Cause enemy to deploy forces by attacking enemy lines of communications
along the coast of Italy from Leghorn south to Civitavecchia. From aerial
reconnaissance map provided by the 63rd Fighter Wing, a bridge over
a ravine near the coast was selected as primary target.
The section composed of a boat party of two officers and one enlisted
man and a shore party of one officer and 9 enlisted men departed base
at Bastia by US Navy PT Boat 216 the evening of 2 January 1944. At 0150
hours 3 January the shore party was launched in rubber boats, reaching
shore at 0220 hours. Going through a trench, a deep strip of woods and
a barbed wire fence they found the bridge larger then expected - single
span masonry arch about 30 feet wide. Placing a single charge of 250
pounds of composition C plastic explosive in the north pier with two
2-hour explosive pencil charges. Work was completed at 0300 hours when
the men returned to the rubber boats and signaled the boat party for
pickup. All men were back on board the PT Boat at 0340 hours. At approximately
0500 hours, when about twelve miles from from shore, the watch on the
boat reported a bright flash in the area of the target.
After the section returned that morning to base
at Bastia, the 63rd Fighter Wing made a fly-over observation of the
target. Their report, "Bridge on highway at Q 074345, part of railing
blown away but paving still intact. All other bridges intact. No traffic
seen along highway." The section's assessment was that the fly
over reconnaisance report confirmed that the explosive charge went off.
Placement of the charge was to give greatest damage to the sub-structure,
therefore would not show to aerial observation.
Summary written from EOM report obtained
from NASA author unidentified