XX BOMBER COMMAND flew its ninth mission, an attack against Anshan's coke ovens, on 26 September 1944, its tenth, a strike against Okayama on Formosa, on 14 October. The interim, a decisive period in the reorganization of the command, marked also a turning point in its operational story. With an increase in supplies available at the forward bases LeMay quickened the tempo of the attack: never again would there be so long a rest for the B-29's as this eighteen-day pause, and subsequent missions would be on average of greater weight and greater effectiveness. For these new efforts new objectives were chosen, involving a radical shift in the strategic target system and a closer integration with the operations of other commands.
As preparations advanced for a sustained bomber offensive against Honshu by Marianas-based B-29's, the strategic importance of the Chengtu fields waned-indeed, by September Arnold was considering seriously what had always been implicit in the MATTERHORN concept, transfer of XX Bomber Command to a more profitable site. The move was to come by stages. Because of the desperate tactical situation in China, the command pulled out of its Chengtu fields during the last week of January 1945, but it continued to fly missions from India until 30 March. Soon thereafter the combat groups and their supporting units moved to the Marianas, and XX Bomber Command, a headquarters with grandiose prospects but no bombers, moved out to Okinawa only to be dissolved and absorbed by the Eighth Air Force in July.
During its last six months of combat in the CBI the command expended a far greater share of its effort than had been anticipated against tactical objectives in China and southeast Asia. Strikes in support
of MacArthur's campaign in the Philippines; attacks against shipping, docks, rail communications, and ammunition dumps on behalf of Mountbatten; aerial mining and VLR reconnaissance--these activities lent variety to the command's program and overshadowed its original strategic mission, represented during this period chiefly by seven attacks against aircraft industry targets. The shift in priority from coke ovens to aircraft factories did not constitute a radical revision in plans, having long been considered a possibility, but the abandonment of the Chengtu fields did. That move, in fact, marked the end of the MATTERHORN strategic concept, and although it came just as XX Bomber Command was reaching its peak of performance, operations thereafter bore an air of anticlimax as the command awaited with such patience as could be mustered the expected move into a more decisive theater.
Thus the history of XX Bomber Command after September 1944 divides itself naturally into three phases, that of China-based missions, of India-based missions, and of withdrawal to the Pacific. There is some overlapping, for missions were staged from the Kharagpur area during the first as well as second phase, but at the risk of confusing the chronology of the forty missions flown between October and April, this is the pattern which will be followed in the present chapter.
Missions from China
In October 1944 and January 1945 XX Bomber Command flew a number of missions in direct support of operations in the Pacific. This effort, referred to tersely as PAC-AID, had been under consideration since before the initial strike against Bangkok, but plans had remained fluid as Pacific strategy developed. The objectives eventually chosen for PAC-AID tied in closely with the command's newly designated target system, the Japanese aircraft industry, and it is convenient here to explain that choice of targets.
During the summer, opinion at Twentieth Air Force Headquarters had veered from coke toward the aircraft industry as the top-priority objective, and by early September staff planners had about decided to modify the bomber command's target directive. Arnold, then preparing for the OCTAGON conference at Quebec, would make no immediate decision, but on the 8th directed the Committee of Operations Analysts to revise its report of 11 November 1943 on economic
targets in the Far East, now completely outmoded by the accelerated pace of the war and the early prospect of XXI Bomber Command operations from the Marianas. In spite of Arnold's impatience, such a revision could not be produced overnight, but in the meanwhile his staff informed LeMay of a possible shift in objectives which would give top priority to aircraft plants at Omura, Mukden, Watanabe (near Fukuoka), and Okayama. These were not the most important Japanese airplane plants, but they were the best within range of B-29's at Chengtu. This message was dispatched on 13 September1 and within a few days Okayama was scheduled as target for the command's next mission.2
The COA report was finished on 10 October3 At Arnold's request it consisted of two parts based on alternative assumptions: that Japan might be defeated by sea- and air-blockade alone, or by those means plus an invasion of the home islands. The two lists of target objectives differed in order and emphasis rather than in substance. On the first premise the COA recommended 1) a general campaign against shipping, including extensive VLR mining operations, 2) an attack on the aircraft industry, and 3) saturation bombing of six specified urban industrial areas, Mining and precision bombing of aircraft factories could be done simultaneously, but the area attacks were to be postponed until they could be made in heavy force. Thereafter a fresh study should be made to determine whether other suitable targets existed. If plans should contemplate the invasion of Japan, the B-29's ought to engage "generally" in attacks on the aircraft industry and urban industrial areas, and to intensify the anti-shipping campaign. Detailed studies of the offensive against the aircraft industry and the six city areas had already been prepared and that on VLR mining was shaping up; all these were to be used as guides.4
The main concern of the COA was properly with B-29's based in the Marianas and in other Pacific islands to be captured later. VHB forces in those areas would dwarf the one wing in the CBI, and with the prospect of mining Shimonoseki Strait, it was thought that no strategic targets of great importance would exist within range of Chengtu. The COA report of 11 November 1943 had been concerned with an expanding Japanese industry which might be slowly crippled by attacks on steel (via coke ovens) and on shipping. This theory had lent importance to Chengtu, within B-29 range of most of Japan's coking plants in Kyushu, Manchuria, and Korea. Since that report, however,
shipping losses had curtailed Japanese industrial expansion; the inability to move iron ore from the Philippines, Hainan, and the Asiatic mainland to processing plants in Japan was now thought to be the
limiting factor. Since there was apparently a surplus of coke in Japan and merely a balance (as against an earlier surplus wiped out by XX Bomber Command) on the continent, Anshan, Penchihu, and a shale-oil plant at Fushun remained profitable targets only if XX Bomber
Command remained at Chengtu and if it were not fully employed against tactical targets. The only tactical target named, however, was Okayama in Formosa, an aircraft repair and modification center near Takao and the principal staging center for Japanese planes en route to the South or Central Pacific.5 The implied possibility of leaving Chengtu and of turning to tactical bombardment was prophetic; so was the choice of Okayama as the only aircraft target, for Halsey's carriers were scheduled to hit Formosa on 12 October--just two days after the COA report was submitted--and XX Bomber Command would attack Okayama as its first job in PAC-AID.*
PAC-AID had been long in the making, its details changing with each revision of strategic plans for the Pacific. Those plans are described more appropriately in a later chapter;† here it suffices to point out the strategic significance of the Luzon-Formosa-China coast area. Control of all or parts of that triangle was recognized in Washington and the Pacific theaters as a prerequisite for the final assault on the home islands, but there were long debates over rival plans advanced by Nimitz and MacArthur for achieving that control. On 12 March 1944 the JCS had decided that there should be not one Dut two axes of approach: Nimitz and his POA forces moving via the Marianas-Carolines-Palaus, MacArthur advancing from New Guinea to Mindanao, prepared to take Luzon if necessary. Target dates were: Mindanao, 15 November; Formosa, 15 February 1945, or, should the Luzon operation prove necessary before Formosa, Luzon should be invaded on the latter date.6
In any event it was a Pacific plan and one which relegated the CBI to a secondary role. The Joint Strategic Survey Committee (JSSC) stated the case bluntly: "Having decided on our strategy in the Pacific and accepted it as the basic and primary strategy against Japan, our Asiatic strategy should be planned primarily on the basis of how it can most promptly and effectively be integrated with Pacific strategy."7 The approach to the Philippines and Formosa could be aided by China-based planes, Chennault's working out of east China fields and the B-29's from Chengtu. This was the logic which underlay the JCS message of 2 May directing Stilwell to commit XX Bomber Command to support of the Mindanao operation in November, the Formosa assault in February.8
The Joint Chiefs suggested that Stilwell begin stockpiling for PAC-AID
* For map of Formosa, see below, p. 472.
† See below, pp. 275-88.
at once. This he could hardly do with his airlift to China more than strained by Chennault's needs in the face of the Japanese offensive and with the XX Bomber Command levy against ATC;9 PAC-AID thus was a potent factor in the July decision to augment ATC's Hump potential.* The directive of 2 May specified that XX Bomber Command support of Pacific campaigns should not prejudice MATTERHORN operations, but the guide submitted by the JCS to Stilwell on 26 August to govern allocation of Hump tonnage accorded a higher priority to PAC-AID than to strategic 0perations.l0 With Pacific strategy firming but slowly, XX Bomber Command learned little during the summer, and as late as 4 September Washington had to report PAC-AID plans still tentative.11 Within a fortnight, however, they began to jell, but in unexpected form.
When the OCTAGON conference opened at Quebec on 8 September, the schedule for Pacific operation stood thus: Norotai (SWPA) and the Palaus (POA), 15 September; Yap and Ulithi (POA), 5 October; Talauds (SWPA), 15 October; Mindanao (SWPA), 15 November; Leyte (SWPA), 20 December; Formosa-Amoy, 1 March 1945,or Luzon, 20 February.12
In preparation for the first of these invasions, Halsey in early September sent Mitscher's fast carriers in a series of strikes in the western Carolines and Philippines. In attacks on Mindanao, Task Force 38 met little opposition; according to Halsey, Mitscher found that "the Fifth Air Force had already flattened the enemy's installations and that only a feeble few planes rose to meet him." Halsey accordingly ordered a three-day strike against the central Philippines beginning 12 September.l3 On Leyte enemy air opposition again proved weak, so weak that on the 13th Halsey suggested to Nimitz that the timetable be set forward--specifically that the Talauds, Yap, and the Palaus be bypassed and with forces thus made available MacArthur should go on directly to Leyte, skipping Mindanao. It was too late to cancel the Palaus, but Nimitz indorsed the rest of the recommendation and sent it on to Admiral King, then sitting with the CCS at Quebec.14 With remarkable dispatch the Joint Chiefs got the concurrence of MacArthur's GHQ and on 15 September set up the Leyte operation for 20 October.15
This decision advanced D-day for the initial PAC-AID mission by some four weeks and thus complicated the already difficult problem of supplies in the forward area. Earlier plans were scrapped, and in a
* See above, pp. 126-30.
new estimate LeMay figured his October potential at 225 MATTERHORN and 125 PAC-AID sorties, an effort he could increase by monthly increments of 25 sorties till he reached a maximum of 425 in January--provided he had fuel in China. Advised of this by a new directive of 29 September, Stilwell guaranteed tonnage to support the 350 October sorties.16
On 22 September the JCS submitted to the several theater commanders concerned an outline plan for the bomber command's effort in support of the Leyte show, two closely spaced maximum missions (170 sorties in all) against Okayama, plus VLR reconnaissance* on request from Pacific commanders.17 Though MacArthur suggested hitting airfields on Luzon, and Chennault, deploring the "incongruity of the present situation," offered an alternative plan,18 Nimitz found the JCS plan acceptable and it held.19 The B-29 missions were to be coordinated with strikes by Mitscher's fast carriers, scheduled to attack Okinawa on 10 October and Formosa on the 12th and 13th. The combination of carrier and VHB attacks on air installations was designed to minimize air reinforcement of the Philippines as MacArthur closed on Leyte. At CINCPOA's request, Mitscher was to go it alone on the two days of his sweep; Arnold ordered the B-29's to attack on the 11th and 14th, but when 10 October weather forecasts were pessimistic, these strike dates were postponed to the 14th and 16th.20 The Twentieth Air Force reserved the right to direct PAC-AID operations as it did strategic missions, leaving local coordination to theater commanders; this required a vast amount of radio traffic but the complex operation went off without a serious slip.21
On 10 October Task Force 38 struck along a 300-mile arc centering on the Ryukyus, feinted with a fighter sweep over Luzon on the 11th, then turned on Formosa. The wide-ranging 2-day attack on the island failed to surprise the Japanese, who reacted vigorously, but it was highly successful: Halsey's later claims ran to the staggering total of 520 enemy planes destroyed, 37 ships sunk, and 74 probably sunk.22 This might seem to have left poor gleaning for LeMay but his targets had not been spoiled. Mitscher's planes had damaged Okayama, but not critically. The aircraft repair and assembly plant, with its adjacent air base, needed a more thorough working over to deny its use as a staging field to the Philippines.23
The B-29's began moving up to Chengtu on 9 October, and 5
* VLR reconnaissance operations are discussed below, pp. 163-65.
days later 130 of them got off without incident, though carrying an average of 6.8 tons each of 500-pound GP's and incendiaries. During the noon hour 104 bombers dropped about 650 tons on Okayama. Weather was good and so was the bombing, though late arrivals were hampered by smoke. Task Force 38 had destroyed or cowed the island's defenders: the few fighters sighted offered no resistance and flak was meager.24 Five B-29's bombed Swatow, two the Japanese-held airfield at Hengyang (named last resort target at Chennault's request) and six bombed targets of opportunity. A dozen planes made emergency landings at friendly fields in China, one crashed near Changteh whence its crew walked out, and one was listed as missing. This was a cheap price to pay for very severe damage done to Okayama installations.25
Indeed, that damage appeared so heavy that LeMay considered it unnecessary to send back all of the available planes for the mop-up on the 16th. Halsey, with a couple of wounded cruisers for bait, was trying to lure the Japs into a fleet action and Formosa needed policing, but at Washington's suggestion, LeMay divided his forces: the 444th and 462d Groups were to return to Okayama on 16 October while the 468th hit Heito, an air base and staging field located just east of Takao, where there was an air arsenal that performed repair and final assembly of fighters. Next day the 40th Group was to bomb Einansho Air Depot near Tainan.26 The twin mission went off less smoothly than that of the 14th. Of forty-nine planes airborne against Okayama, only twenty-eight bombed there, but they were aided by five stragglers from the 468th Group. To even things up, a formation of eleven planes from the 444th flew calmly by its Okayama target and struck at Heito through an error by the lead bombardier. Other B-29's bombed alternate or chance targets at Takao, Toshien, Swatow, and Sintien harbors; at Hengyang; and at several airdromes, including Taichu on Formosa.27
Damage assessment at Okayama made on the basis of photo reconnaissance confirmed enthusiastic reports by aircrews. Lead aircraft on 14 October had made photos revealing Navy damage which included four buildings destroyed and nine damaged out of eighty at the assembly plant, and five hangars destroyed at the air base. XX Bomber Command had added vastly to the havoc, especially on the first mission. After 16 October only six small buildings at the assembly plant remained intact; nine had been damaged, sixty-five destroyed. At the
air base the B-29's had destroyed two hangars and sixteen buildings (out of thirty-two) and damaged nine. A total of 116 aircraft had been hit in the 2 areas by Navy and XX Bomber Command planes. Damage assessment at Heito and Einansho was less specific for want of good photos and was less spectacular. Elsewhere a number of other targets had been hit accurately but with little weight.28
But the important target had been the plant at Okayama, and LeMay's intelligence officers estimated that it would require from four to six months' work to be restored to full operations. Their estimate proved an accurate one: after the war the Japanese Historical Group's description of the raids and their assessment of damage tallied generally with the intelligence reports (save that the Japanese patriotically but erroneously claimed that three B-29's were shot down on the 17th). Little damage was done, they said, on the 16th and 17th, but at Okayama the
majority of the buildings of the 61 Air Depot were destroyed and burned and the air depot was rendered useless with little hope of rebuilding. Most of the buildings of the Tainan and Takao Air Bases were burned. This was the first case of major damages suffered by land installations in Japan proper as a result of B-29 attacks.29
As to the effects of the strikes on the Leyte operations, the Japanese historians were less reassuring. "Intercepting land-based aircraft," they said, were deployed in Kyushu, Okinawa, and northern Formosa, and hence the Okayama attacks "had no direct effect on the defense of the Philippines." But because the Okayama air depot performed maintenance for aircraft used for training, its destruction caused "a considerable hindrance . . . to training of airmen." And so, ironically, PAC-AID brought little aid to Pacific forces but accomplished a minor strategic job with admirable thoroughness. The same could not be said about all subsequent strategic missions.
On 11 October Washington had informed LeMay definitively of the long-expected change in target systems which gave first priority to the aircraft industry.30 Primary target within range of Chengtu was the Omura Aircraft Factory, which manufactured Petes, Zekes, and a new carrier attack plane called Grace, and repaired Zekes and Jakes. Omura, on Kyushu, had been hit by a single B-29 on the night of 7/8 July and had been suggested as a possible target in August. Now it was to absorb a major share of XX Bomber Command's efforts in five missions run before the withdrawal from China.
LeMay's attacks on Formosa, involving 302 sorties, had strained his resources; his best plan, accepted by Washington, envisaged a maximum strike about 25 October (which would make his monthly total exceed the 350 sorties Stilwell had promised to sponsor) and 2 closely spaced attacks after 10 November--all He against Omura.3l got 103 B-29's north to Chengtu but only 78 managed to get up on a predawn take-off on 25 October. Over Omura, 59 planes dropped 156 tons of GP's and incendiaries while 11 more were hitting various other targets. Enemy opposition was rated as moderate, but one B-29 was crippled and crashed after most of its crew had jumped safely into China. One plane, with crew, was listed as an operational loss. Strike photos and later reconnaissance on 6 November indicated a considerable amount of damage, particularly in the area devoted to aluminum fabrication.32
Out of India XX Bomber Command ran two strikes, a "training" mission against Rangoon on 3 November and a spectacular attack at Singapore on the 5th,* and then turned back on Omura. His Hump allotment cut 500 tons after the expensive month of October, LeMay had to readjust his November schedule to a 120-sortie strike on 12 November and 110 sorties about the 27th.33
The first of these missions was moved up a day on the basis of weather forecasts, and early on the 11th ninety-six B-29's were airborne for Omura. Last-minute reports indicated cloud and turbulence at Omura (aftermath of a typhoon and harbinger of Kyushu's winter) and aircraft already en route were ordered to hit the last resort target at Nanking. Fewer than half of them heard the order. High wind and cloud played havoc with formations and fifteen planes bombed individually various targets of opportunity. At Nanking twenty-four B-29's were able to bomb visually, but the twenty-nine aircraft that went on to Omura encountered weather too heavy to sight the target and so rough that radar bombing was difficult. Enemy opposition was weak, but the weather so increased the normal hazards of flying that five B-29's were listed as lost or missing from operational causes.34 Very good photos shot on 17 November showed no new damage in the aircraft factory at Omura, though some neighboring buildings had been hit. At the factory debris from the 25 October raid was being cleared but no major repair work had been begun. At Nanking damage was noted but none of great military significance.35
* See below, pp. 154-56.
The second November strike at Omura proved equally costly and futile. Scheduled for 27 November, D-day was advanced to the 24th when the logistical situation momentarily improved. General Arnold had wanted to coordinate the mission with a double-barreled blast at Honshu--a carrier sweep (HOTFOOT) and his favorite project, XXI Bomber Command's first strike at Tokyo (SAN ANTONIO I) . After successive delays in the Pacific this plan failed to come off, and with a favorable forecast for 21 November, LeMay selected that date, three days before Hansell hit Tokyo.36
LeMay had promised a 110-plane mission; actually 109 got off the ground in the early hours of the 21st, though 1 crashed just off the runway killing all but 1 crewman. Again foul weather caused many deviations from the prescribed course. Of the wanderers, thirteen bombed the secondary target at Shanghai with fair success, and ten dropped on various other targets. Among these were five B-29's whose bombardiers were led astray by a radar operator who mistook Omuta for Omura; it was an error in reading his scope, not the name of the target. At the primary target, Omura, sixty-one planes bombed by radar and in some confusion, with two formations badly broken in an attempt to change lead planes for the bomb run. Strike photos showed no additional damage in the factory area.37 Flak was inaccurate, and enemy air opposition was rated "moderate to strong" at Omura where Japanese fighters proved more aggressive than usual, pressing attacks at times to within less than 100 yards of the Superforts. Two new fighters were identified by B-29 crewmen for the first time, Frank and Jack II, the latter knocking off one B-29. In all, five bombers were lost to enemy action, six including the crack-up at Chengtu; fifty-one crewmen were dead or missing. B-29 crews claimed twenty-seven destroyed, nineteen probables, and twenty-four damaged.38 This was high for XX Bomber Command, whose scores were more modest than those announced by heavy bomber units in the ETO, perhaps because intelligence officers had learned from the bitter experiences of VIII Bomber Command the necessity for careful screening of individual claims and certainly because fewer fighters rose to meet them over Kyushu and China than over Germany.
After another training mission to Bangkok on 27 November, XX Bomber Command returned to its aircraft campaign in an attack against the Manchuria Airplane Manufacturing Company at Mukden on 7 December. This was a medium-sized plant, apparently engaged
in the assembly of advanced trainers, which the Twentieth Air Force had made a priority target for December and January, but of less importance than Omura, Watanabe, and Tachiarai. A mission against Omura had been set for 3 December, but when the B-29's came up to Chengtu, they found the weather cold there and, according to reports, it was worse at Omura. Day after day, as aircrews and staff waited in impatient discomfort, weather reports brought further postponement. Since his Superforts were spread out at Chengtu like sitting ducks for enemy hecklers and since he got no encouragement from his weathermen, LeMay on 6 December requested permission to try Mukden; Washington's consent came only a few hours before takeoff time on the 7th.39
Field orders had already been cut, and 108 aircraft got off on schedule and without incident. With less difficulty on the way out than in the Omura missions, ninety-one bombers reached the Mukden area to find ceiling and visibility unlimited--that is, outside the planes, for intense cold had frosted the windows to the great handicap of pilots, bombardiers, and gunners. Ten planes in one formation bombed early in the run-in, hitting a rail yard nine miles short of the target. Eighty planes attacked more accurately, scattering 262 tons of bombs in the target area to cause some damage in the factory complex and more in the adjacent arsenal. Nine planes bombed in other areas.40 Japanese defenders again were aggressive, making in all 247 individual attacks on the Superforts. Three collisions were reported: one, unintentional, destroyed the Japanese fighter but merely bent a propeller on the B-29; another, unintentional, destroyed both planes; and in one a damaged fighter took down a Superfort in what looked like a deliberate ramming. Air-to-air bombing, a frequent Japanese tactic, scored a limited success when a phosphorus bomb hit on a B-29 wing and rode piggyback all the way home, burning but without doing serious harm.41
Again there was an interlude in the strategic campaign as the command ran a third training mission to Bangkok on 14 December and an incendiary attack on Hankow on the 18th. Since June, Chennault had been trying to get XX Bomber Command to hit the latter target, the greatest supply base for the Japanese armies in China. Arnold, however, had refused Chennault's request on the grounds that Hankow was within range of Fourteenth Air Force planes and that such a mission would interfere with the B-29's strategic offensive. Several times
Hankow had been named as last resort target and twice a few B-29's had bombed there, but these were feeble efforts.42
In November the Japanese opened a drive from Liuchow, aimed at Kweiyang and with Kunming, terminus of the Hump airway, as a possible ultimate goal. Stilwell had given little more than formal concurrence to Chennault's pleas for B-29 support, but Lt. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, who had replaced Stilwell in China on 18 October, strongly indorsed the idea of a mass attack on Hankow. The threat to Kunming, key to all American efforts in China, would certainly seem to have been one of those emergencies foreseen by the JCS in April when they gave theater commanders the right to divert B-29's from strategic to tactical uses should the occasion demand.* Wedemeyer proposed that XX Bomber Command run 100 sorties against Hankow. LeMay, with a full docket for December, hesitated to consent, and since Wedemeyer commanded only in China and the B-29's were based in the India-Burma Theater, he raised the question of Wedemeyer's authority, which Washington upheld. The mission was scheduled.43
After LeMay had conferred with Wedemeyer at Chungking and Chennault at Kunming, operational plans were drawn which called for a coordinated strike by XX Bomber Command and the Fourteenth Air Force, the latter to work over airfields in the Hankow vicinity an hour after the B-29's had hit the city in a daylight incendiary raid and presumably while interceptors were refueling. Target for Superforts was the extensive dock and storage area along the Yangtze River. With a northerly wind predicted, operational officers attempted to avoid the obscuring effects of smoke by an elaborate scheme of bombing in prescribed sequence from south to north with four formations, each with a separate bombing area and a different type of incendiary.
D-day, set for 15 December, was changed to the 18th. LeMay, who was withdrawing from combat B-29's with unmodified engines, initially promised only sixty sorties but later reversed his decision and mixed in some older models to get ninety-four VHB's airborne from the forward fields. Of these, eighty-four shook out their fire-bombs over Hankow. The complicated bombing plan miscarried. A few hours before take-off Chennault had requested that the planes be dispatched forty-five minutes earlier than scheduled, but through a failure
* See above, p. 38.
in communications the 40th Group did not receive the message, so that it was out of order in approaching the target. Elements in three formations released their bombs in wrong sequence and smoke billowed up to hide targets from the other planes. As a result, only thirty-three planes in the first three formations and a few individual planes later were on target; some others dropped in areas inhabited by Chinese civilians. Even so, the military damage was great. The command's intelligence officers estimated that 40 to 50 per cent of the target area had been destroyed by 38 per cent of the weight of attack.44 General Chennault later said that the raid "destroyed Hankow as a major base."
Chennault's postwar comments, in fact, are worth quoting at greater length:
The December 18 attack of the Superforts was the first mass fire-bomb raid they attempted. LeMay was thoroughly impressed by the results of this weapon against an Asiatic city. When he moved on to command the entire B-29 attack on Japan from the Marianas, LeMay switched from high-altitude daylight attacks with high explosives to the devastating mass fire-bomb night raids that burned the guts out of Japan. . . 45
If the inference here is that the Hankow raid which Chennault had inspired and helped plan was the root of later XXI Bomber Command tactics, the passage does less than justice to the "Pentagon planners" for whom Chennault entertained small respect, or to the staff of XX Bomber Command. Long before the command's first mission the AAF had conducted studies and experiments on the effects of mass incendiary attacks on the inflammable cities of Japan. A small night incendiary raid against Nagaski had been staged in August and Washington had urged more, Both there and at Kharagpur there had been sentiment in favor of stripping the B-29's and using them exclusively for low-altitude fire bombing at night, the tactic which LeMay was later to use.* In September the COA had made further extensive studies on saturation incendiary attacks on six key Japanese cities, and in November both LeMay's staff and Arnold's had drawn up operational plans for such an attack on Nagasaki. PAC-AID and the early withdrawal from China negated these plans, but, in the context of these facts, Hankow can hardly be regarded as the ultimate source of LeMay's policy and tactics in March 1945.46
The diversion to Mukden on 7 December left LeMay with a maximum
* See below, chap. 20.
strike at Omura still to run, but when the mission did get off, on the day after the big fire at Hankow, it was only at half-strength. Next to fuel in China, XX Bomber Command's chief logistical problem was the R-3350 engine. It had been untried when the command arrived in the CBI, and the wide range of temperatures there had aggravated the ills usually attendant upon breaking in a new airplane motor. Engine changes (and failures) had been frequent, and the task of maintaining an adequate supply of spares had taxed the resources of A-4's in Kharagpur and Washington, as the tone of urgency in the voluminous radio correspondence shows. The Bengal Air Depot did a competent job of overhaul, but since its capacity was small, the bulk of used engines had to be sent back to the States to be worked over; overhauled engines were returned to CBI with new shipments which came out by the fast freighter-air shuttle until that closed down at the end of November, and thereafter by ship or ATC.47 Although Col. Sol Rosenblatt, Deputy A-4 for the Twentieth, had made a trip to the CBI in October and had effected some improvements in the supply system, with an increase in the number of UE B-29's and the stepped-up tempo of operations the demand for spares mounted.48 XX Bomber Command had consumed more than the 240 engines requisitioned for October, had found its allotment of 270 for November not too generous, and was asking for 360 for future months.49 Various modifications had been made on the R-3350 through collaboration between command engineers and Wright Field, and by November more than 100 separate changes had been made. Now on the eve of the Omura mission (as before the Hankow raid), LeMay decided to send only those Superforts equipped with fully modified engines. This was not excessive caution: on the three Formosa strikes all aborts and three operational losses had been chalked up to engine or propeller troubles.50
In spite of his decision, LeMay again had to use B-29's with old-model engines to round out his twelve-plane formations. The bombers had stayed in China for maintenance after the Hankow mission, but only thirty-six got off for Omura on the 19th. Seventeen bombed the primary target through heavy clouds, apparently with little success, while at Shanghai, the secondary target, thirteen B-29's scored hits on the docks, warehouses, and shipping. Light enemy opposition caused little trouble, but two planes crashed (with no casualties) from operational causes.51
Plans called for a quick strike at Mukden on the next day, before the return to Bengal, but weather held the mission back another day. On 21 December forty-nine B-29's were airborne and forty reached the Mukden area. Two formations toggled their bombs prematurely in gross errors of from four to nine miles-again frosted windows made it hard to watch the lead bombardier's release. The enemy had a dense smoke screen billowing up, hiding the aircraft factory from the nineteen planes which loosed at that target by offset, or radar-point, technique. No damage was done to the target proper, though the arsenal and rail yards were slightly damaged. Enemy fighters were up in force and in earnest. Two collisions occurred, one bringing down both B-29 and Jap fighter, the other destroying the fighter alone when he failed to pull over a B-29 wing after a split-second change of intention. Another bomber was lost when hit by an air-to-air phosphorus bomb.52
XX Bomber Command ushered in the New Year, a trifle tardily, with a training mission to Bangkok on 3 January, then returned to China for more PAC-AID strikes. Plans for support of Pacific operations had again been reconsidered in the light of changing strategy. The long Formosa-Luzon debate had finally been resolved as first Nimitz, then King, abandoned arguments for a Formosa campaign in favor of operations in the Bonins (Iwo Jima) and Ryukyus (Okinawa), which were to be assaulted only after Luzon had been secured.* The schedule approved on 3 October was: Mindoro (5 December) and Luzon (20 December) by SWPA, Iwo (20 January) and Okinawa (1 March) by POA forces. In all assaults the Twentieth and Fourteenth Air Forces were to lend support.53
To arrange for the supporting operations, representatives from the interested commands met at MacArthur's Hollandia headquarters in early November in the FIVESOME conference. The final decisions, incorporated in a letter of 5 November, included provisions for strikes by the Fourteenth against Hong Kong and by XX Bomber Command against Formosa as MacArthur moved northward from Leyte; as in October, VLR reconnaissance planes were to serve at request. Some estimate of the proper allocation of supplies available in China stockpiles was made54 The FIVESOME agreements were accepted by the several commands concerned with some reservations, particularly by Wedemeyer, LeMay, and Arnold. The exceptions stemmed generally
* See below, pp. 390-93.
from the critical tactical and logistical situation in China, where Wedemeyer had to move large Chinese ground forces by airlift. Wedemeyer proposed on 22 November to cut back XX Bomber Command's allocation of Hump tonnage to an amount sufficient for 276 sorties (instead of 350) in December and 375 (instead of 425) for January. The JCS upheld this revision, and LeMay, who had gone over his allotment in the October PAC-AID strikes, was forced to change his operational plans.55
In constant touch with Washington and the two Pacific headquarters, LeMay during November expected to give some support to the Mindoro operation and a more considerable effort to Luzon. His estimate of 28 November had hardly reached Washington when MacArthur, behind schedule both in operational phasing and airfield construction on Leyte, set back the clock for the imminent move northward: Mindoro was rescheduled for 15 December, Lingayen for 9 January.* LeMay was directed to hit Omura, already set up for a normal strategic mission, on 15 December; weather interfered and though a small force bombed Omura on the 19th, none of the 287 sorties which XX Bomber Command expended in China missions during December could really be charged to PAC-AID. Mindoro had been easy but Luzon was a major operation, and in mid-December the JCS directed Wedemeyer to allot to XX Bomber Command enough tonnage for 250 January sorties in support of the landing at Lingayen. According to the Hollandia agreement, LeMay was to send out a double strike between S minus 3 and S minus 1 directed against the Shinchiku and Taihoku aircraft installations in northern Formosa. Although accepted originally by Twentieth Air Force Headquarters, these targets on further study appeared unsuitable for B-29's, and LeMay set up his mission for 6 January with the Tachiarai Machine Works, an aircraft assembly and repair plant in Kyushu, as primary visual target and the familiar Omura factory as primary radar target.56
Weathermen accurately forecast cloudy weather over targets. Of forty-nine B-29's airborne from Chengtu bases, twenty-eight radar-bombed Omura, eleven bombed the secondary target at Nanking visually, and six dropped at targets of opportunity. Nine of the planes at Omura missed the target by six miles, but inconclusive evidence from strike photos seemed to indicate that one formation got on target. The cost was one B-29 shot down.57
* See below, pp. 394-95.
Whatever the damage at Omura, the attack seems to have afforded little diversion in favor of MacArthur's forces. As the invasion fleet moved into Lingayen Gulf, Japanese aircraft attacked viciously, with the kamikaze boys taking especially heavy toll on the 6th. In the belief that they were coming down from Formosa, MacArthur again asked that the XX Bomber Command hit airfields there. Both Arnold and LeMay acceded and two strikes were scheduled in spite of earlier doubts about finding a target.58 Weather and supplies forward presented grave difficulties; the latter could be solved in some fashion but the weathermen had no control over the clouds. LeMay had figured that his stockpiles could handle 125 sorties in early January, 50 of which had been expended on the 6th. An urgent appeal to Wedemeyer brought promise of substantial aid; Brig. Gen. William H. Tunner of ATC's India-China Division was called in, and he essayed to deliver at Chengtu by 16 January 2,700 tons of gasoline. To LeMay's gratification the emergency efforts succeeded. Stockpiles at Kunming were levied upon, and ATC and XX Bomber Command transports worked overtime to replenish fuel stores, hauling in January (a short month operationally) 6,775 and 699 tons, respectively. The total of 7,474 tons was second only to October's record of 10,830.59
After labeling the Shinchiku-Taihoku area (decided upon in the Hollandia agreement) as an unprofitable target, LeMay substituted Kiirun harbor for attack on S minus 1 (8 January). With renewed concern over aircraft staging through Formosa to Luzon, however, he again switched targets, naming the once-worked-over air base at Heito as primary visual, Shinchiltu as secondary, and Kiirun as primary radar targets. Weather held the planes down on 8 January and forecasts for the 9th gave promise of better skies toward the south (Heito) than in the north (Kiirun, Shinchiku) end of the island, but it was any weatherman's guess. On the 9th a B-29 weather scout was sent out one hour in advance of the bombers, and on the basis of spot checks a wing commander named for the day elected to try Kiirun. Forty-six B-29's got up, 6 bombed last resort targets along the China coast, and at Kiirun 39 dropped by radar 293 tons of GP's and incendiaries with unobserved results. There was neither flak nor fighter opposition at Kiirun, to the alleged disgust of one crewman who complained that in the absence of the customary reception he was in doubt as to whether he had ever got over cloud-covered Formosa.60
After the Kiirun mission such planes as were in condition returned to India via Kunming for a strike at Singapore from the Kharagpur bases.* That job completed, LeMay sent all fully modified planes back to Chengtu for a double-barreled blow at Formosa air installations. By 14 January enough fuel had been accumulated to get eighty-two bombers up. To avoid, or make the most of, blind bombing, operational planners set an elaborate pattern of targets: the primary included Shinchiku (visual or radar), Kagi and Heito (alternate visual), and Takao (alternate radar). As on the 9th a wing commander made the last-minute decision on the basis of reports from a weather scout. He chose Kagi, and fifty-four planes, finding visibility good, laid a fine concentration of GP and frag bombs in the target area. Subsequent reconnaissance showed that 20 per cent of the building area had been destroyed, 46 per cent damaged, and 16 planes on the field had been hit. Twenty-one B-29's bombed other targets, most important damage being that done to Taichu airdrome by thirteen planes.61
After a day's delay because of weather, the command let go with the other barrel. Again elaborate precautions were taken to insure a choice of targets for any weather, but on this day the primary visual target, Shinchiku, was clear so that the 79 planes which got over target (92 had taken off) could visually drop their mixed load of 397 tons of frags, incendiaries, and GP's. Again there was no fighter opposition (one plane was lost an take-off) and this may have been a measure of the recent pounding of Formosa airfields. As in October, XX Bomber Command's missions had been mixed in with sweeps over the island by planes from Task Force 38, which struck on 3, 9, 15, and 21 January; at Shinchiku the B-29 and carrier-based raids together destroyed or damaged an estimated 70 per cent of the building area, and hit sixteen planes on the field.62 Though enemy planes which had apparently slipped down from Formosa† made occasional anti-shipping strikes between the 12th and the 18th in the Lingayen Gulf, there was nothing like the concentrated attack which MacArthur had been led to fear by his experiences on 6 January. However much the command may have felt its B-29's miscast when sent against airfields, there was some satisfaction in the realization that its bombers and reconnaissance planes had helped keep down losses off the Luzon beachheads.
* See below, p. 157.
† See below, p. 413.
The strike against Shinchiku was the end of PAC-AID for XX Bomber Command and the last mission to be staged out of the Chengtu bases. At those fields arrangements for evacuation had been carried on a standby basis for weeks and the move now came abruptly. This scratched commitments to PAC-AID for Okinawa. It marked, too, the passing of MATTERHORN, and one might have found it difficult to round up a decent showing of mourners for the interment of that plan.
Missions from India
If there had been anything immutable in the MATTERHORN plan, it was the understanding that XX Bomber Command might be transferred from the CBI when more convenient bases were available. The early diversion of the 73d Wing to Saipan and Arnold's threats to withdraw the 58th because of its slow rate of operations during the summer of 1944 served to remind members of the command of the mobility clauses carefully included in the JCS control system. During September LeMay 'had raised with the Twentieth, apropos the need for resurfacing the Chengtu strips, the question of permanence in the CBI. He was assured that he could count on nine more months in the theater--in fact, he was asked in an exploratory fashion if he could use more B-29 units in India. LeMay's answer, if not unique in AAF annals, was unusual; he flatly declined the implied offer on logistical grounds, observing that his whole operating scheme was "basically unsound" and justified only by the lack of other bases. Washington agreed with this judgment and expressed hopes of moving the command, presumably at an earlier date than had been suggested before. On 12 November Chennault again asked for a decision on the Chengtu runways, which badly needed repairs before the rains set in.63 But by that time it had begun to appear that the B-29's would never see another rainy season in China.
The November drive of the Japanese which overran Liuchow on the 11th and Nanning on the 23d threatened to curtail LeMay's December operations out of Chengtu, since Hump tonnage would have to be diverted to fly in Chinese ground forces needed to block the threat to Kunming.' The implications for XX Bomber Command of an emergency which promised to become permanent were clear in Washington, and on the assumption that he might have to withdraw from
* See below, pp. 253-56.
China "before bases in POA are ready," LeMay was asked on 21 November to look for other staging bases, particularly at Myitkyina. After an examination of that area and others, LeMay and Sultan, commanding in India-Burma, advised against the development of Myitkyina for VHB use.64 But the suggestion had served to alert the command.
On 4 December, after conferring with senior officers of the China Theater, Wedemeyer sent Marshall a detailed appreciation of the tactical situation, pessimistic--or realistic--in its estimate of Chinese capabilities. To improve the logistical situation for the Fourteenth Air Force and the Chinese Army, he recommended that XX Bomber Command "be removed from this area as early as possible after 15 January," that is, immediately after PAC-AID for Luzon. When enjoined by the JCS to support LeMay for 250 PAC-AID sorties in January, Wedemeyer so agreed in a message of 16December in which he again reviewed the situation in China, now somewhat eased. In the light of Stilwell's recall and of bitter postwar debates over our policies toward the Nationalist government and its armed forces, it is interesting to note that in his messages of 4 and 16 December Wedemeyer attributed to the Generalissimo, his subordinates, and his armies pretty much the same faults that Stilwell had long decried.65 Wedemeyer's language was more formal and less pungen "Vinegar Joe's," but his picture of political corruption, false p athy, and military ineptness differed little from that of his cessor. The Nationalists were showing little will to resist, and the enemy's halt in December, caused by weather and extended supply lines rather than by Chinese counterattacks as Chinese sources and stateside papers claimed, was no incentive for Wedemeyer to alter his views about XX Bomber Command. Again on 12 January he addressed to Marshall and Arnold a strong plea to remove the command from China by the first week in February. This would allow him Hump tonnage to increase supplies for Chinese forces and for the Fourteenth (to be augmented by units from India);* it would also make the Chengtu fields available for B-24 use and release the 312th Fighter Wing from the inactivity of its defensive mission.66
Since Wedemeyer's earlier messages the JCS had been considering his request in the context of the general problem of VHB deployment, and on 15 January, at Arnold's suggestion, they concurred in his request. XX Bomber Command was to withdraw from China immediately
* See below, pp. 267-69.
and was to conduct limited operations from India-bombing, mining, reconnaissance, and such tasks for Mountbatten's SEAC as were at that time performed by the 7th Bombardment Group (H), now to be transferred to China. The 312th Fighter Wing was to be temporarily assigned to the Fourteenth, subject to later recall by XX Bomber Command, which was to prepare to move into the Marianas (thus causing some readjustment in deployment schedules for the 315th and 316th Bombardment Wings) beginning before 1 April. XX Bomber Command was to retain its headquarters organization and revive the 58th Wing; in the Marianas, the XX would operate under XXI Bomber Command, but when subsequent VHB units were stationed in the Philippines or Ryukyus, XX Bomber Command would take over their control, leaving the 58th Wing in the Marianas as a part of the XXI.67
LeMay had been informed of the contents of Wedemeyer's messages, and there was little surprise at Kharagpur when an information copy of the JCS directive arrived on 18 January. According to the command historian, the message "didn't catch the men of XX Bomber Command with their plans down." Planning for evacuation of the China bases had begun at the group level late in November, and on 15 December the necessary field orders were written. After these were now approved with minor revisions on 20 January, the transfer to India began immediately. By the 27th the forward detachments of the four groups had pulled out, leaving only a photo-reconnaissance team whose China mission had not been completed. The rapidity of this move was a belated reminder of the mability factor which had figured so prominently in the original MATTERHORN concept, but the more difficult transfer to Pacific bases was to be a protracted affair.68
Meanwhile, XX Bomber Command settled down to its "limited operations" from India, which followed the pattern prescribed in the JCS directive of 15 January. Because the command had begun in November to interfoliate India-staged missions between its China strikes, it is necessary here to backtrack.
LeMay, a driver and a perfectionist in bombardment techniques, had been satisfied with neither the slow pace of MATTERHORN operations, inexorably limited by the calculus of Hump tonnage, nor the performance of his crews on their infrequent missions. The brief schooling at Dudhkundi in September* had helped lead crews some,
* See above, pp. 116-17.
but he wished to supplement that program with a series of combat missions in which the command would experience conditions less rigorous than those encountered over Kyushu and Manchuria and yet master LeMay's own doctrines--especially those relating to the twelve-plane formation and "synchronous" (visual-radar) bombing. At Kharagpur there was no shortage of fuel or bombs, and within moderate range there were targets where enemy defenses were not too rugged. In choosing these targets LeMay had more independence than in strategic missions, and if there were few whose intrinsic importance warranted a full-scale VHB attack, he might still agree with his intelligence section that "any target is still a target for training purposes."69
The first training mission had been scheduled for Moulmein for 4 October, but the Formosa attacks had interfered; by 3 November, when the strike was made, Rangoon, its Malagan railroad yards an important element in Burma's hard-hit rail system, appeared a more profitable target. Operational plans called for a coordinated attack by XX Bomber Command, EAC's Strategic Air Force, and Third Tactical Air Force.70 Early on the 3d each VHB group put up a standard 12-plane formation, the planes carrying a maximum bomb load--the B-29's theoretical capacity of 10 tons in some cases and an over-all average of 9.6. Forty-four planes got over target in good formations, and in the short space of eleven minutes shook out their bombs, three formations visually and one by offset radar technique. Results were excellent. The roundhouse, aiming point for the bombardiers, was obliterated, other buildings were destroyed, and much damage was done to rolling stock and trackage. No combat loss was incurred though one B-29 had to ditch going out: its crew, except for the tail-gunner, floated around in life rafts for thirty-six hours before being rescued by a Royal Indian Navy launch.71
This was in most respects an ideal training mission--even LeMay, little given to indiscriminate praise, called it the command's "first job of precision bombing"--and the next was about as good. At Stratemeyer's request, the command went out on 27 November to get the Bang Soe marshalling yards at Bangkok, where trains coming overland from French Indo-China were split up for branch lines to the Burma front, north Thailand, and Singapore. Fifty-five B-29's (their crews briefed especially to correct the ragged formations flown on recent Omura missions) got over the target to drop 382 tons of GP's
with excellent results. Photo reconnaissance later showed they had destroyed the two aiming points (buildings at the north and the south bottlenecks), had cut every track, and had messed up rolling stock and other buildings. The cost was one B-29 wounded by an enemy fighter and lost on the way home.72
The command went back to Bangkok on 14 December to get the Rama VI railroad bridge, a 1,456-foot steel structure over the Chao Phraya River. This was a vital link in the Burma rail system but certainly no appropriate target for high-flying B-29's. One formation found Bangkok clouded over and went on to bomb the Central Railroad Station at Rangoon with excellent results. This formation, from the 40th Group, suffered an unusual (though not unique) accident when two instantaneously fuzed bombs collided in a salvo; four B-29's were blown up and a fifth was a total loss when it came in for an emergency landing at Cox's Bazar. The thirty-three planes that dropped at the bridge achieved a neat bomb pattern but no hits.73 This failure confirmed earlier skepticism about bridge-busting with Superforts but it brought no relief; back the command went on 3 January for another try at Rama VI.
This second attempt was not long premeditated. On 30 December a B-29 reconnaissance plane had spotted a fat target at Cape St. Jacques in Indo-China, a Jap task force built around two battleships and a seaplane tender. LeMay had hurriedly ordered forty-nine B-29's to be loaded with eight 1,000-pound bombs each and had them on the line when the Navy signaled that the ships had pulled out. The Ywataung railroad yards near Mandalay seemed a logical second choice, but before the B-29's got off the weather over Mandalay turned sour. Rather than unload and turn northward for the PAC-AID strikes, LeMay changed the fuzing on the 1,000-pounders and sent his planes back to the Bangkok bridge on 3 January. This time luck was better: with excellent weather and almost no enemy resistance, forty-four B-29's got over the target to score a direct hit and several near misses on Rama VI and a number of hits on the abutments, putting the bridge out of service for the time being.74
These four attacks had served their purpose of giving practice under relatively easy combat conditions, though airmen of the 462d declared that "Rangoon is not a training mission" and the losses on 14 December were heavy for a milk run.75 During the same period the command made two attacks on Singapore which by no standards
could be called training. Actually they were in indirect support of Pacific operations though they were not designated PAC-AID, that being an artificial label that had pertinence chiefly to allocation of Hump tonnage. At Singapore the British naval base had been taken over intact by the Japanese in February 1942 and, subsequently improved by them, it was their finest station outside the home islands. On 27 October General Arnold suggested that extensive damage done the enemy's fleet in the battles for Leyte had enhanced Singapore's importance, and he asked LeMay for an estimate of XX Bomber Command's capabilities. A VLR reconnaissance plane secured good photos on 30 October--Singapore had been virtually blacked out to Allied intelligence--but LeMay's operational officers thought little of the chances of success in a daylight mission involving a round trip of almost 4,000 miles. In spite of this lack of enthusiasm Washington ordered a strike, and on 5 November the command got seventy-six Superforts airborne.76 Field orders were tailored to fit the extreme range: planes were loaded with a minimum of two 1,000-pound bombs, bombing heights were lowered to 20,000 feet, and elaborate jockeying into formation was dispensed with.
Primary target was the King George VI Graving Dock, largest of several dry docks at Singapore and one of the world's best. The first of 53 Superforts attacking was over target at 0644, and the bombardier, Lt. Frank McKinney, put a 1,000-pound bomb into the target within 50 feet of the aiming point, the caisson gate; Lt. Bolish McIntyre, 2 planes back, laid another alongside. This was the sort of pickle-barrel bombing the Air Corps had talked about before the war. Strike photos showed a rush of water into the dock, presumptive evidence that the gate had been strained, and subsequent reconnaissance photos indicated that the dock was out of use (A-2's estimate of three months of unserviceability was to prove quite accurate). There were other hits on the dock, on a 465-foot freighter in it, and on adjacent shops. For "baksheesh," as the boys had learned to say in India, seven B-29's bombed the secondary target, Pangkalanbrandan refinery in Sumatra, and reported direct hits on the cracking plant. The Japanese, evidently relying on the inaccessibility of Singapore, put up a feeble defense, but the long trip took a toll of two planes and twelve crewmen, including Col. Ted L. Faulkner, commander of the 468th Group.77
Arnold in his message of congratulation spoke of an early return to Singapore, but it was two months before the command went back. In January, as in October, battles in the Philippines sent Japanese naval vessels scurrying, or limping, toward SEAC. VLR reconnaissance planes found a naval force at Cape St. Jacques, which moved out before the B-29's could get after them, and other warships were reported at Singapore, But in the crippled condition of the Japanese fleets, repair facilities were more important than ships and hence two Singapore docks--the Admiralty IX Floating Dock and the King's Dock--were chosen as primary targets. Forty-seven B-29's left about midnight, and the first arrival was over Singapore at 0820 on 11 January. Twenty-seven planes divided their loads between the two docks without scoring; twenty-one planes bombed elsewhere, at Penang, Mergui, and various targets of opportunity. Such was the day's luck that nine planes at Penang laid a beautiful pattern on their difficult and relatively unimportant aiming point while the docks went untouched. Again two planes were lost.78
These missions from India had been subordinated to strategic and PAC-AID strikes from the China bases. The abandonment of those bases changed the whole character of the VLR program. The command continued to go out against the same, and other similar, targets in SEAC, but when these became the sole rather than subsidiary objectives, the aircrews, being realistic, understood that they were no longer in the big leagues. Thus, though the rate of operations picked up rather than declined-twenty missions were flown in two months against twenty-nine in the previous seven--there was at Kharagpur an atmosphere of expectancy as the various units awaited the move to the Pacific.
That move had been foreshadowed by the transfer of LeMay who, without waiting for the withdrawal from China, had flown to the Marianas on 18 January to assume command of XXI Bomber Command. He had taken with him a handful of key personnel; in exchange, some officers came from Saipan to Kharagpur. LeMay's successor, XX Bomber Command's fourth commanding general within a year, was Brig. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, an experienced bombardment officer who had once led V Bomber Command and had more recently served as chief of staff for Hansell in XXI Bomber Command. Brig. Gen. Joseph Smith replaced Brig. Gen. John E. Upston as chief of staff at Kharagpur.79 It would be Ramey's task to move the command
to the Pacific, but meanwhile he would continue bombardment operations against such objectives as were available.
Industrial targets within range of Kharagpur were few, and shipping in harbors, a priority objective in the COA report of 11 November 1943, seemed the best alternative target system, especially when tied in with shipping in navigable rivers, with naval bases, and with rail installations closely linked with water traffic. The bombardment program initiated late in January involved, then, a return to such familiar places as Rangoon, Bangkok, and Singapore; it included as well new targets: Saigon, a convoy point for shipping between Japan and Singapore; Camranh Bay, a harbor used by naval and merchant vessels; Phnom Penh, river port up the Mekong from Saigon where goods brought up by water were transshipped by rail to Bangkok; Penang, Malaya's second harbor; and lesser places such as Koh Sichang anchorage below Bangkok, the Pakchan River, and Mergui and Tavoy, ports on the Burma coast.80 These targets were attacked both in conventional bombardment missions and in mine-laying operations, but there was no tightly calculated campaign; more than one mission had the flavor of a task thought up chiefly to keep the boys busy, and only Singapore was suited, by its distance from Allied bases and its strategic importance, for B-29 attacks. And Singapore was not always "on limits" for XX Bomber Command. Consequently, a number of the strikes might have been classified, after LeMay's fashion, as training missions; there were new crews to indoctrinate and new techniques to be learned, but the training was oriented toward the type of operations expected in the Pacific, not in SEAC.
During the MATTERHORN period XX Bomber Command had conducted only one mine-laying mission, an operation coordinated with the Palembang strike on the night of 10/11 August. More recently, Eastern Air Command had mined various harbors within range of its heavies, thus throwing more of a burden on ports farther to the east and south but still within radius of B-29's at Kharagpur. This fact, plus the influx into SEAC waters of enemy warships hurt in the Philippines, persuaded Ramey to inaugurate a limited mining campaign during the full-moon phase of 23-30 January.
The first effort was a double mission on the night of 25/26 January, totaling seventy-six sorties. The 468th and 444th Groups put forty-one aircraft over Singapore to lay six mine fields among the several approaches to the harbor, while the 462d divided its force, sending
nineteen planes to Saigon and six to Camranh Bay. These were primary targets; six more B-29's mined other waters--the Pakchan River, Penang harbor, the Koh Sichang channel, and Phanrang Bay. Drops were made, from skies clear of cloud and of enemy fighters, at altitudes ranging from 2,000 to 6,000 feet. The total load was 404 mines, armed in various fashions as local conditions suggested. Only one mine chute was known to have failed, and aircrews were pleased with the accuracy of their drops, as were Navy observers who had gone along for the ride after assisting in the technical details of the mission.81 During the next full moon, on 27 February, twelve B-29's returned to Singapore to mine again the Johore Strait which the Japanese had swept so industriously that they had been able to resume traffic within a fortnight. Ten B-29's sowed fifty-five mines and one lone bomber dropped at Penang. Again the job seemed well done and, as before, there were no losses.82 Next day, at Chennault's request, twelve B-29's moved up to China to mine the Yangtze River, a main supply route for the enemy. Using Luliang instead of Chengtu as a staging field, the bombers were weathered in until 4/5 March, when they got off with a load of six tons each. Eleven B-29's mined the two primary target areas--the confluence of the Hwangpoo and Yangtze at Shanghai and the Tai-hsing Reach, a narrows in the Yangtze between Shanghai and Nankingand a twelfth dropped at Tungting Lake. In all areas the results were accounted excellent.83 A moon later, on 28/29 March, ten Superforts came back to mine the Hwangpoo mouth again and also the south channel of the Yangtze at Shanghai.84 On the same night two mining missions went southeastward, sixteen B-29's reseeding fields at Saigon and Camranh Bay and thirty-two returning to Singapore waters.85 No B-29 was lost on any mining expedition. Malfunctioning of mines was encouragingly negligible, and in each subsequent mission, as in the first, aircrews and Navy observers reported accurate drops. Mine loads were substantial but the campaign was too brief for decisive results: there was some hindrance to enemy shipping but it was not choked off entirely. The combat experience gained in SEAC was to prove a valuable background for the 313th Wing, trained as a specialized mining unit and destined to wreak havoc in the Inland Sea of Japan.* During the monthly intervals between these missions the command
* See below, pp. 662-74.
had run some thirteen conventional bombing missions. They had begun on 27 January when the 40th Group had followed up the mining attack against Saigon two nights before. Ramey had hoped the mining would cause a traffic jam in shipping, but since this failed to materialize, the twenty-two B-29's that got over Saigon radar-bombed the navy yard and arsenal. No damage was inflicted on the target.86
On 1 February the command sent out a maximum effort against Singapore: 112 Superfortresses, carrying at least four 1,000-pound bombs each, were airborne. Of the eighty-eight over Singapore, sixty-seven bombed the primary target, the Admiralty IX Floating Dry-dock at the navy yard, scoring a number of hits and near misses on the dock and on a 460-foot ship berthed in it. The ship burned and sank, and a series of later reconnaissance photos showed the dock down at one end and sinking slowly until it leveled off, apparently on the harbor's bottom. Twenty-one B-29's bombed the West Wall area of the naval base, destroying many buildings and some valuable heavy equipment, while twenty other planes deviated from the prescribed course to bomb other designated targets at Penang and Martaban.87 Enemy fighters had got one B-29 and so crippled another that it cracked up on landing, but this was accounted a cheap price for the second highly successful attack on Singapore; the command was keyed up for return visits which might render the city useless as a port and naval base.
Plans were being made for an attack on 6 February when, on the 3d, Stratemeyer informed Ramey that Lord Mountbatten had directed that XX Bomber Command not attack naval installations at Singapore and Penang. This saving of valuable facilities that might later come into Allied hands may have been a sound long-term policy, but at the time it puzzled the command. Ramey asked Washington for guidance and was told to turn to other targets while the Navy investigated. Through Stratemeyer a request for clarification was also addressed to SACSEA, and Ramey flew down to Kandy to confer on possible targets. There Mountbatten gave him as first priority several targets in the Kuala Lumpur area. Second priority consisted of certain targets at Singapore, carefully zoned, however, to exclude the King George VI Graving Dock, a number of other docks, and areas including heavy machinery. The West Wall area, naval oil dumps, and commercial port facilities might be attacked if without danger to the proscribed installations. Saigon, in third priority, was similarly divided
nto restricted (naval base and port areas) and non-restricted zones. Fourth priority consisted of certain other oil storage dumps on islands in Singapore waters.88
With its target selection thus straitly hedged about, the command divided its forces on 7 February in attacks on Saigon and Bangkok. The primary target at Saigon was the navy yard and arsenal, which the next day were to be added, as an afterthought, to the off-limits areas. With the command now possessing its full quota of 180 aircraft (30 UE and 15 reserve per group), the 444th and 462d Groups put up 67 B-29's. At Saigon, forty-four planes found clouds heavy enough to necessitate radar bombing; eleven planes dropped prematurely on an accidental release and thirty-three dropped in the residential section. Nineteen planes, diverted to Phnom Penh, bombed visually and did some damage to jetties and to buildings in town.89
The 40th and 468th Groups did better at Bangkok when they attacked the Rama VI bridge, twice visited before and still unserviceable. The command's operations analysts had made an intensive study of the bridge as a target, and as a practical compromise of the various recommendations offered, Ramey loaded the B-29's with 1,000-pound bombs fuzed at one-tenth of a second, nose and tail, and chose the center of the bridge as aiming point. Fifty-eight B-29's (out of sixty-four airborne) bombed the bridge in small formations. At least four direct hits and many damaging near misses severed two top chord members, collapsed 65 per cent of the central span, and destroyed the northeast approach. There had been much speculation as to the significance of the name of the bridge and one flyer had insisted that the VI meant it would take six attacks to cripple it. But Rama VI was definitely out on the third strike.90
On 11 February, at the request of EAC's Strategic Air Force, the command initiated a series of attacks on storage dumps in the Rangoon area. These were variously estimated as housing from 50 to 75 per cent of military stores in Burma, and since the successful air campaign against transportation made difficult the replenishing of stores, any considerable destruction to those dumps might have early and serious effects on front-line operations. Four groups got 56 planes over Dump F, the primary target, expending 413 tons of frags and incendiaries. Photos later showed much destruction, but it was impossible accurately to divide credit between the B-29's and the seventy-nine B-24's sent out by Strategic on the same day.91 A month later, on 17
March, XX Bomber Command again joined Strategic in a similar attack, going at Dump B while the B-24's hit Dump A. With future missions from Saipan to Honshu in mind, Ramey had the field orders call for a rendezvous over water (to be accomplished by the use of smoke bombs) and a high-altitude attack. Seventy B-29's got over Dump B to drop 591 tons of bombs at heights ranging from 27,000 to 30,000 feet. In spite of the altitude, the bombardiers achieved a well-concentrated bomb pattern, destroying 173 abutments--a majority of those in the dump--and damaging others.92 The command sent two groups out on 22 March; 39 planes divided 130 tons between Dumps C and E, destroying most of the buildings in the former and some in the latter. On the same day 37 B-29's bombed the Mingaladon cantonment area near Bangkok, causing much destruction among the buildings with 14 tons of frags93 It was something of a come-down for the VHB's to go back repeatedly to blow up ammunition dumps or peck away at Japanese soldiers in barracks, though the crews could take some comfort in the fact that their bombing was good and that the casualty lists read, in spite of heavy concentrations of AA guns, "negative report."
In the meantime, XX Bomber Command had struck at other targets, drawn from Mountbatten's priority list. On 19 February the 444th and 468th Groups put 49 B-29's over Kuala Lumpur where, on a decision by the day's wing commander, they went as low as 11,000 feet to get below the clouds and bomb the Central Railroad Repair Shops. They damaged 67 per cent of the buildings and much trackage and rolling stock.94 Since there was no flak and very little in the way of fighter opposition when the 468th Group went back to Kuala Lumpur on 10 March, the 26 B-29's that bombed went in as low as 8,700 feet. Again their marksmanship was good; they severely damaged the aiming point, a roundhouse, and destroyed buildings and railroad equipment.95
The rest of the missions in February and March were directed against Singapore. On 24 February the command, on the eve of the departure of some service units, got off its last maximum strike when 11 6 B-29's went out to hit the Empire Dock area, a commercial target not denied by Mountbatten's directive and ranked by operational planners as "the only suitable primary target free of stipulations left in this theater." In an all-incendiary attack, 105 B-29's dropped 231 tons (the last formations by radar because of smoke) to burn out 39
per cent of the warehouse area.96 One plane, with all the crew, was lost when it ran out of fuel on the way back. In China, Chennault had requested aid from XX Bomber Command which the command had wished to limit to mining missions. In the absence of proper targets in SEAC, however, Ramey scheduled a mission for Hong Kong. This he canceled at Chennault's request (on logistical grounds) and on 2 March sent sixty-four B-29's (about all that could be supported with the service personnel on hand) back to Singapore. The target, cleared by SACSEA only on promise not to hit the King George VI Dock, comprised the shop and warehouse area in the naval base. There were many deviations from the briefed course, but 49 planes dropped 500-pound GP's in the target area adding considerably to the damage done in previous raids. Two B-29's were lost to flak.97
Two missions were directed at oil storage concentrations at Singapore. On 12 March each of three areas (on Bukum, Samboe, and Sebarok islands) was assigned to a B-29 group and the forty-four planes over the target dropped ninety-three tons of GP's and incendiaries with poor performance.98 In its forty-ninth and last mission, XX Bomber Command sent twenty-nine B-29's back to Bukum Island in a night attack on 29/30 March. At best, destruction of the target would cause the enemy only "some inconvenience," but it was time the boys of the 58th Wing learned something of the tactics LeMay was using against the home islands. So the planes went in low, at 5,000 to 7,000 feet, to bomb individually. Out of forty-nine tanks in the farm, they destroyed seven, damaged three, and fired several others.99 And that was all for XX Bomber Command, though not for the four groups which were to bomb again from the Marianas.
The combat story of the command would not be complete, however, without a brief summary of photo-reconnaissance missions, to which occasional reference has been made. Here, as in bombing and mining, XX Bomber Command was the pioneer whose experience would be reflected in the activities of other VHB units. VLR photographic planes served a variety of purposes: they secured information for target folders in advance of missions and for damage assessment afterward; they mapped large areas on continental Asia and in the adjacent islands; they located defense installations and airdromes; they performed surveillance and search at sea. Nor was the weight of their efforts negligible; when bombing missions ceased at the end of March,
the command had flown 244 photo sorties, about 7.4 per cent of the total of combat sorties, and they were to continue to work in April.100 In the frenzied rush to get XX Bomber Command overseas, no preparations had been made for VLR photo reconnaissance. Preliminary coverage of target areas was badly needed by intelligence officers whose visual data on Japanese industrial establishments was meager: for the first Yawata attack they had to brief crews on the basis of a 1928 ground plan, a ground photo of that year and one of 1932, and a few undated pictures. General Wolfe solicited and obtained some help from Chennault and Stratemeyer, but since many targets lay out of range of other aircraft, he modified a few B-29's as photo-reconnaissance planes. At home the AAF was working on a photo-reconnaissance model of the B-29 called the F-13, and the engineers at Wright Field were anxious to profit by the experience of those planes modified in the theater.101
The record of those planes was a rugged one. The first model crashed on the first Yawata mission, but another, after being turned back from Anshan on 29 July, covered the second Anshan mission, made some sorties into north China, and then the long trip to Palembang. These missions were for the command itself, but on request from Washington the converted B-29's during the summer of 1944 photographed possible airfield sites on Okinawa and again covered the island in September and October as a preliminary to Halsey's carrier strikes. In the latter month the command at MacArthur's request and Arnold's directive ran photographic missions over northern Luzon, losing two planes in the effort but flying prints out to MacArthur with the developer solution on them hardly dry.102
All this was accomplished by the home-made jobs. Late in November, after much delay, the F-13's began to arrive, and in December, with seven on hand, the command set up Flight C, 1st Squadron, 311th Photo Reconnaissance Wing. After shakedown missions to Penang, Bangkok, and Saigon in late December, the unit went up to Hsinching where, with a strength of 49 officers and 252 enlisted men, it received authorization for only 40 officers and 140 men and had to hold its organization together by liberal use of temporary duty assignments.103 The flight's first directive called for daily coverage of Kyushu in anticipation of the Luzon operation; between 25 December and 5 January twenty sorties by F-13's and stripped B-29's were flown in spite of bad weather. The command sent out other sorties after the Luzon
D-day at the request of Pacific commanders; when the forward detachments withdrew from Chengtu fields late in January, the photo-reconnaissance flight stayed on at Hsinching to complete a large assignment--mapping a great area in Manchuria, Korea, and north China.104
XX Bomber Command had been relieved of PAC-AID commitments for the invasion of Okinawa, but after some debate was assigned photographic duties in support of that operation which were performed during March and early April. Meanwhile, in SEAC, photo planes had been even busier, performing normal duties for XX Bomber Command and in February flying thirty-five sorties at Mountbatten's request. The composite record for January, February, and March showed: from Hsinching, thirty-one, fifteen, and eighteen sorties; from Kharagpur, nineteen, sixty, and twenty-five sorties more than twice as many as had been sent out in 1944.105 These missions were tedious, averaging as high as fifteen hours per sortie in SEAC, and they were hazardous. But of the value of their work there could be little doubt.
XX Bomber Command: Exodus
During the ten weeks after LeMay's departure, XX Bomber Command had continued combat operations at a normal rate--indeed, with Hump tonnage no longer a limiting factor, had maintained a mission and sortie rate better than that of the Chengtu period. But Ramey and his staff and the aircrews who went out over SEAC realized that for the time the command had become a quasi-tactical force without a vital mission, striking at such targets as Mountbatten would permit or Stratemeyer suggest. Thus preparations for the move to POA bases, though they interfered somewhat with combat missions, were not wholly unwelcome. For that move the outline redeployment plan provided by the JCS held, with minor modifications, insofar as the 58th Wing was concerned. The bomber command was less fortunate; its anticipated role changed with successive shifts in Pacific strategy, and on the eve of victory over Japan the organization, once Arnold's pride but now stripped of its combat units, died quietly like an old man who had outlived his usefulness and his friends.
The stripping had begun on 8 February in a transfer which simplified the proposed redeployment when, at Wedemeyer's request, the 312th Fighter Wing was assigned to the Fourteenth Air Force; the orders read until the end of July but in effect this meant permanently.106
On the same day Ramey reactivated the 58th Bombardment Wing (VH), manning it with personnel drawn from within the command.107 Until its transfer to a Pacific base the wing headquarters would have no essential function.
Detailed orders for redeployment were provided in a War Department directive of 6 February addressed to General Sultan, who was to provide transportation for personnel and equipment. The first water echelon would consist of shipments of 2,275 and 2,864 men, to sail from Calcutta about 22 February for Tinian and Guam respectively. A second water echelon would embark at Calcutta in April. Two air echelons, each comprising 90 B-29's and miscellaneous aircraft and carrying 1,330 and 1,620 airmen, were to arrive at Tinian and Guam on 1 April and 1 May respectively. No movement dates were given for the rest of the command (Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, 23d Air Depot, 1st Air Transport Squadron [Mobile], and various other units), but they were to be prepared to move by 1 June, before which time further orders were to be issued. Ramey had already been informed of the general contents of this directive and during February preparations for departure were made.108
The first water echelon shipped out of Calcutta, substantially as ordered, on 27 February. An advanced echelon of the 58th Wing flew out via Luliang on 20 March. Four cargo vessels loaded with equipment sailed between 25 March and 4 April. Late arrival of the first water shipment necessitated a rescheduling of departure dates for the air echelons (to 20 April and 1 May) and for the last water echelon of 3,459 men (to 6 May). When that last shipment arrived in the Marianas on 6 June, the transfer of the 58th Wing had been completed without loss of a single life or plane. The Joint Chiefs had intended the use of the Tinian base as a temporary measure until the whole wing could be accommodated on Guam, so that the delays en route cut short the 58th's stay on the former island.109
Ramey went along with the 58th as wing commander, General Smith taking over XX Bomber Command on 25 April and continuing preparations for the move in June to a site not as yet designated. In January the JCS had merely stated that XX Bomber Command would be stationed in the Philippines-Ryukyus area, and at Kharagpur there was much speculation as to the future home. In Washington and the Pacific theaters there was some sentiment in favor of Luzon, but a JCS plan developed in March and approved in April stipulated that
XX Bomber Command should go to Okinawa to provide control for the 316th and other VHB wings to be deployed on that island. In accordance with this design, the War Department on 4 May furnished General Smith with a schedule for the movement of the remaining echelons, to begin on 2 June.110
The task of Smith's A-1 section in assembling all command personnel in Okinawa was complicated by the threat of a wholesale dispersal, as officers and men became eligible for rotation according to theater rules. This was less true of aircrews than of ground personnel. After long study by his staff, Ramey had announced on 26 January a policy on combat crew replacement. Rotation was to be governed by the desire to maintain groups at fifty-one B-29 crews each (1.7 crews per UE aircraft) and by the flow of crews from the States. No firm promise was to be made to ship crews home after completing a designated number of combat missions or hours. Instead, crewmen were to be returned when their "operating effectiveness" was considered to be jeopardized by continued combat duty. A more rigid policy was announced for transport pilots-return after 1,000 hours of flight or 18 months in the theater. These rulings allowed but small turNover: in February, for example, with only nineteen B-29 crews arriving as replacements, twenty-four were returned to the States, and three lead crews were sent to Guam on loan.111
To prevent a serious loss of experienced personnel not subject to these policies, A-1 sent officers and men to rest camps at Darjeeling, Madras, and Ranikhet, and was liberal in granting forty-five days' temporary duty for rest and rehabilitation stateside--but with orders carefully phrased to insure return to duty with XX Bomber Command. A number of officers and men were allowed to go on temporary duty with other commands or with service schools in the United States; in all, several hundred airmen were spared the tedious wait in Bengal. For those staff sections drawing up administrative and logistical plans for the Okinawa bases the time was fully occupied, but for many there was little to do but pack and wait.112
The period of waiting was prolonged by changes in the pattern for air command in the Pacific.* In mid-June General Smith was called to Washington and informed of the latest plans for the disposition of his command. The Eighth Air Force, without a mission since V-E Day, would be converted to a VHB organization with headquarters at Okinawa
* See below, pp. 686-89.
and, with the Twentieth Air Force, would comprise United States Army Strategic Air Forces (USASTAF). Thus supplanted by the Eighth in its function of directing the new VHB wings, XX Bomber Command would be inactivated; its personnel was to form the nucleus of the Eighth's headquarters and might remain or apply for transfer when eligible.113
Back in Kharagpur about 27 June, General Smith completed arrangements for the move. During February and March the 383d Air Service Group had moved into the four tactical airdromes around Kharagpur to take over the bases and surplus property left behind. Now, beginning on 3 July, the air echelon left for Okinawa, staging through Bhamo, Luliang, Clark Field, and Guam. The rest of the command sailed, in two lots, on 12 July and 4 August, leaving only a few small detachments in India-Burma.
Smith left with the flight echelon. Preceded by an advaneed party and carrying a considerable amount of housekeeping equipment, members of that echelon soon established headquarters under the primitive conditions of an island just secured from the enemy. On 16 July Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle appeared at Okinawa with his party to take over. Even that ceremony, which marked the passing of XX Bomber Command, lacked the clean, sharp finality which the once-proud organization might have wished. USASTAF had directed "the inactivation of the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, XX Bomber Command, with transfer of personnel and equipment made prior thereto to the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Eighth Air Force. The effective date of inactivation to be 0001 K, 16 July 1945." But the radio carrying this general order, delayed in transmittal, arrived on the 17th and it was the 18th before it could be put into effect.114 This was the end of XX Bomber Command.
In concluding his very able job of field reporting the command historian expressed a hope that some later writer might "ascertain definitely the accomplishments and the contributions of XX Bomber Command to the air offensive against Japan."115 One would be bold indeed to pretend to satisfy that hope "definitely." From its inception, MATTERHORN was a controversial project, and questions as to its wisdom were not stilled by the command's experiences in CBI. An evaluation board reviewing the record in the autumn of 1944 tried to balance the as yet inconsiderable combat effort against the levy on Hump tonnage which might have been employed in operations of
more immediate utility. The board's tentative judgment was most cautiously phrased: "There is no question but that strategic bombing pays big dividends and perhaps the dispersion of such [logistical] effort to the XX Bomber Command is more than justified in the big picture, all of which can not be seen from this theater."116 Some individuals have been less equivocal and less charitable in their statements. No one has ventured to indorse the venture enthusiastically. The United States Strategic Bombing Survey studied various aspects of the command's operations; most of the resulting appraisals, appearing in several published reports, are unfavorable, but there is one, curiously inconsistent with the general tone, which makes something of a case for the MATTERHORN project.*
One statement may be made without fear of successful contradiction--that the strategic results of VHB operations from Chengtu were not a decisive factor in the Japanese surrender. This is the most important fact in the story of XX Bomber Command's air war, and there is no intention here, as there has been none in the preceding narrative, to inflate the accomplishments of the command. But it may be useful here to set the command's record against its envisaged purpose, and to speculate as to what better use might have been made of available resources.
Arnold's staff, thoroughly imbued with AAF doctrines of strategic bombardment, saw in the B-29 a weapon with which the Japanese homeland could be hit. In the autumn of 1943 no base area within striking distance of the Inner Empire was available save in China, and for want of a better site the staging fields were located at Chengtu. Difficulties in the supply system were recognized if not thoroughly appreciated and a plausible logistical system was devised, not without some general interest in the possibility of making the B-29 a self-sufficient weapon. On the best advice obtainable from civilian and military experts, a target system was chosen-the steel industry-which seemed to offer important long-term possibilities. The planners did not expect to win the war by strikes from Chengtu; the early diversion of the 73d Wing to Saipan was a token of their preference for other base areas and a critical factor in the failure of the logistical system to meet the original expectations. By this diversion MATTERHORN was doomed to failure before the first mission. In addition to blows at Japanese industry, rated as important but not decisive, Arnold's staff
* See below, pp. 171-75.
hoped to achieve certain subsidiary ends: to bolster Chinese morale; to take the war home to the Japanese people, badly misinformed by their officials, in raids which might tie down in the main islands fighter planes needed elsewhere; and to combat-test a new plane and a new type of bombardment organization.
As for the immediate combat achievement, that is easily told. In 49 VHB missions involving 3,058 sorties, XX Bomber Command dropped 11,477 tons of bombs; it also dispatched more than 250 photographic sorties. If the original complement of 150 B-29's may serve as a rough index of planes on hand, this would give an average of about 2 combat sorties per plane per month, certainly not an enviable record. Only a small fraction of this effort was directed against industrial targets within the Inner Empire. Some 5,200 tons, roughly 45 per cent of the total load, were carried by planes flying out of China bases, and of that weight more than half was expended in the PAC-AID strikes or against other nonindustrial targets.117
During the first four months of operations five missions were sent out against steel plants. In 2 strikes 221 tons were loosed over Yawata, but because of unused plant capacity (not then known to U.S. intelligence agencies), the raids caused "only a negligible drop in production." At Anshan the bombing was effective-in fact, postwar examination of the plant showed damage more severe and more lasting than had been appreciated by the command's staff working from photographic evidence. Three raids in which 550 tons of bombs were dropped caused a loss in production of approximately 200,000 tons of pig iron, 136,000 tons of ingot steel, and 93,000 tons of rolled steel. Because of the tight shipping situation the main incidence of this loss fell on Manchurian user industries rather than on those in Japan, and though success at Anshan verified an early belief in the vulnerability of steel plants, strategic planners realized by mid-1944 that the quickened tempo of the war had rendered obsolete the reasoning which had led to the choice of that target system.118
When in October the aircraft industry was named as first-priority objective, Omura became the principal target, receiving about 500 tons in 5 attacks. Only one mission, that of 25 October, paid off; almost half of the building area was destroyed or damaged and very heavy casualties were inflicted. The loss in production amounted to 5.7 months' work.119 But Omura was not one of the most important aircraft factories.
None of the other missions against cities in Japan proper--there were only nine in all--was significant, nor were random strikes against alternate targets on the continent. The successful attacks against Formosa and Hankow do not fit into the MATTERHORN picture; neither do the many missions conducted in SEAC. The strategic campaign may be summed up in terms of Yawata, Anshan, and Omura and here one may speak with some assurance: the direct results obtained in the ten missions against those targets did little to hasten the Japanese surrender or to justifiy the lavish expenditures poured out in their behalf.
The indirect results of the campaign are more difficult to assay. Arnold's staff had been optimistic as to the psychological effects of the VLR bombing of Japanese cities. Such an offensive delivered from bases in China, they believed, would encourage that nation to resist, while the unveiling in China of so powerful a weapon as the B-29 would restore prestige to Chiang Kai-shek's government and reduce the damage caused by unfulfilled promises of aid. Those views were shared by Roosevelt, a fact which accounts for his continued support of the project. The USSBS report Air Operations in China, Burma, India, World War II is emphatic in the opinion that these results did accrue: that B-29 operations constituted "a tremendous shot in the arm to the Chinese people," and that XX Bomber Command should share credit with the Fourteenth Air Force for preventing an utter collapse of the Chinese will to resist.120
The news that the Superforts were raining destruction upon Japanese cities was widely disseminated in China and enthusiastically received; their activities were praised by Chiang Kai-shek in his most important public address of 1944. In the province of Szechwan the Chinese seemed to take a personal interest in the B-29 project; their friendliness was attested by unit historians at each echelon, and throughout China the friendly spirit was manifested in a very practical way by aid rendered under most dangerous circumstances to crewmen who had bailed out of B-29's stricken over enemy territory. The record of the Chinese armies during the MATTERHORN period was not a distinguished one, but at least the Nationalist government did not withdraw from the war as had been freely predicted in the spring of 1944. How much the B-29's contributed to that survival and whether the same end might have been achieved by less spectacular and less expensive means will remain debatable. To the USSBS reporters
the contribution seemed great, to "be appreciated fully only by those who were working with the Chinese in China at the time." Men of the XX Bomber Command tended to agree with this judgment; Chennault thought the command a liability rather than an asset in China.121
In Japan the attacks from Chengtu caused no such surprise among official circles as had the Doolittle raid. Long before 15 June the mission of the B-29's had been accurately diagnosed from their presence in India and the specifications of the Chengtu fields. But after the first Yawata mission the Imperial government was faced with the problem of explaining to a populace deluded with false reports of the war's progress the undeniable presence of the U.S. bombers over Japan. The concern of official propagandists is indicated by the tone of their broadcasts and news stories, which tended to depreciate the importance of the raids and to exaggerate unreasonably the success of defensive measures. Postwar interrogations have shown that among some Japanese it was the early B-29 raids that first brought doubts as to ultimate victory. However, the intensity and scope of the XX Bomber Command campaign, limited to a few strikes at Kyushu cities, were not great and as a morale factor that campaign was not nearly so important as the mass raids by XXI Bomber Command in 1945.122
In their aim of tying down fighter strength in the home islands the planners were moderately successful. When the B-29 threat was recognized in the spring of 1944, the Japanese reorganized General Defense Headquarters at Tokyo. The three air brigades attached to army districts were raised to divisional status; an effort, none too successful, was made to coordinate army and navy interceptor forces; and the First Air Army, an emergency reserve drawn from the training establishment, was set up at Tokyo. The number of fighter planes assigned to General Defense Headquarters, which stood at 260 in June 1944, was increased by several increments: in October the order of battle showed 375, and this strength was maintained pretty constantly until the fire raids of March 1945 led to further reinforcement. XX Bomber Command can be credited, therefore, with having caused the Japanese to withdraw or withhold from active theaters about 115 fighters or about 4.5 per cent of the total number in service.123
In regard to combat-testing the B-29 the command's achievements were substantial. The bomber, rushed through the various stages of development in record time, had been deliberately committed to combat
after a brief service testing in hopes that field conditions would quickly uncover remediable weaknesses. The difficult flying conditions in the CBI made that test a strenuous one, and XX Bomber Command met the challenge ably, as the preceding narrative has shown. Through the command's endeavors and those of the Materiel Command at home, the complex mechanism of the great bomber was smoothed out, and corrections and improvements that derived from experience in the CBI were incorporated into planes destined for the Marianas.
Equally important, crews learned to recognize the B-29 for the superb plane it was. This lesson came hard. Pilots and co-pilots of the 58th Wing had been hand-picked B-17 or B-24 men with many hours of four-engine flying time either in combat or as instructors in Training Command schools. After the fashion of flyers they entertained marked preferences for the Flying Fortresses or the Liberators they had flown, and they looked askance at the Superfort, reported to be a "hot" plane to handle and certainly an unknown quantity. Late deliveries cut training in Kansas to a minimum--an average of about thirty hours per man. Mechanical difficulties, especially with the R-3340 engine, were frequent enough in the early days in the theater to nourish the pilots' reserve toward the Superfort. It was only gradually that that attitude changed to one of confidence and affection. The conversion, in the words of the command historian, "was born of fact, fancy, pride, legend--but most important, of actual performance under combat conditions." News of unusual feats spread rapidly to dispel earlier doubts: news of how one pilot brought his overloaded B-29 through a power failure at take-off; of how another made a dead-stick landing when his B-29 ran dry of fuel while approaching its home base; or how a crew would stay with a plane when the prop on a burnt-out engine would not feather, and return safely. Such stories were well authenticated; there were others not officially verified but fully as heartening, such as the widely bruited tale of an eager pilot who in returning from an Omura mission brought his 65-ton Superfort down on the deck to strafe an enemy freight train in approved fighter style.124 Crewmen learned more about the intricate equipment of the plane: they found the central fire-control system accurate and dependable; they improved, without perfecting, their knowledge of the radar equipment; they learned the real significance of flight control. And
these lessons were reflected in improved performance: in fewer aborts, fewer accidents, greater bomb loads, and better bomb patterns. Much of this calculus of bombardment can be read in the impressive charts and graphs prepared by the statistical section of the command's staff, which show in most categories a marked if not an even-paced improvement. Staff work, highly rated in the early days in the theater, became even better. By any reasonable standards the 58th Wing was when it moved to Saipan a most effective combat organization.125
No critic has challenged the utility or success of the command's shakedown process. The USSBS Summary Report pays tribute to the fashion in which the job was accomplished but suggests that the "necessary training and combat experience with B-29's provided by this operation might have been secured through attacks on Outer Zone targets, from bases more easily supplied."126 The two implications in this criticism, the one operational and the other logistical, are stated more explicitly elsewhere in the report.
In a section entitled "Hindsight" the USSBS committee expressed the view that the XX Bomber Command B-29's "could have been more effectively used in coordination with submarines for search, low-level attacks and mining in accelerating the destruction of Japanese shipping, or in destroying oil and metal plants in the southern area."127 This view was not wholly hindsight. Both target systems had been suggested in the COA report of 11 November 1943; both had received support from Navy strategists in Washington and from MacArthur and Kenny in the Southwest Pacific. In view of the inconsiderable results obtained in the Inner Zone it seems possible that a greater contribution might have been made by the B-29's operating in the fashion suggested. But since early 1943 those in Arnold's staff who had to do with the B-29 project had their eyes fixed on Japan; experience in the ETO by the time of the first Yawata mission and the subsequent accomplishment of XXI Bomber Command prove that the AAF's doctrine of striking at the central core of an enemy's industrial power was eminently sound. Only by staunch adherence to that concept of strategic bombardment in the face of efforts at diversion had the AAF been able to achieve its primary mission in Europe, and it was not a mark of stubborn inflexibility that Arnold and his staff held resolutely to the same policy in the war against Japan. And whether with justification or not, this determination was colored throughout by the fear of losing control of the VHB's to commanders who would
continue to nibble at the fringes of Japan's power or use the B-29 as a Navy auxiliary against shipping.
The logistical argument, that "aviation gasoline and supplies used by the B-29's might have been more profitably allocated to an expansion of the tactical and anti-shipping operations of the Fourteenth Air Force," has been elaborated by other critics, most vehemently perhaps by Chennault.128 Curiously enough, the USSBS report on CBI cited above is in marked disagreement with this opinion, and it is perhaps not without significance that the whole of the survey board was made up of AAF personnel. In the opinion of that board, other observers had "overemphasized the logistical support taken from the Fourteenth Air Force in favor of the B-29 operations." The figures cited show the failure of the original self-support plan: of 41,733 tons delivered at Chengtu, 27,216 tons were hauled by ATC, only 14,517 by the command's own planes. Presumably the 27,216 tons would have been added to the 121,565 allocated to the Fourteenth but for the presence of the B-29's in China (though the needs of the XX seem to have helped ATC's India-China Division secure the reinforcements which allowed them to step up deliveries). The board stated that by its strikes at Formosa and Hankow XX Bomber Command did aid in the fight for China, whereas the 69,066 tons delivered to Chinese ground forces went to units which "never engaged in any significant action during the course of the war."129 This is at best a negative argument and one may readily suppose that the Fourteenth might have accomplished more but for the diversions of transport potential to XX Bomber Command. Although it might have had important effects on postwar China, it is doubtful that an earlier victory would have been achieved in World War II, which was won in Japan, not on the Asiatic continent.
Even if one qualify some of the adverse criticisms, the record of XX Bomber Command was not a successful one. The title for the MATTERHORN plan was "Early Sustained Bombing of Japan." The bombing was neither early nor sustained. It achieved no significant results of a tangible sort and the intangible effects were obtained at a dear price. This failure should not be charged to XX Bomber Command, whose men showed courage, determination, and skill. They lost to an impossible logistics system, not to the Japanese. And though the command was dissolved, its combat units in the 58th Wing were to go on with the war under more favorable conditions in the Marianas.
Notes to Chapter 5
1. TC-A-479, Kharagpur-Washington, 13 Sept. 1944; TC-14-1, Washington-Kharagpur, 14 Sept. 1944; memo for Kuter from Brig. Gen. R. C. Lindsay, 29 Sept. 1944.
2. Memo for Norstad from Combs, 6 Sept. 1944, with draft message for LeMay (which inaccurately stated that "aircraft production has always been our Number One priority") ; TC-13-4, Washington-Kharagpur,13 Sept. 1944.
3. Revised Rpt. of Committee of Operations Analysts [COA] on Economic Targets in the Far East, 10 Oct. 1944.
4. Rpts. to COA: Economic Effects of Successful Area Attacks, 4 Sept. 1944; Target Systems in the Japanese Aircraft Industry, Sept. 1944.
5. Revised Rpt. COA, Pt. II, paras. 1 and 2
6. JCS 152d Mtg., 12 Mar. 1944.
7. JCS 751/3, 4 Apr. 1944.
8. JCS 838, 28 Apr. 1944; CM-OUT-31202 (2 May 44), JCS to Stilwell.
9. CM-IN-34129 (8 May 44), Sultan to Marshall; CM-OUT-4805 (9 May 44), Arnold to Wolfe.
10. CM-OUT-87086 (26 Aug. 44), JCS to Stilwell.
11. TC-4-3, Washington-Kharagpur, 4 Sept. 1944; CM-IN-4805 (6 Sept. 44), Le-May to Norstad; TC-7-6, Norstad to LeMay, 7 Sept. 1944.
12. CCS 417/8, 9 Sept. 1944.
13. W. F. Halsey and J. Bryan III, Admiral Halsey's Story (New York, 1947)- pp. 195-98.
14. Ibid., p. 199; G. C. Kenney, Genera1 Kenney Reports (New York, 1949) pp. 431-32.
16. TC-23-5, Washington-Kharagpur, 23 Sept. 1944; TC-Q-543, Kharagpur-Washington, 25 Sept. 1944; TC-28-5, Washington-Kharagpur, 28 Sept. 1944; TC-Q-593, Kharagpur-Washington, 29 Sept. 1944; TC-29-5 and TC-29-8, Washington-Kharagpur, 29 Sept. 1944; TC-Q607, Kharagpur-Washington, 30 Sept. 1944.
17. CM-OUT-34928. (22 Sept. 44), JCS to Stilwell, Nimitz, MacArthur.
18. CM-IN-22850 (24 Sept. 44), MacArthur to WD; CM-IN-25095 (26 Sept. 44), MacArthur to WD; CM-IN-24702 (26 Sept. 44), Chennault to WD; CM-IN-22806 (24 Sept. 44), Sultan to WD.
19. CM-IN-20707 (22 Sept. 44), CINCPOA to COMINCH.
20. Ser. 290359, CINCPOA to DC 20th AF, 29 Sept. 1944; TC-A-613, Kharagpur-Washington, 2 Oct. 1944; TC-3-3, Washington-Kharagpur, 2 Oct. 1944; ser. 020035, CINCPOA to CG USAF CBI, 2 Oct. 1944; ser. 022146, CINCPOA to DC 20th AF, 2 Oct. 1944; TC-635, Kharagpur-Washington, 3 Oct. 1944; ser. 040305, CINCPOA to DC 20th AF, 4 Oct. 1944; CM-OUT-40740 (3 Oct. 44), Arnold to CINCPOA; TC-J-64, Kharagpur-Washington; TC-E-659, Kharagpur-Washington, 6 Oct. 1944; TC-J-665, Kharagpur-Washington, 7 Oct. 1944; TC-G-695, Kharagpur-Washington, 10 Oct. 1944; ser. 100927, CINCPOA to DC 20th AF, 10 Oct. 1944; TC-11-8, Washington-Kharagpur, 11 Oct. 1944.
21. CM-OUT-38830 (29 Oct. 44), JCS to Stilwell, etc.
22. Halsey's Story, p. 205.
23. TMR #10, 14 Oct. 1944 (28 Oct. 44), pp. 1-2.
24. Ibid., pp. 3-6 and Annexes A and K.
25. Ibid., pp. 6-8, Annexes B, C, D.
26. TC-14-8, Washington-Kharagpur, 14 Oct. 1944; ser. 140126, CINCPAC to DC 20th AF, 14 Oct. 1944; TC-15-1, TC-15-5, TC-15-10, Washington-Kharagpur, 15 Oct. 1944; TMR's #11 and #12, 16 and 17 Oct. 1944 (28 Oct. 44), pp. 1-3.
27. TMRs #11 and #12, pp. 5-9.
28. Ibid., pp. 15-16 and Annex M.
29. Answers to AFSHO Questionnaire obtained by Lt. Roger Pineau, USNR, Tokyo, 11 Oct. 1949.
30. TC-11-8, Washington-Kharagpur, 11 Oct. 1944.
31. TC-E-738, Kharagpur-Washington, 14 Oct. 1944; TC-Q-827, Kharagpur-Washington, 19 Oct. 1944.
32. TMR #13, 25 Oct. 1944 (4 Nov. 44)
33. TC-Q-942, Kharagpur-Washington, 1 Nov. 1944; TC-1-5, Washington-Kharagpur, 1 Nov. 1944.
34. TMR #16, 11 Nov. 1944 (11 Nov. 44).
35. Ibid., Annex L.
36. TC-16-3, Saipan-Washington, 16 Oct. 1944; CM-OUT-50166 (21 Oct. 44), Arnold to Hansell; CM-OUT-58062 (5 Nov. 44), Arnold to Hansell; TC-J-967, Kharagpur-Washington, 5 Nov. 1944; TC-05-H, Harmon to Arnold, 5 Nov. 1944; TMR #17, 21 Nov. 1944 (1 Dec. 44), pp. 2-3.
37. TMR #17, pp. 3-6 and Annex L.
38. Ibid., pp. 6-7 and Annex J.
39. Air Estimate and Plans for 20th AF Opns., Dec. 1944 to Jan. 1945 (6 Dec. 44); TMR #19, 7 Dec. 1944 (19 Dec. 44), pp. 1-3.
40. XX BC, FO 19, 5 Dec. 1944; TMR #19, pp. 3-5.
41. TMR #19, pp. 6-7 and Annex C.
42. Chennault, Way of a Fighter, p. 295 and see above, p. 104.
43. Chennault, Way of a Fighter, p. 295; TC-8-7, Washington-Kharagpur, 8 Dec. 1944; TC-2-4, Washington-Kharagpur, 12 Dec. 1944; Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 73-75.
44. TMR #21, 18 Dec. 1944 (4 Jan. 45), pp. 1-9 and Annex L; Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 75-90.
45. Chennault, Way of a Fighter, p. 330.
46. See above, pp. 132-33 and notes thereto; also, R&R, AC/AS Plans to various AAF agencies, Night B-29 Opns. Against Japan, 12 Feb. 1944, and replies thereto; memo for C/S 20th AF from Maj. Gen. H. A. Craig, 7 June 1944; TCJ-976, Kharagpur-Washington, 5 Nov. 1944; TC-14-4, Washington-Kharagpur, 14 Nov. 1944; TC-R-1092, KharagpurWashington, 25 Nov. 1944. There are other confusing statements in Chennault's account. He seems to criticize LeMay for planning to send his planes in an unescorted daylight mission though this normal procedure had never resulted in excessive losses for XX Bomber Command; on this occasion the mission was accomplished without the loss of a single B-29. Chennault also says that in arguing about tactics and bomb load he advocated bombing below 20,000 feet and using all incendiaries but that he and LeMay had compromised on an 80 per cent incendiary, 20 per cent HE load and an altitude of 20,000 feet. Actually only incendiaries were loaded for the mission and though bombing altitudes varied from 18,000 to 23,000 feet, about half the planes bombed from below 20,000 (see TMR #21, Annex A, IV and V).
47. The messages are too numerous to cite in toto but see, e.g., CM-IN-9003 (10 Sept. 44), LeMay to ATSC; CM-IN-12417 (14 Sept. 44), LeMay to Button; CM-IN-15208 (16 Sept. 44); CM-IN-2965 (4 Oct. 441, LeMay to Arnold; CM-OUT-43731 (9 Oct. 44), Irvine to LeMay; CM-IN-8431 (9 Oct. 44), Rosenblatt to Arnold; CM-IN-17483 (18 Oct. 44), LeMay to Horton; CM-IN-26019 (27 Oct. 44), LeMay to McMullen; CM-IN-12126 (13 Nov. 44), LeMay to Hackett; CM-IN-27679 (28 Nov. 44), LeMay to Arnold.
48. CM-IN-8431 (9 Oct. 44), Rosenblatt to Arnold; CM-IN-18226 (19 Oct. 44), Rosenblatt to Arnold.
49. CM-IN-8117 (9 Nov. 44), LeMay to Arnold; CM-IN-6184 (6 Dec. 44), LeMay to Arnold.
50. CM-IN-18313 (19 Nov. 44), LeLeMay to WD.
51. TMR #22, 19 Dec. 1944 (9 Jan. 45) ; Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 57-60.
52. TMR #23, 21 Dec. 1944 (11 Jan. 45) ; Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 61-64.
53. JCS 713/18, 2 Oct. 1944; JCS 180th Mtg., 3 Oct. 1944.
54. TC-11-25, Washington-Kharagpur, 25 Oct. 1944; TC-A-893, Kharagpur-Washington, 30 Oct. 1944; CM-IN-4769 (5 Nov. 44), MacArthur to WD; ltr., Sherman (POA), Chamberlin (SWPA), Stone (IBT), and Ball (20th AF) to CINCSWPA et al.; TC-07-E, Ball to Norstad, 7 Nov. 1944.
55. TC-11-8, Norstad to Ball, 8 Nov. 1944; CM-IN-8772 (9 Nov. 44), CINC-POA to WD; CM-IN-11098 (12 Nov. 44), Wedemeyer to WD; CM-OUT-64579 (17 Nov. 44), Arnold to Harmon; CM-OUT-64114 (17 Nov. 44), Marshall to Wedemeyer.
56. See the extensive correspondence in 20th AF FIVESOME file, especially the following: CM-IN-18735 (19 Nov. 44), MacArthur to WD; CM-IN-21749 and 22219 (21 Nov. 44), Wedemeyer to WD; TC-J-1085, Kharagpur-Washing-ton, 24 Nov. 1944; CM-OUT-68829 (26 Nov. 44), Arnold to SWPA; CM-IN25459 (26 Nov. 44), Harmon to Arnold; CM-OUT-68838 (26 Nov. 44), Arnold to LeMay; TC-J-I 106, Kharagpur-Washington, 27 Nov. 1944; CM-IN-27595 (27 Nov. 44), CINCPOA to WD; CM-IN-27641 and 27954 (28 Nov. 44), MacArthur to WD. See also TC-K-11-1, Washington-Kharagpur, 11 Dec. 1944; CM-OUT-7591 (11 Dec. 44), Arnold to LeMay; TC-K-12-4, Washington-Kharagpur, 12 Dec. 1944; CM-IN-12656 (13 Dec. 44), LeMay to Arnold; CM-OUT-77678 (15 Dec. 44), JCS to Wedemeyer; CM-OUT-79536 (19 Dec. 44), Arnold to LeMay and Harmon; TC-E-1251, Kharagpur-Washington and TC-H-19-6, Washington-Kharagpur, 19 Dec. 1944; CM-OUT-84938 (31 Dec. 44), Arnold to LeMay; TMR #25, 6 Jan. 1945 (26 Jan. 45), pp. 1-3.
57. TMR #25, pp. 3-9.
58. CM-IN-5768 (7 Jan. 45), MacArthur to WD; CM-IN-5909, (7 Jan. 45), LeMay to Arnold; CM-OUT-88424 (7 Jan. 45), Arnold to MacArthur; CM-IN-8096 (9 Jan. 45), MacArthur to WD; CM-OUT-89317 (9 Jan. 45), Arnold to LeMay; CM-OUT-89316 (9 Jan. 45), Arnold to MacArthur.
59. CM-OUT-89318 (9 Jan. 45), Arnold to Wedemeyer; CM-IN-8989 (10 Jan. 45), Wedemeyer to WD; CM-IN-8761 (10 Jan. 45), LeMay to Arnold; CM-IN-8759 (10 Jan. 45), Wedemeyer to WD; CM-IN-8821 and CM-IN-8934 (10 Jan. 45), Tunner to ATC; CM-IN-9803 (11 Jan. 45), LeMay to Arnold; Hist. XX BC, Jan. 1945, pp. 66-67.
60. TMR #26, 9 Jan. 1945 (28 Jan. 45); Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 92-96.
61. CM-IN-8893 (10 Jan. 45), LeMay to Arnold; TC-14-41? Kharagpur-Washington, 10 Jan. 1945; TMR #28, 14 Jan. 1945 (6 Feb. 45); Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 99-100.
62. TMR #29, 17 Jan 1945 (9 Feb. 45) ; XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 101-3.
63. TC-A-4793 Kharagpur-Washington-Kharagpur, 13 Sept. 1944; TC-14-1, 14 Sept. 1944; TC-15-2, Washington-Kharagpury 15 Sept. 1944; TC-J-4999 Kharagpur-Washington, 18 Sept. 1944; TC-20-4, Washington-Kharagpur, 20 Sept. 1944; CAKX 597 (12 Nov. 44), Chennault to Arnold.
64. TC-21-5, Washington-Kharagpur, 21 Nov. 1944; CM-OUT-67901 (27 Nov. 44), Marshall to Sultan; CAB 9576 (28 Nov. 44), Stratemeyer to Merrill; TC-B-1113, Kharagpur-Washington, 29 Nov. 1944; CM-OUT-72469 (4 Dec. 44), Marshall to Sultan; TC-B-1156, KharagpurWashington, 7 Dec. 1944.
65. CFBX 28167 (4 Dec. 44), Wedemeyer to Marshall; CSF 4950 (16 Dec. 44), Wedemeyer to Marshall; CM-OUT-77678 (15 Dec. 44), JCS to Wedemeyer
66. CFBX 21901 (12 Jan. 45), Wedemeyer to Marshall and Arnold.
67. Memo for AC/AS Plans from Col. C. E. Combs, 21 Nov. 1944; JCS 1190, 6 Dec. 1944; JLC 235/1, 16 Dec. 1944; JCS 1190/1, 20 Dec. 1944; JCS 1190/2, 26 Dec. 1944; JCS 1190/4, 15 Jan. 1945; CM-OUT-21782 (16 Jan. 45), JCS to Wedemeyer.
68. Hist. XX BC, Sixth Phase, p. 32; Hist. XX BC, Dec. 1944, pp. 80-81, and Jan. 1945, p. 5; FO (unnumbered) Fwd. Ech. Det., 15 Dec. 1944; XX BC Hq., Evacuation Plan, 20 Jan. 1945; ltrs., CO's of 444th, 468th, 462d Bomb. Gps. (dtd. 26 Jan. 45) and 40th Gp. (dtd. 27 Jan. 45) to CG XX BC.
69. TMR #20, 14 Dec. 1944 (26 Dec. 44), p. 3.
70. TC-E-916, Kharagpur-Washington, 28 Oct. 1944; TC30-61, Washington-Kharagpur, 30 Oct. 1944; TC-G-959, Kharagpur-Washington, 2 Nov. 1944.
71. TMR #14, 3 Nov. 1944 (13 Nov. 44); Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 106-13.
72. TMR #18, 27 Nov. 1944 (7 Dec. 44); Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 172-77.
73. TMR #20, 14 Dec. 1944 (26 Dec. 44); Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 177-83.
74. TMR #24, 2 Jan. 1945 (12 Jan. 45) (note especially photographs in Annex L) ; Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 183-86.
75. Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, p. 172.
76. CM-OUT-53396 (27 Oct. 44), Arnold to LeMay; TC-2-11, Washington-Kharagpur, 2 Nov. 1944; TC-G-959, Kharagpur-Washington, 2 Nov. 1944; TC-E-961, Kharagpur-Washington, 3 Nov. 1944; TC-E-957, Kharagpur-Washington, Nov. 1944.
77. TMR #15, 5 Nov. 1944 (15 Nov. 44); Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 114-23; CM-IN-1936 (3 Jan. 45), LeMay to Arnold; CM-IN-2429 (3 Jan. 45), MacArthur-WD.
78. TMR #27, 11 Jan. 1945; Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 4-3.
79. TC-FN-193, Saipan-Kharagpur, 19 Jan. 1945; Hist. XX BC, Jan. 1945, pp. 5-6; Hist. XX BC, Sixth Phase, pp. 32-33.
80.TMR's #30-#31, 25/26 Jan. 1945 (16 Feb. 45), pp-1-3; Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 211-15.
81. TMR's #30--#31, pp. 3-6 and Annex L; Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 215-21.
82. TMR #40, 27 Feb. 1945 (19 Mar. 45); Hist XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 221-23.
83. TMR #39, 4 Mar. 1945 (18 Mar. 45); Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 223-26.
84. TMR #46, 28/29 Mar. 1945 (15 Apr. 45); Hist. XX BC, pp. 226-28.
85. TMRs #47--#48, 28/29 Mar. 1945 (18 Apr. 45); Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 228-32.
86. TMR #32, 27 Jan. 1945 (20 Feb. 45); Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 193-95.
87. TMR #33, 1 Feb. 1945 (24 Feb. 45); Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 132-38.
88. TC-3500, Washington-Kharagpur, 1 Feb. 1945, CABX 2542AOO (3 Feb. 45), Stratemeyer to Ramey; msg. J-8715 (3 Feb. 45), Ramey to Arnold; TC-K-3-6, Washington-Kharagpur, 3 Feb. 1945; msg. EAC-736AOX (5 Feb. 45), Stratemeyer to Mountbatten; Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 138-42.
89. TMR #34, 7 Feb. 1945 (1 Mar. 45).
90. TMR #35, 7 Feb. 1945 (3 Mar. 45).
91. TMR #36, 11 Feb.1945 (8 Mar.45).
92. TMR #44, 17 Mar. 1945 (2 Apr.45).
93. TMR #45, 22 Mar. 1945 (8 Apr. 45).
94. TMR #37, 19 Feb. 1945 (10 Mar. 45).
95. TMR #43, 10 Mar. 1945 (31 Mar. 45).
96. TMR #38, 24 Feb. 1945 (13 Mar. 45).
97. TC-3500, Washington-Kharagpur, 1 Feb. 1945; TMR #41, 2 Mar. 1945 (23 Mar. 45).
98. TMR #42, 12 Mar. 1945 (29 Mar. 45).
99. TMR #49, 29-30 Mar. 1945 (13 Apr. 45).
100. XX BC Cumulative Sum. of Opns. Ending 31 Mar. 1945.
101. Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 34.9-50; CM-OUT-24457 (2 Sept. 44), Arnold to LeMay.
102. CM-IN-12555 (16 June 44), Wolfe to WD; Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, pp. 351-53; TC-23-6, Washington-Kharagpur, 23 Sept. 1944; TC-E-546, Kharagpur-Washington, 25 Sept. 1944; TC-27-1, Washington-Kharagpur, 27 Sept. 1944; TC-E-608, Kharagpur-Washington, 30 Sept. 1944;TC-2-3,Washington-Kharagpur, 2 Oct. 1944; TC-D-626, Kharagpur-Washington, 3 Oct. 1944; TC-E-632, Kharagpur-Washington, 3 Oct. 1944; TC-E-1013, Kharagpur-Washington, 11 Nov. 1944.
103. TC-E-617, Kharagpur-Washington, 2 Oct. 1944; TC-6-1, Washington-Kharagpur, 6 Oct. 1944; TC-9-7, Washington-Kharagpur, 9 Nov. 1944; TC-2311, Washington-Kharagpur, 23 Nov. 1944; Hist. XX BC, Nov. and Dec. 1944; Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, p. 354.
104. CM-IN-13837 (14 Dec. 44), Harmon to Arnold; CM-OUT-79537 (19 Dec. 44), Arnold to MacArthur; TC-EI 298, Kharagpur-Washington, 26 Dec. 1944; TC-E-1319, Kharagpur-Washington, 27 Dec. 1944; TC-E-1330, Kharagpur-Washington, 28 Dec. 1944; CM-IN-2244 (3 Jan. 45), LeMay to Arnold; CM-IN-3624 (4 Jan. 45), LeMay to Arnold; CM-IN-3988 (5 Jan. 44), LeMay to Arnold; TC-E-1406, Harmon to Arnold, 7 Jan. 1945; CM-IN-11370 (13 Jan. 45), CINCPOA to Arnold; CM-IN-13087 (14 Jan. 45), LeMay to Arnold; CM-IN-14033 (15 Jan. 45), MacArthur to Arnold; CM-OUT-20948 (14 Jan. 45), Arnold to MacArthur.
105. TC-E-1677, Kharagpur-Washington, 2 Feb. 1945; TC-K-4-2, Washington-Kharagpur, 2 Feb. 1945; TC-H-15-3, Arnold to DC 20th AF, 15 Feb. 1945; CM-OUT-40419 (20 Feb. 45), Arnold to Ramey; CM-IN-23809 (23 Feb. 45), Ramey to Arnold; TC-Q-1825, Kharagpur-Washington, 24 Feb. 1945; TC-K-26-3, Washington-Kharagpur, 26 Feb. 1945; CM-IN-29086 (28 Feb. 45), Wedemeyer to Arnold; TC-E-1870, Kharagpur-Washington, 6 Mar. 1945; CM-OUT41928 (7 Mar. 45), Arnold to Ramey; TC-E-1894, Kharagpur-Washington, 10 Mar. 1945; CM-IN-12182 (12 Mar. 45), Ramey to Arnold; TC-K-15-1, Washington-Kharagpur, 16 Mar. 1945; Hist. XX BC, Jan., Feb., and Mar. 1945.
106. CM-IN-25662 (20 Jan. 45), Wedemeyer to JCS; CM-IN-4269 (4 Feb. 45), Sultan to WD; CM-OUT-34382 (8 Feb. 45); JCS 1190/5, 6 Feb. 1945; memo for C/AS from Kuter (n.d., but ca. 27 Jan. 45).
107. TC-E-2-5, Washington-Kharag-pur, 20 Jan. 1945; XX BC GO 14, 6 Feb. 1945; XX BC SO 39, 8 Feb. 1945; Hist. XX BC, p. 6.
108. TC-A-1544, Kharagpur-Washington, 19 Jan. 1945; TC-K-25-8, Washington-Kharagpur, 25 Jan. 1945; TC-K-1-6, Washington-Kharagpur, 1 Feb. 1945; CM-OUT-33285 (6 Feb. 45), JCS to Sultan; JCS 1190/6, 13 Feb. 1945. The 2d and 3d Air Transport Sqs. (Mobile) were still assigned to 20th AF for future use but were to be left with ATC's IBD (TC-K-1-2, Washington-Kharagpur, 1 Feb. 1945).
109. TC-K-1-2 and K-1-6, Washington-Kharagpur, 1 Feb. 1945; TC-K-20-2, Washington-Kharagpur, 20 Feb. 1945; TC-Q-182 2, Kharagpur-Washington, 25 Feb. 1945; TC-Q-1991, Kharagpur-Washington, 22 Mar. 1945; TC-K-24-7, Washington-Kharagpur, 24 Mar. 1945; Hist. XX BC, Sixth Phase, p. 41; Hist. XX BC, Feb.-May 1945.
110. Memo for AC/AS Plans, 8 Jan. 1945; memo for AC/AS Plans from Combs, 22 Jan. 1945; CM-OUT-23989 (20 Jan. 45), Arnold to XX BC; CMOUT-77142 (4 May 45), JCS to Smith; JCS 1190 series; JLC 235/4, 17 Mar. 1945; Hist. XX BC, Sixth Phase, pp. 47-48.
111. TC-K-6-9, Washington-Kharagpur, 7 Dec. 1944; TC (unnumbered), Kharagpur-Washington, 26 Dec. 1944; TC-K-28-12, Washington-Kharagpur, 28 Dec. 1944; TC-E-1360, Kharagpur-Washington, 2 Jan. 1945; TC-Y-0401, Kharagpur-Washington, 6 Jan. 1945; ltr., Ramey to CO's of 40th, 444th, 462d, 468th Bomb. Gps., 26 Jan. 1945; XX BC Hq. Memo, 18 Jan. 1945; TC-K-2-3, Washington-Kharagpur, 2 Mar. 1945; Hist. XX BC, Jan.-Mar. 1945.
112. TC-Y-2001, Kharagpur-Washington, 23 Mar. 1945; Hist. XX BC, Sixth Phase, pp. 50-63.
113. Hist. XX BC, Sixth Phase, pp. 63-65; ltr., E. E. Partridge to Smith, 21 June 1945.
114. Hist. Rpt. for the Movement of . . . Hq. and Hq. Sq., XX BC; Hist. Air Ech. XX BC; XX BC GO 46, 18 July 1945; Hist. XX BC, Sixth Phase, pp. 64-81 (quoting many of the pertinent documents).
115. Hist XX BC, Sixth Phase, p. 19.
116. AAF CBI Eval. Bd., Rpt. #1, 15 Sept. 1944, pp. 28-29.
117. USSBS, The Effects of Strategic Bombing on Japan's War Economy, Dec. 1946, p. 37; XX BC Cumulative Sum. of Opns. Ending 31 Mar. 1945.
118. USSBS, Effects of Strat. Bombing on Japan's War Economy, pp. 45-46. 776I
119. USSBS, The Japanese Aircraft Industry, May 1947, p. 114.
120. USSBS, Air Opns. in China, Burma, India, World War II, Mar. 1947, p.89.
121. Ibid.; Collected Wartime Messages of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, 1937-413 (New York, 1946), II, 788; Hist. XX BC, Sixth Phase, pp. 15-17; memo from Milton D. Graham for Dr. Raymond V. Bowers, 28 Nov. 1951; Chennault, Way of a Fighter, pp. 276-78.
122. USSBS, Effects of Strat. Bombing on Japanese Morale, June 1947, pp. 33, 121-23; Replies to Questions Submitted to Japanese Historical Group by Lt. Roger Pineau, USNR, 11 Oct. 1949; CM-OUT 52768 (18 June 44), Bissell to Wolfe.
123. USSBS, Japanese Air Power, July 1946, pp. 21, 46-47, 54-55.
124. Hist. XX BC, Sixth Phase, pp. 11-15.
125. For excellent descriptions of staff work and the development of tactics, see Hist. XX BC, Fifth Phase, Pt. II, Apps. I-VII.
128. Ibid., p. 8; Chennault, Way of a Fighter, pp. 277-79, 284-44, 307.
129. USSBS, Air Opns. in CBI, pp. 88-89.