Mission Number: 35
Date: 28 Mar ’44
Target: Mestre, Italy M/Y
449th A/C Over Target: 40
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 99-3/4 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 0
Forty-two B-24-H’s took off at 0842 – 0929 to bomb the marshalling yards at Mestre, Italy. Two returned early. One returned because his #1 engine was out and had a gas leak. In addition the power unit in the tail turret was inoperative. The second returned because he was unable to catch the formation. Forty planes were over the target at 1235 and dropped 99.75 tons of 500-lb GP bombs with .1 and .01 fuses in the target area. One 500-lb bomb jettisoned in Adriatic. Forty returned to base at 1450 hours. None is missing. None at friendly fields.
Rendezvoused with 451st Group at Grottaglie at 3,000 feet at 0932 hours. Met escort of P-38’s at 4405N – 1440E at 1130 hours. Proceeded to target and attacked at 1235 hours. Rallied right in order to avoid flak area at Venice and returned to base. P-38 escort on return trip.
Visual observations indicate that the entire target area was well covered with bursts. One crew reported that as they left the target a column of black smoke was rising to a height of 10,000 feet. Fire and smoke was noted to come from explosions in what were apparently oil or tank cars on the tracks. Tail gunner in one of the last ships over the target says the entire M/Y was a mass of smoke and flame.
Fighters: There were no encounters. However, 10 – 15 E/A, FW-190’s and ME-109’s were observed in the target area. Two S/E A/C fired white discs or rockets but not at this group.
Flak: Flak was encountered only over the target area and there it was slight, heavy and inaccurate.
[No losses, damage, or casualties.]