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This was a daylight tactical support mission involving 22 planes from the 6th Bomb Group:

During April, eight such tactical missions were flown with an average attacking force of twelve B-29’s.  Kanoya East Airfield was hit four times – on the 8, 17, 21 and 22 of April.

 

[Pirate’s Log, p. 38]


 

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #3902:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 21 April 1945 from a base in the Marianas Islands. These individuals were combat crew members on a B-29 aircraft on an important bombing mission against Kanoya East Airfield. on the island of Kyushu, Japan. This mission involving a 3500 mile over-water flight, was accomplished at a time when the US Navy was undergoing serious air attacks by the enemy who were attempting to defeat the Okinawa invasion forces. These air attacks were staged from this airfield and others and this bombing was intended to disrupt the enemy staging operations, and relieve pressure on the Okinawa area. During the course of the actual attack, members of this crew helped to repel two enemy fighter attacks, damaging one fighter and maintained a close formation in the face of heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire. As a result, exceptionally bombing was achieved, 92 percent of the bombs falling within 2000 feet of the briefed aiming point. Due to the urgency of this attack these individuals flew their mission with little or no sleep the preceding day. In spite of this added factor of fatigue and long arduous flight requiring exceptional skill, these veterans on many bombing attacks against Japan, achieved great precision and teamwork in the performance of their assigned duties and responsibilities and by virtue of their individual excellence, devotion to duty and superior degree of efficiency, contributed materially to the success of the mission and thereby reflected great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

 

  • First Lieutenant HARRY H. GEORGE as Pilot
  • First Lieutenant LOREN E. EARNEST as Navigator
  • First Lieutenant LESTER A. MOELLER as Bombardier
  • Technical Sergeant DENNIS MCAULIFFE as Central Fire Control Gunner
  • Staff Sergeant CHARLES J. GROW as Radar Operator
  • Staff Sergeant RUSSELL W. POLLOCK as Radio Operator
  • Staff Sergeant MORTON S. OLIVER (then Sergeant) as Tail Gunner
  • Sergeant DONALD C. GILLHAM as Right Blister Gunner
  • Sergeant JOHN W. COTTY as Left Blister Gunner

A separate DFC Citation was prepared for:

  • Captain ARTHUR M. CLAY, JR, the Aircraft Commander of Crew #3902.

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


 

According to the DFC Citation for Crew #3904:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 21 April 1945 from their base in the Marianas Islands. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 aircraft participating in a bombing strike against Kanoya east airfield, Japan, at a time when our invasion of nearby Okinawa was in its early stages and undergoing heavy aerial attacks by Japanese planes staged from this airfield and others in the vicinity.  This crew, flying with the intent to disrupt these enemy operations and relieve the pressure in the Okinawa area, joined formation off the coast of Japan at a designated spot after having navigated more than 1300 miles of open water. The attack proceeded, during the course of which they helped repel two enemy fighter attacks and maintain close formation in the face of heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire. By continued performance of their duties with a high degree of skill and devotion to duty, they were able to achieve excellent bombing results, inflicting severe damage on hangers, parking areas, runways and other installations. Throughout the long and difficult mission, this crew, who have completed more than twenty-nine combat sorties, worked with precision and determination, and by their outstanding performance in bringing destruction to the assigned target despite all obstacles, reflected great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

 

  • First Lieutenant WILLIAM H. JACKSON as Pilot
  • First Lieutenant ANTHONY P. CIZINA as Navigator
  • First Lieutenant RICHARD NEVILLE as Bombardier
  • Master Sergeant JAMES G. GARCIA as Flight Engineer
  • Technical Sergeant FRANCIS E. SCOPEL as Central Fire Control Gunner
  • Staff Sergeant FREDERICK R. MILES as Radar Operator
  • Staff Sergeant JOHN P. DYKUN as Radio Operator
  • Staff Sergeant JOHN MUCHA as Right Blister Gunner
  • Staff Sergeant JOHN MELKO JR as Left Blister Gunner
  • Staff Sergeant EDWARD H. PENDERGAST as Tail Gunner

[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 on 21 April 1945. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 Aircraft based in the Marianas Islands on a bombing raid against an airfield on Kyushu, Japan. The Mission was designed to relieve the pressure of enemy air attacks against our Naval forces off Okinawa by knocking out the home airfields where the planes for such raids were staged. To accomplish this objective it was necessary that each plane fly exactly as briefed and maintain a close, well-controlled formation on the bomb run so that maximum damage would result. Arriving at the assembly point exactly on time, this crew flew their plane in close formation, releasing their bombs on the briefed portion of the target. Severe damage was inflicted to maintenance facilities as well as on planes and equipment in the area. On the approach to and over the target, heavy, intense and accurate flak was encountered. After leaving the target, two aggressive attacks by enemy fighters were repelled. Despite this heavy opposition, members of this crew performed their assigned duties with exceptional skill and contributed materially to the outstanding success of the mission. These individuals, who have completed over twenty-three combat sorties, distinguished themselves in the highest traditions of the Army Air Forces.

 

  • First Lieutenant JOHN T. KEARNEY as Pilot
  • Flight Officer JOSEPH F. KROGMAN as Bombardier
  • First Lieutenant ELMER G. WALE (then Second Lieutenant) as Flight Engineer
  • Captain PERCY U. TUCKER (then First Lieutenant) as Airplane Commander
  • Staff Sergeant JOSEPH W. RYAN (then Sergeant) as Radar Gunner
  • Staff Sergeant JOHN W. PIERCE as Radio Operator
  • Technical Sergeant EDWARD C. ROACH (then Staff Sergeant) as Central Fire Control Gunner
  • Staff Sergeant ROBERT K. RYAN (then Sergeant) as Left Blister Gunner
  • Staff Sergeant JOSEPH MAJESKI JR (then Sergeant) as Tail Gunner

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

 

20th AF Mission 83

 

Date: 21 April 1945
Code Name:Famish # 4
Target:Kanoya East A/F 90.38-2516
Participating Units: 313th Bombardment Wing
Number of A/C Airborne: 33
% A/C Bombing Primary:81.8% (27 Primary, 0 Secondary and 4 Opportunity)
Type of Bombs and Fuzes:
Tons of Bombs Dropped:
Time Over Primary:210809K - 210901K
Altitude of Attack:16,200 - 17,350
Weather Over Target:0/10 - 2/10
Total A/C Lost:0
Resume of Mission:Bombing results - several bomb patterns on field with concentration in hangar area. One aircraft damaged. Two aircraft non-effective. Enemy fighter opposition weak 10 attacks. AA heavy, meager to moderate and inaccurate. Average bomb load 13,245 lbs. Average gas reserve 704 gallons.