Mission Number: 28
Date: 20 Feb ’44
Target: Beachhead Troop Concentration
449th A/C Over Target: 17
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 42-1/2 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 0
Thirty-seven B-24’s took off at 0837 to bomb the troop concentration area south of Rome…. One returned early because of engine trouble, eighteen because weather prevented proper formation, and one because he was unable to locate the formation because of the clouds. Of these 20 ships, one jettisoned 2.5 tons of bombs in the Mediterranean Sea, and the other 19 returned 47.5 tons to base. Seventeen planes flew over the target and dropped 42.5 tons of 500-lb GP instantaneous and .025 fuses in the target area. Seventeen returned to base at 1410 hours. None lost. None at friendly fields.
The flight was made unaccompanied by escort or other bombing groups, although one of the aforementioned 17 ships flew with the 98th Bombardment Group and bombed with it. The planes flew over the target, rallied right, and returned to the base. Weather forced the lead flight to circle down through a cloud opening and returned to the base at an altitude of 750 feet above the land.
Four crews reported they were unable to see the results of their bombing although they bombed with the section, and they believed, on the target. But all others reported their bombs hit in or near the target area. Several of those bombs near the target hit the main highway to Rome, and one hit directly on the intersection of the main railroad to Rome and the Anzio-Genzano electric railway. Explosions were seen in the southwest corner of the target area itself, followed by light colored and then black smoke.
Incomplete photo coverage showed 55 bursts 500 to 600 feet south of the target.
Enemy fighters: None. Flak: None. [No losses, damage or casualties.]