39th Bomb Group (VH)

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Shizuoka Urban Area (Night)


Mission Date:
19-20 June 1945

Although nobody knew on the fifteenth of June that the war would only last another two months longer, the long series of missions against minor Japanese industrial cities made many people think that something was wrong in Japan. The relative lack of air opposition, described by some as the "Mystery of the Missing Jap Air Force" - coupled with the terrific punishment the enemy was taking from the devastating fire raids seemed to presage something. No one was ready to forecast an early end to the war but still there were signs that couldn't be ignored.

The second smaller urban area burned out with the help of the 39th was Shizuoka, a trade center about eighty-five miles southwest of Tokyo. Against little or no opposition, thirty-two planes from the Group aided in wiping out 2.25 square miles of the town or 66% of it.

One of the Crew's lost on this mission was P-42, they collided with a B-29 from the 29th Bomb Group.
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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 14 June 2001
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