The 330th Bomb Group 330th Bomb Group

330th July Missions of 1945
April - May - June - July - August
1-2 July 1945 Bomb Group Mission #34

Target: Shimonoseki Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #243

Code Name:

For the first seven missions in July, the Bomb Group attacked minor Japanese cities with incendiary bombs (IB). The first city to be attacked was Shimonoseki. The important city with a population of 196,000 adjacent to Shimonoseki Strait, which was being mined almost nightly by the 313th BW. Thirty-eight planes took off at 1/1900G and 37 planes returned at approximately 2/1100G. One plane aborted. On this 16 hour mission, the BG deposited 180.5 tons of incendiary bombs with bomb load distributed as follows: 457th: 4.5; 458th: 5.1; and 459th: 5.2 tons per AC. The greater distance that the planes had to travel to this city necessitated the modest bomb loads. The four bomb groups in the 314th BW attacked Shimonoseki this night and together deposited 833 tons of bombs, burning out an estimated 36% of the built up area. Due to the defenses around Shimonoseki, bombing altitude were raised to 15,000 feet for the Wing on this particular mission. Lt. Fred Nibling, Group radar countermeasures officer, was in a Radar Counter Measures (RCM) B-29 dubbed "Porcupine" at 33,000 feet for 90 minutes jamming Japanese radar. Despite the heavy concentration of anti-aircraft guns in and around Shimonseki, the radar jamming and dispensing of chaff led to no planes lost or casualties.

3-4 July 1945 Bomb Group Mission #35

Target: Tokushima Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission # 250

Code Name:

On this mission, the Bomb Group deposited 328.5 tons; another reference gives 314.9 tons of incendiary bombs (IB) on Tokushima, a railroad hub on the eastern shore of Shikoku Island, the smallest island of the four Japanese Home Islands. The bomb loads were the highest of the war to date with the 457th: 10; 458th: 9.8; and 459th: 10 tons per AC. The total 314th BW deposited 1,051 tons of bombs, burning out an estimated 1.7 square miles of the town. This was 74% of the total built up area of the town for a bombing efficiency factor of 0.0016 square mile per ton. Take off time on this mission was 3/1900G and the planes returned at about 4/1100G. There were no planes lost or casualties.

6-7 July 1945 Bomb Group Mission #36

Target: Kofu Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission # 254

Code Name:

Continuing with the fire raid blitz against the minor Japanese cities, the 314th BW attacked the city of Kofu, an inland city west of Tokyo and probably a rail hub for access to the west coast of Japan. At this time, with the Shimonoseki Strait blockaded, Japanese imports of essential food and raw materials from Korea and Mainland China were being funneled through the ports on the Japanese west coast bordering the Sea of Japan. The 330th BG sent up 33 planes with one abort. The incendiary bombs were divided between the M-47, petroleum based incendiary bomb and the E-46 incendiary cluster bomb, a jelly-napalm based incendiary bomb. The latter was composed of a cluster of 47 small incendiary bomblets, which burst open between 1,000 to 2,000 feet and blanketed a wide area. It was these bombs, which contributed to the Tokyo conflagration of 9/10 March 1945. For this mission the take off time was 6/1800G returning at 7/0800G. Bombs were away between 7/0059G to 7/0144G at an altitude between 13,400 and 14,600 feet. Due to the cloud cover over the target on this night mission, most planes released their bombs by the synchronous radar method, which relied on the close coordination between the radar-N and the B. Most bombs were released in the target area, but one aircraft had some bombs, which did not release and another aircraft had three shackles installed backwards. This night, the BW deposited a total of 970 tons of incendiary bombs, burning down 64% or 1.3 square miles of the town with an effectiveness factor of 0.0013 square mile per ton. The 330th BG flew as BW lead and received the Distinguished Unit Citation for this mission. The citation stated: " This source of power was permanently eliminated as a target and 2/3 of its industrial region was leveled in this magnificent demonstration of determination and bombing skill." Keyes described the trip up and back which was typical for most planes in the BG. After takeoff they climbed to 5,000 feet and flew up to Iwo Jima where they started to climb to the bombing altitude of 13,400 feet. In this case, they went over the target at 215 mph CAS (calculated air speed). They returned home at 16,500 feet, a favored altitude because one could normally ride a tail wind back to Guam at this altitude. Approaching the Empire this night, Keyes states that they could see fires at other cities that the XXI BC was attacking. There was little enemy air opposition or flak except for meager and inaccurate automatic weapon fire which was normally below 5,000 feet and ineffective at the B-29 altitude. Cruise control was quite efficient in conserving fuel. The calculated fuel usage was 6,117 gallons and the average fuel used was 5,816 gallons, but the averages masked the one B-29 which used 6,260 gallons due to the need to fly on three engines with the fourth feathered.

9-10 July 1945 Bomb Group Mission #37

Target: Gifu Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #260

Code Name:

The 330th BG contributed 243.4 tons of incendiary bombs, all E-46 cluster bombs, to the 899 tons of incendiary bombs deposited by the 314th BW this night on Gifu. Thirty-four planes were aloft with three aborts and the average bomb loads were distributed as follows: 457th: 7.8; 458th: 7.8; and 459th: 8.0 tons per AC. The planes left at about 9/1700G and returned at approximately 10/0800G with bombs away between 10/0117G and the last at 10/0200G at an altitude of 14.000 -16.000 feet resulting in the bombs for the 31 planes being dropped in 43 minutes. This equates to an average time interval of 1.4 minutes between planes. This interval is important in determining the overall effectiveness of a fire raid. Later analysis indicated that 1.4 square miles (74%) of the city were burned out. The bombing efficiency factor was 0.0016 square mile per ton. The comments of the crews were that the weather was perfect over the target with wind blowing from left to right permitting a visual bomb run despite smoke up to the bombing altitude. The night was so clear that one crewmember commented that they could have gone over the target in formation -a rare event indeed. There was only meager, inaccurate, heavy caliber anti-aircraft fire (15,000-25,000 feet), but inaccurate and intense automatic weapon fire (2,000-5,000), which was ineffective at the bombing altitude. Again, the estimated and actual fuel consumption was very close. The calculated value was 5,922 gallons and the actual average used was 5,987 gallons. This indicated that everyone was closely following the recommended cruise control settings. One crew suggested that the aircraft descend in the last hour rather than upon leaving the Empire. As indicated above, some crews were already following this procedure. This would take advantage of the Jet Stream that is present at about 15,000 feet blowing in a southeasterly direction. For everything to mesh on these missions, a lot of variables must fall into place to accurately place the bombs on the target and to have the actual winds on the target but several crews reported that they did not get the winds from the weather plane. In any case, 74% of the city was burned down. There were no planes lost or casualties.

12-13 July 1945 Bomb Group Mission #38

Target: Uwajima UrbanArea

Bomber Command Mission # 266

Code Name:

This mission was planned as a night mission against a relatively small city, Uwajima, of 50,000 population on the west coast of Shikoku. Thirty-three planes from the 330th BG took off at 12/1700G and landed about 13/0800G. Weather was the determining factor in the poor results of this mission. There was a weather front which was 100 miles north of the predicted position and close to the target, so crews flew at 14,000 -17,000 feet in the soup on instruments for 55 minutes from the front to the target and back to the edge of the front. The lower cumulus clouds over the target confused the radar pictures making identification of the target difficult. Bombs were scatted all over the countryside as only 0.14 square mile (16%) of the target area was burned as a result of the 873 tons of incendiary bombs dropped by the 314th BW on this target. The efficiency factor for this mission was 0.00016 square mile per ton. The target had to be revisited at the end of July to complete the job. Radio discipline was good as no one broke radio silence in the 330th BG, but three planes in the other BGs did break radio silence. One plane from the 19th BG reported seeing fire on the water. This was reported on other missions by Ns from the 330th BG and it is a natural phenomenon presumably well known to the Japanese at the time, but the crews were apparently not well informed about it. These are active underwater volcanoes, which are present in this area of the Pacific Ocean off Japan. But seeing it for the first time, one might assume it to be a ship on fire. Cruise control worked out very well with the calculated average gas consumption of 5,908 gallons comparing favorably with the actual fuel consumption of 5,879 gallons. One plane had 22 of its 187 M-47 incendiary bombs hang up in the bomb bay and they were dropped on Rota before landing. There were no planes lost or casualties.

16-17 July 1945 Bomb Group Mission # 39

Target: Hiratsuka Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission # 274

Code Name:

The target for this night's mission was Hiratsuka, a relatively small town south of Tokyo with an estimated population of 53,000, on the main railroad line linking Tokyo and Nagoya. Crews were off at 16/1800G and returned at approximately 17/0800G. Bombing was at an altitude between 11,200 and 12,500 feet. With the target completely cloud covered, all bombing was by radar. The BG dropped 335.75 tons, M-17 type Incendiary Bombs (IB) and the 314th BW dropped a total of 1,163 tons of bombs on the city. This resulted in about one square mile, or 41.9% of the city destroyed for an efficiency factor of 0.00086 square mile per ton. Later, crews reported a glow in the clouds with smoke mushrooming up to 12,000 feet and explosions in the target area. Visibility was 10 to 15 miles in the target area between a lower and upper cloud layer. Gas consumption was an estimated 5,745 gallons and the actual fuel consumption averaged 5,769 gallons, but several planes required refueling at Iwo. The highest fuel consumer, K-39, used 7,212 gallons caused by a left wing flap which would not fully retract and a loss of 30 gallons of oil from #2 engine, requiring higher than normal power settings. This plane landed at Iwo to refuel. A new aircraft, K-52, used only 5,459 gallons. One navigational improvement also contributed to the improved ability to follow the flight plan; the operation of a Loran system out of Okinawa permitted better navigation up close to the Empire. A phenomenon was observed and reported by many crews on this mission. On passing through a warm front between 31 30' N to 3230' N. St. Elmo's fire was observed which extended around the rotating propellers. This is an electric discharge. Some crews reported a purple flame encompassing wings, nose and propellers and discharging 30 feet in front of the plane. A phenomenon not easily forgotten. One crew reported picking up 2.5 inches ice at 16,000 feet, which disappeared on descent to lower altitude. There were no planes lost or casualties.

19-20 July 1945 Bomb Group Mission #40

Target: Okazaki Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #280

Code Name:

The 330th BG, with 31 planes, teamed up with the 19th and 29th BGs to attack Okazaki: a town lying 20 miles to the southeast of Nagoya. The 330th BG planes were loaded with 184 M-47 IB's, each weighing about 100 lbs for a total bomb Ioad of 196.2 tons. The other BGs used M-17 and E-46 incendiary bombs. The total incendiary bomb load dropped on the town was 850 tons, burning down 0.65 square miles c-r 68% of the total built-up area for an effectiveness factor of 0.00076 square mile per ton. There were scattered clouds above the target above 17,000 feet. This permitted nine planes to bomb visually and 22 by synchronous radar from 14,200 to 15,400 feet. Bombs were away between 20/0152G to 20/0234G. All aircraft were back at North Field at about 20/0830G. Crews reporting on the bombing results indicted that the bombs dropped in the target area causing fires and one reported a large explosion lighting up a city block. One crew reported five trains of bombs burning in the river. Another crew saw a string of bombs north of the course near Koromo. While radio discipline appeared to be good overall, communication with the weather ship on the VHF channel appeared to leave room for improvement. One crew reported someone broke into the weather channel and started to give his position by stating" 1 0 miles southeast", but before he could give his position three voices broke in and told him to shut up. Only four sightings were made of enemy aircraft and no heavy anti-aircraft fire was experienced and meager, inaccurate automatic weapon fire at lower altitude was observed. But with three BGs, totaling 94 aircraft, in the area and apparently scheduled fairly close together, mistakes were made.


Plane K-14 SN 42-94032

Crew of K-8, Thompson Hiles, Jr. A/C, riding in Plane K-14 was hit by friendly fire about 34 miles off lands end at 34 08' N -138 25' E at 20/0241G. Hiles on a heading of 163 decided to turn on his landing lights as there were so many planes in the area. The RG in the "attacking" plane tracked what he thought was an "enemy" plane on a collision course with their plane. Hiles showed all necessary lights- running lights, formation lights and had turned on bomb release light on tail. The "attacking" B-29, 500 to 1,000 feet above him, came in from 7 o'clock and gave a burst of about 15 rounds from his lower aft turret which struck the TG, SGT Leroy Peters, in the right leg, thigh, left leg and scrotum. SSGT Lloyd Hardison, RO on crew K-8 helped save Peters' life with first aid and quick thinking. Although the plane was at 15,000 feet and pressurized at the time of the friendly fire, it quickly depressurized (at least the tail section which was separately pressurized from front of plane). Hardison went to the tail section and, despite the cramped quarters, he was able to remove Peters from the tail section and administer morphine and apply a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Peters was then moved to the radar compartment where plasma was administered, and after his clothes were cut away, antiseptic and bandages applied to his wounds. These measures were sufficient to prevent shock and sustain Peters until they got him to the field hospital on Iwo Jima. Approximately 15 bullet holes were found in the tail section and a small fragment of a 50 caliber incendiary bullet on the floor. Another scary incident happened to K-40. A static electric discharge ran through the entire aircraft from the Bombardier's free air gauge in the front to the rear of the plane temporarily blinding crewmembers.

24 July 1945 Bomb Group Mission #41

Target: Nakajima Aircraft Plant

Bomber Command Mission #290

Code Name:

This was the only daylight precision bombing mission in formation by the 330th BG during July. Elaborate plans had been worked out for this mission. There were primary and secondary visual targets and a primary radar target. In fact," the primary visual target was an old favorite near Nagoya, the Nakajima aircraft plant. Assembly was over Minami Iwo Jima, the small island south of Iwo Jima. With the use of different color smoke guns, each squadron was able to assemble easily. But, some crews complained that the time allotted for assembling was too short. The weather ship indicated that the primary visual target was clear, but when the formation got there it was cloud covered. The formation then traveled to the secondary visual target and it was cloud covered as well. The formations then proceeded to the city of Tsu, about 38 miles southwest of Nagoya, the primary radar target. The bomb loads were peculiar. For the first time the 330th BG was loaded with one of the largest high explosive bombs in the AAF arsenal, the 4,000 pound high explosive (HE) bomb. Presumably, to test the effect of dropping them out of an aircraft, some aircraft were loaded with one, some with two and others with three of these two-ton bombs. When the bombs detonated, one could see the pressure waves traveling through the cloud layer. What the population in Tsu city thought was not known. The bombing altitude ranged from 18,000 to 20,000 feet. The bombing technique was by synchronous radar, with bombs dropped on the lead aircraft. Out of the 36 planes, four had trouble with the bomb bay doors. Two salvoed their bombs and two jettisoned their bombs in the ocean. Bombs were away at 24/1139G to 24/1141G with the formations traveling at average speed of 270 mph. Two planes landed at Iwo short on gas and no bomb-bay doors. One plane landed at Northwest Field, Guam. On this day mission gas consumption was 700 gallons over what was normally used on a night mission. The calculated fuel was 6,339 gallons and the average fuel consumption 6,446 gallons. This was not the ideal mission. The weather ship sent the formation to the primary target, which was socked in when the formation arrived and even the secondary visual target was cloud, covered. In reassembling and going to the radar target, the formations passed over Kyoto (off limits to bombing due to its cultural importance) and the formation took flak from the city. This mission also had what the RAF called a "Master of Ceremonies". K-63, Talmon Mager, A/C, took off before the other planes and was over the various targets to direct traffic. The problem was that the plane was two hours waiting over the target before the formations arrived. Also, the VHF channel for K-63 was cluttered with P-51 pilots using the same channel. Fortunately, despite flying to three targets in formation and new ordinance. There were no casualties or planes lost indicating the improved crew performance of the 330th BG and an opponent "on the ropes".

26-27 July 1945 Bomb Group Mission #42

Target: Omuta Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #295

Code Name:

As with most night missions during July, there were scattered clouds from the base up to 6,000 to 8,000 feet and a clear sky with visibility up to 10 miles between 8,000 to 17,000 feet, and clouds above that altitude. Omuta was a major town on the west side of Kyushu. The 58th BW attacked it on 17-18 June 1945 with only minor damage. It had a population of 177,000 and was the focus of the 314th BW's efforts with all four bomb groups participating this night. The 330th BG had 33 planes scheduled with 11 from each Bomb Squadron. K-15 blew its front nose wheel tire on take off and scratched and K-33 aborted at Iwo with one engine out. The remaining 31 planes dropped 252.84 tons of M-47 and M-17 incendiary bombs on Omuta from 14,000 to 15,500 feet. Altogether, the four BGs dropped 965 tons of IB on the town, burning 2.65 square miles or 46.6% of the total built up area. The efficiency factor was 0.0027 square mile per ton. Despite the complaint about the weather, it was an efficient bombing strike. Its strategic value lay in the fact that Omuta was a rail hub and a port on the western side of Kyushu and would need to be isolated before the Kyushu invasion. The raid was planned as a classic night area-bombing mission with Pathfinder planes. This concept works only if the Pathfinders correctly mark the town and the follow-on aircraft can see the marker bombs. Otherwise, the crews were on their own. There were six Pathfinder Planes over the targe1 between 27/0113G and the last 27/0133G and the main force was over the target from 17/0133 - 27/0201G. On many past missions, there were complaints that the weather planes provided weather information that was outdated by the time the planes reached the target. In this case the reverse was true, K-35, Foster B. Huff, A/C, a Pathfinder, was on its bomb run when the wind data came in. The Nav's complained that the forecast wind directions and actual wind directions between Iwo Jima and the target were off by 90 to 100 degrees. These late and inaccurate weather reports may be the reason that the 457th BS, Pathfinder K-3, almost had its wing tom off by bombs falling on it from a plane 200 feet overhead. The Japanese were aware that this was an important target as well; they sent up night fighters (they had very few) and shot down one B-29 and badly damaged another -neither plane from the 330th BG -but the demise of the B-29 was vividly described by the returning crews. Several crews saw a B-29 with one engine flaming, fired on by two sets of tracers ten miles beyond the target area; it exploded once in the air and again when it hit the ground at 27/0158G. Heavy and medium anti-aircraft fire was observed over the town but it was meager and inaccurate. The heavy bomb-loads and incorrect wind directions made early landings at Iwo Jima inevitable. Three planes, K-30, K-39 and K-41, landed at Iwo and K-3 and K-29 on Tinian for gas. The calculated fuel consumption was 6,234 gallons and the average consumed by the 26 planes that made it back to North Field was 6,150 gallons. One crewmember that landed on Tinian and hitched a ride around the island to see the sights while the plane was refueled, was looking at a Japanese shrine and an MP challenged him. This surprised him, although he may have been out of regular fatigues, having just gotten off the plane for a few minutes. The apparent tightened security on Tinian as opposed to Guam may have signaled the presence of 509th Bomb Group (the Atomic Bomb Group located at North Field, Tinian). There were no planes lost or casualties on this mission.

28-29 July 1945 Bomb Group Mission #43

Target: Ogaki Urban Area

Bomber Command Mission #301

Code Name:

This was a memorable mission for the 330th Bomb Group. The target was Ogaki urban area with a population of 56,000. In the first instance, K-28, City of Omaha, and Howard McClellan, A/C had on board Ray Clark, a newsman from Station WOW, Omaha who broadcast live back to Guam and the States. He gave a running account of the anticipation and excitement of the bomb run. This unprecedented broadcast was sent out live over three networks and recorded for repeat broadcast by two other networks. Later, Ray Clark was able to get K-28's crew and plane back to Nebraska in October 1945 to participate in a Victory Bond drive. The second highlight of the mission was that the City of Ogaki was part of a 20th Air Force Psychological Warfare Effort involving the Japanese people. Certain cities, Ogaki being one of them, was the recipient of propaganda leaflets stating it would be, along with 10 other cities, firebombed in the near future and the civilians were warned to evacuate the city. But, in modem warfare, psychology is used and in some instances very effectively. Hitler's Germany made no bones about it, they had a Ministry of Propaganda and believed firmly in the dictum that if you say black is white often enough people will believe you. Japan was somewhat subtler and had a Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere for the natives. For the Americans, there was Tokyo Rose. In any case, Americans had, at the start of World War II, voiced opposition to area bombing as used by the Japanese on NanKing in 1937. In prosecuting total war, we were using the B-29 in its most efficient and effective manner on centers of production and transportation; but in the late stages of a bombing campaign, the Japanese morale became a legitimate target. The pamphlets warned that certain cities were to be bombed and they should evacuate the cities. Therefore, many Japanese cities in July and August 1945 were forewarned, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki (although the warning to Nagasaki may have come too late since the date of that mission was moved up a day due to weather predictions). The 330th BG sent 33 planes against Ogaki, dropping 227.26 tons of bombs consisting of E-46 and M-47 incendiaries. The 330th BG was joined by the 29th and 39th BGs; the 19th BG hit a different target. The total bomb load dropped on the town was 659 tons IB, burning 0.54 square miles of Ogaki for an efficiency factor of 0.0008 square mile per ton, not a very effective mission. Planes left North Field, Guam at 28/1807 -1940G and returned between 29/0900G -29/1000G. Bombs were away between 29/0201 - 29/0318G. Bombing results as reported by crews was good to excellent, with the last crew over the target reporting smoke up to 14,000 feet. Enemy opposition was stronger than met on previous night raids. Enemy fighters teamed with search lights in attacking planes with 5 passes made at three planes from the 330th BG. Meager to moderate heavy caliber anti-aircraft fire and meager to intense medium caliber anti-aircraft fire was encountered in the area with 15 to 20 searchlights with planes caught in the lights catching the most flak. The crews due to the pamphlets forewarning the Japanese of the attack and the clear night, which made a raid likely, believed the aggressive defenses. Calculated gas consumption was 5,974 gallons and the mission average was 6,075 gallons. Three planes landed at Iwo Jima for fuel. The 330th BG lost no plane, but in the 29th and 39th BGs, three planes suffered flak damage.

July Summary

The 330th BG ran 10 missions and this was the first month that no planes were lost. Vitiation of the oppostition and, perhaps,the factor of luck do contribute-no doubt. However due recognition must be given to the leadership and training of the combat crews which provided the necessary crew discipline and skill to accomplish their duties so expertly, with such minimum losses overall.The only injury was SGT Leroy Peters, TG on K-8, from friendly fire. Nine raids were against minor Japanese cities and there was one planned daylight precision bombing raid against the major Japanese aircraft plant near Nagoya, although this raid was frustrated by the weather. The month also saw the intensification of a psychological warfare campaign by the 20th Air Force, warning the population in certain Japanese cities to clear out as the city was to be fire bombed. This campaign, at least initially, was not looked upon with equanimity by many crewmembers.

June - August

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