Mission Number: 29
Date: 22 Feb ’44
Target: Regensburg, Germany A/C Factory
449th A/C Over Target: 18
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 35-4/5 Ince
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 12 (Des) 7(
449th A/C Lost: 4
Forty B-24H’s took off at 0804 to bomb Regensburg Obertraubling A/C Factory. Fifteen returned early. Of these, two had supercharger trouble, three had crew members who became violently ill, four developed oxygen shortages and leaks, two had inoperative gun turrets, two developed oil leaks, one had electrical trouble and one crew members flying suit burned out. Eighteen of our A/C are known to have dropped 35-4/5 tons of 100-lb incendiary bombs. Four A/C are missing. One is down at a friendly field. Two crashed in friendly territory. The crews are safe. Original plan formulated in the air when finding target undercast was to attack some other objective in Germany. Fighter interception prevented this.
Rendezvoused with 98th, 450th, 451st and 376th Groups. Continued on course into Yugoslavia where weather became bad with 5-7/10 undercast in Austria and Southern Germany. Target could not be seen. The first ships over tried to bomb on ETA after noting check point at 1153 hours, location Celja. Balance of the formation did not bomb until the formation turned and before formation was intercepted by fighters. Continued on reciprocal of course to base.
Fighters: A formation of ME-109’s and FW-190’s flew parallel to formation out of range until our formation turned and came out of the target area. The fighters came up thru the undercast. On the route back they attacked our formation. 35 – 40 enemy fighters comprised the attack unit. The attack was begun by two groups of the enemy. The first did a 180° turn out of range of our planes. It then did a second 180° turn to attack our planes at four to five o’clock. At the same time the other enemy group did a single 180° turn to attack the bombers from the front. Each enemy group dove under our planes and then split into individual attack units. Their attack concentrated on the rear elements of our high box. There were three major attacks by fighters at 1335, 1338 and 1342 hours. Fighters appeared aggressive but their attacks were not well co-ordinated. Individual attacks were pressed home to within 150 yards. Nine JU-88’s attacked the rear of one section. They were approximately abreast. After attacking they dove under the formation and were lost to view. Attacks were from all clock positions. The frontal waves attacked mainly from one to three o’clock. Rear attacks were delivered anywhere from three to nine o’clock. 10 ME-110’s were seen. These planes delivered rocket attacks under 1,000 yards at nine o’clock low.
Ten S/E fighters were observed to have belly tanks. ME-109’s had yellow wing tips and were silver grey. FW-190’s had yellow fins and cowlings.
One battle damaged B-24 when examined on the ground was found to have a burst of highly concentrated Nitric Acid in one of the bomb shackles indicating a possible new anti-personnel shell.
Flak: It was difficult to report flak locations because of poor visibility. However the following was reported: heavy, moderate, inaccurate, 1235 hours at 4800N – 1720E; Heavy, slight, inaccurate at 4748N – 1320E; Heavy, slight, accurate at 4710N – 1420E. Flak was coming thru the clouds and may have been radar directed. One crew reported white puffs to right of formation. The puffs were small in series of six, and at intervals of 50 feet.
Total Losses: Undetermined. Four A/C are missing. One B-24 was seen to explode, one was hit and in a steep glide. One settled into clouds under heavy attack. These observations were made during the fighter attack. Two crashed in friendly territory.
From Flak — 0
From Fighters — 4 (minor damage)
None in returning aircraft. Several cases of frostbite. Men complained of the cold.
One pilot broke his leg in crash landing.
Destroyed — 8 ME-109s
Probably Destroyed — 6 ME-109s
Damaged — 0