17-18 June 1945
conditions expected over Japan for several weeks during the
middle of June precluded precision bombing. The necessity for
applying constant pressure on the enemy war economy prompted
the Bomber Command to schedule night attacks against urban and
industrial areas with incendiaries when it was forecast that
all bombing would be entirely by radar and often on instruments.
Therefore, a series of smaller Nipponese towns were earmarked
for destruction. The first of these drawn by the 39th Bomb Group
was Kagoshima on southern Kyushu.
town was important to the Japanese as a shipping center - the
major activity of this southern island.
18 June, the Group hit Kagoshima with twenty-six aircraft. Although
eleven enemy fighters were seen, none attacked our bombers.
Flak was described as intense but inaccurate at the target.
Only a few ineffective searchlight beams were observed. Most
of the crews bombed by radar but a few were able to so visually.
originally had an area of 4.87 square miles. After the attack
2.15 square miles were written off and added to the damage sustained
before, 44.1% of the city was destroyed after that one wild