Mission Number: 27

Date: 17 Feb ’44

Target: Lake di Nemi, Italy Troop Concentration

449th A/C Over Target: 35

Tons of Bombs Dropped: 87-1/2 GP

Flak: H-I-A

Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0

449th A/C Lost: 0

Results: Fair

Thirty-five B-24H’s took off at 0956 to bomb a bivouac area at F935455 at Lake Di Nemi, Italy. None returned early. Thirty-five dropped 87.5 tons 500-lb GP bombs with .1 and .025 fuses at 1210 hours from 18,400 to 21,000 ft. None jettisoned. 32 returned to base at 1410. One ship returned at 1525. The two remaining ships are at friendly fields while the crews have returned to this base.

This group took off from Grottaglie and proceeded on course having no rendezvous to keep either with fighters or other bomb groups. The course lay from home base to Capri to Ponza Island and north on course to the IP at 4128N – 1220E where a turn was made on the target for an axis of attack of 50° T. The rally was right and back out to sea where a reciprocal course to base was held.

Photo coverage of the target was incomplete. Of 350 bombs dropped only 45 were plotted. These bursts were 4,000 ft to 6,000 ft short of target area. Visual observation claimed good coverage of the area with many hits in and about what appeared to be a concentration area of huts, tents, or dugouts.

Over the target this group experienced heavy, intense, and very accurate flak. Almost no aircraft escaped damage from flak. Two were damaged enough to be forced to land and remain at friendly airdromes. It is believed by the crews that evasive action is all that prevented more serious damage to A/C and personnel.

Much of the flak is thought to have come from railroad guns or from emplacements closely paralleling the railroads.

One crew reported seeing objects somewhat like skeet pigeons, reddish in color, spinning through the formation.

Total Losses:

From Flak – None.
From Fighters – None.
Other Reasons – None.

From flak – 35 ( 2 severe)
From fighters – None.
Other reasons – None.

From Flak: Killed 1 (left waist gunner in ship #48)
Seriously wounded 1 (copilot in ship #13)
Slightly wounded 3 others.

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