33 B-24’s took off a 0846 hours to attack ISARCO/ALBES R/R Bridge. 30 A/C dropped 74 tons of 1,000 lb RDX bombs on primary target at 1256 to 1308 hours from 23,600 to 25,000 feet. 30 A/C returned to base at 1615 hours. None lost, 1 missing, 2 at friendly fields.
II. ROUTE AND ASSAULT
Rendezvoused over SAN VITO at 0959 hours at 10,000 feet as wing lead and proceeded on course to turnpoint 4430 N – 1340 E to turnpoint on Coast 4538 N 1306 E to I.P. S. MARTINO (4616 N – 1149 E) to target attacking on an axis of 355° true. Rallied right to rally point S. CANDIDO (4644 N 1217 E) thence to turnpoint WIEZEN LAKE (4642 N 1323 B) to turnpoint CAISOLE (4507 N – 1422 E) to turnpoint 4350 N – 1350 E to base.
Weather: On route out clear until over north Adriatic where there were extensive broken patches of low stratus over the water and extending a short distance over the land area between Ancona and Venice. Po Valley was clear of low cloud. At the target no clouds below flight level but 4/10 high clouds above 26,000 feet. Visibility about 20 miles. Wind at bombing altitude from 320° at 40 mph. On return low clouds or fog over north Adriatic were still there and had extended southward in bands to near VIZ Island. Remainder of route and southern Italy were entirely clear of low or middle level clouds.
Rendezvoused with 20 to 30 P-51’s at 1220 hours at 4538 N – 1306 E. Escort was observed intermittently from this point until departure at 1348 hours at 4514 N – 1416 E.
Bombing was visual and the following is the photo interpretation of the results by squadrons:
A-1 Squadron: Due to lead aircraft being hit by flak and remainder of squadron being broken up by flak bombs were dropped early. Approximately 35 bursts are plotted in mountainous area somewhat southeast of target in undisclosed location.
A-2 Squadron: Poor camera coverage from this squadron only allows 10 bursts to be plotted. These bursts are along the rail line immediately north of the target with at least one bit on the line.
B-1 Squadron: Approximately 38 bursts are plotted in immediate area around target with at least one hit on the bridge and other damaging near misses.
B-2 Squadron: Due to intense build-up of smoke from preceding squadron only 23 bursts may be plotted. These bursts are immediately north and immediately south of bridge with other bursts probably obscured by smoke.
IV. ENEMY RESISTANCE
A. Fighters: Two crews reported a brown S/E a/c which appeared to be a Me-109 cut through our formation on the bomb run at squadron level and circled the A-1 squadron just out of range.
B. Flak -M – A – H at target.
None lost, 20 damaged by flak (7 severe), 3 casualties (1 serious), no victories.