Mission Number: 68
Date: 27 May ’44
Target: Marseille, France M/Y
449th A/C Over Target: 37
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 92-1/2 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 0
449th A/C Lost: 0
Thirty-nine (39) B-24’s took off at 0543 hours to bomb Marseille St. Charles M/Y. Two (2) returned early, of which 1 jettisoned 22 tons and the other returned bombs to base. Thirty-seven (37) dropped 922 tons of 500-lb GP bombs with mixed fusing .1 & .01, .1 &.025, on target at 1044 hours from 18,800 to 21,000 feet. Thirty-three (33) returned to base at 1415 hours. Four (4) landed at friendly fields; three (3) of which returned to base at 1545, 1642 and 1734 hours. The other ship landed at Corsica because of injury to pilot from flak over target, and has not yet returned to home base. None lost. One (1) at friendly field .
On telephone report one of these ships (#44) was reported as having landed at friendly field before target. This fact was reported by Lt Carter’s crew of A/C #51. This was found to be in error, however, when A/C #44 returned from Naples to home base, and reported on interrogation that bombs were dropped on the briefed target. The landing at Naples was on the route back, necessitated by a slight injury to bombardier from flak. The telephone report to the effect that thirty-six (36) A/C dropped 90 tons on the target should, therefore, be changed to show that 37 A/C dropped 922 tons on the target.
Rendezvous with 450th Group over Manduria at 3,000 feet at 0651 hours on course to San Vito. Time at San Vito 0652 hours. San Vito to turn point (4110N – 1300E) to key point St Aygulf (4323N – 0642E) at 20,000 feet at 1022 hours to turn point (4340N – 0600E) to IP (Jaques: 4338N – 0538E) to target. Axis of attack 350° True. Rallied left and continued on course to turn point (4300N – 0530E) to 4110N – 1300E to base.
Seven (7) P-51’s and four (4) P-38’s were observed over target but were not seen thereafter.
Visual observations indicate target well covered, four or five large fires seen, warehouses in target area hit. These observations are supported by bomb strike photos which show at least 50% of bombs of ‘A’ section within 1,000 feet of aiming point. There were two (2) direct hits on RR station. Many direct hits on warehouses on both sides of M/Y. It is impossible to count the bomb strikes from the following sections because the target was obscured by smoke from bombs of first section.
Fighters. Six (6) ME-109’s were seen at 1055 hours very high above this group’s formation. This group was at 17,500 feet. These enemy A/C dropped aerial bombs which were very inaccurate. The enemy A/C showed no attitude of aggressiveness.
Flak. Over target this group experienced moderate, accurate, heavy flak of the predicted variety which caused minor damage to thirteen (13) A/C.
[No losses. Thirteen (13) A/C received minor damage from flak. Three crewmen wounded by flak.]