This was a fighter escort mission involving 4 planes from the 6th Bomb Group:
The first participation of Sixth Group aircraft and personnel in a mission for which combat credit was given occurred on 3 February. Three crews of the 40th Squadron flew as navigational escort for fourteen P-38 fighters on a strafing mission to Iwo Jima. Airplane commanders were Capt Frank, Capt Parsons and Lt Steel.
[Pirate’s Log, p. 29]