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This was a daylight tactical support mission involving 16 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.  * * *

On the night of the 22nd the plane manned by Lt Dean J. Mutch and crew of the 24th Squadron, had an engine catch on fire on takeoff.  Lt Mutch circled the island and when an attempted landing at West Field resulted in a crash, several members were knocked unconscious.  After escaping from the burning plane, Lt Mutch reentered the ship through a hole in the nose and with the aid of the engineer, Lt W. E. Reed, succeeded in removing the unconsious bombardier, Lt C. A. Juskiewicz.  A second entry into the plane was made to rescue the co-pilot, Major Alton P. Donnell, also unconscious.  Lt Mutch entered the burning ship a third time and searched for other crew members he thought were still trapped.  Lt (now Capt) Mutch was awarded the Soldier’s Medal in July for his heroism in saving the lives of the two crew members.


[Pirate’s Log, p. 38]


According to the DFC Citation for Crew #3916:

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 22 April 1945. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 on a high precision-bombing raid against a Japanese airfield on the island of Kyushu, Japan. The purpose of the raid was to destroy facilities on the field, preventing the enemy from staging further heavy, damaging attacks against our Naval forces then busy in the invasion of nearby Okinawa.  The achievement of this objective depended upon extraordinary precise flying and bombing. On this mission, this crew flew their plane as briefed and dropped their bombs exactly on the target in spite of heavy, intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire which damaged their plane and extremely aggressive fighter attacks which sent a twenty millimeter shell into the fuselage, shot away the rudder cable and resulted in other damage. On the return to base, the crew flew their plane within sight of another even more seriously damaged B-29 so that in the event of a forced ditching they would be able to assist the rescue facilities. Throughout the entire mission each member of this crew performed his assigned duties with exceptional skill and contributed materially to its outstanding success which destroyed hangers and maintenance facilities on the airfield as well as damaging planes and equipment. By their coolness and courage in the face of desperate enemy opposition, their determination to accomplish the assigned mission and the superior teamwork of these individuals, who have completed more than twenty-one combat sorties, reflected great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.


  • Captain JOHN C JAEKELS (then First Lieutenant) as Airplane Commander
  • First Lieutenant ARTHUR C LOGIN as Navigator
  • First Lieutenant JOHN N THOMAS as Bombardier
  • Second Lieutenant MALCOLM MCFEE as Pilot
  • Master Sergeant EDWARD E MCNABNEY as Flight Engineer
  • Technical Sergeant RAYMOND J JAHELKA as Central Fire controller
  • Staff Sergeant BEN M SPANN as Radar Operator
  • Staff Sergeant DONALD F WALTON as Radio Operator
  • Staff Sergeant ALBERT J HRACH as Right Blister Gunner
  • Staff Sergeant WILLIAM A SAVIDGE as Left Blister Gunner
  • Staff Sergeant BERNARD E SNYDER as Tail Gunner

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


According to the DFC Citation for Captain CLAYTON L. ANDERSON, Aircraft Commander (40BS):

Captain CLAYTON L. ANDERSON, 40th Bombardment Squadron, 6th Bombardment Group, Air Corps, United States Army.  For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Airplane Commander of a lead B-29 aircraft on two highly successful bombing missions against airfields on Kyushu, Japan, 22 April 1945 and 28 April 1945. Successful accomplishment of these missions was made under adverse weather conditions, in the face of difficult navigational problems, in view of the ever present danger of ditching while crossing thousands of miles of ocean from the base in the Marianas Islands. The flights were subjected to enemy anti-aircraft fire and fighter opposition. In spite of these obstacles, he so skillfully led the raid that ninety-seven percent of the bombs on both missions fell within 1000 feet of the designated point of impact. The excellence of his work occurred at a time when every bomb against these airfields helped destroy enemy aircraft which were seriously interfering with the allied campaign on nearby Okinawa. His actions reflect great credit on himself and the Army Air Forces.


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


20th AF Mission 95


Date: 22 April 1945
Code Name:Checkbook #5
Target:Kanoya A/F 90.38-1378
Participating Units: 313th Bombardment Wing
Number of A/C Airborne: 25
% A/C Bombing Primary:76% (19 A/C)
Type of Bombs and Fuzes:
Tons of Bombs Dropped:
Time Over Primary:220834K - 220936K
Altitude of Attack:15,350 - 15,950
Weather Over Target:0/10
Total A/C Lost:1
Resume of Mission:Bombing results - crews reported good to excellent. Runways cratered, hangars and service apron well covered by pattern. One aircraft probably destroyed. Five hangars gutted and two destroyed. Enemy air opposition light -10 attacks. AA heavy, meager to moderate, fairly accurate. One aircraft crash-landed on return. Average bomb load 9,091 lbs. Average gas reserve 1079 gallons.