The 6th Bombardment Group (VH) is cited for outstanding performance of duty in armed conflict with the enemy. This Group was alerted for a maximum effort attack to take off only thirty-six hours after the return of their bombers from a maximum effort mission on which a large number of the aircraft had sustained extensive battle damage. Tireless and efficient work by the maintenance crews readied twenty-seven B-29’s by take-off time on 25 May 1945 for this important attack against the last remaining strategically valuable industrial section of Tokyo not yet destroyed. In addition to the extreme hazards of long over-water flight and great distances from friendly bases, the bombing problem was such that the approximate route and altitude of attack were known to the enemy with consequent massing of defenses. Attacking first after the pathfinders when the defense had been fully alerted and not yet saturated by the raid, the 6th Bombardment Group’s aircraft were picked up by effective searchlights and clearly silhouetted from the initial point through the target area. Extremely intense and accurate heavy anti-aircraft, automatic weapons fire, and rockets, all effective against low-level attacks, buffeted the bombers. The enemy air defenses were at maximum force with forty-one night fighters making twenty-eight aggressive attacks against the Group’s aircraft. In fighting them off, the gunners destroyed eight and damaged three hostile interceptors. As many as fifty suicide planes were employed by the enemy in defense of this most important target. Three B-29’s of the Group force were lost and fourteen heavily damaged in fighting their way through almost insurmountable defenses to complete successfully their assigned task. Through the indomitable courage, skill and extraordinary devotion to duty in the face of fanatical enemy opposition exhibited by the combat crews in destroying their objective after a most hazardous mission, and the determination and technical mastery of the ground personnel, the 6th Bombardment Group (VH) rendered an invaluable contribution to the defeat of Japan, reflecting great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.
Last updated 02/27/2007