23 May 1945
25 May 1945
By this time the 39th Bomb Group was definitely back in the
burning business and the strikes that followed were for a long
period confined to incendiary attacks against the Nip capital,
both raids being on the south urban area.
the first, the 39th put thirty-eight (38) B-29s into the air
and thirty-five of these dropped on the target. Opposition from
enemy aircraft was not heavy and flak was characterized by the
returning crews as moderate and accurate to inaccurate. Some
crews estimated that there were as many as seventy-five searchlights
at Tokyo that night and about twenty-five more on the way from
the initial point to the target.
the 25 May attack the 39th had thirty-six (36) aircraft airborne
of which thirty-three were listed as effectives. Fourteen enemy
fighters were encountered and five Bakas were reported seen.
Only twelve attacks came from this array of air defenses, however.
Flak was heavy and accurate, though, and a third of the bombers
from our group sustained battle damage. Likewise, a number of
reports were made of a new red ball parachute flare, as well
as rockets of various descriptions.
southern part of the Tokyo hit on these two occasions contained
industrial and residential districts, as well as part of the
financial, governmental and commercial sections of the capital.
It also included Shinagawa Railroad yards, the largest marshalling
yards in Japan and warehousing essential for the storage of
supplies used in connection with that activity. Many machine
tool and electronic factories and scattered industrial plants
were in the target area.
a result of these two missions, damage was inflicted on Tokyo
to the extent of 22.1 square miles. Total damage to the city
then stood at 56.3 square miles or 50.8 percent of the built
up portion. Industrial damage from these strikes amounted to
varying degrees of destruction to fifty-seven numbered target
within the area.
General Order # 13 Section V dated 23 January 1946 issued by Headquaters,
20th Air Force the 39th Bomb Group was awarded their 2nd
Distingushed Unit Citation for these mission.