15 April 1945
Nervessa Railroad Bridge Diversion, Italy
Blue Force, which was led by Major Baker, bombed the Nervessa Railroad Bridge in Northern Italy. Unfavorable weather at the target prevented one box of six planes from bombing. The other twelve planes, however, did bomb with satisfactory results for a score of 36.1 per cent. The pattern was none too good; the major concentration of bombs fell 800 feet short of the aiming point. Two planes were damaged at the target, though the flak was described as slight, inaccurate, and heavy.
"I send my most hearty congratulations to your entire command
for your record effort of 15 April in support of our ground forces. To your
ground personnel particularly great credit is due for the near miracle of
maintenance which allowed 1233 heavy bombers and 629 fighters to be dispatched
on that day. Operational and Intelligence staffs were conceived, planned and
directed the execution have every reason to be proud. And to the combat leaders
and crews for a splendid day's work I extend my appreciation and commendation."
"I want you to know how deeply I appreciate the thoroughly
effective support which the Air Forces under your command have already given
to the 15Th Army Group in the current attack. Your excellent cooperation began
with the planning phases of our operation and has continued in a manner which
is most gratifying to all personnel in the 5th and 8th Armies which you are
Order of the Day Number 2. "The advances of our ground forces
have brought to a close the strategic air war waged by the United States Strategic
Air Forces and the Royal Air Forces Bomber Command. It has been won with a
decisiveness becoming increasingly evident as our armies overrun Germany.
From now onward our strategic air forces must operate with our tactical air
forces in close cooperation with our armies. All units of the United States
Strategic Air Forces are commended for their part in winning the strategic
air war and are enjoined to continue with undiminished effort and precision
the final tactical phase of air action to secure the ultimate objective --
complete defeat of Germany."