The 6th Bomb Group

Mission 46. Osaka Urban Area (June 1)



This was a daylight incendiary mission involving 28 planes from the 6th Bomb Group:

Early morning on 1 June found twenty-eight of the Group's B-29's airborne against Osaka. Between the assembly point and the target a front was encountered forcing the formations to breakup and reform haphazardly beyond the weather block. In spite of this unexpected difficulty, Osaka had an additional 31.5 square miles burned out while enemy opposition by fighter and flak was only moderate. Six planes were damaged and all returned with no personnel casualties suffered.

[Pirate's Log, p. 44]

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #2415:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 1 June 1945. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 aircraft which flew on in a daylight high-altitude incendiary raid from a base in the Marianas Islands against important industrial facilities in the city of Osaka, Japan. Despite extremely unfavorable weather conditions causing difficult navigational problems, they joined the formations at the briefed assembly point off the coast of Japan and proceeded to the primary target. During the course of the strike ten aggressive fighter attacks and heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire were encountered. Despite the battle damage caused by both flak and interceptors they maintained their position in close formation, pressing home their bombing of important industrial facilities, including machine shops, iron works, chemical factories, and harbor installations. By the high degree of skill each member of the crew displayed in performance of his assigned duties by devotion to his job and coolness, courage, and teamwork in the face of great danger, these veterans of more than twenty two combat missions, contributed materially to the success of the mission, thereby reflecting great credit both on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

Captain GEORGE J. SCHWAGER as Airplane Commander
First Lieutenant WALTER BEREZNOFF as Pilot
First Lieutenant ROY A. SEFTON as Navigator
First Lieutenant HARRY K. MASON as Bombardier
First Lieutenant LYNN C. SHERRILL as Flight Engineer
Staff Sergeant JOHN BERARDINELLI as Radio Operator
Technical Sergeant HAROLD C. CHAPMAN as Central Fire Control Gunner
Staff Sergeant WILLIAM R. DENSON as Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant LOUIS G. ATHANAS as Right Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant IRVING DRYMAN as Left Blister Gunner
Sergeant DONALD E. LUND as Tail Gunner

[Transcribed by David Wilson, son of Sgt Bernard E. Wilson (Gunner, "Anonymous IV")]

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #4014:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 1 June 1945 from a base in the Marianas Islands. These individuals were members of the combat crew of a B-29 aircraft on a daylight, high-altitude, incendiary strike against important industrial facilities in the city of Osaka. This second largest city in Japan was one of the principal centers of heavy industry and it was known that its destruction would hamper considerably the enemy's ability to wage effective warfare. The importance of this objective rendered this mission particularly hazardous, since the area was well defended by fighters and anti-aircraft batteries. During the course of the raid, their formation received thirteen attacks from enemy fighters and encountered heavy flak. Despite formidable opposition, they maintained close formation and pressed the attack home, cascading their bombs precisely on the briefed aiming point and inflicted severe damage. As a result of this raid more than three square miles of the city was destroyed and eleven crucial industrial targets were damaged, including Osaka harbor facilities, which were eighty-five percent destroyed. By their high degree of aeronautical skill, their devotion, superior performance, and their calm efficiency in the face of extreme danger, these veterans of repeated missions over Japan reflect great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

First Lieutenant PAUL N. REED as Airplane Commander
First Lieutenant HAROLD R. WAKEFIELD as Navigator
First Lieutenant IRVIN D. MORRISON as Bombardier
Master Sergeant LOYD G. CRAWLEY as Flight Engineer
Staff Sergeant ROBERT E. REED as Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant GEORGE N. LEAVESLEY as Radar Gunner
Staff Sergeant WILLIAM M. LITZENBERG as Tail Gunner

[Transcribed by David Wilson, son of Sgt Bernard E. Wilson (Gunner, "Anonymous IV")]

 

20th AF Mission 187

Date:  1 June 1945
Target:  Osaka Urban Area
Participating Units:  58th, 73rd, 313th and 314th Bombardment Wings
Number A/C Airborne:  509
% A/C Bombing Primary:  91.6%  (458 primary and 16 opportunity)
Type of Bombs and Fuzes:  M-17-30.7, 31.3, 31.9, 32.5, and 31 sec. nose:  M- 47 instantaneous nose and non-delay tail:  E-46-33.3, 34.4, 35.2, 35.5, and 36.3, and 36.5 sec.  tail, and M-26 (T4E4) -14, 14.5, 15.1, 15.2, and 15.3 nose fuzings.
Tons of Bombs Dropped:  2788.5 Primary and 102.2 Opportunity
Time Over Primary:  1028K  - 1200K
Altitude of Attack:  18,000  - 28,500 feet
Weather Over Target:  0/10  - 10/10
Total A/C Lost:  10
Resume of Mission:  Approximately 3.4 square miles were destroyed by this mission, north and northwest of the castle.  Total damage to Osaka is now 14.65 square miles or 24 percent of the built-up portion of the city.  Eighty-five E/A sighted made 221 attacks and damaged 4 B-29s.  Claims were 16-9-4.  Flak was heavy, meager to intense, and accurate to inaccurate, accounting for 5 B-29s.  Two A/C collided at assembly, 2 were lost due to mechanical reasons, and 1 to unknown causes.  Thirty-five A/C were non-effective.  Of the 4 crews that bailed-out, all but 2 men were rescued.  Fighter escort was formed by 148 P-51s, but a majority turned back.  Twenty-seven P-51s and 26 fighter pilots were lost due to severe weather conditions.  Eighty-one B-29s landed at Iwo Jima.  Average Bomb Load:  12,364 lbs.  Average Fuel Reserve:  655 gallons.