The 6th Bomb Group

Mission 47. Kobe Urban Area (June 5)




INCENDIARY BOMBS SHOWER on the dock area of Kobe, Japan, on June 5, 1945.
Haywood Hansell, "The Strategic Air War Against Germany and Japan", p. 235.
 
This was a daylight incendiary attack against Kobe involving 29 planes from the 6th Bomb Group:

The next mission on 5 June was also a daylight incendiary. This time the target was the urban area of Kobe. The Sixth had twenty-nine planes hitting the target area against very active enemy defenses. A total of forty-eight air attacks were reported while flak was moderately heavy. Photo reconnaissance later showed 4.35 square miles burned out, bringing the total destruction of Kobe to 56 per cent or 8.75 sq. mi.

All of the Group's losses for June were suffered this day. Sgt Raymond L. Merritt, 39th Squadron, was killed instantly by a flak burst and S/Sgt Charles P. Magnuson, also of the 39th Squadron, died in the hospital at Iwo Jima from wounds. Both were members of Lt Catt's crew which had two other men wounded on the raid. They were S/Sgt John C. Ward and S/Sgt James L. Morgan. Also wounded on this mission was Lt Zeno A. Uhle, bombardier on another 39th Squadron ship.

[Pirate's Log, pp. 46-47]

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #2412:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 5 June 1945. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 aircraft based in the Marianas Islands, on a daylight, medium altitude, incendiary strike against vital industrial facilities in the city of Kobe, Japan. On the target approach, their formation met heavy, accurate, intense flak. They sustained hits in the tail assembly. Also encountered by the squadron, were twenty fighter attacks which were determined and aggressive. Nevertheless, this crew maintained close formation and pressed home the assault, contributing materially to the destruction of over four square miles, or over twenty-eight per cent of the built up portion of the city of Kobe. By their coordinated teamwork, skill, courage and devotion to duty, these crew members, veterans of more than twenty-three combat sorties, aided in inflicting severe damage on the enemy and reflected great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

First Lieutenant DRAGI C. LAZIN as Airplane Commander
First Lieutenant GEORGE W. KING as Navigator
First Lieutenant WILLIAM E. REED as Flight Engineer
First Lieutenant DONALD A. STUEWE (then Second Lieutenant) as Radar Gunner
Flight Officer LAWRENCE C. BYERS as Bombardier
Technical Sergeant MAX R. REED (then Staff Sergeant) as Central Fire Controller
Staff Sergeant ROBERT W. WEBER (then Sergeant) as Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant FRED L. UNCLEBAUGH as Right Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant ROBERT W. ALLEN as Left Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant JAMES F. DEBOUNO as Tail Gunner

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

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #3903:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 5 June 1945. In a daylight incendiary attack against important industrial and shipping facilities in the city of Kobe, Japan, these combat crew members of a B-29 aircraft flew a precise and successful mission from a base in the Marianas Islands, 1500 miles to the south. Flying their plane exactly as briefed, despite the hazards of the long trip over water, through heavy, intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire, and fighting off fourteen attacks on their formation by enemy fighter planes, each of these men performed his appointed duties with exceptional skill, coolness and courage and teamwork. An unusually high degree of bombing accuracy was attained, aiding in the destruction of more than four square miles of the city. By their devotion to duty and their determination to press home their attack on the target in the face of heavy odds, members of this crew who have completed more than twenty-one combat missions, distinguished themselves and reflected great credit on the Army Air Forces.

Captain WILLIAM P. LEMME, A/C
First Lieutenant WILLIAM F. SULLIVAN, Navigator
First Lieutenant GEORGE T. KEMP, Bombardier
Master Sergeant GEORGE BAYHA, Flight Engineer
Technical Sergeant CHARLES E. FITCH, CFC Gunner
Staff Sergeant LOUIS W. VOLLMAN, Radar Operator
Staff Sergeant NICHOLAS P. MATRO, Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant SIDNEY G. YOUNGER, Right Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant WILLIAM G. MORITZ, Left Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant DAVID MAYO, Tail Gunner

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

A separate DFC Citation was prepared for First Lieutenant RICHARD S. BAUMGARTNER, Pilot of Crew #3903 on this mission.

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #3910 "Do It Again":

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 5 June 1945. These individuals were members of a B-29 combat crew attacking important industrial facilities in the city of Kobe, Japan. Taking their heavily loaded plane off in darkness, this crew flew their planned course from a base in the Marianas and effected assembly at the briefed time and place with outstanding skill. On the run into the target, heavy, intense, and accurate flak was encountered and two extremely aggressive fighter attacks were fought off. One fighter was probably destroyed and the other damaged. They underwent a total of fourteen interceptor attacks, but despite the determined opposition, this crew pressed home their strike, making a well-controlled bomb run and dropping their projectiles accurately on the target. On this mission, more than four square mile of the city were destroyed. By their coolness, courage, determination to accomplish the mission, and their high degree of individual skill, these veterans of repeated assaults against the Japanese homeland reflect great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

First Lieutenant GARY LIPTON as Navigator
First Lieutenant FRANK J. SCHELLING as Bombardier
First Lieutenant ROBERT J. VOLIN as Flight Engineer
Technical Sergeant ARTHUR R. SIMPSON as Central Fire Control Gunner
Staff Sergeant ALBERT E. ALDERSON as Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant GEORGE F. SCHMIDT as Radar Operator
Staff Sergeant EDMUND R. WILLS as Tail Gunner
Staff Sergeant NICHOLAS F. PRIESTER JR as Left Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant MELVIN WARSHAW as Right Blister Gunner

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

A separate DFC Citation was prepared for First Lieutenant Captain WILLIAM W. SAMS, Aircraft Commander of Crew #3910 on this mission.

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #39??:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 5 June 1945 from a base in the Marianas Islands. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 aircraft attacking important industrial and shipping facilities in the city of Kobe, Japan. Flying with great skill, they made assembly at the briefed time and place off the coast of Japan, although they had flown through severe turbulence, heavy showers and intense lightning. On the run to the target, heavy, intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire was encountered and twenty aggressive fighter attacks were made on the formation. Despite the determined opposition and the unfavorable weather conditions, each member of this crew, by outstanding performance of his assigned duties, helped press home the attack. They made a well-controlled approach to the target and accurately dropped their bombs at the briefed point. More than four square miles of the city was destroyed. By their coolness and courage in the face of danger, their successful accomplishment of the mission despite all opposition, and the high degree of individual skill and teamwork, these veterans of more than twenty-three combat missions reflected great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

First Lieutenant BARRON A. RICHMOND JR as Airplane Commander
First Lieutenant JEAN A. MILLER as Pilot
First Lieutenant GEORGE W. HAUER as Bombardier
Second Lieutenant ROBERT W. FRICK as Navigator
Second Lieutenant PAUL J. EASTMAN as Radar Observer
Master Sergeant HARRY F BUERGIN (then Technical Sergeant) as Flight Engineer
Staff Sergeant IVAN J. STROMMEN (then Sergeant) as Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant WILLIAM E. LAUGHLIN (then Sergeant) as Central Fire Control Gunner
Staff Sergeant WORTH W. EMORY (then Sergeant) as Left Gunner
Staff Sergeant CHARLES W. HERRING (then Sergeant) as Right Gunner
Staff Sergeant WILLARD E. HINES (then Sergeant) as Tail Gunner

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

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #4002:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 5 June 1945. These individuals were combat members of a B-29 aircraft leading a formation on a daylight incendiary raid against important industrial and shipping facilities in the city of Kobe Japan. Flying their plane on the long and difficult seven-hour flight, these men, by the exercise of great skill and precision, assembled their flights and led them over the briefed target. During the course of the raid, they were attacked fourteen times by aggressive enemy fighters, and encountered heavy, intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire from the vicinity of the target. Despite this determined opposition, this crew maintained and led an exceptional formation, releasing their bombs over the briefed target with great accuracy. The overall success of this mission is attested by the fact that over four square miles of the built up portion of Kobe was destroyed, thereby seriously crippling the enemy's ability to produce and transport war materials. By their high degree of individual skill in the performance of their assigned duties and their coolness and courage in the face of grave danger, these men, veterans of more than twenty-five combat missions, distinguished themselves highly, thereby reflecting great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

Major IRVIN M. PARSONS as Airplane Commander
First Lieutenant HUBERT B. CONNELL as Navigator
First Lieutenant CARL J. MANONE as Bombardier
Staff Sergeant VALENTINE CHEPELEFF as Radar Gunner

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

A separate DFC Citation was written for the following members of Crew #4002:

First Lieutenant DONALD A. LASSUS as Pilot
Master Sergeant THOMAS J. BANKS as Flight Engineer
Technical Sergeant CHARLES P. FOSTER (then Staff Sergeant) as Central Fire Control Gunner
Staff Sergeant LESTER F. STOWERS as Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant EDGAR L. McCART as Left Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant HOUSTON R. BEATY (then Sergeant) as Right Blister Gunner
Sergeant KENNETH A. DAVIS as Tail Gunner

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #40??:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 5 June 1945. These individuals were crew members of a B-29 aircraft on a daylight incendiary bombing raid against important industrial and shipping facilities in the city of Kobe, Japan. Negotiating extremely unfavorable weather on the long over-water flight from the Marianas Islands, this crew arrived at the rendezvous point on time and assembled into formation. Although one engine malfunctioned during the approach to the target, this crew kept their plane in its proper position and made the bomb run. Just before reaching the release point an exceptionally aggressive and accurate enemy fighter attack was made on their plane. The fighter was shot down in flames, but its bullets rendered one engine inoperative and damaged another. Despite this and the heavy, intense and accurate flak that was being directed at the formation, this crew flew their plane precisely over the target, dropping their bombs so that they contributed materially to more than four square miles of the city destroyed on this strike. Additional fighter attacks intended to destroy their obviously badly damaged plane were fought off successfully after leaving the target and they brought the plane back safely. Throughout this entire mission, these veterans of repeated assaults against the Japanese homeland maintained a high standard of excellence in the performance of their duties and displayed exceptional coolness, courage and devotion to duty thereby reflecting credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

First Lieutenant DONALD V. HUNTER as Airplane Commander
Second Lieutenant JOHN E. CURRAN as Pilot
Second Lieutenant CLYDE C. SCHAP as Navigator
First Lieutenant THEODORE M. MROCZKA as Bombardier
Technical Sergeant DAVID W. PIERSON as Flight Engineer
Flight Officer JOHN S. KLOEPFER as Radio Observer
Staff Sergeant JAMES Q. SALTER as Radio Operator
Technical Sergeant FRANKLIN T. METCALF as Central Fire Control Gunner
Staff Sergeant WILLIAM A. KELLEY as Left Blister Gunner
Sergeant JOHN J. SHULSKI as Right Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant WILLIAM T. CORRIGAN as Tail Gunner

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

 

20th AF Mission 188

Date:  15 June 1945
Target:  Kobe Urban Area (90.25-11)
Participating Units:  58th, 73rd, 313th, and 314th Bombardment Wings
Number A/C Airborne:  530  (including 7 Super Dumbos)
% Aircraft Bombing Primary:  89.87%  (473 primary and 8 opportunity)
Type of Bombs and Fuzes:  E-46, Non-delay nose and varied delay tails:
T4E4, varied delay nose and non-delay tail: AN-M47A2, instantaneous nose and non-delay tails, and M17-A1m 24 sec. nose and non-delay tail.
Tons of Bombs Dropped:  3079.1 primary and 54.7 opportunity
Time Over Primary:  050822K  - 050947K
Altitude of Attack:  13,650  - 18,800 feet
Weather Over Target:  0/10  -  8/10
Total A/C Lost:  11
Resume of Mission:  About 3.8 square miles of the city were destroyed and about square mile east of Kobe.  Nine numbered industrial Targets were damaged.  Total damage to city is 8 square miles, about 51% of the built-up portion of the city.  Of the B-29s lost, 3 were due to E/AC, 3 to enemy A/A, 1 crashed at Iwo Jima, and 1 to unknown causes.  49 A/C were non-effective.  The 125 E/AC sighted made 672 attacks.  Claims were 86-31-78.  E/AA was heavy, meager to intense, generally accurate, and damaged 139 B-29s.  Forty-three A/C landed at Iwo Jima.  Average Bomb Load:  13,178 lbs.  Average Fuel Reserve:  677 gallons.