Mission Number: 60
Date: 17 May ’44
Target: Orbetello, Italy Harbor
449th A/C Over Target: 38
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 91.25 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 1
Thirty-nine B-24’s took off at 1001 – 1025 hours to bomb Orbetello Mole. None returned early. Thirty-eight dropped 91-1/4 tons of 500-pound (Mixed fusing .1 and .01 – .1 & .025) GP bombs on the target at 1328 hours from 18,195 – 21,000 feet. One A/C jettisoned 2-1/2 tons because of loss of #4 engine at IP and could not maintain sufficient altitude to make bomb run, one A/C jettisoned 1-1/4 tons right after target because of malfunction of bomb release, one A/C jettisoned one ton in order to stay with formation when a turbo went out, and one A/C jettisoned 1/4 ton because of malfunction of bomb release. Thirty-eight returned to base at 1539 hours. One lost. None at friendly fields.
Rendy with 450th at Manduria at 3,000 ft at 1107 hours, and with 98th and 376th at San Vito at 1112 hours. Continued on course to Capri (off course to right twenty miles to avoid weather), thence to key point Parmarola (4057N – 1252E) at 1240 hours at 13,000 feet, thence to turn point (4200N – 1050E), to turn point (4215N – 1040E) to IP Giglio Island. At IP hit south end of island instead of northern tip because of cloud condition over northern tip – (Bombardiers choice), then made right turn into target attacking on an axis of 65 degrees True, rallied right, then to turn point (4257N – 1120E) to key point Palmarola (4057N – 1252E) to Capri, thence to base (20 miles to left of course to avoid weather).
Rendy with fighters at 1240 hours at Palmarola – P-51s. Escort continued with formation into, over and beyond target.
Results. Excellent. Aiming point again obliterated. Confirmed by bomb strike photos.
No enemy fighters were encountered or seen.
Moderate to intense accurate heavy flak experienced over target. “A” section experienced moderate, “B” and “C” sections encountering intense flak.
Intensity of flak was far greater than on preceding mission. 1 A/C being lost to flak over the target. A few white bursts were noted on bomb run – above and to right of formation. This group experienced no flak en route or from the target.
[Total Losses: One. Damaged by flak: 13 (minor). Casualties: 3 slightly wounded. No victories.]