Mission Number: 44

Date: 13 Apr ’44

Target: Budapest, Hungary Vecses Air Drome

449th A/C Over Target: 33

Tons of Bombs Dropped: 38-1/5 Frag

Flak: H-M-I

Enemy A/C Destroyed: 1 (Des)

449th A/C Lost: 1

Results: Good

Thirty-four B-24 G, H and J’s took off at 0848 to 0921 hours to bomb Budapest Vesces A/D. There were no early returns. Thirty-three (33) dropped 38-1/5 tons of 20-lb fragmentation bombs (Instantaneous fuses) on target at 1235 hours from 19,500 to 22,000 feet. One jettisoned .6 tons in Adriatic due to failure of racks to release bombs properly. Remaining .6 tons dropped from ship when bomb bay doors were opened between IP and target. Thirty-three returned to base at 1510 to 1545 hours. One lost. None at friendly fields.

Rendezvoused with 450th, 98th, and 376th on Wing rendy line of Manduria to San Vito Di Normanni at 1000 hours. On course to 4243N – 1745E to 4315N – 1805E to key point of Doblj (4445N – 1805E) at 9,000 feet at 1140 hours to turn point of Dombovan (4622N – 1810E) to IP to target. Target was attacked on an axis of 14° True. The formation rallied right and continued to rally point (4625N – 1928E) and return to base. Rendezvoused with 33 P-47’s at Pecs at 1203. They departed at 4710N – 1920E at 1300 hours. Thirty-six (36) P-38’s provided high cover from IP to target.

Results were reported to be good. Nine (9) parked A/C could be seen burning as formation approached the target on the bombing run. Hits were seen in the buildings and on the ramp just in front. There was much fire and smoke appearing to come from gasoline fires. Smoke columns were reported as high as 10,000 feet. As the formation rallied right 20 – 30 parked A/C could be seen burning. Strike photos taken substantiate the larger portion of these observations.

Fighters. Twenty (20) to twenty-five (25) T/E and S/E aircraft were seen in and near the target area. They were of the following types: ME-109’s, JU-88’s, ME-110’s, and ME-210’s. There were only 8 to 10 encounters which were widely scattered. The majority of these few attacks were from 6 o’clock high and were very half-hearted attempts. Attacks were not aggressive. There were three claims: 1 ME-210 destroyed, 1 JU-88 probably destroyed, and 1 JU-88 damaged.

Flak. Over the target this group experienced moderate, inaccurate, heavy flak.

Observations. One B-24 from this group went down over the target at 1238 hours. It was struck by a bomb between #3 and #4 engines, from a group overhead bombing through this formation. Five chutes came out of the ship on fire. Two other B-24’s were seen to go down in or near the target area at approximately the same time of 1238 hours.

[Total losses: One. Two received minor damage from the flak.]

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