[ S E C R E T ]
|VI. Relation of Flak Experience to Success of Missions Against Bridges:|
The last four columns in Appendix I and II are headed "D, DA B, and M". "D"
stands for destroyed, meaning that the bridge was knocked down. "DA" stands for damaged, meaning that the bridge was hit, not knocked down, but damaged.
"B" is the abbreviation for blocked. This means that the was missed and is
undamaged but that the approach or line at either end of the bridge has been
cut or blocked. "M" means that the target was completely missed. The
following are the totals for the months of September and October, arranged to
compare results on bridge targets when the attack experienced flak during the
bombing run with results when attacks were free from flak on the bombing run.
|RESULTS WITH FLAK ON THE|
|RESULTS WITH NO FLAK ON THE|
The effect of flak upon results shows up in the comparisons of bridgesdestroyed And bridges missed. Only one bridge out of 48 (2%) was destroyedwhen flak was experienced on the bomb run as opposed to 12 out of 58 (21%)destroyed when the bomb runs were flak free. 28 percent were completely missed when flak was experienced on the bomb run in contrast to 3 percent on flak free targets.
The one bridge destroyed when flak was experienced on the bomb run wasat Ostiglia, the mission of 26 September, attacked by three formations. The17th bomb Group lost 3 A/C and had 17 damaged by flak. Their attack missedthe target, blocking the approaches. The 319th Bomb Group had 1 A/C destroyedand 12 holed by flak. They hit and damaged the bridge. The 320th Bomb Grouplost no A/C over the target although 24 A/C were damaged, but they destroyed the bridge. The correlation between A/C losses and results of bombing in thisisolated instance might be considered a coincidence if it were not inagreement with the general trend demonstrated by the results of the twomonth's experience as a whole. A comparison of intensities and accuracies offlak experienced with bombing results did not reveal any trend ofsignificance.
VII. Smoke Screens: Smoke pots were reported at Mori on 3 October, and at Rovereto 12-13 October. On 3 October smoke screens were observed at Rovereto Fuel dump, at Verona A/D, and between Ala and Avio. No smoke screens were encountered in the period covered by this report in any target area attacked.
VIII. Miscellaneous Phenomena: On 18 October, several bursts of possible rocket flak were reported from Sestri Levanti. They were large red bursts, 500 feet above the formation. Also on 18 October, a shower of silver objects about the size of silver dollars was reported in the vicinity of Alfonsine. These objects were seen floating at 10,500 feet and descending very slowly.