330th Bombardment Group: Wikis

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330th Bombardment Group (VH)
Active 1942-1946
Country United States
Branch United States Army Air Corps
Type Bomber Group (VH)
Nickname Empire Busters
Motto Por La Libertad
Colors Blue, Gold
Engagements Strategic bombing of Japan
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg 
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg
Battle honours World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg
Disbanded 3 January 1946
Commanders
Notable
commanders
COL Elbert D. Reynolds
COL Douglas C. Polhamus
LTCOL Lindsay H. Vereen (457th BS)
MAJ Elmer E. Ambrose (458th BS)
LTCOL Robert W. Ryder (459th BS)
Insignia
Identification
symbol
Square ' K '
Identification
symbol
K-tail.jpg
Aircraft flown
Bomber Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Electronic
warfare
Boeing B-29 'Porcupine' Superfortress

The 330th Bombardment Group was constituted on 1 July 1942 at Salt Lake City Army Air Base, Utah. It was assigned to Second Air Force as a B-24 Liberator a Replacement Training Unit (RTU). The group performed this training at Alamogordo Army Airfield in New Mexico, then later at Biggs Field near El Paso, Texas.

In 1944, the group was redesignated as the 330th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy and was designated as a B-29 Superfortress operational bomb group being assigned to the 314th Bombardment Wing. The group was assigned to Walker AAFB, Kansas, for equipping and training.

The group began its deployment to North Field, Guam in early 1945, and was assigned to the XXI Bomber Command of the Twentieth Air Force. It entered combat on 12 April 1945 with an attack on the Hodogaya(Yokohama), Japan. The group received a total of two Distinguished Unit Citation for incendiary raids on the homeland islands of Japan.[1] The 330th Bombardment Group returned to the United States during November and December 1945, and was inactivated on 3 January 1946.[2]

Contents

History

Part of the 20th Air Force and subsequently the 314th Bombardment Wing, the 330th Bombardment Group (VH) consisting of the 457th, 458th and the 459th Bomb Squadron's plus the 26th Photo Lab was activated in April 1944 at Walker Army Air Field, near Victoria, Kansas. Two months later its cadres split, part of the group remaining "on line" at Walker and part setting up manning HQ at Dalhart, Texas. After a rapid filling up of both echelons, they were again reunited at Walker in August 1944. The newly assigned air crews joined them in late September and early October 1944. Now, as a complete Bomb Group, they were now ready for their brief period of intensive flight and ground training in slightly used B-29 Superfortress'. At Walker, they continued to hone their skills, flying and maintaining this awesome new aircraft. Learning new equipment and ever changing procedures.., as this was a brand new aircraft pushed into service while still being modified, they were inventing maintenance and flying techniques while the aircraft was already in active service. This coupled with a 24 hour-a-day 'maintenance mod' schedule outdoors in the bitter Kansas winter of 1945, crystallized their comradeship to last a lifetime. The 330th's advanced ground echelon departed Kansas by train on 7 January 45 for 10 days at the Fort Lawton Staging Area in Seattle, Washington. On 17 January 1945, they mustered on the docks for a 30 day cruise on the ATS Howell Lykes in route to Guam. The air crews and the aircraft mechanics support technicians would not join them until mid-March.

Guam 1945

They arrived in the Port of Agana, Guam on 18 February 1945, loaded up on waiting trucks and jeeps and headed off on a dirt road up the island and through the dense jungle. The 854th Airfield Construction Battalion was still busy putting the finishing touches on the parking aprons and taxi ways for the 330th. They had been hacking away at this spot on the Northeast side of Guam since late November 1944. There were two other Bomb Groups of the 314th just settling into North Field; the 19th Bomb Group and the 29th Bomb Group had been there several weeks. The 330th's area on the Southwest corner of the air field was still mainly jungle. While the 845th continued to hack at the dense trees, grind limestone island into sprawling runways, the ground echelon along with the 502nd Engineering Squadron of the 89th Air Service Group (ASG)began the detailed work of bringing this air field to life. From early dawn until way into the night they battled mosquitoes, rain, knee deep mud, occasional snipers and began to lay down the foundations of dozens of Quonset huts, along with the mess halls, chapels, workshops and showers. The armorers began their task of uncrating thousands of bombs and ammunition. The clerks set up offices and began the paper trail that is the 'army'.

The Air Crews continued to commute between Walker Army Air Field and Batista(Cayuga) Field in Cuba, to sharpen their combat training. Once back in Kansas in early March, they picked up their new Boeing B-29 Superfortresses (some of the aircrews actually signed for them at the factories) and headed West. Way West! First to Mather Field, California, then Hawaii, Kwajalein and finally Guam. The first 330th aircraft set down at North Field, Guam on 25 March 1945. Even before the last squadron arrived, the 330th was already a veteran of combat. The 330th first flew against the Empire of Japan on 12 April 1945. Its forty-seventh and final bombing strike was in the air at the hour the Japanese surrender was announced on 15 August 1945. The result was a bomb group with the lowest overall abort rate on the ground, and the highest over-the-target rate of any Bomb Group in the entire 20th Air Force. The 330th BG flew 1,320 combat sorties, 18,978 combat hours and had dropped 7,039 tons of high explosives and incendiary bombs into the heart of the Japanese industry.

Aircraft

The aircraft themselves were BMF (Bare Metal Finish) aluminium. The crews would polish them up as well they could (with av gas of course) in the belief that a clean aircraft was a fast/streamlined aircraft and would thus fly farther on its precious supply of fuel. That meant life; not a bad rationale when traveling thousands of miles over open Pacific Ocean.

On their giant vertical stabilizers they wore a huge black box with a large BMF capital letter 'K'. This was to assist with picking your other squadron aircraft out of a crowded sky to form up on during the daylight missions. Just below the tails and up a little on the fuselage were the aircraft numbers. These were solid black on BMF background and about 4 feet high. The sixty or so aircraft that made up the 330th were divided into three Bombardment Squadrons (BS):

  • 457th Bombardment Squadron
    • Numbers: 1–16
  • 458th Bombardment Squadron
    • Numbers: 26–43
  • 459th Bombardment Squadron
    • Numbers: 51–69

In late summer the BMF 'K' was infilled with bright orange–yellow paint for better recognition. Also on the outside engine cowls were the aircraft numbers in black with orange/yellow lettering. Later in 1945, towards the closing days of the war, it was ordered that all aircraft would have their undersides painted glossy black. The intention was to mask them from the searchlights that otherwise would light up their shiny undersides like a new nickel with their BMF.

330thprofile.jpg
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Nose art

Cityof.jpg

As it was part of the 314th BW, the 330th used the 'City of..." for naming their aircraft. This was a large navy blue globe with a bright orange/yellow footprint of North America. Within this would be a thick white flagpole with a wavy white 'City of..." flag attached depicting either the hometown of the A/C or one of the crewmen whose name was drawn out of a hat. They were allowed to have 'other' names and or artwork on the starboard side of their aircraft as well. The 'girlies' were allowed but any 'bloodthirsty' drawings would have to be scrubbed off for fear that if the plane were shot down, the Japanese propaganda photos would reinforce the belief that the planes were flown by 'barbarians' and potentially harm future downed airmen.

Individual Aircraft of the 330th

330th BG Losses
6 B-29's lost in combat
3 B-29's lost in accidents
TBD Air crew killed in action
TBD Air crew wounded in action
TBD Air crew missing in action
TBD Air crew captured

The 330th's Inventory of B-29's[3]

MIA KIA Crash
Aircraft Type SN: BS K # City of " " Aircraft Name Crew # Original A/C 2nd Crew # 2nd A/C 3rd Crew # 3rd A/C A/C for Sunset Notes MACR #
B-29A-15-BN 42-93969 457 1 N/A N/A 711 Neill 976 N/A N/A N/A N/A 5/24/45 14492
B-29A-20-BN 42-93976 457 1(2) 705 Willman Willman
2 Red Bank, NJ The Happy Savage 702 Matthews Replaced Neill's K-1
B-29A-25-BN 42-94048 457 2 Kellogg
B-29-55-BW 44-69696 457 Red Bank, NJ The Happy Savage 702 Matthews ??? Wilson
B-29A-20-BN 42-93982 457 3 Fort Worth, TX 707 Wallace  ??? Riesman Ryder AC flew photo of A-Bomb drop to DC
B-29-65-BW 44-69872 457 3(2) Bryant Flew back as K-3
B-29-65-BW 44-69817 457 4 Roanoke, VA Ready Bettie 706 Smith, H. L. McNamara Destroyed
B-29A-15-BN 42-93957 457 5 Duluth, MN She Wolf 705 Willman
Lynchburg, VA Don't Worry bout'a thing  ??? Woolwine Hinzman Matthews
B-29A-15-BN 42-93971 457 6 Council Bluffs, IA The Germ 713 Erwin  ??? Zimmerman Eby
B-29A-20-BN 42-93978 457 7 Jacksonville, FL Miss Take 715 Bradford ??? Reed Dickinson Bradford
B-29A-20-BN 42-93980 457 8 St. Petersburg, FL My Gal 717 Hiles Jr.
Williamsport, PA Miss Annabelle ??? Zimmerman Hinzman
B-29A-25-BN 42-94062 457 9 Chattanooga, TN PLUTO ??? Freeman ??? Reed Myers
B-29A-15-BN 42-93935 457 10 Bedford, OH Shillelagh Highman 703 O'Neill ??? Hinzman Lock
B-29-70-BW 44-69928 457 11 Berkeley, CA Je Revien 708 West ??? McDonald Kimball Coblentz
B-29A-25-BN 42-94024 457 12 Clayton, MO Our Baby 709 Barthels ??? Johnston Dickinson Johnston
B-29A-20-BN 42-94016 457 13 Jersey City, NJ McNamara's Band 701 McNamara ??? Johnston Wallace
B-29-60-BW 44-69795 457 14 712 Ziegele 4/12/45
B-29A-25-BN 42-94032 457 14(2) San Jose, CA 710 Locks
St. Petersburg, FL My Gal II 717 Hiles, Jr.
44-61669 457 15(2) Kinnaird
B-29-70-BW 44-69996 457 15 Gary, IN ??? 714 Abbring Crashed on Iwo Jima 8/8/45. No casualties.
B-29A-25-BN 42-94029 457 16 Kankakee, IL Lucky Strike 718 Lock Abbring Crashed on Johnson Island by Abbring. 11/4/45. No Casualties
B-29A-15-BN 42-93970 458 26 Palm Beach, FL 801 Stowell Jr.  ??? Kriemer
B-29-60-BW 44-69790 458 27 Birmingham, AL Ole Boomerang 807 Wells
B-29-30-MO 42-65371 458 28 Omaha, NE Yonkee Dollah 817 McClellan
B-29-60-BW 44-69800 458 29 San Francisco, CA Little Rae 813 Smisek
B-29A-15-BN 42-93943 458 30 Portsmouth, VA Beats Me 808 Blanchard Ormand Blanchard
Springfield, IL Janie 815 McDonald
B-29A-10-BN 42-93908 458 31 Cedar Rapids, IO Battlin Bulldozer 814 Baker Riggs
B-29A-15-BN 42-93955 458 32 Cedar Rapids, MI Colleen 809 Bauer Downed by a P-61 Black Widow!
B-29-65-BW 44-69887 458 32(2) Niagara Falls, NY Knipps vs. Nips 815 Knipp Knipp
B-29-65-BW 44-69814 458 33 Indianapolis, IN Mary Kathleen 802 Rice Jr. 10/29/45
B-29A-15-BN 42-93954 458 34 Portsmouth, VA Beats Me Too 806 Gibson Vick
B-29-70-BW 44-69997 458 35 Spanish Fork, UT Heavenly Body 811 Huff 816 Brown
B-29A-25-BN 42-94052 458 36 Terra Haute, IN Star Dust 803 Myers Smith, E
B-29A-20-BN 42-93995 458 37 Osceola Behren's Brood ??? Behrens Lost 6/1/45. 14915
B-29A-20-BN 42-93996 458 37(2) Richmond, CA Rebel's Roost ??? Crimmins
B-29-70-BW 44-69995 458 38 Knoxville, TN Ernie Pyle 810 Walker
B-29A-25-BN 42-94037 458 39 Hershey, PA The Willful Witch 816 Brown
B-29-75-BW 44-70016 458 40 Quaker City, PA Sentimental Journey ??? Gilbert Gilbert
B-29-75-BW 44-70010 458 41 Pacific Palisades, CA, Hatch, ID Cue Ball 804 Higginson ??? Vick Higginson
B-29-25-BA 42-63539 458 42 Bel Air, CA Round Robin 820 Ormand 586 Groves Ormand
B-29-60-BW 44-69799 458 43 804 Carle MIA, Tokyo on 4/13/45 14240
B-29-60-BW 44-69741 459 51 Columbus, OH Ten Under Parr 904 Parr
B-29A-15-BN 42-93964 459 52 Rock Island, IL Baby's Buggy 901 Wilson
B-29A-40-BN 44-61618 459 52 Lynn, MA 592 Gunther
B-29-60-BW 44-69786 459 53 Reno, NV / Detroit, MI Here to Stay 902 Tibbs ??? Budlong
B-29-60-BW 44-69774 459 54 Patterson, NJ Keohane's Kulprits 903 Keohane Fisher Post war was 'Waltzing Matilda' and flew victory tour in Australia.
B-29-30-MO 42-????? 459 55 Miami Beach, FL Ol' Smoker II 906 Lawrence 908 Cox Wheelock
B-29-30-MO 42-65363 459 56 Akron, OH Lady Jane 912 Strong 806 Gibson
B-29-60-BW 44-69766 459 57 Burbank, CA Old Soldier's Home 915 Heid 381 Schiltz MIA 6/5/45 over Kobe 14602
B-29-60-BW 44-69801 459 58 Medford, OR Lightning Lady 917 Wheelock
B-29-65-BW 44-69857 459 59 Miami Beach, FL Ol' Smoker 908 Cox Lost with Lawrence 4/12/45 14238
B-29-70-BW 44-69911 459 59(2) Richmond, VA Vivacious Lady 911 Scruggs Jr. 905 Stalnaker
B-29A-15-BN 42-93961 459 60 Aberdeen, WA 907 Bowerman ??? Smith Gunther
B-29A-25-BN 42-94059 459 61 Farmington, MO Lonesome Polecat 905 Stalnaker Budlong
B-29A-10-BN 42-93912 459 62 Glendale, CA Motley Crew 910 Stoddard
B-29A-25-BN 42-94047 459 63 Jamestown, NY Throbbing Monster ??? Mager Strong
B-29A-25-BN 42-94040 459 64 Rochester, NY Feather Merchant's 914 Stevenson, Jr.
B-29A-25-BN 42-94071 459 65 Gainsville, TX  ??? Johnson  ??? Budlong Budlong 10/31/45
B-29-50-BW 42-24917 459 66 Oklahoma City, OK Milwaukee, WI ??? Duty
B-29-25-BA 42-63539 459 67 Highland Falls, NY Infant of Prague ??? Flanagan, Jr.
B-29A-40-BN 44-61664 459 68 Lynn, MA 592 Gunther
B-29A-15-BN 42-93953 459 908 Cox
B-29A-15-BN 42-93967
B-29A-35-BN 44-61537 458 Ormand 11/01/1945
B-29-70-BW 44-69984 459
B-29-85-BW 44-87639 457  ??? Reed

Missions 1945

April

It should be noted that these aircraft did not fly in the massive formations typical of the movies of that era. On a typical daylight mission, aircraft flew individually, one minute apart, from Guam to a predesignated "rallying" point about 100 miles off the coast of Japan. There, they would form up on a "lead" aircraft and proceed in smaller formations of 10 aircraft or so over the target. They would then drop when they witnessed the "lead" aircraft drop, then return individually to Guam. Planes flew thousands of miles for 12 or more hours, and had to conserve as much fuel as possible in order to make it to Guam, Iwo Jima or into the Pacific. Formation flying consumes significantly more fuel than flying solo, as the pilot cannot adjust for particular conditions.

On a daylight mission, squadron visibility was the key to a successful mission. Thus the large tail letters and individual aircraft numbers on fuselages. For some missions, it was imperative that the aircraft commander (AC) found his designated squadron and proceeded over the target at the briefed time, the briefed altitude, and hit his target. If one could not find his particular formation, he would join another group and bomb their target. Pilots had to be able to adjust to their terrain.

On a typical night mission, the first to take off would be a few 'Pathfinder' B-29's. The rest of the squadron's would take off one minute apart, but instead of 'Rallying' off the coast of Japan, each aircraft would have their own pre-assigned altitude and heading over the target. Minutes before the rest of the squadron were due over the target the 'Pathfinder' would drop incendiaries over the target. Thus, marking it for the rest to drop on. Of course whether on a daylight or nighttime mission, if the primary target was obscured, they would either drop by RADAR or drop on a predesignated secondary target.

Mission: 1

  • Date: 12 April
  • Target: Hodogaya(Yokohama) Chemical Plant
  • Bomber Command Mission: 65
  • Code Name: Lunchroom # 1

The 330th (BG) arrived in the middle of an intensive bombing campaign by the Twentieth Air Force with the strategic objective of knocking the Japanese aircraft industry out of the war. To date, this campaign did not appear to be very successful since several major plants, such as the Nakajima Musashino Aircraft Plant north of Tokyo and the Mitsubishi Plant near Nagoya, seemed to be little damaged as a result of persistent daylight precision raids by B-29s flying in formation. A major reason was the weather which hindered both assembling in formation at a remote point and then flying to the target, which might be covered in clouds or haze making visual bombing difficult or impossible. The first strategic objective of the 314th Bomb Wing (BW), to which the 330th BG was under, was to knock out the Hodogaya Chemical Plant (Target #6129), located north of Koriyama City. This plant was one of only two plants in Japan thought to be producing Tetra-ethyl lead an important additive in aviation gasoline. To that date, the mission would be the longest, both in time and distance, from the Marianas. The mission took almost 18 hours. Finding and hitting this plant was no small navigational feat.
Twenty B-29s were scheduled to participate in this mission with each plane carrying (8) 500 lb GP HE (General-purpose bomb) Composition B high explosive. The group averaged 2.2 tons of HE per aircraft and 7,425 gallons of fuel. The total weight of each aircraft averaged 71 tons. The planes took off in the early morning hours of 12 April between 0331-0353G (1731Z to 1753Z) at one-minute intervals, normally adhering to radio silence. The assembly point was Aogashima (an island about 250 statute miles south of Tokyo) and while circling at 1,000 to 1,500 feet, the aircraft were fired upon by a Japanese ship, described as a Destroyer Escort.

Two formations were formed consisting of 12 aircraft and 5 aircraft. One B-29 was late in taking off, never made it to the assembly point in time and dropped its bombs on a Target of Opportunity (TO). Two other planes aborted. The 12 plane formation, at an altitude of 7,000 to 8,000 feet, was off the briefed heading on the first bomb run and had to make a second run on a heading of 140 degrees with visibility at 8 miles in haze. The 5 plane formation attacked the plant on a heading of 234 degrees. Bombs were dropped between 12/1233G-12/1328G. At this low altitude, they were counting on surprise and it apparently was achieved. Japanese flak was described as meager and inaccurate and there was absolutely no fighter opposition. During landing at Guam, rain showers lowered ceilings at North Field, Guam but 13 planes made it that late evening and landed from 12/2157 -12/2325G (1157 to 1325Z). Three planes were diverted and landed safely at Harmon Airfield.

Bomb results were excellent. All the main buildings in the 330th's target area were damaged or destroyed, comprising 73% of the target roof area, but the price was high, since the 330th BG lost two planes.

Casualties
  • Aircraft: K-59
  • SN: 44-69857
  • MACR: 14238

4 casualties: 1LT James Lawrence (A/C) and 2LT Clive Wood (P) -MIA, both presumed killed in the crash and FO Robert Schneider (Rad Obs) and CPL Leo Richards (LG) MIA, both presumed drowned after the crash. 2LT Edward Hyde (N), 2LT Arthur Pearson (B), TSGT Orval Haugen (FE), PVT Lewis Wilhelm (RO), SGT Donald Bush (CFC), CPL Michael Balogh (RG), CPL Clinton Krauss (TG) were all rescued late the next day.

They ditched at coordinates 11.03.0'N by 142.02.0'E or roughly 215 statute miles SSW of Guam at approximately 2330G. They were in the water for 18 hours and the TG could not swim. The Rad Obs and LG were never found and were presumed drowned.

  • Aircraft: K-14
  • SN: 44-69795

1LT Robert Ziegele (A/C), 2LT George Longsdorf (P), 2LT Willard Lersch (N), 1LT Charles Cooper (B), 1LT David Anderson (Rad Ob), MSGT Ray Cline (FE), SGT Clifton Coker (RG), SSGT Arthur Johnson, Jr. (CFC), CPL Nicholas Brando (LG) and PFC Victor Wright (TG), all KIA. SSGT Clinton Spear (RO)-miraculously survived the crash.

Ziegele, K-14 A/C, making an instrument approach due to low ceiling and poor visibility at North Field, suffered wing damage when the plane brushed a tree on the initial landing attempt. It was about 2200 G. The damaged aircraft was diverted to Agana (Harmon) Field and stalled short of the runway, crashed nose first and split in two. The plane immediately burst into flames. The RO, Spear, walked out of the split in the fuselage and was the only survivor. Due to this tragedy a second beacon was added at North Field, which helped greatly in instrument landings.

Mission: 2

  • Date: 13-14 April
  • Target: Tokyo Artificial Chemical Fertilizer Plant (Target #204)
  • Bomber Command Mission: 67
  • Code Name: Perdition # 1

This mission is classified as a precision night mission. The night was clear and the aiming point(AP) was the Tokyo Arsenal complex. In the bigger picture, it was a three wing effort by the 73rd, 313th and 314th Bomb Wings. Combination loads of HE and incendiary bombs were used. The reported burned out area was estimated as 10.5 sq mi. The 330th BG contributed 16 planes that deposited 47.5 tons on or near its aiming point (AP) described as the Tokyo Artificial Chemical Fertilizer Plant (Target #204). Antiaircraft fire was intense and altogether 7 planes were lost, one from the 458th Bomb Squadron.

Casualties
  • Aircraft: K-43
  • SN: 44-69795

LTCOL Doyne Turner (CO, 458th BS) riding along as an observer, 1LT Alpheus Carle (A/C), 2LT William Muhlenberg (N), 2LT Andrew Litz (P), 2LT John Price (B), 2LT George Kruse, Jr. (Rad Ob), TSGT Jim Verhines (FE), SSGT Lawrence Duffy (RO), CPL Allen Morsch (CFC) CPL Darwin Muller (RG), CPL Calvin Raymond (LG) and PFC Edwin Lund (TG) - All MIA

This bomber with LTCOL Doyne Turner, CO of the 458th BS on board as an observer, and Alpheus Carle as A/C of K-43 was hit over Tokyo and went down in Tokyo Bay. The 330th BG sent out 36 planes on these two missions and lost three planes, 8.3 % of the attacking force.

Mission: 3

  • Date: 15-16 April
  • Target: Kawasaki, Kanagawa
  • Bomber Command Mission: 68
  • Code Name: Brisket # 1

Giving the Tokyo industrial area no let up, 20 B-29s from the 330th BG were again-part of a larger effort by the 73rd, 313th and 314th BWs against the southern Tokyo suburb of Kawasaki, between Tokyo and Yokohama. The Bomb Group deposited 95.2 tons on 1he suburb. The planes left at 15/1700G and returned at about 16/0900G. Photo analysis indicated that approximately 8 sq mi of Tokyo was burned out that night. It was a clear night in the area and the searchlights, enemy flak and fighters were particularly effective, resulting in a loss of 13 planes, fortunately none from the 330th BG.

Mission: 4

  • Date: 17 April
  • Target: Kanoya Air Drome
  • Bomber Command Mission: 74
  • Code Name: Checkbook # 1

All remaining missions by the 330th BG in April except a mission against an aircraft plant on 24 April 1945, were against airfields on Kyūshū. This was part of the XXI Bomber Command anti-Kamikaze campaign requested by Admiral Chester Nimitz I due to the clobbering the U.S. Navy was taking from Japanese suicide planes. Japanese suicide missions were well known in the Southwest and Central Pacific combat areas, where Marines and Army encountered fanatical charges of trapped and encircled Japanese garrisons. But, starting with the Philippine campaign, the Japanese Navy utilized Kamikaze planes against American warships and carriers. As the noose tightened around the Japanese home islands, what was initially a sporadic effort, became with the Okinawa campaign, an organized Japanese naval effort to thwart the Okinawa invasion. During the period 6-28 April 1945, armadas of Kamikaze planes were directed at the American Okinawa invasion armada.

The 330th BG played an important role in these raids, although few in the organization realized it at the time. Six of the nine Kyūshū Airfield raids were against the Kanoya Air Drome complex and code named 'Checkbook'. Kanoya airfield was the headquarters of Admiral Matome Ugaki who skillfully directed the Kamikaze campaign from this base. He also kept a diary, which was not always complimentary of some airfield raids. Checkbook #1 took place on 17 April 1945 against the Kanoya Air Drome by 11 B-29's, which dropped 16.27 tons of HE on the complex. The aiming point (AP) for the group was a row of hangar type buildings on the SW corner of the base. Crew reports stated hangar buildings at the base were hit and burning and, in general, bomb results were reported as good to excellent. These were the airfields from which the Kamikaze planes and their escorts emanated. So, Admiral Nimitz directed General LeMay to knock out the airfields.

Mission: 5

  • Date: 18 April
  • Target: Kanoya Air Drome
  • Bomber Command Mission: 78
  • Code Name: Checkbook # 2

To give the Kamikaze pilots no rest, the 330th BG bombed the Kanoya Air Drome the following day. This time 11 planes took off at 18/0100 to 18/0205G (17/1500 t 17/1605Z) with one plane aborting. The remaining 10 planes assembled in formation over Ioa Shima (probably Io Jima on later maps 55 miles from Kanoya) and proceeded formation to Kanoya where they dropped 26.80 tons HE at 18/0857G. The bomb load consisted of 134/500 Ib. HE bombs. This is 33.5 tons but the 330th BG Digest gives 26.8 tons for this mission. Fighter opposition was reported as nil and flak meager and inaccurate. One aircraft could not transfer fuel from the bomb bay tank and landed at Iwo. The remaining planes landed from 18/1505 -18/1730G. From the first plane off the last plane down, it was a 16 hour 30 minute mission.

Mission: 6

  • Date: 21 April
  • Target: Kagoshima Air Drome
  • Bomber Command Mission: 87
  • Code Name: Aeroscope # 1

For a change of pace the 330th BG was assigned the Kushira Air Drome and 11 planes struck the airfield. The 330th BG was joined by other BGs from the 314th BW. The AP was described as 750 feet west of the apex of the lower of two east-west runways that intersect a north-south southeast trending runway. Bombing results from crew reports ranged from unobserved to excellent. The center of the runways were reported hit and black. Thick oily smoke and flames were seen south of the east-west runways. The 330th BG digest states that 40.25 tons of GP HE bombs were deposited on this airfield.

There were no planes lost and no casualties.

Mission: 7

  • Date: 22 April
  • Target: Kanoya Air Drome
  • Bomber Command Mission: 93
  • Code Name: Checkbook # 4

The 330th BG supplied 11 planes to a composite Group A to hit the top priority Kanoya -Air Drome complex on this day. The AP was described as the east end of the south running runway. The 11 planes deposited 48.2 tons of bombs on the Air Drome with crews reporting unobserved to excellent results. This day, LeMay sent the full might of his command, 217 planes, against nine airfields on Kyūshū. Ugaki described the raids as follows: "... some 280 B-29s came to attack the naval air bases on Kyūshū from 0630 to 0800 (0730 to 0900G) and inflicted considerable damage. Especially at Kakamigahara (maybe the airfield we called Nittigahara), Usa and Izumi were holed and made unusable. It was quite troublesome, that some time fused bombs were included." The Japanese could quickly repair the holes the bombs were making in the runways so we started to drop bombs with delayed action fuses, which complicated repair work (they blew up the repair crews).

No planes lost and no casualties on this mission.

Mission: 8

  • Date: 24 April
  • Target: Hitachi Aircraft Plant
  • Bomber Command Mission: 96
  • Code name: Cat Call # 1

This was the second daylight precision bombing raid against a strategic target by the 330th BG. The target listed in the 330th BG Digest was the Hitachi aircraft factory located at Tachikawa (a suburb west of Tokyo). Planes were off at 24/0211 to 24/0257GI and were back at approximately 24/1700G. Ten 330th BG planes deposited 46.5 tons of bombs on the target with results described as poor. Anti-aircraft fire was reported as generally moderate to intense and accurate. This was confirmed by the six aircraft receiving minor flak damage. Eight Japanese fighters were sighted and two attacked the formation. One B-29 was lost.

Casualties
  • Aircraft: K-63
  • SN: 44-69897
  • MACR: 14311

1LT Herbert R. Williams (A/C), 2LT Daniel Myers (P), 2LT David Skillen (B), TSGT Lawrence Seery, Jr.(FE), SGT Robert Underwood (CFC), CPL Edward B. Neary (RG), CPL Edwin Caw (LG) and CPL Kasmir Cwiakala (TG) were all listed as MIA and presumed drowned. These three crewmen; 2LT George Farmer (N), 2LT Ronald Heemann (Rad Ob) and PFC Elden Peterson (RO), survived as POW's and were returned to the U.S. post war.

Williams plane was returning from the secondary target, the Mitsubishi aircraft plant, which they bombed, and was seen to ditch off the Japanese coast, sinking in about four minutes. The aircraft's last known whereabouts was at 33°.21'N by 138°.41'E. Two crewmembers were seen parachuting over enemy territory.

Mission: 9

  • Date: 26 April
  • Target: Miyakonojo Airfield
  • Bomber Command Mission: 107
  • Code Name: Dripper # 1

This raid was planned as a precision daylight raid on the Miyakonojo airfield on southern Kyūshū, but it was frustrated, as were many such raids, by the weather. Twenty planes took off at 26/0315 to 26/0344G and headed for the assembly area, Yakushima, an island off the southern coast of Kyūshū. The assembly area was 10/10 in clouds so there could be no formation assemblage. Each plane proceeded individually and dropped their bombs by radar. Two aircraft bombed the primary target, 15 planes bombed the secondary target, Miyazaki Prefecture airfield, and three planes dropped bombs on targets of opportunity (T/O). No enemy planes were encountered and only one plane experienced flak at the secondary target, flying at 11,000 feet. There were no plane losses but seven planes stopped off at either Iwo or Saipan for fuel. The 20 planes dropped about 90 tons on these targets. Ugaki observed the results of these days' raids as follows: "About 30 enemy planes raided Kyūshū persistently, flying in small numbers over thick clouds. Even with the help of pathfinders, targets must have been very hard to find... but some damage was inflicted on Kiyotake and Miyazaki and others.

Mission: 10

  • Date: 27 April
  • Target: Kanoya Kushira Air Drome
  • Bomber Command Mission: 112
  • Code Name: Checkbook # 7

The 330th BG contributed ten planes to a composite bomb group of the 314th BW to bomb an old favorite, Kanoya Air Drome. The ten planes left at 27/0121 to 27/02100G and dropped 197 x 500 lb GP for a total of 49.25 tons. Bombing results were described as good to excellent. No planes were lost but five received minor battle damage from flak and the landings occurred from 27/1630 -27/1755G from beginning to end, almost a 17-hour mission for some crews.

Mission: 11

  • Date: 28 April
  • Target: Kanoya Kushira Air Drome
  • Bomber Command Mission: 118
  • Code Name: Checkbook # 8

Trying to keep Matome Ugaki's Kamikaze pilots holed up, the 330th BG contributed one squadron of planes to another squadron from the 19th BG to form a composite group to attack Kanoya Air Drome again. Twelve planes left North Field between 28/0111G to 28/0200G. The planes assembled at Tanegashima, the larger island south of Kyūshū. One plane had a malfunction on the prop governor of engine #4. Another joined the wrong squadron and bombed Miyakonojō Airfield instead. The ten planes dropped 1000 x 500 lb instantaneous fuse bombs and 97 x 500 lb delayed fuse bombs for a total of 49.25 tons on the target, with reportedly excellent results. Planes landed from 28/1621 to 28/2156G, with one plane landing at Iwo Jima to take on 1200 gallons of fuel and another landing at Saipan to take on 100 gallons of fuel.

There were no casualties and no planes lost, but four planes reported minor flak damage.

Mission: 12

  • Date: 29 April
  • Target: Kanoya Kushira Air Drome
  • Bomber Command Mission: 124
  • Code Name: Checkbook # 9

The daily operations were making it difficult for the ground staff to keep all the planes in the 330th BG operational. Thirteen planes were scheduled for Kanoya this day but four failed to take off due to mechanical problems. Nine planes were airborne between 3010115 to 3010123G and assembled into formation on the southeast comer of Tanegashima. They proceeded to the initial point (IP), Toi Saki. But the bomb run was made south of the briefed course due to an unreported wind shift. Bombs were dropped from 18,000 feet at 30/0925G with 158 x 500 lb GP instant fuse and 9 x 500 lb GP time delay fuse with a six-hour delay. Bombs fell 1,200 feet from the briefed AP with fair results.

Mission: 13

  • Date: 30 April
  • Target: Tomitaka Air field
  • Bomber Command Mission: 131
  • Code Name: Skewer # 3

For the last mission of the month, the selected target was Tomitaka airfield on the East coast of Kyūshū. Take off time was 30/0248 to 30/0258G for twelve aircraft, but one aircraft aborted due to an oil leak in engine #4. Ten planes assembled around Iwo Jima and departed at 30/0656G arriving at the IP at 30/1100G and reached the target at 30/1114G. Bombs were dropped from 17,000 feet visually through haze. Bomb load was 112 x 500 lb GP instant fused and 84 x 500 GP fused" with 1 and 2 hour delay. Reported results were good to excellent with bombs falling in the hangar area and walking across the airfield to the buildings on the west side. There were no losses or enemy opposition. One plane had engine trouble, which delayed its arrival at the assembly point, so it joined the formation of 29th BG and dropped its bombs on Oita airfield. All aircraft were back at North Field at 30/1752 to 30/1823G with no personnel casualties or plane losses.

April summary

The 330th BG had its baptism of fire and it was a costly one. Fifty percent of the total combat plane losses occurred this month. The BG experienced the frustration of assembling at distant points and proceeding to the Empire to bomb a strategic target only to find the target obscured in clouds. It then had to drop its bombs by radar, which in many instances, reassembling and proceeding to another IP and, thence to the radar AP. In one mission, this occurred three times with the 459th BS. Further, the higher headquarters staff at the XXI BC on Guam and the 20th AF in Washington believed that the advantages gained in their Big Week Air Offensive had been whittled away in a diversion to help the Navy and Marines around Okinawa in the Anti-Kamikaze campaign. As in most wars, the unexpected became the expected and the great strategic 20th Air Force was diverted to bombing airfields to assist Adm. Nimitz' Okinawa Campaign.[4]

May 1945

Mission: 14

  • Date: 4 May
  • Target: Matsuyama Naval Air Station on Shikoku
  • Bomber Command Mission: 143
  • Code Name: Mopish # 2

Continuing with the anti-Kamikaze campaign, the 457th BG contributed nine planes and the 458th BS contributed ten planes to a strike against the Matsuyama Naval Air Station on Shikoku Island, the smallest of the four Japanese Home Islands, in an attack to neutralize this airfield. The 314th BW summary states that 17 planes attacked this air field between 4/0909 -4/0925G from an altitude of 18,000 -18,900 feet in clear weather restricted by haze, depositing 90.3 tons on the air field. The usually reliable 330th BG Digest apparently has the bombs dropped reversed with the Omura Naval Air Station, BG Mission: 15. This reference states that 21 aircraft dropped 82.25 tons on Matsuyama. The Wing History states that he anti-aircraft fire was weak but 18 enemy fighters attacked the formations, resulting in four enemy aircraft damaged. Two of our planes landed at Iwo. The bombing results ranged from poor to excellent with bombs falling on the upper edge of the field and among the barrack-type buildings.

There were no casualties.

Mission: 15

  • Date: 5 May
  • Target: Ōmura Naval Air Station, Nagasaki, Kyūshū
  • Bomber Command Mission: 141
  • Code Name: Vamoose # 1

Eleven aircraft assembled in formation off an island south of Kyūshū, probably Io-Jima, and proceeded to Ōmura Naval Air Station. The formation reached the IP at 4/1019G with bombs away at 4/1025G from 18,000 feet. A Ki-61 Tony dropped a phosphorus bomb in the formation and then had about six fighter attacks in all. They were finally able to release the five bombs hanging in the bomb bay before they landed at Iwo at 4/1330G. The plane had been over the Empire on the two bomb runs for about two hours. It finally landed on Guam at about 4/2030G. The 314th BW summary states that the Ōmura formation had ten enemy attacks with one enemy plane destroyed by the 459th BS gunners. Flak was heavy caliber, meager and 90% inaccurate, and five to eight enemy aircraft made up to eight inaccurate phosphorus bomb attacks.

There were no planes lost or casualties and no planes suffered battle damage.

Mission: 16

  • Date: 10 May
  • Target: Ōtake Oil Refinery
  • Bomber Command Mission #165
  • Code Name: Fainter # 1

After the Kamikaze campaign, the 20th Air Force returned to its strategic mission of knocking out Japan's key war making industries, this time the oil industry. The 314th BW summary states that 112 planes attacked the Ōtake Oil Refinery on Honshu in a precision daylight bombing raid in formation. The 457th BS contributed 12 planes; 458th BS contributed 12 planes and the 459th BS contributed 9 planes. The 330th BG Digest states that 34 planes dropped 160 tons on the refinery. The bomb run was at an altitude between 14,600 to 19,700 feet between 10/1048G to 10/1114G in clear weather. It was estimated that 45 % of the refinery unit and finished product storage areas were destroyed and the plant was probably put out of operation. A question remains whether the plant was receiving any crude oil to refine at this stage of the war. Opposition was stiff. Enemy fighters made 54 attacks, damaging five B-29s. On the briefed route, anti-aircraft fire was heavy caliber but meager and inaccurate, but a few formations received intense naval fire upon withdrawal from the target. Twenty three B-29s suffered flak damage. Planes took off at 10/0200G and returned at about 10/1800G.

Casualties

SGT James Cipolla (TG) on plane K-37, was slightly wounded and later received the Purple Heart.

Mission: 17

  • Date: 11 May
  • Target: Kawanishi Aircraft Plant
  • Bomber Command Mission: 172
  • Code Name: Leafstalk # 1

High on the list of strategic targets was the aircraft industry; therefore the XXI BC next hit the Kawanishi Aircraft Plant, near Kobe. This factory was turning out flying boats for the Japanese Navy, and was steadily being enlarged. Its activity was to be seriously hampered by the XXI Bomber Command. This was a three Bomb Wing effort, with the 314th BW contributing 40 planes with 11 planes from the 330th BG depositing 50 tons of bombs on the Kawanishi Aircraft Plant. The plant was attacked between 11/1036G -11/1103G at 15,200 -20,000 feet in 4/10 -8/10 weather. The BW Report states that 39 % of the plant was damaged or destroyed and collateral damage was received by adjoining Merchant Marine College, residential and manufacturing areas.

There was anxiety but no casualties and no planes were lost.

Mission: 18

  • Date: 14 May
  • Target: North Nagoya Urgan Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 174
  • Code Name: Microscope # 4

In LeMay's big fire blitz week from 9 March to 17 March 1945, five cities were attacked, Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe. Nagoya was hit twice and still seemed to have considerable life left in her. It was not an easy city to attack since the only reasonable approach was up Nagoya Bay and this had the reputation of being "Flak Alley". Therefore, the XXI BC subjected the city, on 14 May and 16/17 May 1945, to a one-two punch by the 58th, 73rd, 313th and 314th BWs. The 14 May strike was a daylight-bombing mission in formation with the 330th BG contributing 32 planes of the 135 planes from the 314th BW that hit the city between 14/0905G to 14/1025G from an altitude of 16,500 to 20,500 feet in 1/10 weather. B-29s from the 330th took off at 14/0100G and returned at about 14/1700G. The 330th dropped 152.4 tons, adding to a total of 632 tons of bombs dropped by the 314th BW.

Mission: 19

  • Date: 16-17 May
  • Target: South Nagoya Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 176
  • Code Name: Microscope # 5

In this night raid, the 330th BG had 32 planes dropping 176.95 tons of bombs on the South Nagoya Urban area. The planes left North Field, Guam at 16/2100G and returned at about 17/1200G with bombs away at 17/0305 to 17/0558G from 6,600 through 18,340 feet. Altogether, the 314th BW deposited 707.5 tons on the city. Damage to Nagoya from Missions # 174 and 176 were 6.97 square miles or 13.7% of the cities built up area. Damage ranging from slight to complete destruction was inflicted on 29 numbered industrial targets and 7 unnumbered industrial targets. This analysis was partially in answer to critics of such raids, which led to indiscriminate killing of civilians. These twin raids show clearly LeMay's tactics that he would use to the end of the war. If weather permitted, it was a daylight raid with selected targets as aiming points; otherwise it was a night area-bombing raid except in the case of the 315th BW, which had precision radar for night bombing of selected industrial targets.

Casualties
  • Aircraft: K-41
  • SN: 44-70016

John Vick (A/C), Robert Roast (P), Charles Morris (N), Peter Orsini (FE), Floyd Griffith (RO) and Donald Martin (B), landed with the aircraft on Iwo Jima. Allen Cohen (Rad Obs) is presumed to have drowned. Walter Pride (CFC), William Shaver (LG), Dane Miller (RG) and Harvey Delles (TG), jumped and were later rescued by a Navy Destroyer.

Mission: 20

  • Date: 19 May
  • Target: Tokyo Industrial Targets
  • Bomber Command Mission: 178

This was to be a precision daylight-bombing raid in formation with the 330th BG contributing 22 planes to attack industrial targets in the Tokyo area. But, defying predictions, Tokyo had 10/10 cloud cover so the bombs were dropped on the primary radar target, the city of Hamamatsu. This was a favorite radar target since it was on the coast and easily identified by radar. It was reported that the four BW efforts damaged 0.22 square miles, 5% of the city. One industrial target, Suzuki Loom Work was 20 % destroyed; not an illustrious mission since the bomb loads were for industrial targets rather than area bombing where incendiary bombs were more effective.

P-51's from Iwo Jima accompanied this mission roundtrip.

There were no casualties or planes lost.

Mission: 21

  • Date: 23-24 May
  • Target: Tokyo South Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 181

Taking off at 23/2000G, 35 aircraft from the 330th BG attacked the heavily defended Tokyo South Urban Area. An area relatively unscathed from previous fire raids. The 330th BG was part of a combined four BW attack on the city between 24/0259G to 24/0438G from altitudes ranging from 7,800 to 15,100 feet on a relatively clear night. One aircraft was missing and the other remaining 34 planes landed at about 1100G.

Casualties
  • Aircraft: K-1
  • SN: 42-93969
  • MACR: 14492

Flying as an observer was LTCOL Frederick Andrews, the 314th BW Operations Officer. He along with the rest of the crew perished. CAP Douglas Neill (A/C), 2LT Robert Harkelrode (P), 1LT Clarence Davis (N), 2LT Rowland Wilson (B), 2LT Arthur Howe (Rad Ob), MSGT Donald Stoner (FE), SSGT Samuel Mikill (RO), SSGT Richard Berg (CFC), CPL James Finucane (RG), CPL Jacob Fisher (LG) and CPL James Fisher (TG), (SSGT Berg had survived Crash #2 over Ft. Hays, KS on 31 Dec 1944)

Mission: 22

  • Date: 25-26 May
  • Target: South Central Tokyo
  • Bomber Command Mission: 183

In the last major strike of the war against Tokyo, the 330th BG contributed 24 planes and 106.8 tons of incendiary bombs. The south central Tokyo area was the general area of attack, which included the Imperial Palace and bombardiers, and Rad Obs had explicit orders not to hit Hirohito' s residence. But, this was sometimes impossible in the heat of battle and some incendiaries fell within the Tokyo Imperial Palace grounds. BG planes took off at 25/1800G and landed at about 2510900G. The BW reported that bombs were away at 25/2338G to 26/0213G at altitudes ranging from 7,915 feet to 22,000 feet. Total area damaged as a result of BC Missions:181 and 183 was 22.1 square miles. Most of the bombs fell south and west of the Imperial Palace. Numerous buildings within the Palace grounds were destroyed as well as areas adjacent to the Palace. A minimum of 31 numbered industrial targets were damaged or destroyed. The total city area damaged as a result of all incendiary raids was 56.3 square miles or 50.8% of the cities built up area; in the night raid 9/10 March 1945,15.8 square miles were damaged or destroyed and 88,000 persons died. This compares to the atomic bomb damage to Hiroshima of 4.7 square miles destroyed and 70,000-80,000 killed and to Nagasaki where 1.8 square miles were destroyed and 35,000-40,000 persons died. The difference was that these were one bomb, one-plane missions. The 9/10 March Tokyo raid required 279 planes and 1,129 tons of incendiary bombs, one of the most effective incendiary raids of WWII.

Casualties
  • SGT Albert "Bert" Urquhart, LG K-39, wounded and later received the Purple Heart.

Mission: 23

  • Date: 29 May
  • Target: Yokohama Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 186

Closing out the month of May, the 330th BG contributed 38 planes to a Japan daylight raid against the Yokahama urban area. The planes took off at 29/0400G and returned about 29/1800G with bombs away between 29/1014 to 29/1129G from 17,500 to 21,000 feet in 9/10 weather. They dropped 203 tons of bombs on the target out of a total of 621 tons of bombs dropped by the Bomb Wing total of 131 planes. Keyes, in his personal account, states that they took off at 29/0340G and assembled at 18,300 feet into formation over a small island north of Iwo Jima. The 11-plane formation reached Mt. Fujiyama, the IP, at 29/1056G and bombs were away at 29/1115G.

May summary

On 10 May 1945, the 330th BG made its last contribution to the anti-Kamikaze campaign in a precision bombing raid on the Otake Oil Refinery on Kyūshū. After that mission the 330th returned to strategic bombing of major urban areas on Honshu, participating in three strikes against Tokyo, two against Nagoya and one against Yokahama. The BG also participated in one precision daylight raid against the Kawanishi Aircraft Plant near Nagoya. Total casualties were: one plane lost with 12 persons listed as MIA, one person lost in the water near Iwo Jima and two injured gunners.

June

Mission: 24

  • Date: 1 June
  • Target: West Osaka Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 187

The BG contributed 37 planes that dropped 150 tons of incendiaries and 6.4 tons of fragmentation bombs on Osaka urban area. Keyes identified the target more euphemistically as "Home Industries". It was believed at the time that many of the major industrial plants were supplied by factories in homes. This was found to be untrue after the war. What was true was that many small feeder factories were intermingled in residential districts as they are down to the present day in Japan. The BG was part of a 457 plane armada from the XXI BC in its continuing campaign to knock out the major Japanese industrial cities. Keyes states that they took off at 1/0240G and assembled in loose formation at Iwo Jima and proceeded through soupy weather to the empire. They climbed to 20,600 feet where they reassembled. Proceeding to the IP, they saw flak ahead and many fighters, some in pairs, which they presumed to be P-51s. Many Japanese fighters, Irvings, A6M Zero, and Tojos attacked their formation, and one attacked their plane from 12 O'clock and came within 25 yards of the plane before going over it. Bombs were away at 1/1254G and more flak was seen on the way out. Keyes states that it was the most flak he saw to date. Plane K-37 received a direct hit in the cockpit killing Capt. Behrens instantly and injuring Lt. Woliver. The BG recorded a total enemy fighter toll of 16 down, 9 probable and 24 damaged by B-29 and P-51 fighters (some of these were not verified in post war analysis of Japanese records). Planes landed at North Field at about 1/1740G.

Casualties
  • Aircraft: K-37
  • SN: 42-93995

CAP Arthur Behrens (A/C) killed in his seat. 1LT Robert Woliver (P), 2LT Robert Fast (N), MSGT Charles Whitehead (FE), and 1LT John Logerot (B), were injured and bailed out at Iwo Jima. FO Wallace Mussallem (Rad Ob), SGT Jack Engelsher (RO), SGT Herbert Corbly (CFC) and SGT James Cipolla (TG), all bailed out at Iwo Jima and were injured upon landing. SGT John Berguson (LG) and SGT Joseph Celardo (RG), bailed out at Iwo Jima safely Also injured on this mission and later receiving the Purple Heart was Joseph Malley (CFC) on plane K-31.

Special note

This mission should also be mentioned in the 20th Air Force annals as 'Black Friday' for the tragic loss of 24 P-51 Mustang pilots while flying blind through a turbulent weather front. The B-29s were used as 'navigational ships' for fighter raids from Iwo up to Japan as P-51s did not have sophisticated navigational equipment. So on long over-water flights, such as from Iwo Jima to the Empire, they were escorted. On this particular mission a severe weatherfront was encountered and the P-51s 'lost' the B-29 in the cloud cover. It was forecast to be a small cloud system, but it went on for hundreds of miles in all directions. The P-51s flew around until they were out of fuel. Then they fell into the sea. In all 27 P-51s and 24 pilots were lost.

Mission: 25

  • Date: 5 June
  • Target: Kobe Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 188

Continuing the strategic fire raids against major Japanese cities, the BG contributed 31 planes to a 473-plane armada against Kobe. The BG planes deposited 170.1 tons total, of which 5.6 tons were fragmentation bombs to keep the fire fighters away from the 164.5 tons incendiary bombs deposited. This was a daylight raid with take off between 5/0100G -5/0140G. Planes proceeded to the Japanese mainland at about 10,000 feet and, in the case of Keyes, arrived early and circled for 30 minutes before finding their formation. The formation proceeded to the IP climbing to 16,500 feet. The target was the rail center and bombs were away at 5/0930G. Passing over the city, the formation encountered fairly accurate flak and passed to the left of a large smoke column rising up to 21,000 feet. It was a costly mission for the XXI BC which lost 11 planes, 2.3 % of the attacking force.

Casualties
  • Aircraft: K-57
  • SN: 44-69796

1LT Donald J. Schiltz (A/C), FO Kenneth W. Rich (P), 2LT George C. Reed (N), 2LT Anthony A. Picciano (Rad Ob), 2LT Robert G. Scott (B), FO Leonard W. Holm (FE), CPL David W. Grunigen (RO), SGT Francis A. Boulay (CFC), SGT Woodrow W. Collins (LG), PFC Byron K. Chatham, Jr. (RG), CPL James H. Davidson, (TG) All MIA.

Mission: 26

  • Date: 7 June
  • Target: Osaka Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 189

Not giving Osaka a chance to recover, the 330th BG contributed 27 planes to a 409-plane armada that struck Osaka again in a daylight raid. According to Keyes, they left Guam at 7/0450G and proceeded to Minami Iwo Jima and assembled into formation at 6,000 feet in clear weather. After the clobbering that some formations took from Japanese fighters on 5 June 1945, Keyes was happy to see a flight of 46 P-51s escorting the formation to the Empire that day. The 330th BG planes deposited 152.38 tons of incendiary bombs and 0.8 tons fragmentation bombs on Osaka from approximately 20,700 feet at 7/1258G. It was 10/10 cloud cover and bombs were dropped by radar. Flak was coming up close to the formation as well, so the Japanese were using radar to fire their anti-aircraft guns. In addition, crews were dumping lots of chaff to deceive Japanese RADAR. This was effective since no planes were lost from the BG and only two planes (0.5%) were lost from the entire armada. Aircraft landed at North Field between 7/2000G to 7/2100G.

Mission: 27

  • Date: 10 June
  • Target: Kasumigaura Naval Sea Plane Station
  • Bomber Command Mission: 195

This was a precision daylight raid on the Kasumigaura Naval Seaplane base 50 miles northeast of Tokyo. Thirty-two airplanes were airborne at 10/0100G and returned at 10/1600G. Two planes aborted and 26 planes bombed the primary target and four planes bombed the secondary target, the city of Gifu. The Group deposited 143.75 tons of high explosive on the seaplane base. The presumed reason for this strike was to neutralize the base's capability of launching reconnaissance seaplanes to monitor the movements of the U.S. Third Fleet. This was Adm. Halsey's mobile naval task force and he was preparing a major sortie against the Empire starting on 1 July 1945.

Casualties

While no planes were lost, several crewmen were wounded by gunfire from enemy aircraft over Tokyo. Slightly wounded were 2LT Richard Nowicki, K-66, B, and SGT Bernard Yudin, LG on K-62. More seriously wounded was 2LT Gerald Chosen, Rad Ob on K-62, who ended up as a patient in the field hospital on Iwo Jima. All were later awarded the Purple Heart.

Mission: 28

  • Date: 15 June
  • Target: Osaka Amagasaki Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 203

As part of a large armada of 494 B-29s from the XXI BC that attacked the Amagasaki urban area northwest of Osaka, the 330th BG contributed 26 planes to the raid. The planes departed at 15/0230G and landed at 15/1800G. One plane from the 330th BG hit a secondary target and six planes aborted~ The bomb load was as follows: 88.75 tons from the 457th BS, 65.5 tons from the 458th BS and 48.0 tons from the 459th BS. The average bomb load for each squadron was as follows: 457th: 7.4 tons per AC; 458th: 9.4 tons per AC; 459th: 6.9 tons per AC. The surprise in these figures is the heavy bomb load per AC carried by the 458th BS. BG Digest gives 33 planes hitting the primary target but this was the number airborne. It does give the correct tonnage on primary target. This fire raid was the last of the major raids that laid waste to the industrial heartland of Japan and certainly must have convinced any doubters among the Japanese military that Japan's days as a military power were rapidly diminishing. Despite the heavy bomb loads, no Group planes were lost. Osaka, as a result of these fire raids, as well as the strangulation on their food and raw materials caused by mining, ceased to function as a viable city by the end of July 1945.

Mission: 29

  • Date: 17-18 June
  • Target: Kagoshima Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 206

This was the first in a series of night fire raids against minor Japanese cities (cities with a population of less than 300,000 persons). At this juncture in the bombing campaign against Japan, the XXI BC had four Bomb Wings to draw upon but attacking the urban areas of minor Japanese cities normally required only one BW to do the job. Therefore, on attack night, each BW was assigned a separate Japanese city. On this date, the 330th BG joined the three other BGs of the 314th BW to attack the city of Kagoshima on the south coast of Kyūshū with a population of 182,000. The BG deposited 203 tons of IE and the average tons per aircraft were as follows: 457th Squadron 7.4 tons per AC, the 458th Squadron 9.2 tons per AC and the 459th Squadron 7.3 tons per AC These average masked large individual plane differences. Planes departed at about 17/1700G and returned at 18/0800G. These night missions typically lasted 14 to 15 hours. In this case, later photo analysis of damage to Kagoshima indicated that approximately 44% of the built-up area was burned out. Keyes indicated that on this night mission the AP was military installations and staging areas. The night was clear over the target for K-58 with bombs away at 18/0033G from 8100 feet. The 314th BW History states that 74 planes bombed by radar, 8 visually and 21 by radar with visual correction. There were no planes lost and no casualties from the 330th BG.

Mission: 30

  • Date: 19-20 June
  • Target: Shizuoka Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 212

Continuing the offensive against the minor Japanese cities, the 314th BW attacked the city of Shizuoka, located on the coast on the main rail line between Tokyo and Nagoya. It was presumably an easy target to identify by radar. The 330th BG contributed 33 planes and with three aborts 30 planes deposited 189.22 tons of incendiary bombs on the city. The tons per AC by Bomb Squadron were as follows: 457th: 5.8 per AC; 458th: 7.1 tons per AC and 459th: 6.2 per AC. They were aloft at 19/2030G and climbed to 7000 feet up past Iwo Jima and then up to 9500 feet over the city at a speed of 250 mph (CAS). Bombs were away at 20/0314G. They experienced little flak over the target but they received flak from naval ships in Suruga Bay where a major port is located. There was smoke up to 15,000 feet but a stiff breeze was blowing it away from the city. Of the 123 planes hitting the target from the 314th BW, 54 planes bombed visually. 31 planes bombed by radar with visual correction and 37 planes bombed by radar; 1 plane could not see the target but could see the offset reference point. It was estimated that 66% of the city's built up area was consumed in the fire started by the incendiary bombs. The raid effectiveness factor was 0.0026 square mile per ton. Two planes from the 314th BW were lost but none from the 330th BG. The elapsed time of this mission was 13 hours, a short mission relative to some of the daylight missions.

Mission: 31

  • Date: 22 June
  • Target: Mitsubishi Aircraft Plant, Tamashima, Kyūshū
  • Bomber Command Mission: 216

On this mission, the BG went back to precision daylight bombing in formation against the Japanese aircraft industry. The 330th BG sent 33 planes aloft, four of which aborted. The 29 planes assembled in formation and attacked the Mitsubishi aircraft plant at Tamashima, which produced. the Mitsubishi G4M 'Betty' aircraft. The BG deposited 174 tons of high explosive, with aircraft loads as follows: 457th: 4.9 tons per AC; 458th: 6.4 tons per AC and 459th 6.7 tons per AC. Planes were aloft at 22/0200G and returned at 22/1'715G.

Casualties
  • Aircraft: K-32
  • SN: 42-93955

KIA: CAP Carl R. Bauer (A/C), 1LT James D. Gilbert (P), 1LT Jett W. Foster( B), 2LT Gordon E. Kimball (N), 2LT Leslie A. Evans, Jr. (Rad Ob), MSGT Luther M. Justice (FE), SGT Ralph W. Dugan (RO), SGT Richard A. Morel (RG), SGT Elmer Kalman (LG), SGT Donald A. Olson (TG), (not riding in his position) 1LT Wallace Howard, survived.

Mission: 32

  • Date: 26 June
  • Target: Sumitomo Dural Aluminium Plant, Nagoya
  • Bomber Command Mission: 230

Another clear day was predicted over Honshū and a number of strategic targets that could , only be attacked in daylight were chosen for attack by the XXI BC. The 330th BG attacked the Sumitomo Duralumin Plant near Nagoya. Other BGs of the 314th BW attacked other industrial plants in the Nagoya area. The Sumitomo plant produced duralumin, the hard aluminium alloy used in airframe construction. The 33 planes took off from North Field at 26/0200G and landed at 26/1800G. Two planes aborted. two planes hit secondary targets and the remaining 29 planes dropped 155.5 tons of high explosive on the plant. The tons per aircraft were: 457th: 6.7 per AC; 458th.1: 3.5 per Aircraft and 459th: 5.6 per Aircraft. The planes were over the target at 26/1020G at 22.300 feet. But, whatever the weather predictions, the weather at the target was otherwise. Weather in the assembly area made assembly difficult.

Casualties

CPL James McCormack was wounded by anti-aircraft fire and was the only casualty on this mission.

Mission: 33

  • Date: 28-29 June
  • Target: Nobeoka Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 237

Continuing with the night attacks against minor Japanese cities, the 330th BG contributed 246.6 tons of incendiary bombs on Nobeoka, a relatively small city on the east coast of Kyūshū and on the main rail line running along the east coast of the island. This seemingly insignificant raid was in fact the start of an intensive bombing campaign of cities and the railroad system on this coast since it was directly in the path of the projected invasion of Kyūshū by Gen. Douglas Macarthur on 1 Nov 1945. The 32 planes were airborne from North Field, Guam at 28/2000G and landed at 29/1100G with bomb loads per AC as follows: 457th: 6.1 tons per AC; 458th 8.9 tons per Ac and 459th: 8.4 tons per Ac. One notes the dramatic increase in bomb loads permitted by these night incendiary raids compared to the early daylight raids over Tokyo at 30,000 feet with planes averaging 2 to 3 tons per AC. The consensus of the crews was that this was a good mission. The target area was burning well. Scattered fires were seen with smoke rising to 14,000 feet. But, later crews started their bomb run in clouds and smoke.

June summary

This month saw the conclusion of the strategic bombing campaign against the major Japanese urban centers on Honshū and a shift in the bombing campaign to raids against minor Japanese cities, normally in BW strength of from 100 to 180 planes. Four raids were against major cities, two against Osaka, one against Kobe and one against a suburb of Osaka -Amagasaki. Three daylight precision bombing raids were conducted, one against an important naval air station outside Tokyo, one against an aircraft factory and one against an aluminium alloy plant. The BG lost three planes, the worst month for casualties after April 1945 were 88.

July

Mission: 34

  • Date: 1-2 July
  • Target: Shimonoseki Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 243

For the first seven missions in July, the Bomb Group attacked minor Japanese cities with incendiary bombs (IB). The first city to be attacked was Shimonoseki. The important city with a population of 196,000 adjacent to Shimonoseki Strait, which was being mined almost nightly by the 313th BW. Thirty-eight planes took off at 1/1900G and 37 planes returned at approximately 2/1100G. One plane aborted. On this 16 hour mission, the BG deposited 180.5 tons of incendiary bombs with bomb load distributed as follows: 457th: 4.5; 458th: 5.1; and 459th: 5.2 tons per AC. The greater distance that the planes had to travel to this city necessitated the modest bomb loads. The four bomb groups in the 314th BW attacked Shimonoseki this night and together deposited 833 tons of bombs, burning out an estimated 36% of the built up area. Due to the defenses around Shimonoseki, bombing altitude were raised to 15,000 feet for the Wing on this particular mission. Lt. Fred Nibling, Group RADAR countermeasures officer, was in a RADAR Counter Measures (RCM) B-29 dubbed "Porcupine" at 33,000 feet for 90 minutes jamming Japanese radar.

Despite the heavy concentration of anti-aircraft guns in and around Shimonseki, the radar jamming and dispensing of chaff led to no planes lost or casualties.

Mission: 35

  • Date: 3-4 July
  • Target: Tokushima Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 250

On this mission, the Bomb Group deposited 328.5 tons; another reference gives 314.9 tons of incendiary bombs (IB) on Tokushima, a railroad hub on the eastern shore of Shikoku Island, the smallest island of the four Japanese home islands. The bomb loads were the highest of the war to date with the 457th: 10; 458th: 9.8; and 459th: 10 tons per AC. The total 314th BW deposited 1,051 tons of bombs, burning out an estimated 1.7 square miles of the town. This was 74% of the total built up area of the town for a bombing efficiency factor of 0.0016 square mile per ton. Take off time on this mission was 3/1900G and the planes returned at about 4/1100G.

There were no planes lost or casualties.

Mission: 36

  • Date: 6-7 July
  • Target: Kōfu Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 254

Continuing with the fire raid blitz against the minor Japanese cities, the 314th BW attacked the city of Kōfu, an inland city west of Tokyo and probably a rail hub for access to the west coast of Japan. At this time, with the Straits of Shimonoseki blockaded, Japanese imports of essential food and raw materials from Korea and Mainland China were being funneled through the ports on the Japanese west coast bordering the Sea of Japan. The 330th BG sent up 33 planes with one abort. The incendiary bombs were divided between the M-47, petroleum based incendiary bomb and the E-46 incendiary cluster bomb, a jelly-napalm based incendiary bomb. The latter was composed of a cluster of 47 small incendiary bomblets, which burst open between 1,000 to 2,000 feet and blanketed a wide area. It was these bombs, which contributed to the Tokyo conflagration of 9/10 March 1945. For this mission the take off time was 6/1800G returning at 7/0800G. Bombs were away between 7/0059G to 7/0144G at an altitude between 13,400 and 14,600 feet. Due to the cloud cover over the target on this night mission, most planes released their bombs by the synchronous radar method, which relied on the close coordination between the radar-N and the B. Most bombs were released in the target area, but one aircraft had some bombs, which did not release and another aircraft had three shackles installed backwards. This night, the BW deposited a total of 970 tons of incendiary bombs, burning down 64% or 1.3 square miles of the town with an effectiveness factor of 0.0013 square mile per ton. The 330th BG flew as BW lead and received the Distinguished Unit Citation for this mission. The citation stated: " This source of power was permanently eliminated as a target and 2/3 of its industrial region was leveled in this magnificent demonstration of determination and bombing skill." The calculated fuel usage was 6,117 gallons and the average fuel used was 5,816 gallons, but the averages masked the one B-29 which used 6,260 gallons due to the need to fly on three engines with the fourth feathered.

Mission: 37

  • Date: 9-10 July
  • Target: Gifu, Gifu Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 260

The 330th BG contributed 243.4 tons of incendiary bombs, all E-46 cluster bombs, to the 899 tons of incendiary bombs deposited by the 314th BW this night on Gifu. Thirty-four planes were aloft with three aborts and the average bomb loads were distributed as follows: 457th: 7.8; 458th: 7.8; and 459th: 8.0 tons per AC. The planes left at about 9/1700G and returned at approximately 10/0800G with bombs away between 10/0117G and the last at 10/0200G at an altitude of 14.000 -16.000 feet resulting in the bombs for the 31 planes being dropped in 43 minutes. This equates to an average time interval of 1.4 minutes between planes. This interval is important in determining the overall effectiveness of a fire raid. Later analysis indicated that 1.4 square miles (74%) of the city were burned out. The bombing efficiency factor was 0.0016 square mile per ton. There was only meager, inaccurate, heavy caliber anti-aircraft fire (15,000-25,000 feet), but inaccurate and intense automatic weapon fire (2,000-5,000), which was ineffective at the bombing altitude. Again, the estimated and actual fuel consumption was very close. The calculated value was 5,922 gallons and the actual average used was 5,987 gallons.

There were no planes lost or casualties.

Mission: 38

  • Date: 12-13 July
  • Target: Uwajima, Ehime Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 266

This mission was planned as a night mission against a relatively small city, Uwajima, of 50,000 population on the west coast of Shikoku. Thirty-three planes from the 330th BG took off at 12/1700G and landed about 13/0800G. Weather was the determining factor in the poor results of this mission. There was a weather front which was 100 miles north of the predicted position and close to the target, so crews flew at 14,000 -17,000 feet in the soup on instruments for 55 minutes from the front to the target and back to the edge of the front. The lower cumulus clouds over the target confused the radar pictures making identification of the target difficult. Bombs were scattered all over the countryside as only 0.14 square mile (16%) of the target area was burned as a result of the 873 tons of incendiary bombs dropped by the 314th BW on this target. The efficiency factor for this mission was 0.00016 square mile per ton. The target had to be revisited at the end of July to complete the job. Radio discipline was good as no one broke radio silence in the 330th BG, but three planes in the other BGs did break radio silence. Cruise control worked out very well with the calculated average fuel consumption of 5,908 gallons comparing favorably with the actual fuel consumption of 5,879 gallons. One plane had 22 of its 187 M-47 incendiary bombs hang up in the bomb bay and they were dropped on Rota (island) before landing.

There were no planes lost or casualties.

Mission: 39

  • Date: 16-17 July
  • Target: Hiratsuka Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 274

The target for this night's mission was Hiratsuka, a relatively small town south of Tokyo with an estimated population of 53,000, on the main railroad line linking Tokyo and Nagoya. Crews were off at 16/1800G and returned at approximately 17/0800G. Bombing was at an altitude between 11,200 and 12,500 feet. With the target completely cloud covered, all bombing was by RADAR. The BG dropped 335.75 tons, M-17 type Incendiary Bombs (IB) and the 314th BW dropped a total of 1,163 tons of bombs on the city. This resulted in about one square mile, or 41.9% of the city destroyed for an efficiency factor of 0.00086 square mile per ton. Later, crews reported a glow in the clouds with smoke mushrooming up to 12,000 feet and explosions in the target area. Visibility was 10 to 15 miles in the target area between a lower and upper cloud layer.

There were no planes lost or casualties.

Mission: 40

  • Date: 19-20 July
  • Target: Okazaki, Aichi Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 280

The 330th BG, with 31 planes, teamed up with the 19th and 29th BGs to attack Okazaki: a town lying 20 miles to the southeast of Nagoya. The 330th BG planes were loaded with 184 M-47 IB's, each weighing about 100 lbs for a total bomb Ioad of 196.2 tons. The other BGs used M-17 and E-46 incendiary bombs. The total incendiary bomb load dropped on the town was 850 tons, burning down 0.65 square miles or 68% of the total built-up area for an effectiveness factor of 0.00076 square mile per ton. There were scattered clouds above the target above 17,000 feet. This permitted nine planes to bomb visually and 22 by synchronous radar from 14,200 to 15,400 feet. Bombs were away between 20/0152G to 20/0234G. All aircraft were back at North Field at about 20/0830G. Crews reporting on the bombing results indicted that the bombs dropped in the target area causing fires and one reported a large explosion lighting up a city block. One crew reported five trains of bombs burning in the river. Another crew saw a string of bombs north of the course near Koromo. While radio discipline appeared to be good overall, communication with the weather ship on the VHF channel appeared to leave room for improvement. Only four sightings were made of enemy aircraft and no heavy anti-aircraft fire was experienced and meager, inaccurate automatic weapon fire at lower altitude was observed. But with three BGs, totaling 94 aircraft, in the area and apparently scheduled fairly close together, mistakes were made.

Casualties
  • Aircraft: K-14
  • SN: 42-94032

SGT Leroy Peters

Mission: 41

  • Date: 24 July
  • Target: Nakajima Aircraft Plant
  • Bomber Command Mission: 290

This was the only daylight precision bombing mission in formation by the 330th BG during July. Elaborate plans had been worked out for this mission. There were primary and secondary visual targets and a primary radar target. In fact," the primary visual target was an old favorite near Nagoya, the Nakajima aircraft plant. Assembly was over Minami Iwo Jima, the small island south of Iwo Jima. With the use of different color smoke guns, each squadron was able to assemble easily. But, some crews complained that the time allotted for assembling was too short. The weather ship indicated that the primary visual target was clear, but when the formation got there it was cloud covered. The formation then traveled to the secondary visual target and it was cloud covered as well. The formations then proceeded to the city of Tsu, Mie, about 38 miles southwest of Nagoya, the primary radar target. The bomb loads were peculiar. For the first time the 330th BG was loaded with one of the largest high explosive bombs in the AAF arsenal, the 4,000 pound high explosive (HE) bomb. Presumably, to test the effect of dropping them out of an aircraft, some aircraft were loaded with one, some with two and others with three of these two-ton bombs. When the bombs detonated, one could see the pressure waves traveling through the cloud layer. What the population in Tsu, Mie thought was not known. The bombing altitude ranged from 18,000 to 20,000 feet. The bombing technique was by synchronous radar, with bombs dropped when the lead aircraft dropped. Out of the 36 planes, four had trouble with their bomb bay doors. Two salvoed their bombs and two jettisoned their bombs in the ocean. Bombs were away at 24/1139G to 24/1141G with the formations traveling at average speed of 270 mph. Two planes landed at Iwo short on gas and no bomb-bay doors. One plane landed at Northwest Field (Guam). On this day mission gas consumption was 700 gallons over what was normally used on a night mission. The calculated fuel was 6,339 gallons and the average fuel consumption 6,446 gallons. This was not the ideal mission. The weather ship sent the formation to the primary target, which was socked in when the formation arrived and even the secondary visual target was cloud, covered. In reassembling and going to the radar target, the formations passed over Kyoto (off limits to bombing due to its cultural importance) and the formation took flak from the city.

This mission also had what the RAF called a "Master of Ceremonies". K-63, Talmon Mager, A/C, took off before the other planes and was over the various targets to direct traffic. The problem was that the plane was waiting over the target for two hours before the formations arrived. Also, the VHF channel for K-63 was cluttered with P-51 pilots using the same channel. Fortunately, despite flying to three targets in formation and new ordinance. There were no casualties or planes lost indicating the improved crew performance of the 330th BG and an opponent "on the ropes".

Mission: 42

  • Date: 26-27 July
  • Target: Ōmuta Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 295

As with most night missions during July, there were scattered clouds from the base up to 6,000 to 8,000 feet and a clear sky with visibility up to 10 miles between 8,000 to 17,000 feet, and clouds above that altitude. Ōmuta was a major town on the west side of Kyūshū. The 58th BW attacked it on 17-18 June 1945 with only minor damage. It had a population of 177,000 and was the focus of the 314th BW's efforts with all four bomb groups participating this night. The 330th BG had 33 planes scheduled with 11 from each Bomb Squadron. K-15 blew its front nose wheel tire on take off and scratched and K-33 aborted at Iwo with one engine out. The remaining 31 planes dropped 252.84 tons of M-47 and M-17 incendiary bombs on Omuta from 14,000 to 15,500 feet. Altogether, the four BGs dropped 965 tons of IB on the town, burning 2.65 square miles or 46.6% of the total built up area. The efficiency factor was 0.0027 square mile per ton. Despite the complaint about the weather, it was an efficient bombing strike. Its strategic value lay in the fact that Omuta was a rail hub and a port on the western side of Kyūshū and would need to be isolated before the Kyūshū invasion. The raid was planned as a classic night area-bombing mission with Pathfinder planes. This concept works only if the Pathfinders correctly mark the town and the follow-on aircraft can see the marker bombs. Otherwise, the crews were on their own. There were six Pathfinder Planes over the target between 27/0113G and the last 27/0133G and the main force was over the target from 17/0133 - 27/0201G. On many past missions, there were complaints that the weather planes provided weather information that was outdated by the time the planes reached the target. In this case the reverse was true, K-35, Foster B. Huff, A/C, a Pathfinder, was on its bomb run when the wind data came in. The Nav's complained that the forecasted wind directions and actual wind directions between Iwo Jima and the target were off by 90 to 100 degrees. These late and inaccurate weather reports may be the reason that the 457th BS, Pathfinder K-3, almost had its wing torn off by bombs falling on it from a plane 200 feet overhead.

The Japanese were aware that this was an important target as well; they sent up night fighters (they had very few) and shot down one B-29 and badly damaged another -neither plane from the 330th BG -but the demise of the B-29 was vividly described by the returning crews. Several crews saw a B-29 with one engine flaming, fired on by two sets of tracers ten miles beyond the target area; it exploded once in the air and again when it hit the ground at 27/0158G. Heavy and medium anti-aircraft fire was observed over the town but it was meager and inaccurate.

There were no planes lost or casualties on this mission.

Mission: 43

  • Date: 28-29 July
  • Target: Ōgaki Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 301

This was a memorable mission for the 330th Bomb Group. The target was Ōgaki urban area with a population of 56,000. In the first instance, K-28, City of Omaha, and Howard McClellan, A/C had on board Ray Clark, a newsman from Station WOW, Omaha who broadcast live back to Guam and the States. He gave a running account of the anticipation and excitement of the bomb run. This unprecedented broadcast was sent out live over three networks and recorded for repeat broadcast by two other networks. Later, Ray Clark was able to get K-28's crew and plane back to Nebraska in October 1945 to participate in a Victory Bond drive. The second highlight of the mission was that the City of Ogaki was part of a 20th Air Force Psychological Warfare Effort involving the Japanese people. Certain cities, Ōgaki being one of them, was the recipient of propaganda leaflets stating it would be, along with 10 other cities, firebombed in the near future and the civilians were warned to evacuate the city. But, in modem warfare, psychology is used and in some instances very effectively. Hitler's Germany made no bones about it, they had a Ministry of Propaganda and believed firmly in the dictum that if you say black is white often enough people will believe you. (Remember the Minister of Information in Iraq) For the Americans, there was Tokyo Rose. In any case, Americans had, at the start of World War II, voiced opposition to area bombing as used by the Japanese on Nan King in 1937. In prosecuting total war, we were using the B-29 in its most efficient and effective manner on centers of production and transportation; but in the late stages of a bombing campaign, the Japanese morale became a legitimate target.[5] The pamphlets warned that certain cities were to be bombed and they should evacuate the cities. Therefore, many Japanese cities in July and August 1945 were forewarned, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki (although the warning to Nagasaki may have come too late since the date of that mission was moved up a day due to weather predictions). The 330th BG sent 33 planes against Ogaki, dropping 227.26 tons of bombs consisting of E-46 and M-47 incendiaries. The 330th BG was joined by the 29th and 39th BGs; the 19th BG hit a different target. The total bomb load dropped on the town was 659 tons IB, burning 0.54 square miles of Ogaki for an efficiency factor of 0.0008 square mile per ton, not a very effective mission. Planes left North Field, Guam at 28/1807 -1940G and returned between 29/0900G -29/1000G. Bombs were away between 29/0201 - 29/0318G. Bombing results as reported by crews was good to excellent, with the last crew over the target reporting smoke up to 14,000 feet. Enemy opposition was stronger than met on previous night raids. Enemy fighters teamed with search lights in attacking planes with 5 passes made at three planes from the 330th BG. Meager to moderate heavy caliber anti-aircraft fire and meager to intense medium caliber anti-aircraft fire was encountered in the area with 15 to 20 searchlights with planes caught in the lights catching the most flak. The crews due to the pamphlets forewarning the Japanese of the attack and the clear night, which made a raid likely, believed the aggressive defenses. Calculated gas consumption was 5,974 gallons and the mission average was 6,075 gallons.

Three planes landed at Iwo Jima for fuel. The 330th BG lost no plane and no casualties.

July summary

The 330th BG ran 10 missions and this was the first month that no planes were lost. Vitiation of the oppostition and, perhaps,the factor of luck do contribute-no doubt. However due recognition must be given to the leadership and training of the combat crews which provided the necessary crew discipline and skill to accomplish their duties so expertly, with such minimum losses overall.The only injury was SGT Leroy Peters, TG on K-8, from friendly fire. Nine raids were against minor Japanese cities and there was one planned daylight precision bombing raid against the major Japanese aircraft plant near Nagoya, although this raid was frustrated by the weather. The month also saw the intensification of a psychological warfare campaign by the 20th Air Force, warning the population in certain Japanese cities to clear out as the city was to be fire bombed. This campaign, at least initially, was not looked upon with equanimity by many crewmembers.[6]

August

Mission: 44

  • Date: 1-2 August
  • Target: Mito, Ibaraki Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 309

In commemoration of Air Force Day, the 330th BG scheduled a maximum effort with 43 aircraft -2 scratched due to an inoperative carburetor in one and an inoperative actuator switch in another. The remaining 41 planes bombed the primary target, Mito urban area, which made an excellent radar target. An estimated 73.1 % or 1.22 square miles of the town were burned for an efficiency rating of 0.0011 square miles per ton. The town was located about 65 statute miles northeast of Tokyo. The 330th BG contributed 289.71 tons of M-47 and EA-46 IB's to the 314th BW total of 1,145 tons lbs. The average bomb load was 7.1 tons per aircraft. The aircraft left North Field between 01/1907 -O1/1952G. Bombs were away between 02/0205 -02/0300G at an altitude of 12,500 feet. While this town was notified along with other towns not attacked this night, enemy opposition was meager. Two searchlights were observed with meager and inaccurate heavy anti-aircraft (HAA) and medium anti-aircraft (MAA) fire. Six enemy aircraft were observed in the target area but made no attacks. The last plane landed at 02/1048G and the mission was notable in that 41 planes took off and landed at North Field. Cruise control was almost perfect, a rarity. The calculated gas consumption was 5,826 gallons and the average gas consumption was 5,850 gallons with a range of 5,562 -6,284 gallons. The average gas load was 6,600 gallons so the highest gas consumer landed with about 300 gallons to spare.

There were no planes lost or casualties.

Mission: 45

  • Date: 5-6 August
  • Target: Nishinomiya Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 314

A minor city, Nishinomiya, population 112,000 between Kobe and Osaka was attacked this night with 6/10 cloud cover over the target during the bomb run. Thirty-three aircraft were scheduled for the mission with one 'Super Dumbo' (a group B-29 temporarily stripped of ammunition and filled with extra fuel tanks, liferafts, BC-778 "Gibson Girl" rescue radios and supplies that could be dropped to a downed crew), K-8, and one radar countermeasure (RCM) aircraft, K-55. Six Pathfinder aircraft carried mixed loads of M-47 and one 500-pound T4/E4 and one 100-pound M-46 bomb while the main force J carried 500-pound E-46 incendiary clusters. The average bomb load was 7.5 tons per aircraft. The bomb run was made between 06/0125 -06/0208G at an average altitude of 13,400 feet. Of the 27 aircraft returning directly to base, 14 bombed by radar and 13 bombed visually with crews reporting good to excellent results. Later analysis indicated that 2.8 square miles (29.65%) of the built up area was burned down. This was a joint mission with the 314th and 73rd BGs participating, dropping a total of 2,004 tons IB for an efficiency factor of 0.0014 square miles per ton. It called for an average gas consumption of 6,238 gallons and the average used for the 26 planes that returned to North Field was 6,150 gallons with a range of 6,016 -6,400 gallons. One plane lost an engine on the way up and bombed a target of opportunity instead of the main target.

There were no planes lost or casualties.

Mission: 46

This was the last daylight raid of the war for the 330th BG and it was an old favorite of the XXI Bomber Command. The target was Nakajima Aircraft Engine plant northwest of Tokyo. The first strategic target hit by the B-29s in November 1944 from the Marianas and had been hit 12 times previously by the 73rd. 58th BWs and Navy Carrier Task Force planes. Just to show how sometimes the larger picture reports are misleading as to what was actually bombed, this mission is a good example. The 314th BW summary reports that 60 planes from the 314th BW bombed the Tokyo arsenal, the radar target for the Bomber Command Mission #320. The Tokyo arsenal was the primary radar target and secondary visual target. The 330th BS's assembled into four formations over a small volcanic island due south of Tokyo, called Torishima, Toshima. They then proceeded to the target with the 458th BS in the lead followed by 459th BS, 457th BS and a composite formation. Flak was encountered from landfall to the target with heavy anti-aircraft (HAA), meager to moderate and generally accurate as to altitude. Approaching the target, HAA fire increased in intensity and accuracy and continued until the formations climbed out of the target area. The 458th BS formation attacked on an axis of 70 degrees and dropped its bombs from 22,000 feet. The 459th attacked on an axis of 175 degrees, overran the 458th BS formation, made a 360-degree turn and went over the primary target again. But, the formation could not see the target the second time around and went for the secondary visual target -Tokyo Army Arsenal. The 457th BS formation, on a heading of 72 degrees, dropped its bombs from 22,200 feet and the composite formation on a heading of 73 degrees dropped its bombs from 22,900 feet. Why the 459th BS was on a heading of 175 degrees is not known. The weather over the primary target was almost ideal for a precision daylight-bombing raid with a few scattered clouds and visibility of 20 miles. Despite some snafus the 330th BG received its second DUC for its performance on this mission.

There were no planes lost and no casualties.

Mission: 47

  • Date: 14-15 August
  • Target: Kumagaya, Saitama Urban Area
  • Bomber Command Mission: 329

Since 12 April 1945, when the 330th BG went into action, until 8 August 1945, the normal time interval between missions was 2 to 3 days, sometimes one day and on rare occasions, 5 days. The time between the Nakajima mission and the Kumagaya mission was six days. Two atom bombs were dropped earlier this month. One on the 6 and the other on the 9 of August and there were reports that the Japanese were thinking of surrendering, but this did not materialize in any concrete message from the Japanese. So the 330th BG was forced to go out again. This time against the Kumagaya urban area with a population of 47,000 located northwest of Tokyo but it was on a main rail line to the West Coast. Departure was at 14/1800 to 14/1907G and return was 15/0814 to 15/0915G. While some of the planes were landing the ROs reported that Japan had accepted the surrender terms offered by the Allies. Forty planes had taken off from North Field with four aborts due to trouble with the Wright Cyclone engines (three aborts lost an engine and one had an engine backfire). The remaining 36 aircraft included one Super Dumbo and one RCM craft. The RCM plane carried two 2 ton HE bombs and the other 34 aircraft carried E-46 and M-47 incendiary bombs. The average bomb load depending on the reference was 7.5 tons per aircraft or 6.3 tons per aircraft. Bombs were dropped by radar as the target was completely cloud covered. There was only meager and inaccurate flak and no enemy aircraft sighted. This was a joint mission with the 313th BW and a reported total of 593 tons of IB were dropped on Kumagaya burning 0.27 square miles for an efficiency rating of 0.00046 square miles per ton -not one of the most efficient area bombing missions.

Although this was the last official 'Combat' Mission for the 330th, it did not end the war for some crews. Until the Armistice was signed aboard the USS Missouri on 2 September 1945, crews flew food packages to POW camps and participated in show-of-force missions for which they got combat mission time (important in the point system that sent troops back to the US in the following months).

So ended the war, which started for the Americans on Monday 8 December 1941 (Tokyo time; Sunday 7 December 1941 Washington, D.C. and Hawaii time) and ended 15 August 1945 (Tokyo time).

August summary

The 330th BG participated in three-night missions against minor Japanese cities and one daylight precision bombing raid against the Nakajima Aircraft Engine plant a perennially favorite of the 20th Air Force strategists. The BG had no casualties, but lost one plane in a crash landing on Iwo Jima, in these four missions. The BG planes were returning from a mission to Kumagaya in the early morning of 15 August 1945 when the announcement came over the radio that the Japanese had surrendered and World War II was over.

Miscellaneous missions

12 April 1945 to 2 September 1945

North Field, Guam

An important function of aircraft in wartime is reconnaissance. There were four main types: weather, photography, RADAR scope photo and measuring the enemy's RADAR signals. The BG also provided navigational escort for P-51s from Iwo Jima to the Empire and back. Occasionally a crew would be called upon to conduct a sea search for a downed aircraft. A memorable reconnaissance mission occurred on 6/7 August 1945 by Howard McClellan, K-28 A/C. He and his crew saw the still-smoldering ruins of Hiroshima at twilight on 6 August 1945. They were on a RADAR scope photography mission of various cities in southern Honshū. Upon their return, they described the devastation seen at Hiroshima stating that there must have been a large raid on the city to cause such damage. However, McClellan was not aware of any scheduled air raid on that city. Later the same night, McClellan was awakened and he personally had to describe what he had seen to General Power.

In another mission, the 330th BG provided on-the-job training for three crews from the 463rd BS of the 8th Air Force that were relocating from Europe to Okinawa under General Jimmy Doolittle. Dickinson, A/C, flying K-7 completed eight combat missions with the 330th BG before the war ended. Roy B. Reeves, Jr. and James W. Ferry, A/Cs of crews assigned to 458th and 459th BS at the end of the war were not deployed back to the States but were sent to Okinawa where they continued with the 8th Air Force.

RADAR jamming

The observation was made early on that the Japanese had sophisticated RADAR, but it was not used effectively. The job of the 330th BG RADAR Countermeasures Section (RCM) was to ensure that this was the case. The dramatic fall in 330th BG losses to zero in July and August 1945 was due, no doubt, to luck, but also to the work of this section. The RADAR Counter Measures or RCM participated in all BG missions starting on 4 May 1945 till 15 August 1945 searching for Japanese RADAR signals, spot jamming individual Japanese RADAR units and barrage jamming target areas by specially equipped B-29s called "Porcupines" (no doubt due to the many aerials protruding from the aircraft). Searching the skies for Japanese RADAR signals required specialized electronic equipment, which was installed in these designated aircraft. The equipment included; a) a tuner-analyzer to measure the Japanese RADAR frequencies and strength and presumably the pulse width and pulse repetition frequency and b) four to five transmitters producing static noise, in effect jamming the Japanese RADAR signals. Based on this information, one could determine whether the signals were emitted by gun laying RADAR or RADAR-directing searchlights or air-to-air RADAR in Japanese fighters. The RADAR countermeasures observer also noticed the coincidence of enemy signals with enemy action and the weather. What was not observed was just as important. The Japanese night fighters had no airborne RADAR. In a few cases, they were observed to have air-to-surface vessel type RADAR. The Japanese RADAR operated on 75 and 200 megahertz bands but no 540-megahertz band RADAR was observed. The latter RADAR signals originated from German Wurzburg RADAR with devastating results for the 8th Air Force in the European theater.

On BG missions from 4 May to 25 May 1945, RADAR signal analyzers were carried, but no RADAR jamming was permitted. Only chaff was used during this period. Due to the concentration of gun-laying RADAR around Tokyo, jamming was requested but it was denied. The 20th Air Force lost the largest number of B-29s over Tokyo on 25-26 May 1945. On all subsequent missions, either spot jamming or barrage jamming of enemy RADAR signals was done. 1LT Fred Nibling amplified in a recent communication how the chaff was supposed to affect Japanese RADAR. The chaff consisted of spools of foil packaged in breakout containers and each spool gave the impression on enemy RADAR of a B-29. On daylight missions one always saw hundreds of foils floating down. B-29 gunners stated that search light beams sometimes followed the chaff as it floated down. A variation on the foils were packets of "straws" -straw shaped strips coated with aluminium- packed 20 to a packet and dropped by the Navigator, which gave the impression on enemy RADAR of 20 B-29s.

Further "reports" stated that the foils falling across bare electric power and communication lines shorted them out, further complicating Japanese existence.

There were 42 RCM missions starting on 4 May 1945, which included 35 regular BG missions; two missions to assist the 315th BW, which had no RCM capability, and five special RADAR signal search missions. During this period, 440 enemy RADAR signals were observed and analyzed and this information was forwarded to higher echelons for collation with information from other sources. On the regular BG missions, the RCM observer would spot or barrage jam the detected Japanese signals but, since the aircraft would be in the area for only 10 to 15 minutes, it was not effective during the entire time that the group was over the target. The BG had six Porcupine Aircraft and more were being added when the war ended. These B-29s were dedicated mainly to analyzing and jamming Japanese RADAR signals. They were used over targets with heavy concentrations of gun-laying and searchlight-controlled RADAR. They would stay in the target area during the entire bombing period. 1LT Fred Nibling stated that the RCM activities were very effective based on numerous crew reports of searchlights frantically searching the sky with little degree of accuracy when there was partial under cast cloud cover. At times of completely under cast skies, the anti-aircraft fire was totally inaccurate when RADAR jamming was employed. Two particular instances were worthy of note. Over Shimonoseki, with over 200 anti-aircraft guns, a Porcupine was in the area and no BG planes were lost. The 315th BW planes, employing the AN/APQ-7 Eagle RADAR, had a 70 mile bomb run lasting 15 minutes, ideal for gun-laying RADAR. But, at the heavily defended Kawasaki Oil Refinery, no B-29's were lost thanks to the 330th BG Porcupine Jammers.

POW missions

The Americans had a pretty good idea where the POW camps were located and they also knew about the atrocious living conditions in the camps since the liberation of the POW camps in the Philippines and South East Asia. The Air Force launched a humanitarian effort to immediately relieve the POWs suffering by dropping food supplies to the camps, many spread all over the Far East. The 330th BG participated in this effort. The 73rd BW Service Center on Saipan made up the packages and the appropriate mechanism to effectively parachute drop these supplies. It was a massive effort and the 73rd BW alone dropped 2,000 tons from 472 effective sorties to POW camps on the Japanese home islands, Korea and China. Ten planes from the 330th BG flew to Saipan to pick up the supplies. The following day, 31 August 1945, they flew to the Empire and dropped the supplies on POW camps around Osaka. Flying back over Tokyo, one crew, K-3 got a close look at the devastation in Tokyo and a view of the naval floatilla steaming into Tokyo Bay with the USS Missouri on which the surrender took place two days later.
The Crew of K-5, Charles Woolwine, A/C, were given the task of dropping supplies to a POW camp near Hong Kong. To accomplish this feat, they had to fly to Clark Field in the Philippines and pick up supplies and information on the location of the camp. POW missions for the 330th BG are listed as follows:

  • 29 August 1945: POW supply drop
  • 30 August 1945: POW supply drop
  • 31 August 1945: POW supply drop
  • 31 August 1945: POW supply drop and reconnaissance -Hong Kong

Robert Willman and the crew of K-1 were asked to fly medical and food supplies to Okinawa. (Okinawa was hit by an enormous typhoon days before). They did this with wooden platforms devised to be hung in the bomb bays. These platforms were loaded with supplies and lashed into place. Upon reaching Okinawa they were met by a crew of GI's who unloaded the supplies. After topping off the gas tanks they would head back to Guam. When they flew the aircraft to the states during the Sunset Project, they used the platforms again. This time they had about six passengers. Five Army enlisted men and one officer, all of whom had priority to return to the States. They had been in the Pacific area since before Pearl Harbor.

The 330th BG lost no planes in this effort, but the 73rd BW lost four planes in the effort, including one to the Russians who forced down a B-29 over Korea. The Cold War started early in the Far East.

Show of Force missions

When Col. Reynolds moved up to Chief of Staff, 314th BW, the 330th BG continued to get important assignments. One such mission was to ferry the photographs of the Japanese surrender signing aboard the USS Missouri to Washington as quickly as possible. So a composite crew, consisting of the following, was assembled: A/C Robert Ryder CO, 459th BS, William Wilson (A/C), K-52, Herman Smith A/C, K-4 William Hawke (P), K-52 Vern Ruegsegger (FE) K-4, George Butros (FE), K-52,Charles Hammer (N), K-4 Benram Wakeley (N), K-52 Harder Hall (Rad Ob), K-52 RO Elvin Endy RO, K-4 RO and William Robinson, RO on K-52. Since there was no runway around Tokyo long enough to land a B-29, the crew picked up the photos at Iwo Jima where they had been delivered in a B-17. The B-29 flew to Hawaii where the crew had four hours of sleep and then headed to Washington, DC. The plane lost an engine over the Rockies so they landed at Wright-Patterson AAF, Dayton, Ohio, where the photos were taken by train to Washington, D.C.

  • 30 August 1945: BS strength
  • 31 August 1945: BS strength
  • 1 September 1945: BS strength
  • 2 September 1945: BG strength

References

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ Air Force Combat Units of World War II By United States USAF Historical Division, Maurer Maurer, James Gilbert p.210
  2. ^ Mauer, Mauer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. ISBN 0892010975
  3. ^ *Official History of the 330th Bomb Group
  4. ^ United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Summary Report (Pacific War). 1 July 1946
  5. ^ Bradley, F. J. No Strategic Targets Left. "Contribution of Major Fire Raids Toward Ending WWII", Turner Publishing Company, limited edition. ISBN 1563114836.
  6. ^ Bradley, F. J. No Strategic Targets Left. "Contribution of Major Fire Raids Toward Ending WWII", Turner Publishing Company, limited edition. ISBN 1563114836

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