330th June Missions of 1945
April - May - June - July - August
1 June 1945 Bomb Group Mission #24

Target: West Osaka Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #187

Code Name:

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, Zekes, 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

Plane K-37 SN 42-93995

CAP Arthur Behrens, A/C killed in action 1LT Robert Woliver (P), injured and bailed out at Iwo Jima, 2LT Robert Fast (N), injured and bailed out at Iwo Jima, 1LT John Logerot (B), injured and bailed out at Iwo Jima, FO Wallace Mussallem (Rad Ob) bailed out at Iwo Jima and was injured in landing MSGT Charles Whitehead (FE), injured and bailed out at Iwo Jima. SGT Jack Engelsher (RO), bailed out at Iwo Jima and was injured in landing SGT Herbert Corbly (CFC) Gunner, bailed out at Iwo Jima and was injured in landing SGT John Berguson (LG), bailed out at Iwo Jima SGT Joseph Celardo (RG), bailed out at Iwo Jima SGT James Cipolla (TG), bailed out at Iwo Jima and was injured in landing

FE Charles Whitehead said that, as the B-29s approached Osaka in formation, the flak was the most intense they had encountered to date. Suddenly, a shell blasted away the pilot's control panel killing Behrens instantly. The force of the shock wave put a big gaping hole in the fuselage. The four 50 caliber gun barrels on the upper forward turret were twisted up like spaghetti. When hit, K-37 was at 20,000 feet. The stricken aircraft dropped out of formation and was down to 1,000 - 2.000 feet before Woliver was able to put the plane on a level flight. Still struggling to control the aircraft, Woliver, his left arm injured, was able to turn K-37 around and head southeast in the general direction of Iwo. Whitehead states they had no indication of speed, direction! or altitude. "We assumed that eventually we would have to ditch or jump," he said. the crew did put the IFF in emergency position. Over Iwo that day, Pilot Arthur Shepard and Arvid Shulenberger, his Radar Observer, were in their P-61 Black Widow, a night fighter with the long snouty nose in which was housed their radar equipment. They were on a "squint" mission, who was a run in daylight over their mother ship, a destroyer, to calibrate their radar equipment. However, after passing through a rain squall -as sometimes happens -the radar set went dead, possibly from shorted wires from the rain. As recounted by Shulenberger rather than abort the mission, they turned to their IFF to see if any of the B-29's - Dreamboats to the Black Widow crews -needed any assistance. They were about 100 miles west of Iwo and all the Dreamboats at about 10,000 feet gave a normal IFF signal a "dot dot dash" on the observer's screen. Then suddenly, a distinct IFF emergency signal appeared on the screen and the radar observer guided the pilot to the B-29 in distress. Looking at the B-29 from the rear, it looked in excellent shape, barreling along at about 220 mph indicated air speed and probably close to 300 mph calculated air speed. But, in flying up to the left side of the plane, they could clearly see "half the big plane's nose was shot away". The pilot's half of the cockpit was gone. Shepard guided the B-29 back to Iwo where it was obvious that the plane could not be landed since the nose wheel was shot away. In addition -unbeknownst to the Black Widow crew -Woliver, weakened by loss of blood, could just barely keep the plane in level flight even with the assistance of John Logerot (B) and Whitehead. The B-29 made two passes over Iwo. On the first pass, eight crewmen came tumbling out and the Black Widow crew could clearly see the slip stream catch the crewmen as their chutes popped open and they slowly drifted down. On the second pass, B Logerot, partially blinded by the shell blast, and pilot Woliver, with injured left arm and impaired vision, bailed out. Everyone landed on Iwo. Robert Fast and Engelsher each broke a leg and Berguson strained his back landing on the runway. Cipolla smashed his knee on landing and got out of hospital, August 15,1945 -the day the Japanese threw in the towel. With K-37 still going in a northwesterly direction, Iwo tower ordered the P-61 to "splash" the derelict that was now heading for Japan with only the dead pilot on board. The Black Widow, with four 50-caliber machine guns and four 20 mm cannons, gave the big bird a long blast, but the B-29 appeared unaffected. Another long blast was sent into the plane but it continued on its way. And, finally, after absorbing all 450 rounds, K-37 made a slow sweeping turn back towards Iwo. There, it descended -as many crippled B- 29s did -in a slowly descending spiral, finally slamming into the ocean. As Shulenberger stated, "We were on the verge of feeling defeated and disgraced -by an empty ship". ; The big bird took a terrific punishment. CAP Behrens went down with his ship. Later, 1LT Woliver was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by General Carl Spaatz on 5 August 1945. (General Spaatz had only just been placed in command of the newly formed US Army Strategic Air Forces so this must have been one of his first official public acts in this capacity). Another sidelight to this mission was revealed by Whitehead. It was 330th BG's Chaplain Paul Shade's practice to visit various planes on the flight line before takeoff to give solace to the crews. Whitehead states that on 1 June he overheard Capt. Behrens tell: Chaplain Shade, "Paul, I'm not going to make it back from this one". A true premonition! Woliver, Fast, Mussallem, Whitehead, Corbly and Engelsher received the Purple Heart and SGT Cipolla received an Oak Leaf Cluster to his Purple Heart which he originally received for injuries sustained on Mission #16 on 10 May 1945. 1LT. Logerot was awarded the Silver Star for his heroism this day. Also injured on this mission and later receiving the Purple Heart was Joseph Malley (CFC) on plane K-31. At the same time as all of this was occurring, another Crew was fighting for their lives just off the coast of Iwo Jima. 1LT Wesley Smith, A/C, flying K-56, had what he stated was a B-29 first on this mission. After bombs away, they lost #4 engine and #3 engine started to act up, so they headed straight for Iwo. Around Iwo this day the plane traffic was thick and the tower told all planes to keep circling as K-37 was bailing out its crew, as noted above. At this point, K-56 lost #3 engine and Smith decided to land at the fighter strip near Mt. Suribachi. Approaching the strip with flaps and wheels down, a B-29 landing directly ahead of them did not immediately exit the strip. In order to avoid a crash, Smith pulled up the wheels and flaps and Lee Ashby (P), applied full emergency power to the remaining engines. Ahead of them was a small hill with tents, which the plane just barely cleared. As the plane gained altitude, Smith gave the ditching order since he did not believe he could bring the B-29 around for another landing attempt. However, Smith and Ashby were able to trim the plane and bring it around, but at this point the radio went dead so they shot off some flares to indicate their dire straits. A P-51 fighter assisted them by warding off B-29s that might get in their landing pattern. The plane came down and, to assure that it would clear the end of the runway to the left, Smith let the plane run fast (as seen in the photo below). Exiting to the left, Smith noticed a jeep running after two life rafts on the runway. Richard Kurtz (CFC),and Harvey Landis (RO), experiencing the landing bump, released the life rafts since the ditching order was not rescinded. Kurtz, exiting the astrodome, stated "Hell, we are on land". As the crew exited the plane, they were met by a Colonel who asked for the A/C. Smith stated that he was and the Colonel stated "You did a great job, but you sure scared the hell out of my men. I never saw them move so fast". Smith attributed their successful two-engine go around and landing to a fine aircraft and training and dedication of the crew.

(Photo courtesy of our friends at the 7th FG)

This mission should also be mentioned in the 20th Air Force annals for the tragic loss of 27 P-51 Mustang pilots while flying blind through a turbulent weather front. 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 by a navigational B-29. Unfortunately, in this case,this tragedy could not have been prevented.


5 June 1945 Bomb Group Mission #25

Target: Kobe Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #188

Code Name:

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. Keyes states that one plane in their formation, half way to the target, salvoed its bombs and proceeded to the target with bomb bay doors closed. Approaching the city, one could see fires along the dock and city area. The target (according to Keyes) was the rail center and bombs were away at 5/0930G with bombs successfully landing on the target. 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. Passing north of Osaka, the formation had a couple of fighter attacks, which were fended off. In the third formation ahead of them, they saw a B-29 leave the formation with Japanese fighters on its heels. This was plane K-57 with 1LT Donald Schlitz, A/C (see casualties below). After leaving the coast, K-58 saw many planes with feathered props and many limped back to Iwo which was initially weathered in when they got there, but they were finally able to land at 1345G. Iwo was full of planes from all Bomb Groups. It was a costly mission for the XXI BC which lost 11 planes, 2.3 % of the attacking force. Undoubtedly the toll would have been much higher if it were not for Iwo Jima. Planes flying directly back to Guam landed at approximately 1800G. Those landing at Iwo would land at Guam three to four hours later. Due to the time it took to assemble in formation and ascend to altitude, this was a long mission lasting up to 17 hours and longer for some. It was no wonder that the debriefing comments did not concentrate on mission accomplishments, but on the status or lack thereof of the food and the food- warmers.

CASUALTIES

Plane K-57 SN 44-69796

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

As recounted by Keyes and Crowells', Lt. Schiltz's plane was hit by fighters and broke out of the formation. It went into a spin and barrel roll but regained level flight with a Japanese fighter pressing its attack and then joined by another Japanese fighter. It appeared that 30 feet of one wing was gone. It continued a slow spiral down with six chutes appearing out of the plane before it crashed into a dry river bed between Osaka and Kyoto.


7 June 1945 Bomb Group Mission #26

Target: Osaka Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #189

Code Name:

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 (strips of aluminum foil) 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. One of the planes lost was heard by Keyes' plane stating over the VHF channel that they were bailing out approximately 40 miles from Guam. They were told to turn on their landing lights so they could be spotted. The only reply they got was a statement that two engines were already out of fuel and the other two were sputtering. The crew bailed out and K-58 radioed the distressed plane's position. It was later learned that all but one person was rescued. Planes landed at North Field between 7/2000G to 7/2100G. 10 June 1945 Bomb Group Mission #27 Target: Kasumigaura Naval Sea Plane Station Bomber Command Mission #195 Code Name: 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.


15 June 1945 Bomb Group Mission #28

Target: Osaka -Amagasaki Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #203

Code Name:

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 fife 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.


17-18 June 1945 Bomb Group Mission #29

Target: Kagoshima Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #206

Code Name

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 Kyushu 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. Keyes states that his aircraft had 35 X 500 pound IE or 8.75 tons per aircraft. 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. Coming away from the target K-58 turned left, back out over the East China Sea. For about 100 miles from the target they were followed by a plane, which they thought was a Japanese fighter. Periodically flames would shoot out from it and then it blew up. Later they learned this was a B-29, probably the one combat loss sustained by the 314th BW this evening. The Japanese, to protect their major cities and to engage in their Kamikaze campaign, had laid bare many of the minor cities in a defensive sense. At this stage of the war they had neither the material or personnel resources to protect these cities. What they had, were being preserved for the climatic struggle for the Home Islands. The Kyushu invasion was set for 1 November 1945 and this raid can be considered the opening shot of what would probably be an intensive bombing campaign against all major transportation and military centers on Kyushu Island.


19-20 June 1945 Bomb Group Mission #30

Target: Shizuoka Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #212

Code Name:

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. Again K-58 was a heavy carrier on this mission carrying 196 X 100 lb IB's. 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. In most of the minor city fire raids, we had no record of what it was like to be on the receiving end. Photo analysis estimated the physical damage but we had no record of the human damage. Shizuoka was an exception since Dr. Hiroya Sugano preserved a record. Sugano was eight years old on the night of the raid and recalls it vividly in his pamphlet. The 1945 population of Shizuoka was estimated at 212,000 and the town housed the important Mitsubishi AC engine factory. The Aircraft Engine Plant was on the receiving end of 10.5 tons of HE in March 1945, 181 tons HE in April 1945 and 10.2 tons in May 1945 and finally 865.3 tons of IB fell on the city on 19-20 June 1945. But, the Shizuoka civil defense measures were crude at best. Air raid shelters consisted of a hole in the ground next to one's house with a wooden roof covered with soil and clay. Due to the high ground water level in the area, the shelters were shallow. The IB bomb load was a mixture of E-46 cluster bombs and M-47 phosphorus bombs. The concentration of IB in time and space in the industrial heart of Shizuoka apparently overwhelmed the fire fighting capabilities and burned out 2.28 sq mi of the industrial center of the city. Over 2,000 died and more than 12,000 were injured. The unclaimed bodies lay for three days along the Abe River until they were cremated. Many of the victims were burned alive, trapped in their little air raid shelters. During the raid, Sugano heard a terrific explosion overhead with resulting shock waves. Two B-29s had collided over the city and the planes came crashing down in a field west of the city. The next morning Sugano ran to the crash site. The soldiers had cordoned off but he could see several bodies of the 23 dead American airmen who perished in the collision. They were cremated along with the Shizuoka victims. Mr. Fukusuatsu Itoh, whose brother owned a mulberry field near the crash site, found a dented canteen belonging to one of the Americans. Mr. Itoh mourned for both the Japanese and American dead as human beings and he erected a wooden cross for the Americans -a courageous act considering the animosity of the populace for the enemy, especially B-29 airmen. Mr. Itoh. a businessman, later became a Buddhist monk and in 1970 erected two monuments on Mt. Shizuhata. overlooking the town. One monument was Kanhonzo. Goddess of Mercy in memory of the Shizuoka victims. The other was a stone monument in memory of the 23 B-29 crewmen. Each June there is a memorial service at the monuments for the war dead. It has become a custom to pour some bourbon from the original canteen on the American headstone. One year John Colli, whose brother was among the 23 American crewmen, poured the traditional bourbon.


22 June 1945 Bomb Group Mission #31

Target: Mitsubishi Aircraft Plant

Bomber Command Mission # 216

Code Name:

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 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. The BG lost one plane, K-32, Capt. Carl R. Bauer, Airplane Commander. K-58 also experienced difficulty but with a more fortunate outcome. They had a fire in #1 engine and feathered it but could not maintain altitude and picked a target of opportunity, the seaplane base at Kushimoto, dropping the bombs on a difficult bomb run as the plane continued to lose altitude. Landing at Guam at 22/1650 they were met by a staff car with General Power (one star), General Giles (three stars) General Arnold (five stars), and famed radio commentator Lowell Thomas. General Arnold wanted to know about the mission and how the plane handled on three engines. He was sufficiently impressed that he congratulated and shook hands with each crewmember.

CASUALTIES

Plane K-32 SN 42-93955

Capt. Carl R. Bauer, A/C, killed in crash 1LT James D. Gilbert, P, killed in crash 1LT Jett W. Foster, B, killed in crash 2LT Gordon E. Kimball, N, killed in crash 2LT Leslie A. Evans, Jr., Rad Ob, killed in crash M. SGT Luther M. Justice, FE, killed in crash SGT Ralph W. Dugan, RO, killed in crash SGT Richard A. Morel, RG, killed in crash SGT Elmer Kalman, LG, killed in crash SGT Donald A. Olson, TG, killed in crash (but not riding in this position on landing) Lt. Wallace Howard,

Squad Gun Officer, survived the crash riding in TG's position. Bauer took off at 22/0210G and headed toward the assembly point with the B-29 gross weight of 68.93 tons. At five minutes out, at an altitude of 2,000 feet and estimated power settings of 43 inches of mercury and 2400 rpm, the oil temperature in engine #1 rose rapidly. Engine #1 was feathered and all bombs were salvoed. Bauer notified the control tower that he was returning to North Field. At 22/0330G, Bauer told the tower his intention to land. The rain had slackened and the ceiling was high enough for a visual approach. It was estimated that the landing weight was 59.19 tons. Tower gave clearance to land on South runway. Contact lights were on both North and South runways but the vertical lights were on only at the end of South runway. Witnesses stated that the approach appeared high but safe. Landing weather conditions, as opposed to the original weather statement from the tower, were heavy rainsqualls and reduced ceiling making an instrument landing necessary. The plane approached without landing lights. As K-32 approached the runway with flaps and landing gear down, Bauer must have realized that he was on the North runway and applied full power with flaps and landing gear slowly going up. At this point, the unbalanced full power caused the lumbering plane to veer to the left and the left wing to dip toward the radar tower to the left of the North runway. When Bauer realized that he might hit the tower light, he pulled the plane up suddenly and it stalled. It settled down over the cliff and into the jungle at the north end of the runway. The tail section split off from the main aircraft frame, which exploded and burned. Lt. Howard, riding in the tail on landing, was found by the rescue party alive but dazed with broken jaw and facial lacerations. Access to the crash site was difficult due to jungle conditions. Figures 8a and 8b show pictures of the tail section made by S/SGT Mathis on 24 June 1945. At the time, six bodies were recovered and identified. Two bodies were recovered from the site but not identified. Two bodies were not recovered at all. On Sunday, 24 June 1945 Chaplain Schade held memorial services for the ten dead crewmen. Initial burial was at the Marine cemetery on Guam with six identified gravesites and two unidentified graves. The investigation and accident report on the crash recommended that all landings on three engines be done in daylight if condition of plane permitted. Col. Reynolds was heard to remark that if he had been in the tower at the time, he believed he could have gotten Bauer down safely. An added twist to this story came in October 1997 and reported at the 11th Annual Reunion of the 330th BG Association in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. An Air Force sponsored archeological survey team was checking the jungle for native habitats north of Andersen Field (formerly North Field) when the team came across the wreckage of K-32 skeletal remains were found in the wreckage and have been identified as the A/C Bauer and the Pilot Gilbert. A memorial service was conducted on Guam in February 1998. Every plane loss is a saga but K-32's loss has more twists of fate than most. Bauer's original crew formed at W AAF included S/SGT Henry G. Mathis, CFC Gunner; CPL Donald F. Murray, Gunner; 2LT Thomas N. Gwyn, B, SGT Anthony Iacolino, Radar Operator and CPL Maynard E. Burkett, TG. Fate intervened on their behalf and they were replaced with others who lost their lives in the crash. Murray had a medical operation and he was off flying status for two months and missed the flight to Guam in March 1945. Burkett was replaced for unknown reasons in January 1945. These two gunners were replaced by Elmer Kalman and Donald Olson both of whom had survived a bailout from a B-29 in a training accident in which most of their fellow crewmembers perished. Gwyn went to Capt. Wells' crew in a swap for Wells' B, 1LT Jett Foster, 1LT Leslie Evans replaced Iacolino when officer radar observers replaced enlisted radar operators. 1LT Wallace Howard, Squadron Gunnery Officer, replaced Mathis on the fateful flight. Mathis stated that he was notified one half hour before Lt. Howard would replace mission briefing that he. All the enlisted men were surprised at the change and agreed to inquire about the reason for the swap when they got back off the mission the next day. It may have been just the case of a squadron staff officer wanting to get some combat time.


26 June 1945 Bomb Group Mission #32

Target: Sumitomo Duralumin Plant, Nagoya

Bomber Command Mission #230

Code Name

Another clear day was predicted over Honshu 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 aluminum 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. The weather plane report for target weather was not heard. Several crews reported the mission results as poor, although one stated that a large explosion was seen in the target area. Another crew reported that they saw P-51s in the area but they were not briefed on their presence and might have fired on them. A plea was made that crews should be informed that P-51s would be present. Another crew reported that they saw air-to-air bombing which just missed a B-29. Another crew with electronic countermeasure equipment claimed that it appeared to attract anti-aircraft fire. In any case, the comments on the food were generally favorable but some would have preferred sandwiches rather than the food warmer.

CASUALTIES

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


28-29 June 1945 Bomb Group Mission #33

Target: Nobeoka Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #237

Code Name:

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 Kyushu 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 Kyushu by Gen. Douglas Macarthur on 1 November 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 Honshu 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 aluminum alloy plant. The BG lost three planes, the worst month for casualties after April 1945 were 88.


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