Mission Number: 65
Date: 24 May ’44
Target: Wiener-Neustadt, Austria Air Drome
449th A/C Over Target: 29
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 70 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 1 (Des)
449th A/C Lost: 1
Thirty-four B-24’s took off at 0555 to 0617 hours to bomb Wollersdorf Hangars and Installations at Wiener-Neustadt. Four returned early and one was a non-effective sortie. Twenty-nine dropped 70 tons 500-lb GP (.1 and .01 and .025) bombs on target at 1036 hours from 20,500 to 22,800 feet. Four jettisoned 5-1/2 tons and four brought back 8 tons. One lost and one landed at friendly field. Twenty-nine returned at 1345 hours.
Rendezvoused with 450th at Manduria at 4,000 feet at 0657 hours. Continued on course to San Vito to accomplish rendezvous with 376th and 98th Groups. Course from there was to turn point at 4310N – 1440E, to key point at Ostarije (4514N – 1517E), to turn point at Litija (4603N – 1450E) to Zeltweg (4711N – 1445E) to Frakefels (4759N – 1520E) to IP at Altemarkt (4802N – 1559E) to target. Attack on target made at 144° True. Rallied right to Furstenfeld (4703N – 1605E) to Vadoreg (4553N – 1625E), to Drvenik (4327N – 1609E), to base. At some points a variation of about 20 miles from course was necessary to avoid clouds.
Rendezvous with escort of P-38’s and P-51’s was made at 0906 hours at 4445N – 1510E. Escort provided penetration, target cover, and withdrawal support back to Pelagosa Island.
Cloud cover at target necessitated bombing by pathfinder methods and made complete observation of results impossible. However, 14 bursts were in the L/G proper 2,000 feet NW of aiming point, approximately 95 bursts in barracks and open area 2,000 to 3,000 feet south of aiming point, and approximately 30 bursts in residential area 5,000 feet SW of aiming point.
Approximately 20 – 25 E/F were seen in target area, all ME-109s. Only 3 E/A made passes at this formation, two of which were unaggressive making attacks from 3 o’clock level and not closing nearer than 900 yards. Another ME-109 attacked from 3 o’clock level, closed to 300 yards, and was claimed as destroyed as pilot was seen to bail out. Observations of E/F attacks on another group disclose attempts to break off one plane from formation by coordinated passes to make stragglers out of them and then attack stragglers viciously.
Over target this group experienced intense, accurate, heavy flak resulting in loss of one plane and damaging several others.
Excellent fighter cover in target area.
[Losses: One from flak. Damaged from flak: 20 (3 serious, 17 minor). Casualties from flak: 4 (serious). Victories: One ME-109 destroyed.]