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This was a night incendiary mission involving 33 planes from the 6th Bomb Group:

Next came the urban area of Kobe on the night of 16-17 March.  Thirty-three Sixth ships bombed the primary target, dropping 1, 038 incendiary clusters by radar.  Two planes were damaged by machine gun fire from fighters.  Sgt James H. Wiseman, 40th Squadron gunner, was wounded during the attack.  All planes returned safely, with five stopping at Iwo Jima on the return flight for refueling.  Tail gunner on Capt Rodenhouse’s crew got the first claim on an enemy fighter.  A ship exploded when hit by fire from his guns.


[Pirate’s Log, p. 33]


20th Af Mission 43


Date: 16 March 1945
Code Name:Middleman #2
Target:Kobe Urban Area
Participating Units:  73rd Bombardment Wing
313th B.W.
314th B.W.
Number of A/C Airborne: 330
% A/C Bombing Primary:93% (305 Primary, 0 Secondary and 3 Last Resort and Opportunity)
Type of Bombs and Fuzes:
Tons of Bombs Dropped:
Time Over Primary:170338K - 170546K
Altitude of Attack:4600-9000
Weather Over Target:1/10 - 3/10
Total A/C Lost:3
Resume of Mission:85,458,000 square feet (1920 acres or 3.0 square miles) destroyed. Twenty-one aircraft non-effective. Three aircraft lost to reasons unknown, enemy fighter opposition medium to heavy, unaggressive - 93 attacks. AA medium to heavy, meager to intense, inaccurate. Average bomb load 14,931 lbs. Average gas reserve 889 gallons.