Mission Number: 20

Date: 3 Feb ’44

Target: Prato, Italy M/Y

449th A/C Over Target: 18

Tons of Bombs Dropped: 0

Flak: None

Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0

449th A/C Lost: 0

Results: None

Twenty-five B-24-H’s took off at 1040 hours to bomb Prato, Italy M/Y. The bomb loading was 10 X 500-lb (.1 & .025) GP bombs. None was dropped on the target. Complete undercast obscured the target. Pilots of this Group report that they were never brought to the IP. Seven planes returned early. None lost. None at friendly bases. Eighteen returned to base at 1618. Of the 25 ships taking off only 3 ships jettisoned their bombs before landing.

Rendezvoused at Grottaglie 1120 with 450th and 451st Groups. After rendezvous went to Manduria. There took course of 253° T. From Manduria the course led west to about 4020N – 1440E where a turn was made on a course of 297° T. At this time were 10 miles right of course. Lead continued to correct right until flight was over coast near Rome area. At 1305 a turn was made to a due West heading. The lead continued to correct left until a position 5 miles from Corsica was reached (Corsica was visible through overcast). A turn was made at this point to a course of 064° T. This course was held until 1405 to a point 5 miles inland (4250N – 1100E). Here a turn to a course of 143° T was made. This heading held until 1431 where a turn was made to 172° T. This course brought the formation out across the coast at about 4116N – 1314E. At 4030N – 1318E a turn was made to a heading of 90° T which was held to the base.

Results: None.

Three unidentified S/E A/C at 4120N – 1130E circled under and followed formation from 1301 to 1311 hours. Left formation on heading of 270°. Encountered slight, heavy, inaccurate flak at 4230N – 1120E at 1412 hours at 20,000 feet. [No losses, damage or casualties.]

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