12, 1945 - Day - (18:35) Koriyama - Chemical Plant - 500#
GP; 21,000'; Longest bombing mission flown.
13, 1945 - Night - (15:30) Tokyo Urban Area - Incendiary mission;
Jellied gasoline (M-67 A2); Airplane caught in searchlights
and damaged by night-fighters.
15, 1945 - Night - (15:00) Kawasaki (So. Tokyo) - Incendiary
mission with a powder factory as MPI. The Japs put on a good
show but most of the flak was medium caliber.
17, 1945 - Day - (15:00) Kanoya Airfield (Kyushu) - Carried
full load of small fragmentation bombs for use against parked
planes and personnel. Had several fighter attacks on formation,
two fighters shot down.
21, 1945 - Day - (16:00) Kanoya South Airfield - Frag bombs;
light flak; flew entire mission on three engines as we were
wing lead plane.
30, 1945 - Day - (15:45) Kokubu Airfield - 500# GP; light
flak; several fighter attacks downed one fighter.
4, 1945 - Day - (15:30) Saeki - Carried 500# GP (One was chalked
D.F. Cronin Special) light flak; had quite a display of St.
Elmo's fire on the way home.
10, 1945 - Day - (16:30) Otake Refinery and oil storage depot
for target almost totally destroyed (92%). Heavy flak all
the way to and from the target. Flying over the inland sea
we flew over almost all the remaining Jap navy and picked
up some of their AA too. (Very close to Kure - main naval
14, 1945 - Day - (16:20) Nagoya - Incendiary mission against
Mitsubitsi aircraft plant and adjoining area. Lead our group
over the target. Very heavy flak.
17, 1945 - Night - (12:20) Nagoya Lost one engine just short
of target due to flak, continued and bombed on three engines
and landed on Iwo Jima.
7, 1945 - Day - (16:00) Osaka - Group leader on incendiary
mission had to fly a hundred miles off course to avoid other
formations over the target. Had thermal up to 22,000 feet
from our bombs.
10, 1945 - Day - (14:35) Chiba - Flew this mission against
an aircraft plant in Tokyo bay; carried 500# Comp. B bombs;
P-27 was deputy lead on this mission; the easiest we flew
we saw no flak, no fighters it lasted only fourteen hours;
this was the only target our boys ever missed.
15, 1945 - Day - (15:30) Osaka - Day incendiary flown on first
anniversary of a B-29 strike. General Arnold was on the field
and we had to take off despite very bad weather all the way
at the field the takeoff was made on instruments due to heavy
downpour at the time. Over Japan the weather was also lousy
and the only formation to go over the target was ours with
18, 1945 - Night - (15:35) Kagoshima -Southern Kyushu We flew
pathfinder on this mission; came on the Japs before their
warning system worked and caught them napping; all the lights
in the town were on. One of our engines failed on the way
to the target due to internal breakage. This target was 85%
22, 1945 - Day - (15:15) Tamashima - We bombed Japans newest
aircraft factory leading our group, had several fighter attacks
on the formation; one Nick came in at our nose and almost
rammed us. Our wing man shot it down. This target was 85%
26, 1945 - Day - (15:00) Nagoya - We flew this mission against
the arsenal complex there carrying 500#; encountered severe
flak from 120mm AA; one shell pierced our wing without exploding
leaving a ten inch hole clear through the wing. We had the
fuse of another shell lodged in number three engine and a
total of forty three holes in the plane.
4, 1945 - Night - (14:00) Tokushima - Another of those pathfinder
missions against the larger cities in Japan. We were the first
plane over this target which was reported by Twentieth Air
Force as being 74.6% destroyed.
7, 1945 - Night - (14:00) Kofu - This mission; another night
incendiary was flown in spite of bad weather resulting from
a typhoon in the vicinity of Iwo Jima. We had St. Elmo's fire
on the plane twice during this mission. After crossing the
Japanese coast we flew very close to Mt. Fuji having it just
on our right approach. When we turned back toward home it
was a mere seven miles to our right once again. This would
have been very dangerous, flying around the mountain without
the use of our airborne radar.
13, 1945 - Night - (14:20) Uwa Jima - Flew from Guam to Iwo,
there to the target in fine weather. Over the target there
was a severe thunderstorm which not only made visual bombing
impossible but nearly blocked out the radar too. We carried
a full load of jellied gasoline (M-67A2) incendiary's.
17, 1945 - Night - (14:05) Hiratsuka - This was one of our
Wing combination missions flown as a night mission. We were
one of the last planes over the target this evening and carried
special cameras, photoflash bombs, and a bomb load of 500#
fragmentation bombs fused to go off 200 feet above the ground.
The city was 63% destroyed in spite of bad bombing conditions.
20, 1945 - Night - (13:30) Okazaki - Once more we were flying
as pathfinder; we carried flares and thermite bombs. Our plane
was the second plane to go over the target. This is a small
town just out of Nagoya and we encountered quite a bit of
their AA while on the approach to the target.
24, 1945 - Day - (14:00) Handa - Our Group was the second
to go over this target; an aircraft factory. We flew as deputy
lead and had only a little flak on the bomb run. The bombs
we carried were 1000# demolition type.
2, 1945 - Night - (12:30) Mito - This night raid had us just
a little worried as we lost an engine just off the coast and
had to bomb anyhow as we were flying as pathfinder. The flak
here was mostly light caliber with only a little heavy weapons
thrown in. Had excellent results; the town was 88% burned
6, 1945 - Night - (13:55) Nishi-No-Miya - We really had a
big fire on this raid; it was the first raid of the pre-invasion
blitz. The whole Twentieth hit the Kobe-Osaka area with something
over five hundred and fifty planes. The Japs were in there
pitching; they had plenty of searchlights, heavy flak, and
even a few night fighters in the air. On our aiming point
there was a thermal we estimated to rise to 35,000 feet. Twice
we nearly collided with other planes.
10, 1945 - Day - (13:55) Tokyo - A day formation raid on the
Arsenal Complex area carrying 4000# demolition bombs. This
was the fifth raid made for this particular target and the
one that finally let the man with the pencil mark it off the
list of targets remaining in Japan. We had a fighter escort
of P-51 type planes from Iwo Jima; they shot down two enemy
fighters. The flak was very intense. They had our altitude
and speed but we were lucky. The formation after us had every
14, 1945 - Night - (13:55) Isesaki - A night incendiary mission.
The Jap peace feelers had been accepted and we were waiting
for the official surrender from Tokyo. The "UTAH" plan was
in effect. If the ground radio stations received word from
headquarters that the hostilities were to cease they would
begin broadcasting the word "UTAH" immediately. Then all planes
upon receiving this message would turn to open sea, drop their
bombs and come home. All the way to the target we waited for
the message; by the time we got to the coast we turned the
radio off and went on our bomb run. We encountered only a
little flak on this target. This was the only mission we flew
in our plane after it had been renamed "The City of Charleston"
eight in the morning while still on our way home from the
mission to Isesaki we received a broadcast from the United
States stating that the war was over. We made our first peacetime
landing about nine-thirty that day.
Note: Mission on 4 May 45; "D.F. Cronin" was Thomas' father,
Daniel Francis Cronin.
above was provided by Thomas Cronin's son Patrick
who typed this from his father's diary as it was written.