Forty (40) B-24’s took off at 0549 – 0615 hours to bomb Romano Americana oil refinery at Ploesti. Six (6) returned early. Thirty-three (33) dropped 78 tons of 500-lb GP bombs with .1 and .01 fuses on target at 0943 hours from 21,000 to 24,500 feet. Five of the thirty-three (33) A/C over the target jettisoned 32 tons at the following points: (All jettisoned because of mechanical difficulties.)

4125N – 2140E, 4 bombs
Lake Ohridsko, 2 bombs
4245N – 2410E, 2 bombs
Open field Bulgaria, 2 bombs
Adriatic off Yugoslav coast., 4 bombs

Total: 14 bombs: 3-1/2 tons.

Of the six early returns, bombs were disposed of as follows:

Jettisoned Returned to Base

1 A/C 3 bombs 7 bombs
1 A/C 10 bombs
1 A/C 10 bombs
1 A/C 10 bombs
1 A/C 10 bombs
1 A/C 10 bombs

Totals: 33 bombs 27 bombs
(8-1/4 tons) (6-3/4 tons)

Thirty-two (32) A/C returned at 1320 – 1353 hours. 1 A/C returned at 1515 hours after refueling at Brindisi. One (1) missing. None at friendly fields.

Rendy with 98th at San Vito at 13,000 feet (5 miles right of San Vito, 3 minutes early). Thence to 4056N – 1925E, to 4110N – 2155E, to 4404N – 2641E, to 4428N – 2625E, to 4442N – 2607E, to target attacking on an axis of 353° True. The rally was right, thence to 4404N – 2641E, to 4104N – 2130E, to 4056N – 1925E, to base.

The group was slightly off course at times due to weather, however, the key points were hit on the head. No flak was encountered by the formation except at the target.

A most effective smoke screen obscured visual observation and photo coverage of bombing. Bursts visible on strike photo show approximately 90 bursts in open field 6,000 to 7,000 feet directly south of target.

Fighters. Six (6) to eight (8) FW-190’s and twenty (20) ME-109’s were observed in the target area. … E/Fs stayed in clouds and made single attacks in pairs against stragglers. On one attack, 2 fighters came in together from 5 and 8 o’clock high, made one pass, broke away in a dive. E/Fs would parallel formation and make attack from 2 o’clock level. A number of single attacks (from all around the clock) were made by pairs. Generally fighters were not too aggressive. Of all E/Fs sighted, probably only three FW-190’s and six ME-109’s attacked this group.

Flak. Intense, moderately accurate, heavy flak was encountered over the target. Duration of flak four to seven minutes.

Miscellaneous. Our A/C #55 turned back at 0845 hours, at 4250N – 2450E. At the same place at approximately 0850 hours, six (6) ME-109’s were seen. At 0850 hours, 4339N – 2606E, five (5) FW-190’s were seen attacking a B-24 which started to smoke.

[Total losses listed as one missing. Twenty-three (23) aircraft were damaged by flak; four suffering major damage. No casualties and no victories.]

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