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This was a night precision mission involving 30 planes from the 6th Bomb Group:

On 7 April the Sixth Contributed thirty of a total of ninety-eight Wing Superforts which attacked Mitsubishi Aircraft plant at Nagoya.  GP bombs were used with excellent results.  Photos later revealed 90 percent of the roof area destroyed.  About twelve aircraft were hit by flak fragments with estimated time needed for repair varying from an hour to several days.  Shortly after takeoff, Victor 5347 of the 24th Squadron, crashed and exploded in the ocean about two miles east of the island. Sgt W. P. Ford, CFC gunner, Sgt. E. E. Birsner, radar operator, Sgt T. F. Wipperman, right gunner and Sgt J. A. Douglas, left gunner, were only slightly injured and were recovered by rescue boats along with the body of Lt Lloyd E. Rinne, navigator. Listed officially as killed in action in the crash are Capt Clark A. Preston, airplane commander, and five other members of the crew in addition to Lt Rinne.

Sgt Joseph L. Slotter, Jr. and Sgt Arthur B. Fannon, 24th Squadron gunners were wounded by flak during the raid.  In spite of their serious wounds there men stayed at their positions and continued to man their guns as the plane was forced to leave the formation, becoming a target for enemy fighters.  Fire from their guns kept the enemy fighters at bay.  They were awarded the Silver Star for their gallantry in action.

[Pirate’s Log, p. 35]


 

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #2406:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 7 April 1945 from a base in the Marianas Islands. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 aircraft leading a formation on a daylight precision strike on the Mitsubishi aircraft plant, Nagoya, Japan. On the bomb run, fighter opposition and intense flak were encountered and their airplane sustained battle damage. Despite this, however, these veterans of repeated assaults against the home islands of Japan pressed the attack, causing severe damage to the enemy by aiding materially in destroying seventy-five percent of the target area. This flight was accomplished by flying 3,000 miles non-stop, in the face of difficult navigational problems, and the danger of engine failure with consequent ditching many miles at sea or bail out over enemy territory. The professional skill, teamwork and determination displayed in successfully striking this high priority target reflect great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

  • First Lieutenant WAILS HAWKINS (then Second Lieutenant) as Pilot
  • First Lieutenant CLINTON L. WRIDE as Bombardier
  • Master Sergeant GEORGE E. MCGRAW (then Technical Sergeant) as Flight Engineer
  • Staff Sergeant WALTER W. WIERNIK as Radio Operator
  • Staff Sergeant MAX A. ADAMS (then Sergeant) as Radar Operator
  • Sergeant NORMAN S. KRUVANT as Central Fire Control Gunner
  • Sergeant ROBERT J. BURKLE as Right Blister Gunner
  • Sergeant ROBERT A. GRANT as Left Blister Gunner
  • Sergeant FLORIA D. SPERO as Tail Gunner

A separate DFC Citation was written for:

  • Captain GORDON P. JORDAN, Aircraft Commander of Crew #2406.

[Transcribed by David Wilson, son of Sgt Bernard E. Wilson (Gunner, “Anonymous IV”)]


 

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #4011:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 7 April 1945 from a base in the Marianas Islands. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 on a bombing mission against the important Mitsubishi aircraft engine works in the city of Nagoya, Japan. At the assembly point off the coast of Japan it was found that the weather made it impossible to form the Squadron at the altitude briefed, and the Squadron Leader advised attacking a target of opportunity. This crew however, as a result of skillful navigation and airmanship, succeeded in rendezvousing with three other ships thirty miles west of the assembly point. In the face of intense, heavy, anti-aircraft fire, and two fighter attacks, they bombed the briefed primary target at 16,000 feet, inflicting severe damage on the enemy. As a result of this strike they aided materially in damaging huge areas of the factory, as evidenced by later reconnaissance photographs showing more than two million square feet–sixty-two percent–of the total roof area of the plant damaged. Sixty-three large buildings and twenty-seven smaller buildings were destroyed. The perseverance, devotion to duty and high professional skill displayed by these veterans of many missions against the home islands of Japan contributed materially in the crippling of the enemy’s aircraft production. Their actions reflect great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

  • First Lieutenant CLARENCE PRESSWOOD (then Second Lieutenant) as Navigator
  • First Lieutenant HARRY L. FINK (then Second Lieutenant) as Bombardier
  • First Lieutenant HENRY E. PEELLE, JR. (then Second Lieutenant) as Flight Engineer
  • Technical Sergeant DUDLEY J. NUTTLE (then Staff Sergeant) as Central Fire Control Gunner
  • Staff Sergeant JOHN M. JOYCE (then Corporal) as Left Gunner
  • Staff Sergeant JAMES W. SMYLIE (then Sergeant) as Radio Operator
  • Sergeant RALPH W. HANSON, JR. as Tail Gunner

A separate DFC Citation was written for:

  • Captain HERBERT F. BUNTING, Aircraft Commander of Crew #4011.

[Transcribed by David Wilson, son of Sgt Bernard E. Wilson (Gunner, “Anonymous IV”)]


 

20th Af Mission 59

 

Date: 7 April 1945
Code Name:Eradicate #7
Target:Mitsubishi A/C Engine Plant
Nagoya 90.20-193
Participating Units: 313th Bombardment Wing
314th B.W.
Number of A/C Airborne: 194
% A/C Bombing Primary:78% (155 primary and 29 Last Resort)
Type of Bombs and Fuzes:
Tons of Bombs Dropped:
Time Over Primary: 071200K - 071354K
Altitude of Attack:16,000 - 25,000
Weather Over Target:CAVU - 2/10
Total A/C Lost:2
Resume of Mission:Bombing results excellent, post strike photography shows Target virtually destroyed -3,584,100 square feet of roof area destroyed or damaged representing 94% of original roof area. Ten aircraft returned early. One aircraft lost to AA and one aircraft lost to enemy action. Enemy air opposition heavy, ineffective, unaggressive - 233 attacks. Enemy aircraft destroyed twenty-one, probably destroyed 11 and twenty-two damaged. AA heavy, moderate to intense, inaccurate to accurate. Average bomb load 313th Wing 8,776 lbs and 314th Wing 8,993 lbs. Average gas reserve 313th Wing 975 gallons and 314th Wing 754 gallons