Mission Number: 67
Date: 26 May ’44
Target: Var River, France RR Bridge
449th A/C Over Target: 38
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 94-1/2 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 1
Forty (40) B-24’s took off at 0545 to 0613 hours to bomb the Var railroad bridge near Nice, France. Two (2) returned early. Thirty-eight (38) dropped 94.5 tons of 500-lb GP bombs with .1 nose and non-delay tail fuses. One (1) jettisoned .5 tons in water after the target due to malfunction of bomb release mechanism. Two (2) returned 5 tons to base (ER). Thirty-seven (37) returned to base at 1346 hours. One (1) lost. None at friendly fields.
Rendezvoused with 450th at 0647 hours at 4,000 feet over Manduria on course to San Vito; with escort at 0847 hours at 10,000 feet at 4130N – 1130E. Continued on course until IP (Lanosque) was reached. Then made left turn on to target, attacking at an axis of 197°. Rallied left and continued on reciprocal course to base.
Target was well covered with 5 direct hits and many near misses. Bomb strike photos show the bridge well hit and out of operation. Also the new highway bridge 2,000 feet to the south was damaged.
Fighters. No fighters were seen or encountered.
Flak. Over the target this group experienced moderate to intense, accurate, heavy flak of the predicted variety, slightly damaging 4 aircraft, destroying another which exploded in mid-air. Just as target was reached tracer bullets were observed coming up from the ground. Slight, inaccurate, heavy flak was also encountered between Nice and 4340N – 0709E.
Total Losses: From flak, one (1), no chutes seen to open.
[Four with minor damage from flak. One (1) slightly wounded RW gunner. No victories.]