Twenty-eight B-24’s took off at 0557 hours to bomb Ploesti Concordia Vega Oil Refinery. Four early returns of which three returned 7-1/2 tons to base and one jettisoned 2-1/2 tons at 4423N – 2143E. One A/C which bombed the target dropped 3/4 ton to remain in formation. Twenty-four dropped 58-1/4 tons of 500-lb GP bombs with .1 nose and mixed .025 and non-delay tail fuses on the target at 1018 hours from 21,000 to 24,000 feet. Nineteen returned to base at 1343 hours and one returned from a friendly field at 1600 hours. One lost. One missing. One crashed at friendly field. One at friendly field.
Rendezvoused with other Groups of Wing over San Vito at 0706 hours at 6,000 feet. Thence to key point Ston (4250N – 1742E) at 0801 hours at 12,000 feet, to Plugova (4458N – 2211E), to Zarnesti (4533N – 2519E), to Telea Jenul (4528N – 2556E), to IP Maneciul (4519N – 2559E) to target, attacking on an axis of 176° True. Rallied sharp right and continued on briefed route to rally point Hinova (4433N – 2247E), to Ston (4250N – 1742E), to base.
Rendezvoused with escort of 8 P-38’s at 0754 hours at 4243N – 1725E at 12,700 feet. P-38’s departed at 1107 hours 4437N – 1243E at 17,700 feet. Twenty-five P-51’s rendezvoused at 1000 hours 4533N – 2519E at 22,000 feet and departed 20 minutes after target.
There was no jamming of the command frequency.
A high column of smoke up to 20,000 feet visible for 150 miles from the target was seen in vicinity of Xenia Refinery on the run into the target. Four smaller columns 8 to 10,000 feet high were seen in our target after we bombed, in conjunction with 3 or 4 explosions and fires. Photos showed little except the one very large smoke column.
Fighters: 10 ME-109’s were seen to attack the group following this group into the target. 3 FW-190’s shadowed a straggling B-24 into Yugoslavia but no encounters were sustained at either time.
Flak: Intense, accurate, heavy flak was experienced over the target, and the formation was in the flak from 4 to 7 minutes. Black bursts and larger red bursts that hung in the air were seen over the target.
Air Observations: At 1105 hours, 14,500 feet, Turnu Severin (4347N – 1917E), A/C #21 throwing equipment out of ship. Crew started bailing out. At 1156 hours, 11,000 feet, Visegrad (4347N -1917E) between this point and 4329N – 1859E, 9 men bailed out and ship crashed. At 1345 hours, 10,000 feet, 10 miles east of Gioia, a B-24 (#66) crash landed and burned, killing 5 and injuring 5 of crew.
From Flak :3 (1 lost, 1 missing, 1 crashed at friendly field.)
From Fighters: 0
Other reasons: 0
From Flak: 13 (10 moderate, 3 severe)
From Flak: 2 (slightly wounded)
Crash landing: Killed — 5
Injured — 5