The 330th Bomb Group

330th AUGUST Missions of 1945
April - May - June - July - August
1-2 August 1945 Bomb Group Mission #44

Target: Mito Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission # 309

Code Name:

In commemoration of Air Force Day, the 330th BG scheduled a maximum effort with 43 aircraft -2 scratched due to an inoperative carburetor in one and an inoperative actuator switch in another. The remaining 41 planes bombed the primary target, Mito urban area, which made an excellent radar target. An estimated 73.1 % or 1.22 square miles of the town were burned for an efficiency rating of 0.0011 square miles per ton. The town was located about 65 statute miles northeast of Tokyo. The 330th BG contributed 289.71 tons of M-47 and EA-46 IB's to the 314th BW total of 1,145 tons lbs. The average bomb load was 7.1 tons per aircraft. The aircraft left North Field between 01/1907 -O1/1952G. Bombs were away between 02/0205 -02/0300G at an altitude of 12,500 feet. While this town was notified along with other towns not attacked this night, enemy opposition was meager. Two searchlights were observed with meager and inaccurate heavy anti-aircraft (HAA) and medium anti-aircraft (MAA) fire. Six enemy aircraft were observed in the target area but made no attacks. The last plane landed at 02/1048G and the mission was notable in that 41 planes took off and landed at North Field with no equipment malfunction except for inoperative radar in K-8. Cruise control was almost perfect, a rarity. The calculated gas consumption was 5,826 gallons and the average gas consumption was 5,850 gallons with a range of 5,562 -6,284 gallons. The average gas load was 6,600 gallons so the highest gas consumer landed with about 300 gallons to spare. One innovation on this flight was that the crew chief on K-11, SGT Packingham, accompanied the crew and he thought it was a great idea and more crew chiefs should accompany their ships. There were no planes lost or casualties.

5-6 August 1945 Bomb Group Mission #45

Target: Nishinomiya Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #314

Code Name:

A minor city, Nishinomiya, population 112,000 between Kobe and Osaka was attacked this night with 6/10 cloud cover over the target during the bomb run. Thirty-three aircraft were scheduled for the mission with one Super Dumbo, K-8, and one radar countermeasure (RCM) aircraft, K-55. Six Pathfinder aircraft carried mixed loads of M-47 and one 500-pound T4/E4 and one 100-pound M-46 bomb while the main force J carried 500-pound E-46 incendiary clusters. The average bomb load was 7.5 tons per aircraft. The bomb run was made between 06/0125 -06/0208G at an average altitude of 13,400 feet. Of the 27 aircraft returning directly to base, 14 bombed by radar and 13 bombed visually with crews reporting good to excellent results. Later analysis indicated that 2.8 square miles (29.65%) of the built up area was burned down. This was a joint mission with the 314th and 73rd BGs participating, dropping a total of 2,004 tons IB for an efficiency factor of 0.0014 square miles per ton. The radar operators reported that this was a good radar mission with the initial point (IP), aiming point (AP) and landfalls all showing up and easily identified on radar screens. Approximately 25 searchlights were reported in the target area but were ineffective. There was reported meager and inaccurate HAA fire and meager to moderate MAA fire. Crews attributed the inaccuracy of searchlights and flak to the RCM plane. Only one unidentified aircraft was reported in the target area and no 330th BG plane fired at it. No flak was reported from the target to lands end with crews reporting that the briefed route was excellent from this standpoint since the Kobe -Osaka area was a heavily defended area, bristling with anti-aircraft guns. Keyes vividly described one of the hazards of these night missions with a sky full of B-29s. After bombing and before lands end a B-29 appeared suddenly before us, heading directly at us. The A/C put the plane into a violent dive and the other plane barely missed us passing directly overhead. Someone was at the wrong altitude or heading. Seven planes landed away from North Field due to low gas, but cruise control was effective for most planes. It called for an average gas consumption of 6,238 gallons and the average used for the 26 planes that returned to North Field was 6,150 gallons with a range of 6,016 -6,400 gallons. One plane lost an engine on the way up and bombed a target of opportunity instead of the main target. There were no planes lost or casualties.

8 August 1945 Bomb Group Mission #46

Target: Nakajima Aircraft Engine Plant, Tokyo

Bomber Command Mission #320

Code Name:

This was the last daylight raid of the war for the 330th BG and it was an old favorite of the XXI Bomber Command. The target was Nakajima Aircraft Engine plant northwest of Tokyo. The first strategic target hit by the B-29s in November 1944 from the Marianas and had been hit 12 times previously by the 73rd. 58th BWs and Navy Carrier Task Force planes. Just to show how sometimes the larger picture reports are misleading as to what was actually bombed, this mission is a good example. The 314th BW summary reports that 60 planes from the 314th BW bombed the Tokyo arsenal, the radar target for the Bomber Command Mission #320. The Tokyo arsenal was the primary radar target and secondary visual target. The 330th BS's assembled into four formations over Tori Shima, a small island south of Tokyo and proceeded to the target with the 458th BS in the lead followed by 459th BS, 457th BS and a composite formation. Flak was encountered from landfall to the target with heavy anti-aircraft (HAA), meager to moderate and generally accurate as to altitude. Approaching the target, HAA fire increased in intensity and accuracy and continued until the formations climbed out of the target area. The 458th BS formation attacked on an axis of 70 degrees and dropped its bombs from 22.000 feet. The 459th attacked on an axis of 175 degrees, overran the 458th BS formation, made a 360-degree turn and went over the primary target again. But, the formation could not see the target the second time around and went for the secondary visual target -Tokyo Army Arsenal. The 457th BS formation, on a heading of 72 degrees, dropped its bombs from 22,200 feet and the composite formation on a heading of 73 degrees dropped its bombs from 22,900 feet. Why the 459th BS was on a heading of 175 degrees is not known. Crews bombing the Nakajima Aircraft Engine plant reported good to excellent results and the 459th reported unobserved results. The weather over the primary target was almost ideal for a precision daylight-bombing raid with a few scattered clouds and visibility of 20 miles. The experience of Crew K-15, Thomas Abbring, A/C, is worth telling. Ries, K-15 (P), states that they were carrying a five-ton HE blockbuster and a war correspondent observer on this raid. About half way to the target, they had to feather an engine but continued on to the assembly point, Tori Shima. K-15 continued on to the target but lagged behind the 457th BS formation. With cloud cover below, they cut across Sagarni Bay to catch up with the formation. But, just then, the cloud cover dissipated and below stood the remains of the Japanese fleet at Yokosuka. The several cruisers and an aircraft carrier opened up with everything they had. K-15 lost another engine and suffered minor flak damage but continued to the target and dropped their blockbuster. Ries states that there was no doubt about the five-ton explosion as seen through the smoke at the target. K-15 limped back the 600 miles to Iwo in what Ries described "seemed like an eternity". In the final approach to Iwo, rainsqualls suddenly obscured the runway at about 800 feet and the plane drifted to the right. Angelo Calderone, RG, shouted to pull up the right wing and the wheels touched down. The plane had drifted toward hardstand area and landed between two rows of parked planes. Abbring applied the brakes but, due to the short remaining distance, the plane rolled up and over the embankment before stopping. No fire, no injuries! The plane was declared a total loss. Ries never saw the war correspondent again to get his impressions of the mission. The crew of K-15 was given another B-29 and returned to Guam. The remaining 22 AC returned to North Field and arrived at 08/1315G to 08/1558G. Eight planes reported minor flak damage and several landing at Iwo Jima also reported flak damage. The surprise was that no enemy fighters were encountered. It was suspected that the Japanese were conserving their fighters for the expected Kyu Shu invasion when they were going to expend them in the grand Kamikaze strike on the Invasion Force. Radio discipline was described as poor which was the norm on daylight missions requiring assembling and proceeding to the Empire in formation. Despite some snafus the 330th BG received it's second DUC for its performance on this mission. There were no planes lost and no casualties.

14-15 August 1945 Bomb Group Mission #47

Target: Kumagaya Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #329

Code Name:

Since 12 April 1945, when the 330th BG went into action, until 8 August 1945, the normal time interval between missions was 2 to 3 days, sometimes one day and on rare occasions, 5 days. The time between the Nakajima mission and the Kumagaya mission was six days. Two atom bombs were dropped one on 6 and the other on 9 August 1945 and there were reports that the Japanese were thinking of surrendering but this did not materialize in any concrete message from the Japanese. So the 330th BG was sent out again -this time against Kumagaya urban area -a hapless town with a population of 47,000 northwest of Tokyo but it was on a main rail line to the west coast. Departure was at 14/1800 to 14/1907G and return was 15/0814 to 15/0915G. While some of the planes were landing the ROs reported that Japan had accepted the surrender terms offered by the Allies; the United States, England, China, the Netherlands and Russia which had remained neutral in the Pacific war as it fought the Germans and only entered the conflict on 9 August 1945. Forty planes had taken off from North Field with four aborts due to trouble with the Wright Cyclone engines (three aborts lost an engine and one had an engine backfire). The remaining 36 aircraft included one Super Dumbo and one RCM craft. The RCM plane carried two 2 ton HE bombs and the other 34 aircraft carried E-46 and M-47 incendiary bombs. The average bomb load depending on the reference was 7.5 tons per aircraft or 6.3 tons per aircraft. Bombs were dropped by radar as the target was completely cloud covered. There was only meager and inaccurate flak and no enemy aircraft sighted. This was a joint mission with the 313th BW and a reported total of 593 tons of IB were dropped on Kumagaya burning 0.27 square miles for an efficiency rating of 0.00046 square miles per ton -not one of the most efficient area bombing missions. Amid the jubilation on this momentous occasion, the food quality was still important, One crew reported "next war don't serve C-rations before flight" This mission did not end the war for some crews. Until the Armistice was signed aboard the USS Missouri on 2 September 1945, crews flew food packages to POW camps and participated in show-of-force missions for which they got combat mission time (important in the point system that sent troops back to the US in the following months). So ended the war, which started for the Americans on Monday 8 December 1941 (Tokyo time; Sunday 7 December 1941 Washington, D.C. and Hawaii time) and ended 15 August 1945 (Tokyo time).


The 330th BG participated in three-night mission against minor Japanese cities and one daylight precision bombing raid against the Nakajima Aircraft Engine plant a perennially favorite of the 20th Air Force strategists. The BG had no casualties, but lost one plane in a crash landing on Iwo, in these four missions. The BG planes were landing on the morning of 15 August 1945 when the announcement came that the Japanese had surrendered and World War II was over.


12 April 1945 to 2 September 1945

North Field, Guam

An important function of aircraft in wartime is reconnaissance. There were four main types: weather, photography, radarscope photo and measuring the enemy's radar signals. The BG also provided navigational escort for P-51s from Iwo Jima to the Empire and back. Occasionally a crew would be called upon to conduct a sea search for a downed aircraft. A memorable reconnaissance mission occurred on 6/7 August 1945 by Howard McClellan, K-28 A/C. He and his crew saw the still-smoldering ruins at Hiroshima at twilight on 6 August 1945. They were on a radarscope photography mission of various cities in southern Honshu. Upon their return, they described the devastation seen at Hiroshima stating that there must have been a large raid on the city to cause such damage. However, McClellan was not aware of any scheduled air raid on that city. Later the same night, McClellan was awakened and he personally had to describe what he had seen to General Power. In another miscellaneous mission, 1LT Donald Freeman, A/C K-9, and crew, after completing 24 combat missions were assigned to Super Dumbo duty out of Iwo Jima. They completed one such mission near a Japanese fishing village before the war ended. Super Dumbos were B-29s outfitted with extra life rafts, which were dropped to downed airmen, and they operated close to the Empire. They were part of the Air-Sea Rescue Service. In another type of miscellaneous missions, the 330th BG provided on-the-job training for three crews from the 463rd BS of the 8th Air Force that was relocating from Europe to Okinawa under General Jimmy Doolittle. Dickinson, A/C, flying K- 7 completed eight combat missions with the 330th BG before the war ended. Roy B. Reeves, Jr. and James W. Ferry, A/Cs of crews assigned to 458th and 459th BS at the end of the war were not deployed back to the States but were sent to Okinawa where they joined the 8th Air Force. When Col. Reynolds moved up to Chief of Staff, 314th BW, the 330th BG continued to get important assignments. To get these pictures to Washington as quickly as possible, a crew, consisting of the following, was assembled: A/C Robert Ryder CO, 459th BS, William Wilson (A/C), K-52 P, Herman Smith A/C, K-4 William Hawke (P), K-52 Vern Ruegsegger (FE) K-4, George A. Butros (FE), K-52,Charles L. Hammer (N), K-4 Benram Wakeley (N), K-52 Harder Hall (Rad Ob), K-52 RO Elvin Endy RO., K-4 RO William Robinson, RO on K-52. Since there was no runway around Tokyo long enough to land a B-29, the crew picked up the photos at Iwo Jima where they had been delivered in a B-17. The B-29 flew to Hawaii where the crew had four hours of sleep and then headed to Washington, DC. The plane lost an engine over the Rockies so they landed at Wright-Patterson AAF, Dayton, Ohio, where the photos were taken by train to Washington, D.C.


The Americans had a pretty good idea where the POW camps were located and they also knew about the atrocious living conditions in the camps since the liberation of the POW camps in the Philippines and South East Asia. The Air Force launched a humanitarian effort to immediately relieve the POWs suffering by dropping food supplies to the camps, many spread all over the Far East. The 330th BG participated in this effort. The 73rd BW Service Center on Saipan made up the packages and the appropriate mechanism to parachute drop these supplies. It was a massive effort and the 73rd BW alone dropped 2,000 tons from 472 effective sorties to POW camps on the Home Islands, Korea and China. Ten planes from the 330th BG flew to Isely Field, Saipan to pick up the supplies. The following day, 31 August 1945, they flew to the Empire and dropped the supplies on POW camps around Osaka. Flying back over Tokyo, one crew, K-3 got a close look at the devastation in Tokyo and a view of the naval flotilla steaming into Tokyo Bay with the USS Missouri on which the surrender took place two days later. The Crew of K-5, Charles Woolwine, A/C, were given the task of dropping supplies to a POW camp near Hong Kong. To accomplish this feat, they had to fly to Clark Field in the Philippines and pick up supplies and information on the location of the camp. POW missions for the 330th BG are listed as follows:

29 August 1945: POW supply drop

30 August 1945: BG POW supply drop

31 August 1945: BG POW supply drop

31 August 1945: POW reconnaissance -Hong Kong

Robert Willman and the crew of K-1 were asked to fly medical and food supplies to Okinawa. They did this with wooden platforms devised to be hung in the bomb bays. These platforms were loaded with supplies and lashed into place. Upon reaching Okinawa they were met by a crew of GI's who unloaded the supplies. After topping off the gas tanks they would head back to Guam. Willman recently told me "When we returned to the states, we used the platforms again. This time we had about six passengers. Five Army enlisted men and one officer, all of whom had priority to return to the States. They had been in the Pacific area since before Pearl Harbor"

The 330th BG lost no planes in this effort, but the 73rd BW lost four planes in the effort -one to the Russians who forced down a B-29 over Korea. The Cold War started early in the Far East.


30 August 1945: BS strength

31 August 1945: BS strength

1 September 1945: BS strength

2 September 1945: BG strength


The observation was made that the Japanese had sophisticated radar, but it was not used effectively. The job of the 330th BG Radar Countermeasures Section (RCM) was to ensure that this was the case. The dramatic fall in 330th BG losses to zero in July and August 1945 was due, no doubt, to luck, a groggy enemy but also to the work of this section. The RCM participated in all BG missions starting on 4 May 1945 till 15 August 1945 searching for Japanese radar signals, spot jamming individual Japanese radar units and barrage jamming target areas by specially equipped B-29s called "Porcupines" (no doubt due to the many aerials protruding from the aircraft). Searching the skies for Japanese radar signals required specialized electronic equipment, which was installed in designated aircraft. The equipment included a) a tuner-analyzer to measure the Japanese radar frequencies and strength and presumably the pulse width and pulse repetition frequency and b) four to five transmitters producing static noise, in effect jamming the Japanese radar signals. Based on this information, one could determine whether the signals were emitted by gun laying radar or radar-directing searchlights or air-to-air radar in Japanese fighters. The radar countermeasures observer also observed the coincidence of enemy signals with enemy action and the weather. What was not observed was just as important. The Japanese night fighters had no airborne radar. In a few cases, they were observed to have air-to-surface vessel type radar. The Japanese radar operated on 75 and 200 megahertz bands but no 540-megahertz band radar was observed. The latter radar signals originated from German Wurzburg radar with devastating results for the 8th Air Force in the European theater. On BG missions from 4 May to 25 May 1945, radar signal analyzers were carried, but no radar jamming was permitted. Only chaff (or rope) was used during this period. Due to the concentration of gun-laying radar around Tokyo, jamming was requested but it was denied. The 20th Air Force lost the largest number of B-29s over Tokyo on 25-26 May 1945. On all subsequent missions, either spot jamming or barrage jamming of enemy radar signals was done. Fred Nibling amplified in a recent communication how the chaff was supposed to affect Japanese radar. The chaff consisted of spools of foil packaged in breakout containers and each spool gave the impression on enemy radar of a B-29. On daylight missions one always saw hundreds of foils floating down. B-29 gunners stated that search light beams sometimes followed the chaff as it floated down. A variation on the foils were packets of "straws" -straw shaped strips coated with aluminum- packed 20 to a packet and dropped by the Navigator, which gave the impression on enemy radar of 20 B-29s. Further "reports" stated that the foils falling across bare electric power and communication lines shorted out the lines further complicating Japanese existence. There were 42 RCM missions starting on 4 May 1945, which included 35 regular BG missions; two missions to assist the 315th BW, which had no RCM capability, and five special radar signal search missions. During this period, 440 enemy radar signals were observed and analyzed and this information was forwarded to higher echelons for collation with information from other sources. On the regular BG missions, the RCM observer would spot or barrage jam the detected Japanese signals but, since the aircraft would be in the area for only 10 to 15 minutes, it was not effective during the entire time that the group was over the target. The BG had six Porcupine aircraft and more were being added when the war ended. These B-29s were dedicated mainly to analyzing and jamming Japanese radar signals. They were used over targets with heavy concentrations of gun-laying and searchlight-controlled radar and on two occasions to assist in 315th BW missions. They would stay in the target area during the entire bombing period. 1LT Fred Nibling stated that the RCM activities were very effective based on numerous crew reports of searchlights frantically searching the sky with little degree of accuracy when there was partial undercast cloud cover. At times of completely undercast skies, the anti-aircraft fire was totally inaccurate when radar jamming was employed. Two particular instances were worthy of note. Over Shimonoseki, with over 200 anti-aircraft guns, a Porcupine was in the area and no BG planes were lost. The 315th BW planes, employing the APQ-7 Eagle Radar, had a 70 mile bomb run lasting 15 minutes, ideal for gun-laying radar. But, at the heavily defended Kawasaki Oil Refinery, no B-29 was lost thanks to the 330th BG Porcupine jammers.


This site was last updated 11/05/2006