39th Bomb Group (VH)

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North Nagoya Urban Area (Day)
South Nagoya Urban Area (Night)


Mission Date:
15 and 17 May 1945

Both of the strikes that followed the one to Kawanishi were at the city of Nagoya. The first was a daylight incendiary mission, while the second was night burn job.

Two reasons were behind the Bomber Command's decision to hit Nagoya by daylight. In the first place, it was felt that an alternative plan was necessary in order to carry out the incendiary attacks in the event the loss rate from the night strikes should become excessive. It was believed that would offer the best chance of initial success while the problems incident to this type of attack were being investigated. Secondly, because of the area burned out in the city of by two previous fire attacks, the main points of impact selected would be extremely difficult to hit at night and bombs falling short or over would be ineffective.

The 39th dispatched thirty-three B-29s on this day mission and thirty were effective against the target. The average bombing altitude was 18,440 feet.

Enemy fighter opposition was surprisingly weak and flak was ineffective in spite of clear weather over the target.

The second Nagoya strike, which followed on the heels of the daylight one, was a night attack. Twenty-eight of the thirty-two aircraft that were sent were listed as bombing on target. Enemy air opposition weak, with only seven fighters being reported and flak was not too effective.

Total damage to Nagoya from these two attacks was estimated from photos as 194,000,000 square feet (6.97 square miles) or 13.7% of the entire city. This figure brought the total damage to Nagoya as of that date to 345,000,000 square feet (12.7 square miles) or 24.4% of the whole place.

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Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group" by Robert Laird, (crew 5) and David Smith (crew 31)
This page was revised on 12 May 2001
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