In October 1944 SAAF 2 wing, consisting of 31 and 34 squadrons, and part of RAF 205 bomber group under Maj. Gen. Jimmy Durrant, based in Southern Italy near Foggia, was tasked with a supply dropping mission to the Partisans operating in the Po Valley north of Genoa.
Four drop zones were selected, code named Morris, Dodge, Parrot and Chrysler, with 5 Liberators assigned to each. Weather conditions during the beginning of October 1944 were terrible, but the forecast for the night of the 12th was for a break, and the mission was given the go-ahead. The aicraft took off at regular intevals from about 16h00 hours, the flights would be about 8 hours, and they would be back at around midnight. At the briefing the crews were told to return to base if they faced bad weather.
The flights encountered persistent, heavy rain, low cloud, and frequent flashes of lightning. Eleven aircraft turned around, only three found their target, and six aircraft failed to return, with the loss of 48 men. The metorologists had forcast a westerley wind, but, unbeknown to all, the wind was now blowing from the east, resulting in the aircraft being roughly 60 km west of where they should have been, with disasterous consequences. Five aircraft crashed into the Alps and one, KH158, is missing to this day, presumed to have ditched in the Ligurian Sea off Genoa.