39th Bomb Group (VH)

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Nakajima Aircraft Plant (Day)

Mission Number: 41
Mission Date: 24 July 1945

Handa - Mission#41
Target: Handa
Date: 24 July 1945
Time: 1156 hrs
Altitude: 18500
3553'N - 13656'E
Crew P-02
Air Force Photo
Courtesy of Ben Hill, RG, P-22
Click on image to enlarge

On 24 July the 39th Bomb Group flew a memorable mission to Nakajima Aircraft Plant located at Handa, about 13 miles south-southeast of Nagoya Harbor. It was believed that final assembly of the Jill and Myrt airplanes occupied the factory, and it was quite possible that Zekes and other fighters were also assembled there.

The target was assigned to the 314th Wing and the 39th sent 39 planes on the strike.

Enemy fighter opposition nil and flak was meager to moderate and generally inaccurate. The greatest obstacle to the successful bombing was the weather. Could coverage was from 8/10ths to 10/10ths and most of the B-29s were forced to bomb by radar.

The first two squadrons of the 39th to go over the target had bad luck and their bombs fell outside the target area. But in this respect they were not out of line with the rest of the planes of the wing. The single exception was the 62nd Squadron, Crew 44 led by Capt. "Buster" Payne.

Although their entire bombing run was made on radar, so accurate was the work of these men that all the bombs from the 62nd formation fell within the target area and scored excellent results. This one Squadron - the only one in the entire Wing damaged over 39% of the total roof area of the plant. The bombing was one of the best radar jobs turned in throughout of history of B-29s in the Pacific.

For their superior work at Handa, the bombing team of Crew 44 received the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement.

Additional Statistics
Total 314th Wing B-29s Launched:
Total Numbers Bombs Dropped:

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Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"
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