39th Bomb Group (VH)
Crew 2


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"City of Miami"
Battlin Bitch II
B-29 # 42- 65367

Thanks to Don Montague for
capturing this from film at the National Archives

As one commentator wrote,  'Both the Pacific and the European Air Wars had one fierce, furious mission that it's survivors will never forget.  It stands out above the others because losses on both sides were heavy and combat was better.  In Europe, it was the attack on August 17, 1943 ... in the Pacific it was Mission 183 to Tokyo's urban area on the night off May 25-26, 1945.  Of all the 20th Air Force missions, this was costly .. Of 489 airplanes airborne, 26 were lost to enemy fire. (5+ % of the attacking force).  Flak damaged 100 of the B-29's or 21%.'

"City of Miami" (P-2) flying as a pathfinder on this mission,  was one of the most severely amaged by flak, while flying through Japanese searchlights, rockets, Balls of Fire and fighter attacks.  We were hit both before and after ropping our load of incendiary bombs that helped identify the target area for aircraft that followed us to the target.

With two engines gone, too damaged to make it back to base, we headed to Iwo Jima, the traditional short stop for damaged aircraft.  This time bad weather prevented it's normal use and only one B-29 made it into Iwo .. P-2.  We were put up in tents provided by the Marines.

That night the Japanese, who were still a viable force on the island, penetrated the perimeter guard in an attack on our bivouac area.  We drew our 45's and ran to assist the Marines and they chased us back into our tents and proceeded to resolved the matter at hand.  Later they said the Japanese knew  there was a crew that had taken part in the raid staying at the camp and that we were their target.

Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"; Marvin Demanczuk; Don Montague