Mission Number: 52
Date: 29 Apr ’44
Target: Toulon, France Harbor
449th A/C Over Target: 35
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 86-1/3 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 1
Thirty-five (35) B-24’s took off at 0721 – 0745 to bomb S/M’s in Toulon, Harbor, France. None returned early. Thirty-five dropped 86.5 tons of 1,000-lb GP .1 and .01 bombs on target from 1230 – 1237 hours from 20,700 to 22,400 feet. Two jettisoned one ton in ocean after target because of rack malfunction. Thirty (30) returned at 1607 hours. Two (2) returned later after refueling at friendly fields. One (1) is missing, two (2) are at friendly fields.
Route and Assault. From home base to Manduria to rendezvous with 450th, thence on line to San Vito to rendezvous with 376th and 98th Groups. From this point on briefed course to IP. After right rally, course lay back to Ponza Island, thence to base. Fighters rendezvous was as briefed.
Results. Heavy and effective smoke screens obscured accurate observation of the target. One crew claims a direct hit on a warship in the harbor. Others claim hits on or near briefed target. Bomb strike photos reveal one probable hit and two (2) near misses on warehouse at aiming point. Four (4) probable hits on S/M …, and two (2) probable hits on warehouse ….
Fighters. Eight (8) ME-109’s and three (3) FW-190’s were reported in the target area. All E/A were reported as sky-blue in color and operating without belly tanks. One (1) FW-190 made an attack from 6 o’clock low, breaking down and away after closing to 200 yards. Six (6) ME-109’s made a single pass abreast from 6 o’clock low using similar tactics as the FW-190’s. E/A, too high above the formation to be counted or identified, fired rockets and dropped discs into the formation. Neither tactic was successful.
Flak. Over the target this group experienced intense, accurate, heavy flak. Fourteen (14) aircraft were holed, none seriously.
[Total losses: None. Fourteen (14) with minor flak damage. No casualties and no victories.]