Mission Number: 59
Date: 14 May ’44
Target: Vicenza, Italy M/Y
449th A/C Over Target: 28
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 69 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 0
Thirty B-24’s took off from this base at 0739 – 0751 hours to bomb the wagon buildings and repair shops about 1-1/4 miles SSW of the M/Y at Vicenza, Italy. The bombs carried on this mission comprised entirely of 500-lb GP with mixed fusing of .1 and .01, .1 and .025. Two (2) returned early. One with engine trouble and the other because the oxygen line was cut by a cable after take off. Of these, one returned 2-1/2 tons and the other jettisoned 2-1/2 tons in the water 15 miles east of Pianosa Island. Twenty-eight (28) dropped 69 tons over the target from 1143 to 1148 hours from an altitude of 20,200 to 23,000 feet. 26 returned to base at 1430 hours. None lost, none missing, none at friendly fields.
Rendezvous was made with the escort at 1115 hours at 4520N -1300E at altitude 20,000′. The escort consisted of 30 P-38’s, 30 P-51’s and 30 P-4’7s. Escort departed at 1230 hours from 4400N – 1255E.
Nine (9) cameras were carried but of these one (1) was inoperative and the film from four (4) was spoiled in the laboratory. Of the remaining four (4) only a few hits were shown by the first section and a meager number from the last two sections. Visual reconnaissance, however, reports good results with many hits in the target area and many buildings destroyed. Weather was very good throughout the course and over the target with only a slight ground haze.
Fifteen (15) to twenty (20) E/A were seen soon after the rally at 1200 hours 4502N – 1120E at 17,000 feet. Of these but one ME-109 attacked from 5 o’clock high and the same time, place and altitude as mentioned above. One pass was made at the formation and dove under. Because of his reluctance to press the attack, few rounds were fired and no claims made.
One (1) B-24 was observed losing altitude on crossing the coast from the target at 1207 hours, location 4517N – 1218E, no altitude given. No chutes were seen. Fire and smoke were seen and the plane appeared to be very close to the water.
While over the target area one (1) ME-109 was seen to fall and explode. No chute was observed.