Marauder II Bombs Banja Luka, Yugoslavia

Martin Marauder II (B-26C) of 25 Squadron, 254 Wing, South African Air Force, after releasing bombs on Banja Luka, Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav resistance, led by Communist Josef Broz Tito (May 7, 1892 - May 4, 1980) had attempted to take this center of Axis domination in January 1944 and failed; the Germans responded with the Seventh Anti-Partisan Offensive, aimed at capturing or killing Tito. The Balkan Air Force was a mixed-nationality unit, with Royal Air Force, Italian co-belligerents flying Martin Baltimores, South African Air Force, Yugoslavian Air Force, and United States Army Air Force units flying from bases in Italy in support of the partisans. Banja Luka was an important Axis stronghold, and this attack was part of a general campaign to disrupt and distract the Germans and their allies from their offensive. 25 Squadron flew Marauders from November 20, 1943 until the last wartime mission on May 4, 1945. 254 Wing was based at Campomarino Airdrome in Biferno, Campobosso Province, Italy.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Royal Air Force
Date Photographed: 
Sunday, June 11, 1944
Banja Luka
Bosnia and Herzegovina