Mission Number: 26

Date: 16 Feb ’44

Target: Poggibonsi, Italy M/Y

449th A/C Over Target: 23

Tons of Bombs Dropped: 57-1/4 GP

Flak: None

Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0

449th A/C Lost: 0

Results: Poor

Thirty-six B-24H’s took off at 0815 to bomb the M/Y at Poggibonsi, Italy. Five returned early, three of whom returned 72 tons of bombs to base and two of whom jettisoned 5 tons, the first in the Mediterranean Sea about 5 miles out from Taranto and the second in the Mediterranean Sea about 30 miles northwest of Naples. Thirty-one went over the target area. Twenty-three dropped 57.25 tons of 500-lb GP .1 and .025 fuses on the briefed target and returned 1/4 ton to base. Four dropped 10 tons on the railroad tracks at Certaldo, Italy. One returned 2.50 tons to base. Three jettisoned 7.50 tons.

Thirty-one returned to base at 1458 hours. None lost. None at friendly fields.

The flight was made unaccompanied by escort or other bombing group. It continued without incident to the IP (Volterro). On the run in from that point, four of the planes flew over Certaldo and bombed the railroad line. The other twenty-seven flew to the target. All rallied right and continued on route back to base.

Haze and broken undercast, variously estimated as 4/10 to 8/10 coverage, rendered observation too difficult for many crews. Others reported hits on the M/Y target, probably at least 30 within the target area. One reported a string of bombs on the railroad south of the town of Poggibonsi. Some of the bombs were reported as striking the town itself. A highway on the South of the town and another on the Northeast of the town were also hit.

The four ships bombing the railroad at Certaldo reported some hits on that target while other bombs went into the town.

There was no photo coverage.

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