I remember somewhere northeast of Benghazi, on November 11, 1942 - Armistice Day, nine of our B-24's bombed a troop ship carrying about 4,000 of Rommel's reinforcements. Each of our B-24's had six 1000 pound bombs. We approached the target, with its escort of destroyers, from about 19,000 feet. We were to bomb from 4,000 feet. At 4,000 feet, fighters were circling over the transport. Our flight leader chose to bomb from our present altitude of 19,000 feet. I don't think a bomb missed the troop ship. Our bombardier, Lt. Earl G. Matheny, reported the results over the intercom. At first he seemed elated and then sickened. He said, "Oh God, it is awful". A short way from the target we discovered that the bombs on our ship had not released. Something had malfunctioned. I think some of us felt relieved that our bombs had not contributed to the carnage three miles below.
I don't think the fighters ever knew we were up there until the ship was hit. They never came up to attack us. We salvoed our bombs somewhere in the Med on the way home. We were not supposed to land with them on board.