39th Bomb Group (VH)

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Mission Diary of
David H. Fisher
3 4 5

The following account comes from S/Sgt David H. Fisher, Radio Operator, with Crew 55. Keep in mind as you read this that while these entries were made within a short time after each mission and they reflect his point of view of that specific mission. Other crews have their own recollections of the same mission - and for them it could have been a "milk run" or their most dangerous mission. Each and every mission the 11 men of the B-29 crews put their lives on line … some never returning home. What is important is that the veteran's words are told… and someone hears them …

These were transcribed as they were written to retain their historical value


May 7 - Otake, Honshu - Oil Refinery
No planes lost. Aborted cracked cylinder. Got as far as Iwo. [top of page] [mission list]

May 14- Nagoya, Honshu - Incendiary Raid on Industrial Targets
A large area was burned out. Largest B-29 raid to date. 3500 tons bombs dropped. Over 500 planes from 4 different wings participated. None from the 39th lost. We saw 5 fighters - 3 tojos and 2 twin-engines. Flak was light. Were suppose to have P-51 fighter escort but weather prevented it.

Bombing Alt: 17,500 Flying Time 16 hours 40 min [top of page] [mission list]

May 23 Tokyo, Honshu - Incendiary Raid on industrial targets
184 - 84lb bombs in both bomb bays. No bomb bay gas tanks. Only 6800 gals. of gas for entire trip. Took off 7:47 P.M. May 23. Bombs away at 3:38 A.M., May 24. Saw plenty of fireworks, flak and bursting ALL around us - but none of it hit us. We also saw phosphorous flak. We saw two fighters but no fireballs. The planes didn't fire at us so we didn't fire at them. Seven search lights were on us at one time. Bombed from 12,500 ft. Bomb bays were lit up bright by the fires already started before we bombed. On our way back we had to land at Iwo Jima because we were short on gas. We stayed there about 3 hours. It was windy and dusty which made Iwo all the worse. Took off from Iwo about 2:15 PM and landed at 6:00 PM.

Altitude: 12,800 Total Flying Time: 18 hours 40 min. [top of page] [mission list]

May 29 Yokahoma, Honshu - Incendiary Raid on industrial targets

Had to feather No. 1 prop. Rather than go over Yokahoma, we bombed town of Sagara on Jap Coast about 30 miles of south of Yokahoma. Saw no flak, no fighters, no nothing. Main force over Yakahoma had P-51 fighter escort. We started fires in the town. We bombed from 18,500 ft. Flak over Yokahoma was pretty rough - several ships damaged

Flying Time: 16 hrs 05 min. [top of page] [mission list]

June 5 Kobe, Honshu - Incendiary raid on Urban Areas

Approximately a 450-plane raid. Big fires were started, smoke rose to 17,000 ft. We bombed from 15,300 ft. Flak was not too thick but was very accurate. We got three flak holes in the ship. We saw about 10 fighters. Our bombardier got credit for a plane "probably" destroyed. It was a Tojo. Other planes were "Tonys" and a "Nick".

Flight Time: 12 hrs 20 min. [top of page] [mission list]

June 10 Chiba, Honshu Atache Aircraft Factory

Located on the northeast corner of Tokyo Bay about 25 miles southeast of Tokyo. Our Group was the only one to hit Chiba. We went in over a 10/10 undercast and didn't see any enemy fighters or flak. However we did see get one flak hole in the wing. We bombed from 18,000 ft.

Flying time: 15 hrs. 25 min. [top of page] [mission list]

June 15 Osaka, Honshu Incendiary Raid

We bombed from 18,000 ft. in a thick soup. We lost formation in soup so we made an individual run over target. Icing conditions were pretty bad. Ice was all over the wings, elevators, vertical stabilizer, blisters and nose. We didn't see any fighters or flak.
Flight Time: 15 hrs 10 min.
[top of page] [mission list]

June 18 Kagoshima, Kyushu

Incendiary raid. That was the 314th BWs target. It was a night raid from 8,000 ft. The entire city was in flames when we went over. Thermos over fire caused us to do an awful lot of bouncing around. The Tai Gunner cut his eye during the bouncing. There was little flak and a few searchlights - also automatic fire. We were not hit.
Flight Time: 15 hrs. 15 min.
[top of page] [mission list]

June 22 Tamoshima, Honshu

Flew over center of Shikoku from assembly to I.P. Flew over more land than on any other mission. Got some flak over Shikoku, very little over target. Saw one fighter over assembly, flew over target. Bombing altitude 18.500 ft. Came back from target with one prop feathered and one prop stuck at 2000 rpm.
Flight Time: 15 hrs 25 min.
[top of page] [mission list]

June 26 Nagoya, Honshu

Soupy weather over Nagoya caused us to bomb city of Tsu, which was our secondary radar target. We bombed it individually. Saw fighters over assembly area agan little flak over target.
Flight Time: 15 hrs 45 min.
[top of page] [mission list]

June 29 Nobeoka, Kyushu - Night Incendiary Raid on Urban Areas

Entire city was in flames. Bombed from 10,000 ft. No searchlights, very little flak, automatic weapons. We didn't see any night fighters nor fireballs. Ran away from stars, Venus thinking it was a fireball.
Flight Time: 14 hrs 45 min.
[top of page] [mission list]

July 4 Tokushima, Shikoku - Night Incendiary Raid on Urban Areas

Entire city seemed to be in flames. Smoke rose way above our altutude to about 20,000 ft. No flak while we were over target. Johnson saw plane off our right wing with his landing lights on, probably a Jap fighter. On our way put we saw target off our right wing about 60 miles throwing up a lot of flak.

Bombing Altitude: 10,000 ft Flight Time: 14 hrs 35 min. [top of page] [mission list]

July 6 Kofu, Honshu - Night Incendiary Raid on Urban Areas

Our bombs away was at 1:52 and at that time the smoke rose to about 20,000 ft. More planes bombed after us. Ours was one of the five targets - and it was an experimental one. The city was located in a valley which made radar bombing very difficult. When we arrived, we bombed usually on the fires. Five wings participated in strikes - believed to the largest no. of planes to bomb the empire in one single night - over 600. No flak over target area. About 8 searchlights seen as we were over coast on way out.

Bombing Alt: 15,000 ft. Flight Time: 14 hrs 30 min [top of page] [mission list]

July 10 Gifu, Honshu - Night Incendiary Raid on Urban Areas

Had to fly over more Land-on this mission than any previous raid. Not too rough over target area. No flak, some automatic fire, about 10 searchlights as we released our bombs. No damage was done to plane.

Bombing Alt: 16,000 Flight Time: 14:45 [top of page] [mission list]

July 13 Uwo Jima, Shikoku Night Incendiary Raid on Urban Areas

Weather was socked in over target. Weren't able to see anything - no searchlights and a little flak - no fighters no damage was done. Lost one plane from 61st. Entire crew was picked up.

Bombing Alt: 14,200 ft Flight Time: 14 hrs 50 min. [top of page] [mission list]

July 17 Hiratsuka, Honshu - Night Incendiary Raid on Urban Areas

City located 20 miles south of Tokyo. Feathered No. 1 engine before we reached target. We bombed on three engines. Just off the target, a bomb fell through the bomb bay. It banged up the doors and they wouldn't close. Lt Tucker and J.C. went out in the bomb bay to try to tie them shut. We landed at Iwo - tied the doors closed, refueled with gas and oil in No. 1 engine.

Bombing Alt: 12,000 Flight Time: 14:45 [top of page] [mission list]

July 20 Okazaki, Honshu - Night Incendiary Raid on City which was suburb of Nagoya

No flak over target area, no planes (enemy), some small arms automatic fire. Had to feather No. 1 again just after we got off the target. Wing Flight Engineer was along. Came all the way back to Guam.

Bombing Alt: 15,000 ft. Flight Time: 14:05 [top of page] [mission list]

July 25 Handa, Honshu - Daylight G.P. Raid on Naka Jima Aircraft Factory located in Handa - a suburb of Nagoya.

We saw more B-29s and friendly aircraft up around target area that we ever saw before. We saw no enemy aircraft and there was no flak while we were over the target. No operational trouble with the airplane this time.

Bombing Alt: 18,000 Flight Time: 14:35
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July 27 Omuta, Kyushu Night Raid on Urban Areas

City located on western coast of Kyushu North of Nagasaki. No flak while we were over target - no fighters. Just after we left target, No. 4 engine had to be feathered. Nos. 2 & 3 also had oil leaks and No. 1 engine cut out intermittently. Landed at Iwo Jima at about 7:00 A.M. Stayed there all that day & night and came back the next day in a "Gypsy Rose Lee" plane. While at Iwo: saw several boys I went thru radio school who are at Saipan. Got back here at noon - too late to be altered for a mission that night.

Bombing Alt: 12,000 Flight Time: 16:45
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Aug 2 Mito, Honshu Night Incendiary Raid on Urban Areas - One of the cities Japanese people were warned to evacuate, located 75 miles north of Tokyo.

No flak while we were over target - no enemy fighters. We flew the mission in another crew's plane no trouble with plane.

Bombing Alt: 13,100 Flight Time: 14:35 [top of page] [mission list]

Aug 7 Toyakaw, Honshu A daylight mission on naval arsenal with demolition bombs

Small Raid - only 3 squadrons from entire wing were on it. It was a perfect bombing. Our formation was the prettiest I've seen. We didn't see any enemy fighters. Had P-51 escort. Ran into some very accurate flak. However we weren't hit.

Bombing Alt: 19,000 Flight Time: 14:10 [top of page] [mission list]

Aug 15 Isezaki, Honshu Night Incendiary Raid on Urban Areas - Last Mission Against Japan

We had one bad engine going up to the target. Saw no enemy planes and very little flak over target. Also saw flak after leaving target over town we passed. Another engine started giving us trouble just after we left target. Had to land at Iwo. Learned about the war being over. Left there about 2 o'clock and got here about 5:30.

Bombing Alt: 16,000 Flight Time: 14:30 [top of page] [mission list]

Last Look at Japan

Sept 1 P.W. Mission to Sendai Camp No. 2.

We dropped supplies to prisoners of war in the Sendai Camp No. 2. Camp was located about 250 miles north of Tokio. It was the most interesting mission we flew. We flew all the way up to the camp at an altitude of about 1,500 ft. Got a birds-eye view of several large cities, a lot of small villages and two airfields. Land was laid out very pretty - especially the farms - neat a pin. During the whole trip, we only saw two automobiles and two trains. We had trouble locating the camp since it was located in the mountains. We got down very low while looking for it. We could see people plainly in the villages and on the farms. The camp was marked very plainly with "P.W's" once we did find it. The parachute static lines got fouled up in the bomb bay doors and when we salvoed the supplies and we couldn't get the doors closed. We headed back to Iwo and the got the doors fixed gased up. Stayed there overnight.

Flight Time: 17:50 [top of page] [mission list]

Crew 55 Main Page
62nd Squadron Crew Index
Source: David H. Fisher, Radio Operator