Mission Number: 69
Date: 29 May ’44
Target: Wiener-Neustadt, Austria Air Drome
449th A/C Over Target: 33
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 82-1/2 GP
Enemy A/C Destroyed: 3 (Des)
449th A/C Lost: 2
Thirty-eight B-24’s took off at 0548 hours to bomb Wiener-Neustadt Wollersdorf A/D. 3 returned early with bombs to base. Thirty-three dropped 82-1/2 tons of 500-lb GP bombs with .1 & .01 fuses on target at 1010 hours from 20,000 to 23,000 feet. One dropped 2-1/2 tons on target of opportunity (a small factory at 4757N – 1505E) setting it on fire. The reason for dropping was that this A/C called in on command set shortly before 0957 hours and said he was having trouble with turbo. Group leader instructed him to jettison bombs. At that instant, the target of opportunity was observed and effectively hit. This was 13 minutes before target time. One A/C jettisoned 2-1/2 tons [at] 1008 hours on the bomb run when attacked by six ME-110s. Thirty-three returned to base at 1257 hours. One lost. One missing. None at friendly fields.
Rendezvous with 450th Group over Manduria at 3,000 feet at 0653 Baker on course to San Vito. Time at San Vito 0656 Baker, to Biograd (4356N – 1527E) key point 12,000 feet at 0823 hours to turn point Ostarije (4514N – 1517E) to turn point Litije (4603N – 1450E) to turn point Zeltweg (4711N – 1445E) to turn point Frankerfels (4759N – 1520E) to IP to target. Axis of attack 120° True. Rallied right and continued on course to Furstenfeld (4703N -1605E) to turn point Vrbovec (4553N – 1625E) to turn point Drvenik (4327N – 1609E) to base.
Excellent fighter escort provided by 40 or more P-38’s which provided penetration as far as Graz and was thereafter seen strafing Yugoslavian roads and installations. 40 or more P-51’s provided excellent cover over the target and on withdrawal therefrom.
Visual observations indicate target well hit, much smoke and flames were reported. Three large explosions were observed, believed to be from oil installations. Smoke rose to 13,000 feet. Buildings in target area were seen to be on fire. Direct hits on middle and east hangars in target area. Planes reported burning on ground in target area. Bomb strike photos show at least 70 bursts within 1,000 feet of aiming point. There were many near misses and possible direct hits on hangars and other buildings in target area.
In the target area, 20 FW-190’s, 20 to 30 ME-110’s and ME-109’s, 10 JU-88’s and 15 ME-210’s were seen. All attacks were in the target area. 1 ME-109 attacked with rockets from 6 o’clock. In another attack there were 2 elements of 3 ME-110s each, attacking from 5 o’clock level firing rockets and 20mm, closing to within 100 yards. 4 JU-88’s made a pass from 6 o’clock level and peeled off at 700 to 800 yards. Several T/E fighters out about 8,000′ and low, lobbing rockets into the formation. No specific marking was reported, however, the predominate color of all were silver.
Over the target this group experienced intense, accurate, heavy flak of the predicted variety which caused minor damage to 14 A/C.
– B-24 down over target. Seen to crash. 5 chutes seen.
– B-24 down at 4800N – 1600E; ten chutes seen.
– B-24 exploded at 4710N – 1605E, 1018 hours.
– 0850 hours, B-24 on ground on A/D near Ostarije, silver job and seemed intact.
Total losses: One (1); Missing – 1.
Victories: 1 ME-210, 1 ME-110, 1 JU-88 destroyed. 1 ME-109 damaged.