Mission 32

Mission Number: 32

Date: 2 Mar ’44

Target: Cisterna di Littoria, Italy Troop Concentration

449th A/C Over Target: 25

Tons of Bombs Dropped: 34-1/5 Frag

Flak: H-I-A

Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0

449th A/C Lost: 1

Results: Fair

Twenty-seven B-24-H’s took off at 0834 hours to bomb the Cisterna Di Littoria Assembly Area near the beachhead at Anzio. Two returned early. One returned because two generators went out, while the other had trouble with two engines which kept cutting out on low fuel pressure. Twenty-five planes attacked the target. 34.2 tons of 20-lb fragmentation bombs with instantaneous fuses were dropped on the area. The two early returns jettisoned 2.8 tons in the sea and one plane with a malfunction dropped only 12 bombs of the full load, jettisoning 1.3 tons over the sea on the return trip. Twenty-four returned to base at 1240 hours. One crash landed at Anzio in friendly hands.

Proceeded to target from base. After bombing the target at 1040 Able a rally was made to the right and formation returned to base along briefed route. P-38’s, P-47’s, and Spitfires provided cover for the formation over the target.

Crews claimed fair to good coverage of the target area assigned. Strike photographs taken by the attacking bombers corroborate the claims of hits in the area by the crews. Photos show coverage to be more complete in southern portion than in the northern.

Fighters: No enemy fighters were encountered but 8 FW-190’s and 12 – 15 T/E A/C were seen low over beachhead area.

Flak: The majority of the crews reported flak as heavy, intense, and accurate. Flak was noted coming from Cisterna Di Littoria and in a wooded section due north of Anzio near railroad.

Total Losses: One B-24, #34, appeared in trouble before arriving at Anzio. Just on “bombs away” the observer noted about 1/2 bomb load in #34 dropped away and there was an explosion in or near the bomb bay. When the ships rallied right #34 dove down heading out over the sea in a sweeping curve that took him back in toward the beach where he crash-landed. Five chutes drifted in the direction of the enemy lines. At 0830 47th Wing reported five crew members safe and on their way back: Pilot, Copilot, Bombardier, Navigator and Radio Operator. No word has been received of the other five.

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