Mission Number: 63
Date: 22 May ’44
Target: Giulianova, Italy Bridge & Road
449th A/C Over Target: 35
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 87 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 0
Forty (40) B-24’s took off at 0905 – 0928 hours to bomb briefed target, Latisana RR bridge. None returned early. There were 3 prior returns. Because of bad weather over Adriatic Sea, consisting of virtually solid clouds with ten-tenths coverage, a target of opportunity, Giulianova, was bombed, twenty-eight (28) A/C dropping 692 tons of 500-lb GP bombs with .1 and non-delay fuses on the RR tracks and RR and highway bridges there. Other A/C bombed other targets of opportunity along the same east coast RR and highway and in the same general vicinity, between Ancona and Pescara, reported as follows: four (4) A/C dropped 10 tons on M/Y, RR tracks and bridge at Porto Civitanova; two (2) A/C dropped 5 tons at Montesilvano; one (1) A/C bombed with 450th Group dropping 22 tons on RR and highway north of Pescara. Five (5) A/C jettisoned 122 tons in Adriatic. Forty (40) A/C returned to base, three (3) thereof at 1340 hours, and the formation at 1419 hours. None were lost, and none at friendly fields.
Rendezvoused with 450th at Manduria, 3,000 feet at 1006 hours, on course to San Vito, then on course to key point encountering ten-tenths cloud coverage. Formation proceeded to make three 360° turns to gain altitude in attempt to get above clouds. Went as far east as Yugoslavian coast 20 miles below Zara. Thereafter when at 4310N – 1450E at 1215 hours, decision was made to seek Italian coast and bomb alternate target in view of inability to get above or through clouds. Clouds were building up so high that could not climb over them. Headed in direction of Ancona. Upon finding opening proceeded to bomb Giulianova and then returned to base. Escort was not seen except 1 A/C reported two (2) P-51’s at 4200N -1400E, 1150 hours.
Formation centered on Giulianova and results were generally reported by visual observation as mediocre, although a number of hits were seen on RR tracks, RR and highway bridges. Photo coverage confirmed numerous hits in target area, including 5 probable hits on RR and four (4) probable hits on highway. There is one (1) probable hit on RR junction. Some bombs were seen to hit in water. At Porto Civitanova hits were reported on RR tracks and bridge. No hits were reported on target at Montesilvano. A/C which bombed with 450th reported hits on RR and road. 449th bomb pattern at Giulianova appeared very good.
Flak: Scant to moderate, inaccurate heavy flak at Giulianova.
[No losses, damage, or casualties.]