Twenty-seven B-24’s took off at 0643 hours to bomb Pitesti RR Bridge Repair Facilities. One early return jettisoned 2.5 tons and one A/C over target jettisoned .5 tons. Twenty-six A/C dropped 64.5 tons on the target at 1023 hours from 19,400 to 20,500 feet. Twenty-six returned to base at 1342 hours.
Rendezvoused with other groups of Wing over San Vito at 0658 hours at 6,000 feet. Thence to turn point at Bar (4205N – 1905E) to key point Uzice (4352N – 1951E) to Bumbesti Jiu (4512N – 2323E) to IP to target, attacking on a heading of 124° True. Rallied right and continued on briefed route to key point Uzice (4352N – 1951E) to turn point Bar (4205N – 1905E) to base.
Escort of about 30 P-38’s rendezvoused at 0945 hours at 4442N – 2215E. These P-38’s provided penetration, target cover, and withdrawal cover, dogfighting with E/F on withdrawals. P-51’s were seen also in target area. The fighter cover was evaluated as excellent by crew members of this group.
No radio interference was experienced.
Visual observation reported excellent coverage of the briefed target area with considerable fire and smoke resulting. Photo coverage confirms excellent results with good concentration around aiming point and some hits in residences in west side of target.
About 20 enemy A/C were sighted just after target consisting of about 15 ME-109’s and 5 FW-190’s. Formation was under three separate attacks by about 15 ME-109’s after rallying off the target. The first attack came at 1033 hours at 4545N – 2425E, the second at 1042 hours at 4435N – 2355E, and the third at approximately the same area at 1045 hours. E/A attacked from out of sun in groups of 3 to 7 from 11 to 12 o’clock high, firing rockets and then closing to M/G attacks. E/A were very aggressive, flying right through formation and out at 6 o’clock below. 4 E/A attacked from 9 o’clock level, broke toward tail and showed their bellies, closing to 200 yards. Other attacks were made from all around the clock, high, level and low, singly and fours and fives and very aggressive. Markings: some ME-109’s were reported with black tops and white bellies, other E/A as silver with black band around fuselage behind wings, and others as cream color with green crosses.
No flak was experienced over the target.
At 1033 hours, ME-109 seen to explode and pilot bail out just after rally. At 1045 hours, ME-109 shot down by 4 P-51’s. At 1025 hours, just after rally, 3 E/F shot down by escort. At 1030 hours, ME-109 destroyed by P-51. Pilot bailed out.
[Total losses: None. Eight B-24’s damaged from fighters (4 severe, 4 minor). No casualties. 4 ME-109’s destroyed, 1 ME-109 probably destroyed. 1 ME-109 damaged.]