Mission Number: 61
Date: 18 May ’44
Target: Belgrade, Yugo. M/Y
449th A/C Over Target: 19
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 46.5 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 1
Forty B-24’s took off at 0712 to 0739 to bomb the Unirea Sperantza Refinery at Ploesti, Rumania. Nineteen (19) dropped 46.5 tons of 500-pound (mixed fusing .1 and .01 – .1 and .025) GP bombs on the alternate target at Belgrade M/Y at 1014 from 16,600 to 19,000 feet. Six (6) aircraft returned early, five because of mechanical trouble and one because of an ill crew member. Of these, four returned their bombs while two jettisoned 5 tons in the Adriatic. Of the remaining aircraft, two jettisoned 5 tons, one jettisoned 1 ton and returned 1.5 tons to base. Twelve aircraft in the formation returned their bombs to base. Thirty-three returned to base at 1206 hours. One missing. None at friendly fields.
Rendy with 450th at Manduria at 6,000 feet on course to San Vito at 0820. Rendy with 376th and 98th on line San Vito to Manduria. Continued on course until weather encountered near Yugoslavia coast where flight line carried 25 miles north of course. Thence to Mikerlici (4228N – 1825E). Thence to (4227N – 1810E) where a turn was made toward Belgrade because of impassable weather ahead. From the target to (4427N – 2020E) at 1022. Thence to Skodra Lake and to base.
The alternate target was attacked by PFF on a heading of 340° True.
Thirty-five P-38’s were sighted near Belgrade at 1016 and six P-51’s were sighted 75 miles south of the target. Definite fixes of these sightings were difficult because of extremely poor weather.
[Results of bombing of M/Y at Belgrade were unobserved because of 9/10 – 10/10 cloud coverage.]
Fighters. Six unidentified aircraft, probably ME-109’s were seen at 1055 hours at 22,000 feet at 4315N – 1930E. These craft did not close and disappeared in overcast.
Flak. Slight to moderate inaccurate flak experienced over Belgrade. Flak bursts were observed to be black and red with no particular pattern.
[Total losses: One. None damaged. No casualties or victories.]