40 B-24’s took off at 1219 hours to attack targets at ST-9 and ST-19 [Bologna, Italy] in close cooperation with Allied Ground Forces. 40 dropped 100 tons of 500 lb RDX bombs on primary targets from 1614 to 1616 hurs from 18,400 to 21,800 feet. 39 returned to base at 1918 hours. None lost, none missing and one at friendly field.
II. ROUTE AND ASSAULT
Rendezoused over Manduria at 4,900 feet at 1317 hours as the lead group in the Wing line. Formation was forced to dog-leg on route out to avoid clouds and were 10 miles east of keypoint at Gigilio (4222N-1054E). Proceeded to Piombino (4256N-1032E) to IP at Pistoia (4356N-1055E) to target, attacking on a heading of 29 degrees true. Rallied left to rally point at Monfestino (4425N-1032E) and followed briefed route to base.
On the route out there were scattered low clouds and a few middle clouds over southern Italy east of the Appenines. Northward and west of the Appenines the middle clouds dissipated entirely and the low clouds thinned, leaving only scattered high clouds. The target area had scattered high clouds above 25,000 feet. There wer no low clouds over the target itself but scattered low clouds in the target area up to the ridges of the mountains. Visibility was 10 miles in haze. On the return route over southern Italy there were broken high clouds but only scattered middle and low clouds with CAVU conditions over this base.
No specific rendezvous was made with escort but approximately 10 P-51’s patrolled the target area.
Bombing was done visually by the individual boxes in trail. Results by squadrons:
716th Sq (A-1) 61 bursts plotted in briefed target area with pattern centering 1,000 feet east of aiming point.
718th Sq (B-1) 52 bursts plotted in target area with at least 5 hits on barracks at aiming point.
717th Sq (A-2) Due to intense build-up of smoke from bursts of 716th Squadron only 30 bursts may be plotted in western portion of target area. Complete camera coverage indicates remainder of bursts to be smoke obscured.
719th Sq (B-2) Again intense smoke prohibits an accurate plot as only 20 bursts may be plotted from 700 to 1,100 feet north of aiming point.
IV. ENEMY RESISTANCE
A. Fighters: No E/A were sighted.
B. Flak: Flak at the target was reported as S/M-A-H
[Losses: None. Damage: From flak — 1 minor . Casualties: None.]