Below is an exact reproduction of the report filed by the B-24 crew that shot three Do-24T's out of the water on September 11th 1943. Click here if you want to see a scan of the report (97,2 Kb). This report was handed to me by Juan Carlos Salgado, for which I'm very gratefull.
From: 328 Wing.
SCORU (3) 242 Group (1)
Oprep No. 30 for Operation No. 808 completed by 1st A/S (USAAF)
Sqdn for period
ending 2000B/ 10 September.
A. 1350B/10 A/B Protville 1 on special
A/S hunt west or Sardinia and Corsica.
1604 WJBW 1344 Started patrol.
1650B VWXE 4050 left position of attack due to lack of ammunition and tail
gun being u/s.
1950 Protville 1. Landed.
Sighted about 200 survivors in lifeboats, liferafts, ship wreckage
oil slick (very large) about 15 miles SW of attack. (for narrative of combat
see supplementary report following).
Weather 7/10 cu 1500ft. Vis 5-8 miles. Wind 170/15 kts. Sea smooth.
B. Liberator B24D. (2)
Not completed. Destroyed 3 enemy seaplanes and
D. 5 hrs 15 mins.
E. (1) 2600 x .60 (2) 1800 x .5.
F. (1) 8 x 325 DCs. (2) and (3) Nil.
J. Three enemy seaplanes destroyed.
K. Green 3/9
L. A/C "C" Pilot Capt. McKeown. Nav. Ly. W. G. Murphy.
M. SC R617C.
At 1617B on a/s sweep NW of Sardinia, flying at 1000 ft with
vis five miles, due to
haze below, 7/10 cu, base of 1200, speed 160 m.p.h., was turning to starboard when on
course of 148 had radar contact 18 miles dead ahead. Three miles further a second
target was indicated at two miles 15 degrees left, but nothing was sighted. Pilot
immediately climbed into cloud to 1500 ft heading for first indication. At five miles
from target Capt went down to 500 feet, sighted three seaplanes on water about 3
miles, 15 degrees port. "C" passed about 1½ miles ahead of triangular formation of the
three flying boats which through the haze appeared to be PBYs. Crew had been briefed
on probability of Italian seaplanes in area and instructed to ignore them unless they
proved hostile. The three a/c sighted were about 200/300 ft apart in position VWXE
4050. After passing ahead of the triangular formation "C" turned about 45 degrees to
port and crew sighted a few miles away about 200 survivors in life vests in the water,
in lifeboats, in wreckage and orange and black life rafts. These were strung out
about five miles. "C" circled and dropped smoke flares when a very large oil slick
a few miles long was observed another mile away. After a look at the oil slick Capt
decided to return and identify three a/c/. "C" passed ¾ mile astern the formation
and saw black swastikas on tails, black crosses on wings and fuselage against grey
background. Two were DO24s and one DO26 flying boats. "C" climbed from 500 feet
to 1000 and decided to attack with gunfire. At this time all three e/a started taxy-
ing turning to port to take off. The run in was made at 50 ft, the attack from star-
board of the nearest ship. An S turn was accomplished in order to attack the other
two a/c on the same run. Bombardier and Nav. from the nose, top turret and both waist
gunners and tail gunner all fired .50 when in position. Three more attacks were com-
pleted when large flames and smoke was pouring from all three a/c. Fire estimated
to be 20 m.m. was seen coming from nose and top turrets of e/a. No injury or damage
to "C". Radio sent message to base before initial attack. Second message "two
down - one to go" at 1650B "C" set course to base due to depletion of ammunition and
tail gun being u/s. Position was N and W of Sardinia and Corsica. Both hostile.
Pilot returned to base at 50 ft to avoid detection by enemy D/F. Landed 1950B.