The 6th Bomb Group

Mission 48. Osaka Urban Area (June 7)



This was a daylight incendiary mission involving 27 aircraft from the 6th Bomb Group:

Two days after the eventful Kobe mission twenty-six Sixth Group Superforts struck Osaka for the second time in a week in a daylight incendiary mission in coordination with other Groups in the Wing. An undercast forced bombing to be by radar only, but in spite of this handicap to bombing accuracy 2.27 sq mi of Osaka's urban area was destroyed by flames. This brought the total destruction for this target to 13.5 sq mi.

[Pirate's Log, p. 47]

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #4015:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight, 7 June 1945. These individuals were combat crew members of the crew of a B-29 aircraft on a daylight incendiary raid against important industrial facilities in the city of Osaka, Japan. In spite of extremely difficult navigating and flying conditions between their base in the Marianas Islands and the Japanese Empire and unfavorable weather conditions and anti-aircraft opposition at the assembly point this crew flew their plane into formation exactly as planned. The actual attack against the target was made through an undercast, necessitating the use of a complicated radar bombing technique and was accomplished in the face of aggressive enemy fighter attacks and heavy flak. Their bombing accuracy, despite these conditions and the determined opposition, was attested by the fact that the raid resulted in the devastation of over two and one quarter miles of the city, including several vital war industries. By the high degree of skill exercised in the performance of assigned duties and the coolness and courage displayed in the face of serious hazards these veterans of repeated assaults against the Japanese homeland distinguished themselves and reflected great credit on the Army Air Forces.

First Lieutenant MYRON A. CHRISTENSEN as Airplane Commander
First Lieutenant ORWIN P. JOHNSON JR as Bombardier
First Lieutenant ARTHUR A. GEBERT as Navigator
Master Sergeant THEODORE J. OCANDER as Flight Engineer
Technical Sergeant PAUL Q. O'LEARY as Central Fire Control Gunner
Staff Sergeant PHILIP S. MATHER as Radar Gunner
Staff Sergeant PAUL R. DORNBAUGH as Left Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant VICTOR MAZZA as Right Blister Gunner
Sergeant DONALD H. ST PRIEST as Tail Gunner

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

 

20th AF Mission 189

Date:  7 June 1945
Target:  Osaka Urban Area
Participating Units:  58th, 73rd, 313th and 314th Bombardment Wings
Number A/C Airborne:  449
% A/C Bombing Primary Target:  89.98%  (409 primary and 9 opportunity)
Type of Bombs and Fuzes:  #-46, non-delay nose, various tail settings: T4E4, various nose and tail settings: E-48, non-delay nose, various tail settings: AN-M47A2, instantaneous nose and non-delay tail: AN-M46, 1/10 sec. nose and 1/100 sec. tail: AN-M65- 1/100 sec. nose and tail: AN-M64, 1/100 sec. nose and tail.
Tons of Bombs Dropped:  2593.6 primary and 58.6 opportunity.
Time Over Primary:  071209K  -  171328K
Altitude of Attack:  17,900  -  23,150
Weather Over Target:  8/10  -  10/10
Total A/C Lost:  2
Resume of Mission:  Strike attack photographs indicated 2.21 square miles had been destroyed bringing the total to Date from the Commandís Strikes to 13.46 square miles or 22.5% of the built-up portion of the city.  Thirty-one A/C were non-effective.  Fighter opposition was nil to meager, with 10 E/A sighted making 30 attacks.  Claims were 0-0-3.  Flak over the Target was heavy, nil to meager, and inaccurate.  Seven B-29ís were damaged by flak.  Fighter escort was provided by 144 P-51ís.  Fighter claims were 2-0-1.  Fifty-nine A/C landed at Iwo Jima.  The 2 B-29ís were lost to mechanical reasons.  One P-51 caught fire near Iwo Jima.  Average Bomb Load:  13,182 lbs.  Average Fuel Reserve:  544 gallons.