The 6th Bomb Group

Mission 8. Tokyo Urban Area  (Feb 25)

This was a daylight incendiary mission involving 21 planes from the 6th Bomb Group:

On 25 Feb the Group flew its first major strike against the Empire when twenty-on aircraft, with the other groups in the Wing, carried out a high-altitude (24,000 feet) daylight attack against the port and urban area of Tokyo. General purpose bombs and a few incendiary clusters were used. Complete undercast at the target area caused bombing to be by radar and strike results were impossible to photograph.  Enemy opposition was light - eleven single-engine fighters were spotted but none attacked the formations; anti-aircraft fire was moderate and inaccurate.  No damage was sustained by any of the Sixth ships and all returned to the home base safely.  Flight commander for the 24th Squadron was Capt Edgar McElroy, who had bombed Japan as a member of Gen Doolittle's raid in April 1942. On that raid Capt McElroy bailed out over China and was rescued by the Chinese. Now he had returned to his original target.

Immediately upon receipt of strike reports from the Group's crews the news was broadcast over the loud-speaker system. The announcement began: "Attention Sixth Bomb Group! Attention Sixth Bomb Group! The Sixth struck its first real blow of the war today against the Jap Empire. The strike report of the attack was flashed back to Tinian from the lead plane carrying Col Gibson and piloted by Cap D. H. Frank of the 40th Squadron", and ended, ". . . there are fires burning in Tokyo today because the Sixth Bomb Group - its air and ground personnel, its men and officers, its flying crews and maintenance crews, its clerks and cooks, its adjutants and medics, its hundreds of specially trained men all helped to deliver those bombs to Tokyo."

[Pirate's Log, pp. 29-30]


20th AF Mission 38

Date: 25 February 1945
Code Name: Meetinghouse #1
Target: Tokyo Urban Area
Participating Units: 73rd, 313th and 314th Bombardment Wings
Number A/C Airborne: 229
% A/C Bombing Primary: 75% (172 primary, 0 Secondary, 28   last Resort and 1 Opportunity)
Time Over Primary: 251458K - 251652K
Altitude of Attack: 23,500 - 31,000
Weather Over Target: 10/10
Total A/C Lost: 3
Resume of Mission: First three wing strike, 28,000,000 square feet of urban area destroyed. Twenty eight non-effective. Two aircraft collided at wing assembly point and one aircraft lost to survey. Enemy air opposition nil. AA meager and inaccurate. Average bomb-load 7,065 lbs. 73rd Wing, 5,147 lbs. 313th Wing and 3944 lbs. 314th Wing. Average gas reserve 883 gallons.