39th Bomb Group (VH)

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Osaka Urban Area (Day)

Mission Date:
01 June 1945
07 June 1945

The Osaka strike of 1 June found fifteen aircraft of the 39th in the air. Air opposition to the bombers was almost nil as a result chiefly of the presence of a fighter escort provided by the VII Fighter Command from Iwo Jima. The sight of those P-51D's along with the B-29's was certainly welcome to our combat crews. For so long the air had been filled only with enemy fighters and now the boys found that it would be a pleasure to brush up on their recognition of American fighters.

Flak encountered at Osaka this time was not too heavy and not too accurate, although two of our planes sustained battle damage from ground fire.

The other attack mounted on Osaka on 7 July was carried out by twenty-nine aircraft from the group. Only thirteen enemy planes were seen, and these were met with mostly between the target and land's end. Between five and ten aggressive attacks were reported by our gunners, with one enemy fighter claimed damaged. Flak was said to be from meager to moderate and inaccurate.

On the latter mission 10/l0ths cloud was discovered over the target and radar bombing was necessary, but results were good. Report indicated that after the strike of 7 June, 2.27 square miles of Osaka were missing in addition to previous damage. Total damage to the city to that date was 13.46 square miles, or 22.5 percent of the place.

The 1 June strike was particularly noteworthy to the group because, as a result of his work on the mission, Captain Bill Orr of the 61st Squadron was personally presented with the Distinguished Service Cross by General Carl Spaatz.

Just after landfall that day, Orr and his Crew 30 had trouble with an engine, but they refused to abandon the mission and went on to the target just before bombs away, a direct flak hit struck another engine and put it out of commission. [click here to read more]

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Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"
This page was created on 19 May 2001
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