39th Bomb Group (VH)

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Kawanishi Aircraft Plant - Kobe (Day)


Mission Date:
12 May 1945

Although the Okinawa invasion was still going on, the efforts of the Superfortresses of the 39th Bomb Group were now turned back to other fields, and after the 10 May destruction of Otake Oil Refinery, the group went back onto the PIN system of eliminating Japanese industrial installations and cities.

On the 12th the target was the Kawanishi Aircraft Plant between Otake and Kobe. This factory was turning out flying boats for the Japanese Navy, and was steadily being enlarged. Its activity was to be seriously hampered by the XXI Bomber Command.

The 39th dispatched only eleven aircraft on this strike, which was a GP job. Nine B-29s actually dropped on target.

Flak was the hottest encounter up to that time. It was known that Osaka defenses were heavy and those at Kobe were ample for the purpose. Five of the group's planes received damage from anti-aircraft fire with only three being of major proportions. Enemy fighters were up in some force, a total of thirty-four being reported.

Thirty to forty attacks were pressed and gunners claimed three damaged. The fighter on this occasion showed a noticeable variety as to type. There were Zekes, Oscars, Tojos, Tonys, a Hamp an Irving and a George.

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Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"
This page was revised on 11 May 2001
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