The 6th Bomb Group

Radar View of Aug 8 Mission to Yawata Steel Works

Overview of the Mission

Although the August 8 Mission to the Yawata Steel Works was after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, it was one of the most hotly-contested battles in the War.

Over 245 aircraft from the 58th, 73rd, and 313th Bomb Wings took part in this mission. Many B-29 crews remarked about the intensity of the flak. Four aircraft were lost.

The radar operators played a vital role in the success of this mission. Because of overcast and smoke, 136 planes (more than half) bombed by radar.

To the right is a map of Kyushu, showing the route of flight as reconstructed from the radarscope pictures.

Assembly Point (AP)

The Assembly Point is where the bombers are supposed to gather prior to entering the combat zone.  This location was selected because it is easily recognized on radar.

Before Landfall (BLF)

This picture was taken just before landfall on the southern tip of Kyushu.

Departure Point

The Departure Point is where the planes would turn toward the target, on a heading of 030.

Initial Point

The Initial Point is where the bomb run begins.  From here on out, the aircraft is under the control of the bombardier, navigator and radarman.

Bombs Away

This picture was taken over the target area.  The scale is set to the highest resolution (each ring represents 5 miles) and other planes are clearly visible as white dots.