N 1510 E) to I.P., GARS (4835N 1540 E) and thence to target.
Blue Force: Followed the same course as the Red Force rendezvousing at 1023 hours at 11,000 feet and arriving at the keypoint at 1311 boors at 22,000 feet; except on the return it made a slight dog-leg to right between the target and the turnpoint ORMOZ, and then proceeded slightly to east of course to 4400 N 1340 E and thence to base.
Weather (both forces), On route out broken low clouds over Adriatic up to 12,000 foot. Low clouds decreased to two tenths over Dalmatian Coast and remainder of route. High clouds became 8/10 over Alps and decreased to 2/10 north of Alps. Visibility over extreme northern portion of route restricted to 5 miles in moderate, haze aloft. At target no low or middle clouds below bombing altitude and only 2/10 high clouds above. Visibility over 20 miles. Wind at bombing altitude from 320 degrees at 90 mph. Artificial smoke extensive over target itself. Same weather on return as route out for most of route with 5/10 low clouds over southern Italy at 3,500 feet.
20 P-51’s rendezvoused with the Red force at 1115 hours at 4540 N 1449 E and were last seen at 1325 hours at 4540 N 1520 E. 25 rendezvoused with the Blue force at 1255 hours at 4550 N 1451 E and were last seen at 1300 hours at 45065N 1545E.
No radio jamming was reported.
Red Force: Both boxes in this force bombed by PFF due to the very effective smoke screen covering the target area. The first box, A-1, reported a very good run, but the second box thought the run was too short and the ground speed to fast to make a good run. However, both reported that the course was excellent and that visual observation had the bombs going into the smoke over the target area and believed the attack to be successful.
Blue Force: The first box, B-1, bombed by PFF when the bombsight became fogged up. Course had been killed visually before this mishap and it believed good results were obtained. The second box, B-2, of 7 a/c also bombed by PFF through a bomb smoke of prior bombings, and black oil columns up to 10,000 feet, to which was added smoke from several smoke pots. The only 3 ships that have since returned to base were unable to observe results because of smoke.
There are no photos presently available for confirmation of visual observations.
IV. ENEMY RESISTANCE
A. Fighters: None.
B. Flak – M/I – A – H at target for period of 2 to 4 minutes.
One lost over target (exploded in midair), two seriously damaged, eight minor damaged, no casualties, no victories. Five a/c at friendly fields and 3 missing (all believed to be at friendly fields).