Forty B-24’s took off at 0600 – 0635 hours to bomb Trieste Oil Refineries. Forty dropped 98-3/4 tons of 500-lb GP bombs, fused .1 nose and mixed tail .01 and .025, on Trieste Oil refineries at 0940 – 0944 hours from 19,000 to 21,000 feet. Three jettisoned 3/4 tons because of malfunctions, one three minutes away from target, one at Pianosa, and the other off Taranto Harbor. Forty returned to base at 1201 hours.
Rendezvoused with other groups of Wing over San Vito at 3,000 feet at 0707 hours. Thence to key point at Vieste (4153N – 1611E), to turn point at (4337N – 1345E), to turn point at (4520N – 1300E), to IP to target, attacking on an axis of 101° True. Rallied right and continued to point at (4435N – 1400E) to base. No specific rendezvous was made with escort but friendly fighters were seen in target area.
Because of stratus clouds at low levels in target area amounting to 5/10, results are difficult to ascertain. Visual observation reported exceptionally large fire was started in target area. Photographs reveal 11 strikes among oil storage installations at C/4-4, 10 strikes among buildings in small inlet at M/5, and 30 – 40 strikes in open water of Zaule Bay 3,000 – 5,000 feet west of aiming point. A direct hit was reported on one merchant vessel.
Approximately 12 E/A were seen in target area of which 9 were ME-109’s and 3 were unidentified. No encounters with E/A were experienced by this group. Air-to-air bombing (probable) was reported at (4440N – 1415E) at 1110 hours. 20 bombs were dropped through formation and vapor trails of 5 A/C were reported at same time.
Over the target scant, inaccurate, heavy flak of aimed type was reported and formation was in flak area about three minutes. Red, white and black flak bursts were reported.
At 1005 hours from 14,000′ at 4443N – 1410E, B-24 ditched. Saw A/C float about 10 minutes and saw raft in water. Reported to Air-Sea Rescue Squadron on this base.
[No Losses. Minor damage from flak to four planes. No casualties and no victories.]