Description: 20 January 1945
Target: Linz North Main Marshalling Yard, Austria
For Mission No. 164 Captain Roberts drew the assignment of leading what turned out to be the roughest mission of the month of January. The target was the North Main Marshalling Yard at Linz, Austria. For purposes of destroying rolling stock in the yard, 100 pound general purpose bombs were used. With only a four-tenths cloud coverage at the target the flak was extremely intense, accurate and heavy. Twenty-one of the twenty-five airplanes over the target were hit. Two of these were extremely hard hit and exploded before they could completely roll out of the formation on the bomb run. These explosions spread the formation with the result that the bombs were scattered over a comparatively large area at the extreme northern end of the marshalling yard. The two planes lost were flown by 2nd Lt. Joseph M. O'Neal and 2nd Lt. James R. Yancey. Four other combat crew members were wounded on this mission.
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force):
345 B-17s and B-24s attack N and S main marshalling yards and station sidings at Linz, Austria, marshalling yards at Salzburg, Austria and Rosenheim, Germany, and oil storage at Regensburg, Germany; fighters escort the bombers and fly reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort missions.