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This was an aerial mining mission involving 29 planes from the 6th Bomb Group:

On the night of 19 July Capt Gordon P. Jordan and crew, 24th Squadron, failed to return from a mission to mine field “Zebra”. The only information available is reports from other crew members who stated they saw a burning plane over Niigata. As of 1 Jan 1946, five crew members had been found as prisoners of war and repatriated. They were: Capt Jordan, Lt P.A. Trump, M/Sgt G.E. McGraw, S/Sgt W.W. Wiernik and S/Sgt W.W. Dickerson. The six other crew members are still missing-in-action. This loss proved to be the last of the war for the Sixth.

* * * The 19 July mission marked the thirty-fifth mission for the crew of Capt James D. Ezell, 39th Squadron. This was the first crew to complete its tour of duty and soon afterward they were on their way to the States. * * *

[Pirate’s Log, pp. 50-51]

Mine field “Zebra” was in Tsurga Bay.

According to the Distinguished Unit Citation:

The 6th Bombardment Group set out again on 19 July 1945 to intensify and maintain the blockade in seven of the vital ports and harbors of Korea and Japan by further sowing and replanting of minefields.  The determination of the crews to fullfill the assigned objective was again displayed when ninety-four percent of the mines airborne by thirty-one aircraft, were accurately dropped as briefed.

 

20th AF Mission 276

 

Date: 19/20 July 1945
Target:Kobe-Osaka
Oyama
Yanohama
Niigata
Miyazu
Mai- zuru
Gensan-Konan
Tsuruga
Obama
Nezugasaki
Participating Units: 313th BW
Number of A/C Airborne: 31
% A/C Bombing Primary:87.09% (27 Primary and 2 Alternate)
Type of Bombs and Fuzes:MK26-36 (1000lb)
MK25 (2000lb mines with various settings)
Tons of Bombs Dropped:184 tons
Time Over Primary:200003K - 200247K
Altitude of Attack:7,100 - 8,400
Weather Over Target:0/10 - 10/10
Total A/C Lost:1
Resume of Mission:It was estimated that of the 228 mines laid, 226 would be effective. Only 2 A/C dropped their mines visually. One A/C was non-effective. Seven E/A sighted and made no attacks. The A/C lost was missing to unknown reasons after leaving the target. One RCM A/C was A/B. Eleven A/C landed at Iwo Jima. Average mine load: 13,344 lbs. Ave- rage fuel reserve: 852 gallons.