29 December, 1944
Target: Rosenheim Marshalling Yard, Germany and Castelfranco Veneto Railroad Junction, Italy.
The last mission of the month, flown on 29 December, was led by Lt. Colonel Hardy. The primary target was the Passau Marshalling Yard in Germany. As had been case earlier in December, Lt. Colonel Hardy drew especially bad weather assignment. Scattered cirrus which extended up to 22,000 feet over the Adriatic, split the twenty-eight planes into two formations. Two flights, above a solid undercast, bombed the marshalling yard at Rosenheim, Germany, with unobserved results. The other two flights visually bombed the locomotive depot at Castelfranco Veneto where the weather was clear. The photographs of the bombing of Castelfranco show a close concentrated pattern of hits on the large repair shop, the center of the marshalling yard, the west choke point, an industrial plant southeast of the locomotive depot, and the highway overpass.
On returning to the Base three of the four flights found a hole south of the spur at Lake Lesina through which to let down for a return to the Base. The fourth flight failed to find a hole and was compelled to land at Iesi and Falconara where they remained until late afternoon of 31 December. Captain Murphy, the Group Bombardier, completed his tour of duty on this mission. With the exception of eighteen officers who returned to the Group on rotation to the United States, Captain Murphy was the last individual among the flying officers of the original Group and Squadron staffs and combat crew members to complete a tour of duty. He was aboard one of the planes which landed at Iesi. When he returned to the Base he learned of his promotion to Major.
COMMENDATION From: TWX A 00504 To: All Concerned The following message received from General Twining is quoted for your information cite XVAF A230. "The results of the bombing by the 461st Bomb Group against the alternate target, the locomotive depot at Castelfranco, were most excellent. My highest commendations to the crews who turned in this splendid performance."
Messages and Commendations From: Headquarters 49th Bomb Wing, 26 December 1944. To: All Concerned : The following teletype is quoted for your information, XVAF A 226. Herewith Christmas message from Spaatz: 'I extend my hearty wish for a joyous Christmas to every man in your command, both those flying the planes and those helping them in the air, and express to them my firm belief in their continuous effective use of air power in the year to come so ably displayed in the year 1944.'