Mission Number: 66
Date: 25 May ’44
Target: Porto Marghera, Italy Oil Storage
449th A/C Over Target: 38
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 94-3/4 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 0
Thirty-nine (39) B-24’s took off at 0905 to 0931 to bomb Porto Marghera oil storage facilities. Thirty-eight (38) dropped 94.75 tons of 500-lb GP .01 and .025 fuzing at 1245 – 1247 hours from 19,700 – 22,500 feet. One A/C jettisoned one 500-lb bomb at 4530N – 1245E. One a/c returned early with a feathered engine due to drop in oil and manifold pressure. It returned its bombs to the base. The formation returned at 1518 hours.
Rendezvoused behind 450th Group at Manduria at 4,000 feet at 1007 hours on course to San Vito where rendezvous accomplished with 376th and 98th Groups. Course from there was to key point 4340N – 1400E from whence this group and 450th continued alone to turn point Berra (4458N – 1158E). The IP, Piore, was missed and the axis of attack varied from 63° to 75° True for sections of this group instead of the briefed heading of 41° True. Rallied right to 4530N – 1235E, to 4340N – 1400E, to base.
Fifteen (15) P-38’s escorted from 4440N – 1400E (ten minutes after target) to Porto Civitanova, 4330N – 1415E, where they departed at 1333 hours.
Visual results were good. Returning crews estimated at least 40% of entire bomb load was on the target. Entire area covered with black smoke and fire. Some smoke rose from 4,000 to 12,000 feet. Ten oil tanks in flames. One large explosion. Also hit docks just before aiming point with short bursts.
Photo shows target well covered with industrial section immediately west of target also hit
Crews report 450th Group did an excellent job on its assigned area. Well hit.
Fighters. Two to five unidentified a/c seen over target. Three unidentified a/c observed on water at target from 21,000 feet at 1247 hours. Two unidentified a/c made two passes at ‘B’ section. They came in abreast to 1,000 yards firing rockets. They were not aggressive. Four to seven rockets which exploded with a big white flash were observed on the rally. These sheets of flame, according to one crew, looked like they might be jet propelled. One rocket was observed to burst in a red flash with grey streamers.
Flak. Flak at the target was reported as slight to moderate, inaccurate, heavy. Bluish-white flak was noted exploding 2,000 feet above the formation. These puffs left a trail often exploding. Crews also reported what appeared to be rockets fired from the ground. Some of these burst in green-yellow flame and white smoke. Others burst whereupon white streaks shot out horizontally from the bursts.
[No losses, damage, casualties, or victories.]