Thirty-nine B-24’s took off at 0550 hours to bomb Constanta oil storage facilities. Two early returns brought 4 tons back to base. Thirty-seven dropped 73-7/8 tons of 250-lb GP bombs with .1 nose and mixed .01 and .025 tail fuses on the target at 0952 hours from 20,000 to 23,800 feet and jettisoned 1/8 ton at 4051N – 1915E at 1243 hours from 8,000 feet because of malfunction. Thirty-six returned to base at 1335 hours. None lost. One missing. None at friendly fields.
Rendezvoused with other Groups of Wing over San Pancrazio at 7,000 feet at 0654 hours. Thence to key point at 4200N – 2300E, to turn point at Razgard (4332N – 2631E), to 2 miles North of IP, to target attacking on axis of 112° True. Rallied right and continued on briefed route to 4335N – 2640E where formation went about 50 miles on 270° heading to point 4335N – 2530E to avoid flak areas, thence to key point 4200N – 2300E, and then to base. Escort of P-51’s were seen only on penetration, none over target or on withdrawal.
Fairly good coverage of the target area was claimed by visual observation. Photographic coverage confirmed these claims. The eastern and western portions of the target were well covered while the central portion was partially covered. There were numerous hits on the M/Y bordering the target on the south, and several on the oil storage tanks comprising today’s target for the 450th Group. Many bursts were in the open fields and residential area immediately east and northeast of the target.
Fighters: About 10 ME-109’s were seen at the key point (4200N – 2300E) at 0832 hours, altitude 17,000 feet. 6 ME-109’s (probably included in the above 10 E/A) attacked the lower and last of the 3 attack units of the Group flying at 15,700 feet, making 3 passes from 9 o’clock, at 4220N – 2320E at 0834 hours. About 15 ME-109’s were observed at Karlova (4240N – 2450E) at 0840 hours at 17,000 feet. (Probably these included the E/A above mentioned as it was reported that the E/A did follow behind the formation, so that the total E/A seen was 15 and not 31 as reported in the telephone report.)
Flak: Over the target moderate, accurate, heavy flak of aimed type was reported, and the formation was in flak there for about three minutes.
Smoke Screens: At 0959 hours just after bombs were away smoke pots around the harbor and on boats in the harbor were started too late for any effectiveness.
One B-24 seen lagging behind formation at 1020 at 4327N – 2603E, it having reported itself to be low on gas. At 1054 a B-24 was seen to make a forced landing at 4315N – 2520E. It appeared to get down all right. It was a silver ship (#64 from this Group was silver); no chutes out.
B-24 seen to start over Adriatic and then turn back at 4100N – 1950E at 1240 hours into Albania. It was a silver ship about 5,000 feet below the formation and was from “A” or “C” attack unit. All four engines were operating, and no chutes were seen.
From Flak: 0
From fighters: 0
Other reasons: 1 (Missing)
From Flak: 8 (6 minor)
From fighters: 0
Other reasons: 0