Mission Number: 57
Date: 12 May ’44
Target: Porto San Stefano, Italy Harbor
449th A/C Over Target: 42
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 104 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 0
Forty-four B-24H’s took off at 0456 to 0610 to bomb harbor installations and roads east of Porto San Stefano. One returned early with its 2-1/2 tons of bombs. The Air Discipline Officer (ADO) went over the target without any bomb load. Forty-two planes dropped 104 tons of 500-lb (.1 and .025 fuses) GP bombs on the target at 0853 from 16,200 to 18,300 feet and jettisoned 1 ton (1/2 ton fell out when bomb doors opened on run and 1/2 ton was dumped soon after target area). Forty-three returned at 1042-1/2 hours. None lost, none missing and none at friendly fields.
Rendezvoused at Manduria at 3,000 feet with 450th Bomb Group (H), thence on course to San Vito Di Normanni to rendezvous with 98th and 376th Bomb Groups (H). With 98th Group leading, from rendezvous to turn point Biscaccia (4101N – 1522E), to key point Isernia (4135N – 1414E) at 12,000 feet, to turn point Venafro (4129N – 1403E), to turn point Marzano (4119N – 1402E) to turn point Mondragone (4107N – 1354E), to turn point (4106N – 1300E), to turn point (4140N – 1200E) to Monte Cristo (4220N – 1019E), to turn point (4227N – 1022E) to IP (4230N – 1040E), to target attacking on heading of 99° True. Rallied right to turn point (4140N – 1200E), to Ponza Island (4055N – 1257E), to Capri (4033N -1414E) to base.
No escort was provided.
Practically all bombs dropped into the water to the left of the target area. Several planes reported 5 to 10 hits on the land, but photographs show the only hits on land were not in the target area but on the most westerly of the three isthmuses joining the land of the target area with the mainland. The road on this isthmus was hit by 3 bombs. One plane in the third section claimed definite hit on railroad and highway in target area. There are no photographs to confirm this claim.
Bombsight on lead ship of “A” attack unit was out of order; interphone to bombardier went out on lead ship of “B” attack unit; and both Ad-5 and PDI on lead ship of “C” attack unit went out.
No enemy fighters were seen nor encountered.
Over the target the Group experienced scant to medium, accurate, heavy flak. 8 to 10 guns were located at 4226N – 1106E on the isthmus to the mainland just to the East of the target area.
Total Losses: None.
Damaged: By Flak – 14, By Fighters – 0.