Mission Number: 4
Date: 13 Jan ’44
Target: Perugia, Italy Air Drome
449th A/C Over Target: 29
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 31-1/5 Frag
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 0
Forty-one B-24H’s of this group took off at 0919 – 0943 to attack the enemy air base at Perugia, Italy. Twenty-nine aircraft dropped 31-1/5 tons of AN-M41 A1 and A2 instantaneous, fragmentation bombs at 1207 – 1210 hours from 18,800′ – 21,000′. Twelve aircraft returned early. All of our aircraft attacking the target returned without mishap. Preliminary analysis of bomb strike photographs coupled with statements of the crews reveal no visible damage to the target. Several observations of possible enemy aircraft were made by our crews.
At the mouth of the Pescara River five single engine fighters were seen. They came out low over the water, looked over our formation, and then returned to land. They were not identified as to type. At 1244 hours and at 42 degrees 50′ N – 13 degrees 55′ E five single-engine fighters approached within one mile, then banked away. Although not identified precisely they were possibly ME-109’s. At 1243 hours a single engine fighter was sighted at 42 degrees 50′ N and on the Adriatic Coast. It was approaching a landing strip located on the coast at that position. One JU-88 was observed at 1135 hours, position 42 degrees 15′ N – 15 degrees 10′ E. The JU-88 was at 10,000′ and 1,200 yards distance. It did not attack.
Some flak was experienced. Flak was reported 15 – 20 miles SW of the target and five to six miles NE of the target. This latter came from two guns near a bridge in a wooded area. Flak at the target was heavy, slight and fairly accurate.
The twelve aircraft returning early did so for the following reasons: turrets inoperative (four A/C), alternates (three A/C), oil leak and low fuel pressure (two A/C), bomb bay doors jammed (one A/C), supercharger failure (one A/C), pilot’s radio receiver inoperative (one A/C).
At 1218 hours one aircraft returning alone observed a single engine aircraft falling. Smoke trailed. The pilot bailed out and was seen parachuting to earth suspended from a brown colored parachute. His aircraft crashed and burst into flame.
Our aircraft sustained no damage from enemy fighters and inconsequential damages from flak.