USAAF 15th Air Force
USAAF 15th Air Force created from part of 12th AF for purpose of strategic bombing.
Activation of the Fifteenth Air Force.
P-38's escort a supply dropping mission to Yugoslavia.
19 November - 2 December
P-38's escort a supply mission to Yugoslavia
P-38's carry out weather reconnaissance over the Adriatic Sea.
P-38's fly weather reconnaissance in Zadar (Zara) area.
11 December - 6 January 1944
B-17's, with P-38 escort, bomb an aircraft factory at Maribor and a torpedo factory at Rijeka (Fiume); the P-38's battle a superior number of enemy fighters over the Maribor area; 3 P-38's are lost and several are missing; 4 fighters are claimed destroyed, with 1 probably downed and 4 damaged, during the fierce half-hour fight.
B-24's bomb the airfield at Mostar.
B-17's hit the docks and shipping at Pula (Pola).
B-24's hit the marshalling yard at Skoplje.
Around 200 B-24's and B-17's attack the town area and airfield at Mostar. P-38's provide escort throughout the missions, and P-47's join the B-17's at the target and cover the flight back to base.
B-24's attack the town of Zadar (Zara); they claim 9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-24 is lost.
P-47's escort transport airplanes on a mission to Yugoslavia.
B-24's bomb the airfield and town area at Skoplje with P-38's escort.
25 January - 21 February
Recon flights only.
B-17s attack targets in Germany and the air depot at Zagreb; other B-24s pound the town of Sibenik and the harbor at Zadar (Zara); they claim 40 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed; 13 bombers are lost.
B-17s bomb oil refinery at Rijeka (Fiume).
B-17s hit the dock area at Pula (Pola). B-24s attack Rijeka (Fiume) marshalling yard and the port area at Zadar (Zara).
26 February - 18 March
Bad weather forbids all operations except reconnaissance missions.
150+ B-24s hit the air depot at Graz, Austria and the marshalling yards at Knin and Metkovic; Luftwaffe fighters provide fierce opposition and along with AA fire, shoot down 17 bombers and 1 fighter; US aircraft claim 30 enemy fighters destroyed in combat.
Bad weather limits operations to photographic and weather reconnaissance missions.
200+ other B-17s and B-24s turn back before reaching the target and before rendezvous with the fighter escorts; and 3 B-17s and 1 B-24 hit targets of opportunity in Italy and Yugoslavia; 6 B-24s are lost; the bombers claim 10 enemy fighters destroyed.
B-17s bomb Rijeka (Fiume) docks and shipping.
Nearly 350 B-17s and B-24s bomb marshalling yards at Sofia, Bulgaria and an industrial complex and airfield at Imotski. Escorting fighters and the bombers claim 13 enemy fighters shot down; 4 bombers are lost.
31 March / 1 April
530+ B-24s and B-17s (largest mission to date) attack targets in Austria and Yugoslavia; the B-17s hit the marshalling yard at Brod; the B-24s hit an air depot at Mostar and marshalling yard at Bihac; fighters fly 150+ sorties in support of the bombers; hundreds of enemy fighters oppose the missions and fierce air battles result in 19 bombers shot down and several missing; the AAF claims 150+ enemy fighters.
450+ B-17s and B-24s bomb targets in Hungary and Yugoslavia; the B-17s hit marshalling yard at Brod; the bombers and escorting fighters claim 24 enemy aircraft shot down.
334 B-17s and B-24s hit targets in Rumania and Yugoslavia; the B-17s bomb a marshalling yard at Nis; the B-24s hit a marshalling yard at Leskovac; fighters and AA shoot down 13 bombers.
B-24s bomb the airfield at Zagreb; numerous other B-24s and B-17s abort because of weather; escorting fighters and the bombers claim 17 enemy fighters destroyed in combat; 6 US aircraft are shot down.
Bad weather lifts, permitting bomber operations; almost 450 B-17s and B-24s attack targets in Austria and Yugoslavia; the B-17s hit Split; the B-24s hit the marshalling yard and air depot at Zagreb; 200+ P-38s and P-47s provide escort; the bombers and fighters claim 30+ enemy aircraft shot down; 8 US airplanes are known lost and several more fail to return.
Clearing weather again permits bomber operations. 448 B-17s and B-24s attack marshalling yards; B-17s hit Nis; 150+ fighters provide escort.
A special group, led by Lieutenant Colonel Louis A Neveleff, flies from HQ at Bari, Italy to Medeno Polji, Yugoslavia and from there the group proceeds to Marshall Tito's HQ at Drvar, where Colonel Neveleff confers with Tito and spends several days laying the groundwork for the evacuation of downed US airmen in Yugoslav hands. Also, much information is gathered regarding the military organization and political trend of the partisan movement. The mission returns to Italy on 2 May and 122 men, mostly Fifteenth Air Force airmen, are also evacuated.
432 B-17s and B-24s hit targets in Rumania and Yugoslavia; B-17s bomb the industrial area at Belgrad; 90+ fighters fly escort while 50+ others, failing to rendezvous with the bombers, strafe trains on the Craiova line E of Turnu Severin.
470 B-17s and B-24s hit targets in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia; B-17s bomb the industrial area, air depot and marshalling yard at Belgrade; 200+ fighters escort the missions; US aircraft claim 25 enemy aircraft downed in combat.
520+ bombers attack targets in Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Italy; B-17s bomb a an aircraft factory in Belgrade; 250+ fighters fly support for the bombers.
25 April - 4 May
640+ bombers (the largest force to date) attack targets in Rumania and Yugoslavia; the B-24s hit troop concentrations at Podgorica; fighters fly 240+ sorties in support.
420+ B-17s and B-24s bomb targets in Rumania and Yugoslavia; 38 B-17s also hit a railroad bridge at Belgrade, Yugoslavia; 62 P-51s escort heavy bombers to the target and 53 provide withdrawal escort; 84 P-38s fly target cover.
450+ bombers hit targets in Italy and Yugoslavia; the B-17s bomb troop concentrations at Bihac; fighters fly 130+ sorties of escort duty.
Almost 450 bombers, mostly with fighter escort, hit targets in Rumania and Yugoslavia; both B-17s and B-24s bomb the industrial area at Ploesti, Rumania and the marshalling yard at Belgrade; the B-17s also hit the marshalling yard at Nis; 300+ other bombers abandon the missions because of bad weather; fighters strafe airfields at Nis and Scutari.
Almost 700 bombers hit targets in France and Yugoslavia; B-24s hit troop concentrations at Bihac; fighters escort the bombers and strafe and dive-bomb the airfield at Donji Zemunik.
100+ B-24s bomb targets in Italy and marshalling yard and troop concentrations at Niksic. P-38s fly fighter sweeps against airfields in the Kurilovec area and vehicles, communications lines and targets of opportunity in the Knin-Bihac-Banja Luka area.
829 bombers (largest number of bombers completing attacks in a single day up to this time) bomb targets in Austria and Yugoslavia; B-17s and B-24s attack an aircraft factory at Wollesdorf, Austria; B-24s also attack industrial areas at Wiener Neustadt and Atzgersdorf, Austria and troop concentrations at Poderica, Yugoslavia. P-38s and P-51s escort the Austrian missions while P-38s accompany B-24s to Yugoslav targets and afterwards strafe numerous targets of opportunity; fighter opposition over Yugoslavia is negligible but around 150 fighters attempt interception over Austria, principally in the Wiener-Neustadt area; 23 AAF aircraft are lost; the bombers and fighters claim 60+ fighters shot down.
Nearly 500 bombers attack targets in Austria and Yugoslavia; B-17s attack the marshalling yard at Zagreb; P-38s and P-51s provide escort and many of the fighters strafe targets of opportunity in areas around Zut, Brod, Susak, Bihac, Medak, and along the Karlovac-Livno road.
31 May - 2 June
Bad weather drastically curtails operations. 36 B-24s bomb the waterfront area of Omis and 38 hit the port area and W part of Split. Fighters sent to strafe targets of opportunity in the target areas abandon the mission because of low clouds over the targets.
570+ other bombers attack targets in Yugoslavia and Romania, with fighter escort, B-17s hit the Belgrade marshalling yard and Turnu-Severin canal installations.
52 B-17s, with P-47 escort, bomb the navy yard and drydocks at Pula (Pola).
540+ B-17s and B-24s attack targets in Rumania and Yugoslavia; the B-17s attack the Smederevo marshalling yard; the AAF claims 60 aircraft destroyed during the days missions.
B-24s hit oil targets at Osijek and Sisak.
1 fighter group strafes targets along the Rijeka(Fiume)-Senj road and at other points on the Istrian peninsula.
Around 300 bombers attack targets in Hungary, Poland and Yugoslavia; B-24s hit marshalling yards at Brod; 75 to 90 enemy fighters attack the formations; 3 bombers are lost; the bombers and escorting fighters claim 30+ enemy planes shot down; 90 P-51s sweep Budapest area, claiming 7 fighters destroyed.
Bad weather causes 450+ bombers and 150+ fighters to abort missions; 188 B-17s and B-24s, escorted by 138 fighters, hit an airfield at Zagreb; and targets of opportunity in Hungary and Yugoslavia, including marshalling yards at Split, a highway bridge at Brac Island, airfield at Banja Luka.
620+ bombers hit targets in Hungary and Yugoslavia; B-17s bomb marshalling yards at Brod and Vinkovci; bombers and fighters claim 50+ fighters shot down; 14 US aircraft are shot down and as many more are missing.
600+ B-17s and B-24s attack targets in Rumania and Yugoslavia a bridge at Szeged, and oil storage at Belgrade; fighters fly 250+ sorties in support of the missions.
1 fighter group strafes 2 landing grounds and a troop train in Yugoslavia on the return trip to base.
560+ bombers attack targets in Germany and Yugoslavia; B-17s bomb Zagreb airfield and marshalling yard; the bombers and fighter escorts claim 50+ aircraft shot down during fierce battle with 275-300 fighters mainly in the Vienna-Budapest area; 18 US aircraft are listed as destroyed and a larger number missing.
B-17s and B-24s bombers hit alternate targets of the Kragujevac marshalling yard.
15 P-51s strafe roads and targets of opportunity in Yugoslavia near the Albanian border.
Fighters hit troop concentrations at Sjenica, Prijepolje, Pljevlja, and Andrijevica; fighters provide escort and strafe the Prizren area.
B-17s and B-24s bomb targets of opportunity in Austria and Yugoslavia; fighters provide escort and carry out sweeps.
Fighters fly escort and carry out patrols and sweeps in the Brod-Zagreb, Yugoslavia and Ploesti-Bucharest, Rumania areas; bombers and fighters claim 70+ enemy aircraft shot down.
300+ bombers attack targets in Hungary and Yugoslavia: B-17s bomb marshalling yards at Brod; P-38s and P-51s escort the missions.
31 July - 6 August
76 B-24s hit Alibunar Airfield and Novi Sad oil facilities.
Around 400 bombers, with fighter escort, hit targets in Hungary and Yugoslavia; B-17s bomb marshalling yard and oil refinery at Brod.
28 bombers hit military installations at Pec.
53 B-17s, with fighter cover, bomb Nish Airfield.
117 B-24s, escorted by P-51s, bomb Nish Airfield.
B-17s and B-24s bomb marshalling yard at Vinkovc.
550 bombers strike targets in Italy, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Yugoslavia; a railway bridge at Borovnica.
100+ B-24s and B-17s hit targets in Yugoslavia; the B-17s bomb railroad bridges at Novi Sad and Vranjeco; the B-24s attack bridges at Cuprija (?).
480+ B-17s and B-24s attack targets in Italy, Hungary and Yugoslavia; B-17s and B-24s attack railroad bridges at Tesica/Moravac, Mitrovica, and Kraljevo, marshalling yards at Novi Sad and the airfield at Nish.
380+ B-24s hit the Kraljevo railroad bridge and marshalling yard, a railroad bridge at Mitrovica, road a bridge at Supovac, and 3 marshalling yards at Nish; 27 P-38s dive-bomb the Cuprija road bridge while 57 P-38s and 112 P-51s strafe roads and railways in the Nish and Belgrade areas; other P-51s escort Nish and Supovac bombing missions.
B-24s dispatched to Yugoslavia cannot bomb the target because of total cloud cover.
542 B-24s attack communications targets in Rumania, Yugoslavia and Hungary and troop and tank concentrations in S Yugoslavia; marshalling yard at Novi Sad, a bridge at Belgrade, and tanks and troops at Leskovac.
354 B-17s and B-24s escorted by P-38s hit railroad bridges at Brod and Belgrade and marshalling yards at Sarajevo and Nish; 77 P-51s strafe airfields at Ecka, Petrovgrad, Ilandza, and Alibunar; other P-51s escort Royal Air Force (RAF) Beaufighters to Trieste, Italy and Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force (MATAF) C-47s on evacuation missions to Bucharest, Rumania and back to Italy.
463 B-17s and B-24s, some with fighter escort, hit marshalling yards at Subotica and Szeged and railroad bridges at Novi Sad and Belgrade and in Hungary; fighters maintain cover over the Budapest area.
96 B-24s attack railroad bridges at Kraljevo and Mitrovica; 70 P-38s provide target area cover.
345 B-17s and B-24s attack marshalling yards in Hungary, the railroad at Brod, Yugoslavia and in Hungary, highway bridges at Baja, in the Kiskore area, and at Tiszafured, plus the Novi Sad, Yugoslavia railroad bridge; 42 P-38s dive-bomb the Osijek, Yugoslavia marshalling yard; other fighters escort the bombers. 2 C-47s, with 8 P-51s escorting, evacuate Fifteenth AF personnel from Yugoslavia to Italy.
22 September - 10 October
Weather permits only photo and weather reconnaissance missions.
About 180 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escort, bomb targets in Austria, the Dravograd, railroad bridge on the Yugoslav-Hungarian boundary.
52 B-24s bomb a railroad bridge and marshalling yard at Maribor.
Heavy bombers attack a railroad bridge at Maribor and targets of opportunity scattered throughout the Balkans. P-51s escort a C-47 picking up personnel at Valjevo Airfield.
38 P-38s dive-bomb Vinkovci.
P-38s fly photo and weather reconnaissance; 174 B-24s, dispatched against a target in Yugoslavia, are forced to return because of weather.
B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escorts, bomb targets of opportunity including marshalling yards at Gussing, Ljubljana and Cakovec, and scattered communications targets in Yugoslavia.
B-17s and B-24s troop concentration at Podgorica.
42 other B-24s, with fighter escort, bomb troop concentrations at Mitrovica and Podgorica.
B-17s and B-24s bomb Maribor marshalling yard.
B-17s and B-24s attack Maribor and Alipasin Most and troop concentrations at Novi Pazar, Sjenica, Prijepolje, and Mitrovica; fighters escort all operations except the attacks on troop concentrations; 124 P-38s strafe troop concentrations at Podgorica and roads and railroads near Raska, between Visegrad-Prijepolje-Sjenica and from Sjenica to Novi Pazar.
34 B-24s bomb troop concentrations at Mitrovica, Prijepolje, and Sjenica. Heavy cloud over the targets forces 70+ others to abort.
B-17s and B-24s attack troop concentration at Novi Pazar; fighters escort the Novi Pazar raid.
B-17s and B-24s attack troop concentrations at Visegrad; 26 other P-38s strafe transport targets on roads between Sarajevo and Novi Pazar.
630+ B-17s and B-24s attack targets in Germany, Austria, Hungary and marshalling yards at Maribor, plus several scattered targets of opportunity.
B-17s and B-24s bomb troop concentrations at Visegrad; 12 P-38s bomb the troop concentrations at Visegrad.
B-24s and B-17s bomb Maribor marshalling yards; 19 P-38s dive-bomb troop concentrations at Prijepolje and Novi Pazar.
92 B-24s attack the Sarajevo marshalling yard, and railroad bridges at Doboj, Zenica, and Fojnica and 11 P-38s divebomb a marshalling yard at Brod.
25 B-24s bomb troop concentrations, railroad, and highways at Novi Pazar and Cacak. 155 P-38s dive-bomb communications lines in S Yugoslavia, destroying several vehicles, blasting roads at Vucitrn, Rogatica, Tvrdosevo, and Duga Poljana, hitting bridges at Vrbasici, and Kukavica and causing a landslide at Pavlica; 87 P-51s strafe communications over wide areas of S Yugoslavia; other fighters fly reconnaissance missions.
81 B-24s attack road and railroad bridges at or near Zenica, Brod, and Doboj; 30 P-38s bomb the Doboj marshalling yard, 13 hit Doboj road and rail bridge, and 4 attack, but miss, a bridge at Maglaj; 13 B-24s and B-17s drop supplies at points in Yugoslavia.
P-38s and P-51s fly photo and weather reconnaissance missions.
Bad weather limits operations to reconnaissance flights.
P-38s and P-51s fly reconnaissance over Yugoslavia, Italy, and Germany.
14 B-17s and B-24s drop supplies in Yugoslavia.
26 P-38s bomb a railroad bridge at Zenica, Yugoslavia. Bad weather prevents heavy bomber operations.
Bad weather again cancels heavy bomber operations. P-38s, escorted by P-51s, fly photo and weather reconnaissance missions.
B-17s and B-24s attack marshalling yards at Maribor; P-51s and P-38s escort the bombers, cover Royal Air Force (RAF) supply missions to Yugoslavia.
P-38s fly photo and weather reconnaissance missions; P-51s escort the photo reconnaissance flights over N Yugoslavia.
1 B-24 bombs Zagreb railroad sidings; 69 others abort due to total cloud cover over the target; 38 P-51s fly cover over the target area; 33 P-38s bomb the N railroad bridge at Doboj; other operations are limited to reconnaissance, supply drops, and escort.
400+ B-17s and B-24s attack N and S marshalling yards, a railroad bridge, and a highway bridge at Brod; because of overcast, only 1 of 112 bombers sent against the Zagreb marshalling yard bombs the target while others abort; 46 P-38s bomb the S railroad bridge at Doboj and 59 P-51s sweep from Zagreb to Gyor, Hungary. Other P-38s fly reconnaissance missions and reconnaissance escort and cover Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force (MATAF) B-25s on a supply run.
680 B-17s and B-24s bomb targets in Austria; oil storage at Pula; shipyard and harbor of Trieste; the town of Bratislava, Czechoslovakia; and several scattered targets of opportunity; 274 P-38s and P-51s provide escort. 8 B-24s drop supplies in Yugoslavia. 10 P-38s sweep the Zagreb-Karlovac-Sisak area. Other P-38s fly reconnaissance and escort operations.
12 B-24s drop supplies and 11 P-51s sweep the Zagreb area. Other P-51s and P-38s fly reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort.
640+ B-17s and B-24s with fighter support hit targets in Austria and Hungary and the marshalling yards, 2 at Zagreb and 2 at Maribor, the Pula harbor, the Maribor locomotive depot and rolling stock repair shops, and several targets of opportunity. P-38s and P-51s carry out reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort missions.
500+ B-24s and B-17s bomb targets in Austria; Celje, Maribor, and Zagreb; and several scattered targets of opportunity; P-38s also bomb the Moosbierbaum refinery and Maribor marshalling yard; other P-38s and P-51s escort the bombers, fly photo and weather reconnaissance, and escort reconnaissance missions.
630+ B-24s and B-17s, with fighter escort, bomb marshalling yards in Hungary, Austria and in Zagreb (2 yards) and Ljubljana and several scattered targets of opportunity; other B-24s, with P-51 escort, drop supplies in Yugoslavia; F-5s, P-38s and P-51s fly reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort operations.
12 P-38s sweep the Zagreb area. Supply mission to Yugoslavia and reconnaissance operations are successful.
634 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escorts, hit targets in Czechoslovakia and Austria and Zagreb. 90 P-38s dive-bomb bridges at Ptuj, 42 of them afterwards strafing rail traffic in Yugoslavia and Austria. B-17s and B-24s drop supplies in N Italy and in Yugoslavia. F-5s continue reconnaissance missions, including a larger than usual number of photo reconnaissance flights (most of them heavily escorted) over Italy, Germany, Austria, and Yugoslavia.
98 P-38s dive-bomb the Ptuj and Zagreb railroad bridges, the Klinca Sela marshalling yard, and the Sisak marshalling yard and bridge; B-24s, with fighter escort, drop supplies and F-5s, P-38s and P-51s fly reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort.
Bad weather limits operations to reconnaissance and supply missions, a fighter-bomber attack by P-38s on the Varazdin railroad bridge, after which many of the P-38s strafe railroad communications in the Zagreb, Varazdin and Maribor, and in Austria areas, and a strafing mission against rail communications and airfields in the Graz and Wiener-Neustadt, Austria, Maribor, and Szombathely, Hungary areas.
28 P-38s and P-51s sweep the Zagreb-Graz area and others fly reconnaissance.
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