The 6th Bomb Group

Mission 9. Nakajima Aircraft Company  (Mar 4)

This was a daylight precision mission involving 20 planes from the 6th Bomb Group:

The first mission, the first since 25 Feb, was flown on 4 March.  It was a high-altitude daylight attack on Target 90.17-357 - The Nakajima Aircraft Factory at Mushashino on the outskirts of Tokyo.  Twenty-two ships, carrying a total of 238 five-hundred pound GP bombs, were airborne with two aborting shortly after takeoff.  Difficulty was experienced in assemblying the formations off Daio-Zaki due to the great amount of aircraft at this point and a lack of adequate means for accurate identification of the leaders.  Aircraft were forced to form flight squadrons as best they could and a complete undercast at the primary target forced bombing of the secondary target - the urban area of Tokyo.  Little enemy opposition was encountered and all planes returned safely.

Sgt James R. Clark, radio operator on Major Layson's crew of the 39th Squadron, sustained flak wounds on the raid.  He was presented the Purple Heart a few days later and in May, Sgt Clark was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism in saving the life of another crew member.  Sgt Clark shared his oxygen mask with Sgt Keenan until their plane reached a lower altitude.  Two hours later with the radar and Loran sets inoperative and in spite of his wounds, Sgt Clark manned his station, secured a position fix by radio, and stayed at his post until the plane landed at Tinian.

[Pirate's Log, pp. 31-32]


20th AF Mission 39

Date: 4 March 1945
Code Name: Enkindle #5
Target: Tokyo (357)  - Nakajima A/C Plant, Musashino
Participating Units: 73rd and 3l3th Bombardment Wings
Number A/C Airborne: 192
% A/C Bombing Primary: 0 (0 primary, 159 Secondary, 17 last Resort and 1 opportunity)
Time Over Secondary: 050940K - 051051K
Altitude of Attack: 25,100 - 28,900
Weather Over Target: 10/10
Total A/C Lost: 1
Resume of Mission: Bombing results unknown. No damage assessment obtained from strike or post survile photography. Fifteen early returns. Enemy air opposition nil. AA meager to moderate and inaccurate. Average bomb load 6,833 lbs, 73rd wing and 5,646 lbs, 313th Wing. Average gas reserves 947 gallons.