Mission Number: 39
Date: 3 Apr ’44
Target: Budapest, Hugary M/Y
449th A/C Over Target: 30
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 72-1/2 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 0
Thirty-three B-24H’s took off at 0650 to 0718 to bomb Budapest Main M/Y. There were two early returns, one because of #1 supercharger out & #3 fluctuating, the other because of two inverters inoperative. Thirty (30) dropped 75 tons of 500-lb GP (.1 and .025) bombs on target at 1128 – 1142 hours from 21,000 – 24,000 feet. One dropped bombs on a highway at 4640N – 1920E. One early return just before turn back dropped bombs on the railroad near the IP. Thirty-one (31) returned to base at 1400 to 1437 hours. None lost. None at friendly fields.
Rendezvoused with 98th, 376th, 450th, and 451st on line Manduria to San Vito D’Normanni at 6,000 feet. 449th and 376th composed the third wave. From this point the briefed route was to key point at Tuzla (4432N – 1840E) to turn point (4530N – 1856E) to Oregeserto (4632N – 1907E). The actual route varied from the briefed route by as much as 150 – 200 miles right of course beginning just inside the coast of Yugoslavia. Towns which the formation passed near or over are: Brod, Osijek, Novi Sad and Belgrad in Yugoslavia. Timisoara, Rumania, Mako and Sezged, Hungary, making a left turn above the IP and attacking on an axis of 330° T. Rallied left and continued to rally point at Paks (4637N – 1852E) to (4530N – 1846E) to Tuzla (4432N – 1840E) and returned to base. Rendezvoused with fighters (15 – 20 P-47’s) at 4505N – 1910E at 1,000 feet. They departed just after the target.
Target obscured by smoke by bombings from preceding groups. The majority of the bombs appeared to hit in the smoke area with scattered bursts around target area and over the north tip of Csepil Island. Ten bombs hit Csepil A/D. The smoke and fires could be seen 30 – 40 minutes before and after the attack by this group. Five large fires were visible in the target area. The bridge and oil refinery to the west of the M/Y were hit by preceding group. One very large fire was seen one mile due south of the south end of the target.
Fighters. Twenty-five (25) to thirty (30) T/E and S/E aircraft were sighted along the route and in the target area. They were of the following types: six to eight ME-109’s, one JU-88, two FW-190’s, one ME-110, one ME-210 or 410, 15 S/E enemy aircraft with fixed landing gear and short stubby fuselages. There were only two or three single passes made at the formation by 109’s the remainder did not close to attack, flying behind or to the side and then leaving. There were no claims.
Flak. Over target this group experienced intense, accurate, heavy flak.
Observations. Three chutes seen over target. One B-24 going down two miles south of Mostar at 1258.
[No losses. Nine aircraft with minor flak damage. Two slightly wounded airmen. No victories.]