Volume V Logo

Volume Five

JUNE 1944 TO AUGUST 1945


The Army Air Forces

in World War II:

Prepared Under the Editorship of
Wesley Frank Craven Princeton University
James Lea Cate University of Chicago

AAF Logo


to the New

IN March 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to the Director of the Bureauof the Budget ordering each war agency to prepare "an accurate and objective account"of that agency's war experience. Soon after, the Army Air Forces began hiringprofessional historians so that its history could, in the words of Brigadier GeneralLaurence Kuter, "be recorded while it is hot and that personnel be selected and anagency set up for a clear historian's job without axe to grind or defense to prepare." An Historical Division was established in Headquarters Army Air Forces under AirIntelligence, in September 1942, and the modern Air Force historical program began.

With the end of the war, Headquarters approved a plan for writing and publishing a seven-volume history. In December 1945, Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker, Deputy Commander of Army Air Forces, asked the Chancellor of the University of Chicago to "assume the responsibility for the publication" of the history, stressing that it must "meet the highest academic standards. Lieutenant Colonel Wesley Frank Craven of New York University and Major James Lea Cate of the University of Chicago, both of whom had been assigned to the historical program, were selected to be editors of the volumes. Between 1948 and 1958 seven were published. With publication of the last, the editors wrote that the Air Force had "fulfilled in letter and spirit the promise of access to documents and complete freedom of historical interpretation. Like all history, The Army Air Forces in World War II reflects the era when it was conceived, researched, and written. The strategic bombing campaigns received the primary emphasis, not only because of a widely-shared belief in bombardment's contribution


to victory, but also because of its importance in establishing the United States Air Force as a military service independent of the Army. The huge investment of men and machines and the effectiveness of the combined Anglo-American bomber offensive against Germany had not been subjected to the critical scrutiny they have since received. Nor, given the personalities involved and the immediacy of the events, did the authors question some of the command arrangements. In the tactical area, to give another example, the authors did not doubt the effect of aerial interdiction on both the German withdrawal from Sicily and the allied landings at Anzio.

Editors Craven and Cate insisted that the volumes present the war through the eyes of the major commanders, and be based on information available to them as important decisions were made. At the time, secrecy still shrouded the Allied code-breaking effort. While the link between decoded message traffic and combat action occasionally emerges from these pages, the authors lacked the knowledge to portray adequately the intelligence aspects of many operations, such as the interdiction in 1943 of Axis supply lines to Tunisia and the systematic bombardment, beginning in 1944, of the German oil industry.

All historical works a generation old suffer such limitations. New information and altered perspective inevitably change the emphasis of an historical account. Some accounts in these volumes have been superseded by subsequent research and other portions will be superseded in the future. However, these books met the highest of contemporary professional standards of quality and comprehensiveness. They contain information and experience that are of great value to the Air Force today and to the public.

Together they are the only comprehensive discussion of Army Air Forces activity in the largest air war this nation has ever waged. Until we summon the resources to take a fresh, comprehensive look at the Army Air Forces' experience in World War II, these seven volumes will continue to serve us as well for the next quarter century as they have for the last.

Chief, Office of Air Force History



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WITH the publication of this fifth volume of The Army Air Forces in World War II thenarrative of AAF combat operations is completed. The plan of the series will be familiarto those readers who have followed the story in earlier volumes; for others it may behelpful to place the present study in the context of the whole series. Volume I carried thestory of the AAF, both at home and abroad, through the first critical months of the war tothe latter part of 1942, when it could be said that the Allied forces had seized theinitiative in accordance with agreed-upon strategy. That strategy rested upon the assumption that there were in fact two wars, at leastto the extent of permitting the war against the European Axis to be assigned a priorityover that with Japan, and this assumption has been taken by the editors as warrantenough for a separate treatment of AAF operations in Europe and against Japan afterthe summer of 1942. In Volumes II and III the narrative of combat operations against theEuropean Axis was carried forward from the beginning of Eighth Air Force bombingoperations in August 1942 to the final collapse of Germany. In Volumes I and IV thefortunes of the AAF in the Pacific and CBI were followed from the initial attack on PearlHarbor to the summer of 1944. Taking up the story at that point, the present studyprovides a narrative of combat operations against Japan to the final victory in August1945. The two remaining volumes in the series will be devoted to the home front and toservices, like that of the Air Transport Command, which do not readily fit into adiscussion bound by theater limits.

At the close of Volume IV, MacArthur's forces had advanced along the northern coast of New Guinea to Singapore and Admiral Nimitz' central Pacific forces had recently seized the Marianas, where engineers promptly undertook the development of airfields for use by the B-29's. A large part of the present volume, as would be expected, is devoted to the strategic air offensive against Japan, an


offensive opened by XX Bomber Command from Chinese bases on 15 June 1944 and continued with mounting fury after November by XXI Bomber Command from bases in the Marianas. But that offensive, like the Combined Bomber Offensive against Germany, was considered officially as no more than an adjunct to other plans for the defeat of Japan, and it may be well to consider first the development of those other plans.

At the time of the launching of the B-29 offensive no final plan for the defeat of Japan had taken shape. Proponents of a strategy that would advance MacArthur's forces (mainly Army) northward from New Guinea by way of the Philippines toward Japan continued to press vigorously for a decision that would concentrate U.S. resources upon this line of attack; no less vigorous were the advocates of a strategy that would concentrate on a drive, under the leadership of Admiral Nimitz, for the establishment of air and sea bases on the China coast as a preliminary to the final assault on the home islands. By the summer of 1944 the debate was an old one and had been resolved only to the extent of an agreement by the Joint Chiefs that for the time being there was some advantage in keeping Japanese forces under the pressure of a double attack. In a directive of 12 March 1944 MacArthur had been instructed to continue with operations necessary to support of an invasion by Nimitz of the Palaus on 15 September and to land with his own forces on Mindanao in the southern Philippines on 15 November. Depending upon subsequent decisions, Nimitz would occupy Formosa on 15 February 1945 or MacArthur would land on Luzon in a move preliminary to a delayed attack on Formosa. The Joint Chiefs again postponed a final decision when on 8 September 1944 they approved plans for the seizure of Leyte in the following December.

Meantime, plans had been laid by MacArthur for the capture of Morotai in the Moluccas as a stepping stone on the way to Mindanao and Leyte, the timing of the operation to coincide with Nimitz' invasion of the Palaus in order that a double advantage might be taken of available naval cover. Kenney's Far East Air Forces, which since 15 June had combined the Fifth and Thirteenth Air Forces, reciprocated by collaborating with the Seventh Air Force, which until the summer of 1945 would continue to operate as a subordinate unit of Nimitz' central Pacific command, in pre-invasion bombardment preparatory to both landing operations. The landings were accomplished


on schedule at Morotai and Peleliu, and engineers followed hard upon the assault forces to make ready the airfields which gave to the islands their strategic significance.

Such a sequence long since had become a familiar feature of island-hopping operations in the Pacific, but the engineers on this occasion approached their tasks with an unusual sense of urgency. Admiral Halsey, commanding the U.S. Third Fleet in pre-invasion strikes, had picked up intelligence indicating that Leyte contained no Japanese forces. Moreover, the reaction to his attacks argued a general weakness of the enemy throughout the Philippines. On Halsey's initiative, therefore, it had been decided to cancel a projected occupation by Nimitz of Yap and to jump MacArthur's front forward in one leap from Morotai to Leyte, with a target date of 20 October. The decision was one of the major gambles of the war. Even with the most rapid development of air facilities on Morotai, Leyte would remain beyond the range of effective cover by Kenney's air forces, still based on New Guinea. The plan of the Leyte operation thus violated one of the cardinal principles of SWPA strategy: to keep each forward move within the reach of land-based air forces. But Halsey's estimate of the enemy's weakness in the Philippines was not out of line with SWPA assumptions that the Japanese air forces were in a state of near-collapse, and powerful units of the Navy's carrier forces promised protection during the interval before Kenney could get his air garrisons forward. The gamble seemed to be one worth taking.

And so it was, as events proved. Yet, the risk was also proved to have been greater even than that anticipated. The report that there were no Japanese forces on Leyte was wrong; actually the veteran 16th Division was stationed there. Other intelligence regarding Leyte, intelligence affecting plans for airfield development and the build-up of an air garrison, turned out to be misleading. The enemy, correctly anticipating the general plan of U.S. leaders, was engaged in strengthening his position throughout the Philippines. It was true enough that Japanese air strength was on the point of collapse, as the desperate tactics of kamikaze attacks soon made abundantly clear, but remaining resources could be and were concentrated on the Philippines to an extent that dangerously belied Allied estimates of the situation. A plan to concentrate Japanese naval forces for all-out resistance to an Allied invasion of the Philippines rested upon the hope that U.S. carriers might be decoyed away from the beachhead to permit its


destruction by the main force. And the American naval forces which carried the responsibility for protecting the beachhead also carried orders, thoroughly consistent with naval doctrine, that an "opportunity for destruction of major portions of the enemy fleet" would become "the primary task."

The landings on Leyte were easily made. A now extended experience with pre-invasion bombardment by Allied naval and air forces had persuaded the enemy to adopt the tactic of withdrawing from the beaches for concentration in the interior, and Allied air operations for isolation of the battle area had been effective enough to limit interference by enemy air to sporadic though vicious attacks. During the weeks preceding the invasion, FEAF planes ranged widely over the area south of Leyte and, beginning ten days in advance of the landing, Halsey's Task Force 38 once more gave an impressive demonstration of the carrier's power in destructive sweeps of the Ryukyus, Formosa, and Luzon. Despite the sweeps of Task Force 38, assisted by 302 B-29 sorties against a few selected air installations on Formosa, the enemy was able to begin moving air reinforcements into Formosa and Luzon almost as the carriers withdrew. And when the naval engagements with the Japanese fleet on 24 and 25 October drew off the protecting forces at Leyte, enemy air units were in position to punish the beachhead severely on the afternoon of the 24th and to follow through the next morning with no less than sixteen attacks upon the airfield seized by U.S. assault troops on the day of their first landing. The courage and daring of U.S. fleet units, coupled with blunders by the enemy, saved the beachhead from the intended assault by the main body of the Japanese fleet, but escort carriers in Leyte waters had spent themselves in desperate fleet actions, and Halsey's fast carriers, which had been decoyed far to the north, now had to be withdrawn for replenishment. The last of the fast carrier groups departed on the 29th, almost a week before FEAF planes were scheduled to take over responsibility for air defense of the beachhead.

Kenney reacted promptly to emergency demands for help. Though recently captured Morotai, nearest of his bases, as yet possessed facilities hardly equal to the requirements of a single bombardment squadron, he crowded substantial reinforcements onto the island. Attempts to attack enemy fleet units completely miscarried, but on Leyte ground crews which had been sent ahead of their planes labored night and day (and under repeated air attacks) with the engineers to lay the


steel matting that permitted a force of thirty-four P-38's to move in as the initial air garrison on 27 October. The Navy having indicated its inability to fulfill its original mission of air defense, the job was promptly given to Kenney. Anxious days remained. Jammed together on a single strip with no provision for dispersal yet possible, the P-38's constituted an inviting target for enemy attack. Between 27 October and 31 December the enemy sent more than a thousand sorties against Leyte. The American defense force, which by December included Marine air units, proved itself superior to the enemy, and losses in combat were relatively small. But most planes continued to be based on Tacloban, the original field, where damaged aircraft were pushed into the sea to make room for reinforcements. All Philippine targets had been cleared for FEAF attack on 27 October, with instructions to the Navy to coordinate with FEAF before attacking. With both heavy bombardment groups of the Thirteenth Air Force brought forward to Morotai by mid-November, FEAF attacks on Philippine airfields began to count. Halsey's carriers were back by 5 November for heavy blows, and from its base in the Palaus the Seventh Air Force's 494th Group added weight to the attack. But the enemy had developed new skills in dispersal, and only with mid-November could it be said that U.S. forces asserted a telling superiority in the air. Meanwhile, the enemy had reinforced his ground troops on Leyte by 22,000 men within the first two weeks after the U.S. landing, and other thousands would follow, though at times without getting their equipment ashore. The evidence indicates that some 19,000 enemy troops were on Leyte at the time of our landing. At the close of land operations on Leyte in May 1945, totals showed some 56,000 enemy troops killed or captured.

The entire Leyte operation is extremely complex and at many points debatable. For so long as men study military history, the operation will retain a special fascination of its own. The editors of this volume have gone into some detail here, not so much because of a desire to enter into a debate as because of the belief that the experience at Leyte, in reverse so to speak, lends a special emphasis to the principles on which air operations had been successfully coordinated with the advance of ground and naval forces in the southwest Pacific. Those principles were grounded upon the assumption that air forces must first be in a position to assert and maintain superiority in the area of battle. It had been repeatedly recognized, as at Hollandia in


New Guinea, that carrier-based air power could extend the reach of amphibious operations and safely so, provided land-based air power was in a position to take over promptly the primary responsibility. The advantage belonging to land-based air power obviously was its staying power: the capacity to stay there and fight it out for whatever term might be necessary to maintain air superiority and to do this without reference to any other competing obligation.

Fortunately, the U.S. command, given time, had more than enough resources to make good the gamble at Leyte. Fortunately, too, leaders showed a continued willingness to gamble on the declining power of the enemy by adhering to a stepped-up timetable of operations. The Joint Chiefs in October finally had resolved the question of an intermediate strategic objective by agreeing that MacArthur should advance by way of Mindoro to Luzon on 20 December and stand ready to support Nimitz in a later occupation of Okinawa, which at Nimitz' suggestion had been chosen in lieu of Formosa. Mindoro, which was to serve as an advanced air base for cover of the landings at Luzon, was scheduled for 5 December. Disappointing delays in the development of airfields on Leyte threatened the plan, for without a greatly increased capacity there Kenney would be unable to cover Luzon for the Mindoro operation. Happily, a rescheduling of Mindoro for 15 December and postponement of Luzon to 9 January 1945 made it possible for Halsey's carriers to cover Luzon while FEAF concentrated on the southern Philippines and protected the convoy en route to Mindoro. The convoys had a rough time of it, even though Kenney had stripped Leyte of air defense to provide a cover; but the schedule was kept and, with the protection of Mindoro-based planes and the assistance once more of the carriers, MacArthur reached the Lingayen beaches on time.

In the rapid development of the Philippine campaign, during which U.S. forces not only overran Luzon but in a series of brilliantly executed operations retook the whole of the Philippine archipelago by the summer of 1945, AAF forces demonstrated an extraordinary versatility both in the fulfillment of primary responsibilities and in the support of other services. As expanding facilities on Morotai and Mindoro and the capture of airfields in the Philippines made possible the forward staging of FEAF strength, Kenney's "boys" gave repeated demonstration of the full meaning of air supremacy. If the relative ease with which they asserted and maintained that supremacy


bespoke the advantage gained from an earlier victory over the enemy air forces in the battles of New Guinea and the Solomons, the fact takes nothing from the evidence of skills which had been well developed. Only in the direct support of ground troops in a land campaign of the magnitude developed on Luzon did AAF crews face a task for which they had limited experience, and even here their support more than met the test of battle.

In the Philippines, as earlier in New Guinea, AAF planes struck ahead of land and amphibious forces to clear the way, protected convoys and other troop movements, delivered by air emergency supplies and paratroopers, kept enemy air beaten down on fields far and near, joined with naval forces to deny the enemy opportunity to reinforce his positions, maintained daily patterns of search covering thousands of miles for the intelligence of all services, and withal kept the flexibility necessary to meet emergency demands. In addition to commitments to the fighting in the Philippines, FEAF shared in the increasingly successful effort by U.S. submarines to cut the sea communications joining Japan to the southern parts of its Empire, found the reserve strength to assist the Australians in the reconquest of Borneo, and assumed responsibility for the neutralization of Formosa, a key enemy base that acquired special significance with the U.S. landing on Okinawa in April 1945. When kamikaze attacks seriously endangered U.S. naval forces supporting the Okinawa operation, some disagreement developed between naval and air leaders as to the source of these attacks. Having reason to believe that its pre-invasion bombardment of Formosa had reduced enemy air there to a state of impotency, FEAF argued that the attacks came from Kyushu, as postwar evidence indicates most of them did; the Navy suspected that most of them came from Formosa, as indeed perhaps 20 per cent of the attacks did. Though loath to waste any effort needed elsewhere, FEAF repeatedly stepped up its continuing operations against Formosa air installations in response to urgent appeals from the Navy. It was difficult, however, to cope with a well conceived program of dispersal that was implemented on a much larger scale and with far more determination than was at any time suspected by FEAF intelligence. And even had the intelligence been more accurate, it is doubtful that any of the conventional forms of air attack could have accomplished more than some reduction of the enemy effort. In retrospect, perhaps the kamikaze form of attack will serve chiefly to


remind us that air supremacy can never be conceived of as an absolute.

When the war ended, AAF units flying from the hard-won bases of Okinawa had already brought Kyushu, southernmost of the enemy's home islands, under an attack preparatory to a scheduled amphibious landing in the following November. Earlier assumptions that the establishment of some lodgment on the Chinese mainland would be a necessary preliminary to the final assault on Japan had been abandoned. Difficulties arising from the question of command, which in the Pacific often had complicated the problem of agreement on strategy, had been resolved by a decision that MacArthur would command all Army, and Nimitz all naval, forces, with dependence upon the principle of cooperation in joint actions. FEAF, enlarged by the addition of the Seventh Air Force redeployed to Okinawa, continued to serve as MacArthur's air command. A new air command, the United States Army Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific (USASTAF),would control the Twentieth Air Force and the Eighth Air Force when redeployed from ETO to Okinawa.

The decision to mount the invasion of Japan from island bases without benefit of a lodgment on the east China coast meant that the war would end, as it had been waged throughout, with no real connection between the Pacific theaters and China-Burma-India. In the latter theater problems of strategy and command had been even more difficult of solution than in the Pacific, being rooted in the divergent interests of the three Allied nations and made bitter by the personal animosities of some leaders. China-Burma-India, lying at the extreme end of the supply line from America, was accorded a very low priority, and geographical factors within the theater made it difficult to use the bulk of the resources in combat: most of the tonnage available was spent merely in getting munitions to the various fronts. There were few U.S. ground forces in CBI, most of the troops being air or service forces whose mission was to see that a line of communication was preserved whereby China could be kept in the war.

The Tenth Air Force, having earlier protected the southern end of the Assam-Kunming air route that was long the only connection between China and U.S. supply bases in India, was committed in mid-1944 to a campaign in northern Burma whose dual objective was to open a trace for the Ledo Road into China and to secure bases for a


more economical air route over the Hump. By that time Allied air forces, combined in the Eastern Air Command, had control of the skies over Burma; they helped isolate the strategic town of Myitkyina, supplied by airlift the ground forces conducting the siege, and rendered close support in the protracted battle that dragged on from May to August. After the fall of Myitkyina, the Tenth Air Force participated in the drive southward to Rangoon, a campaign that would seem to have borne little relation to the primary American mission. In both air support and air supply the Tenth showed skill and flexibility, but these operations absorbed resources that might have accomplished more significant results in China. After the Burma campaign EAC was dissolved in belated recognition of differing interests of the Americans and British, and at the end of the war the Tenth was moving into China to unite with the Fourteenth Air Force.

That force, ably commanded by Maj. Gen. Claire E.Chennault, had developed tactics so effective that its planes had been able to support Chinese ground forces and strike at shipping through advanced bases in east China while giving protection to the northern end of the Hump route. Chennault believed that if his force and the airlift upon which it depended could be built up, air power could play a decisive role in ejecting the Japanese from China. The promised build-up came too slowly. In the spring of 194the Japanese started a series of drives which gave them a land line of communication from north China to French Indo-China, a real need in view of the insecurity of their sea routes, and the drives in time isolated, then overran, the eastern airfields which had been the key to much of Chennault's success. In the emergency, a larger share of Hump tonnage was allocated to the Fourteenth and totals delivered at Kunming by ATC grew each month, dwarfing the tiny trickle of supplies that came over the Ledo Road. Chennault received too some additional combat units, but the time lag between allocation of resources and availability at the front was fatal. Different views of strategy and personal disagreements between Chennault and Chiang Kai-shek on the one side and Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, the theater commander, on the other resulted in the relief of Stilwell and the division of CBI into two theaters, India-Burma and China, with Lt. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer commanding the latter. Heroic efforts by air, including mass movements of Chinese ground forces by plane, prevented the Japanese from overrunning all


China. In the last months of the war the combined Fourteenth and Tenth Air Forces were preparing for a final offensive, but the surrender came before this could be developed.

The command system in CBI and logistical problems as well were made more complicated by the deployment in that theater of XX Bomber Command, an organization equipped with B-29 bombers and dedicated to a doctrine of strategic bombardment. The plane, an untried weapon rated as a very heavy bomber, had been developed during the expansion of the Air Corps that began in 1939, and its combat readiness in the spring of 1944 had been made possible only by the Air Staff's willingness to gamble on short-cuts in testing and procurement. The bomber command, which resembled in many respects an air force rather than a command, had also been put together in a hurry, and the mission in CBI was conceived both as a shakedown for plane and organization and as an attack on Japanese industry. Early plans had contemplated using the B-29 against Germany, but by the summer of 1943 thoughts had turned to its employment against Japan. The prospect that some time would elapse before appropriate bases in the Pacific could be seized plus the desire to bolster the flagging Chinese resistance to Japan, a need in which President Roosevelt had an active interest, led to a decision to base the first B-29 units in CBI. The plan looked forward also to VHB operations from the Marianas, where U.S. Marines landed on the same day that XX Bomber Command flew its first mission against Japan.

To insure flexible employment of a plane whose range might carry it beyond existing theater limits, the JCS established the Twentieth Air Force under their own control with Arnold as "executive agent." Theater commanders in whose areas B-29 units operated would be charged with logistical and administrative responsibilities, but operational control would remain in the Washington headquarters. This system of divided responsibilities found its severest test in CBI where the command system was already confused and where the dependence on air transport led to fierce competition for all supplies laid down in China.

Operational plans (MATTERHORN) for XX Bomber Command involved the use of permanent bases at Kharagpur near Calcutta and of staging fields near Chengtu in China, within B-29 radius of Kyushu and Manchuria but not of Honshu. Supplies for the missions were to be carried forward to Chengtu by the B-29's and by transport planes


assigned to the command. Delays in the overseas movement of the B-29's and in airfield construction held up combat operations, the first regular mission being sent against Yawata on 15 June.

The earliest target directives gave precedence to the steel industry, to be attacked through bombing coke ovens. This target system was basic to the whole Japanese war effort and it had the tactical advantage of lying within range of the Chengtu bases. Little damage was done in Japan proper, but a few missions against Manchurian objectives were more effective than was then realized, From the beginning, operations were strictly limited by the difficulty of hauling supplies, especially fuel and bombs, to the forward bases. It was impossible for XX Bomber Command to support a sustained bombardment program by its own transport efforts, and the Japanese offensive in east China which began just before the B-29 missions prohibited any levy on normal theater resources, When the B-29's were assigned a secondary mission of indirect support of Pacific operations, logistical aid was furnished in the form of additional transport planes which were first operated by the command, then turned over to ATC in return for a flat guarantee of tonnage hauled to China.

Because support of Pacific operations was designed to prevent the enemy from reinforcing his air garrison during the invasion of the Philippines, XX Bomber Command shifted its attention to aircraft factories, repair shops, and staging bases in Formosa, and factories in Kyushu and Manchuria. This shift from steel, considered a long-term objective, to aircraft installations reflected recent decisions to speed up the war against Japan. Attacks against the newly designated targets, begun in October, were moderately successful, but a new Japanese drive lent urgency to the need for additional logistical support for ground and tactical air forces in China; consequently, at the request of General Wedemeyer, the command abandoned its Chengtu bases in mid-January 1945. Earlier, the B-29's had run a number of training missions in southeast Asia and one strike, from a staging field that had been built in Ceylon, against the great oil refinery at Palembang in Sumatra; now the giant bombers continued with attacks against Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, and Malaya. Strategic targets, as defined by the Twentieth Air Force, were lacking, and though some important damage was done to the docks at Singapore, operations had taken on an air of anticlimax long before the last mission was staged on 30 March. At


that time the command was in the midst of the last and most sweeping of a series of reorganizations: the 58th Bombardment Wing (VH), its only combat unit, was sent to Tinian where it became part of XXI Bomber Command, while the headquarters organization went to Okinawa to be absorbed by the Eighth Air Force.

Measured by its effects on the enemy's ability to wage war, the MATTERHORN venture was not a success. For want of a better base area it had been committed to a theater where it faced a fantastically difficult supply problem. Something of the difficulty had been realized in advance, but the AAF's fondness for the concept of a self-sufficient air task force had perhaps lent more optimism to the plan than it deserved. Certainly the desire to improve Chinese morale was a powerful argument, and here there may have been some success, though it would be difficult to prove. Powerful also was the desire of AAF Headquarters to use the B-29 for its intended purpose, very long-range attacks against the Japanese home islands, and in justice to that view it must be noted that the planners from the beginning expected to move the force to island bases when they were available, just as was done. As an experiment with a new and complex weapon, MATTERHORN served its purpose well: the plane was proved, not without many a trouble, under severest field conditions; tactics were modified and the organization of tactical units streamlined. The lessons learned were of great value to XXI Bomber Command, but the necessary shakedown might have been accomplished at less expense elsewhere, perhaps in the southwest Pacific. At any rate, the editors find no difficulty in agreeing with USSBS that logistical support afforded to XX Bomber Command in China would have produced more immediate results if allocated to the Fourteenth Air Force, though it seems dubious that the alternate policy would have made for an earlier victory over Japan.

In his remarkable fictional account of a future American-Japanese war, published in 1925,* Hector Bywater referred to a news dispatch describing American preparations to recover Guam by a sudden attack in overwhelming strength, this being but the first move in a great offensive campaign which was to be carried on with the utmost vigour until the Philippines were again in American hands, Further, it was hinted that the war would then be carried to the coasts of Japan proper, and allusions were made to the gigantic fleet of aircraft

* Hector Bywater, The Great Pacific War: a History of the American Japanese Campaign of 1931-1933 (2d ed.; Boston, 1932), p. 244.


which was building for the express purpose of laying waste to Tokyo and other great Japanese cities when the Americans had secured a base within striking distance.

Written two decades in advance, this proved to be an uncannily shrewd forecast of plans for the real war as they developed from the spring of 1944. First Saipan, then Tinian and Guam, were seized by Nimitz' forces for the primary purpose of serving as bases for VLR bombers, and while the Philippines were being secured, airfields were built in the Marianas and the bombardment of Japan was begun. Base development in the Marianas was delayed by the prolonged resistance of the Japanese garrisons, by competition for priorities with the Navy, and by fluctuations in deployment plans. However, minimum facilities were available to accommodate the 73d Bombardment Wing (VH) when its B-29's began to arrive at Isley Field on Saipan in October, and to receive each of the succeeding wings -- the 313th (Tinian), 314th (Guam), 58th (Tinian), and 315th (Guam). The schedule was met only by the unprecedented device of basing each wing on a single field, all served by a depot field at Guam, which was also the site of the several headquarters connected with the B-29 project -- XXI Bomber Command, AAFPOA, and after July 1945 the Twentieth Air Force and USASTAF.

Much of the credit for securing adequate priorities for B-29 building programs that frequently ran counter to Navy demands in a Navy theater is due Lt. Gen. Millard F. Harmon, who became commander of AAFPOA upon its activation on 1 August 1944. That headquarters was established primarily to centralize, under Nimitz, logistical and administrative responsibility for all AAF forces in the central Pacific. The maintenance and repair system for B-29's in the Marianas developed great efficiency, while supply problems never affected operations as seriously as they had in the CBI: the one major crisis was caused by a threatened shortage of incendiary bombs that actually failed to materialize. Harmon, as commander of Task Force 93, had operational control of all land-based planes in the theater, Navy and Marine as well as Seventh Air Force units reinforced by VLR fighter groups. As deputy commander of the Twentieth Air Force he was responsible for coordinating B-29 operations with other theater activities, and he himself was inclined to interpret that duty to mean virtual control of all B-29 operations. This interpretation Arnold's office refused to accept, maintaining its direct control over the commanding


general of XXI Bomber Command, to whom was accorded a considerable latitude in the fulfillment of directives. In July 1945, as a part of the general reorganization of U.S. forces in preparation for the invasion of Japan, a new headquarters, United States Army Strategic Air Forces, was established at Guam under Gen. Carl Spaatz, its constituent air forces being the Twentieth (formerly XXI Bomber Command) and the Eighth, now converting to a VHB organization in the Ryukyus.The B-29 assault began on 24 November 1944 with a strike against Nakajima's Musashino aircraft plant at Tokyo, a target chosen according to current directives which gave precedence to aircraft engine and assembly plants in that order. For the next three and a half months most of the missions were directed against such targets, with Musashino and the even more important Mitsubishi complex at Nagoya bearing the brunt of the attacks. High-level precision tactics were used, but with cloudy weather generally prevailing bombing accuracy was not up to expectations; damage was in most cases negligible to moderate, but the threat of more effective attacks forced the Japanese into a badly planned dispersal program which materially reduced the output of engines and planes. Although in this period, as throughout the rest of the war, weather constituted the most serious obstacle to successful operations, some of the difficulties were those commonly associated with the breaking-in of a new air force under arduous combat conditions; it was a tribute to the leadership of first Brig. Gen. Haywood S. Hansell, Jr., then Maj, Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, that the period of adjustment was so brief.

Losses were relatively heavy, both those inflicted by recently reinforced defenses in Japan and the operational losses incident to the long over-water flight to Japan and return. The Japanese were also able to destroy some B-29's on the ground at Saipan by staging down through Iwo Jima in small raids that were annoying if not actually dangerous to the strategic campaign. Iwo Jima and its neighboring islands of the Nampo Shoto had been under attack since August by AAFPOA B-24's as a part of a general program of interdiction, but neither these attacks nor those occasionally delivered by B-29's and surface ships were sufficient to keep the air strips out of use. Iwo Jima, directly along the route to Honshu, was also a menace to B-29's in their missions northward, but in American hands the island could be developed into an emergency landing place, an advanced staging area,


a base for VLR escort fighters, and an air-sea rescue station. These were the motives that led to the seizure of Iwo in a bitter struggle that began on 19 February and was finished only on 26 March. Preliminary bombardment by aircraft and surface ships failed to knock out the island's underground strong points, and the skillful and fanatical resistance of the enemy took heavy toll of the Marine invaders. The unexpectedly long struggle delayed the development of airfields, though one Japanese strip was rapidly overrun and rehabilitated for use of AAFPOA's fighters, which flew in to lend ground support to the Marines. Base development, still unfinished at the end of the war, turned the island into a complex of fighter and bomber strips. The fighters were used as escorts less frequently than had been expected, since waning enemy strength and a turn to night missions cut B-29 losses, but the fighters helped police the other Bonin Islands and made offensive sweeps over Japan. The use of Iwo as a staging base was less frequent than had been anticipated, also. As an emergency landing field, however, the island fully lived up to expectations; about 2,400 B-29's made unscheduled landings there and the crews saved thereby, and in the improved air-sea rescue service made possible by possession of Iwo, perhaps balanced the number of casualties suffered during its capture.

On 9 March XXI Bomber Command began a series of incendiary attacks against urban areas that profoundly changed the nature of the strategic bombardment campaign. In spite of a general bias in favor of precision techniques, Twentieth Air Force headquarters had from the first been interested in the possibilities of incendiary attacks against the crowded and inflammable cities of Japan, and a few staff members in Washington and in the field believed that such raids, conducted at night, would be far more destructive than conventional precision tactics. Early test raids were inconclusive (though a daylight incendiary raid on Hankow in China by Chengtu-based B-29's was highly successful), but under directives from Washington other attempts were made early in 1945 which afforded more positive evidence. The tactics finally adopted by LeMay involved low-level night attacks with a heavy concentration of incendiaries of mixed types. The low approach and the partial stripping of defensive armament allowed a great increase in bomb load, but those measures were considered by some as adding gravely to the danger from Japanese defenses. Fortunately the new tactics did not result in heavy losses, and


offensively they proved extraordinarily successful. The first attack, against Tokyo, burned out 15.8 square miles of the city, killed 83,793 people, and injured 40,918, being perhaps the most scathing air attack of the whole war. In rapid succession Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, and again Nagoya were hit in a ten-day fire blitz that destroyed over thirty-one square miles while the command was perfecting its new tactics.The invasion of Okinawa on 1 April and the enemy's wholesale use thereafter of kamikaze attacks against the assaulting fleet interrupted the strategic bombardment campaign; for over a month the B-29's were sent against airfields in Kyushu, the source of most of the kamikaze attacks, in the only serious diversion to tactical operations suffered by XXI Bomber Command. That assignment completed, the Superforts returned to their primary task with a flexible program, the so-called "Empire Plan," in which the choice between daylight attacks on precision targets and radar or night bombing of urban areas was determined by the weather. In May and June, the six largest industrial cities were finished off as profitable targets and the attack then turned to medium-sized towns, of which fifty-eight were bombed with incendiaries. In all, counting the 2 hit by atom bombs, 66 cities suffered area attacks which burned out a total of 178 square miles. In the meantime, precision attacks against individual targets were scheduled for clear days. Targets were largely those which seemed to bear an immediate rather than a long-term effect on Japan's ability to resist: aircraft factories, oil refineries, arsenals, light metals works, and other industrial plants. In an effort to increase bomb loads and accuracy, the B-29's now went in at altitudes much lower than in the earlier daylight missions and this change in tactics paid off without any great increase in losses. In fact, during the last weeks of the war B-29 losses fell to a negligible rate. Air battles during the earlier campaigns had killed off the best of the Japanese pilots and replacements from an inadequate training program were no match for U.S. crews. Aircraft production had been seriously hurt by the B-29 attacks and although the Japanese still had thousands of planes, they tended to hoard these and their dwindling fuel stocks to use in kamikaze attacks against the anticipated invasion, so that they seldom rose in force to challenge the VHB formations. It was LeMay's belief that by driving his crews -- relatively less plentiful than bombers and less easily replaced -- he could force a surrender before the invasion was launched, and to that end he built up to a furious pace of operations


that in time would have exhausted his flyers, but again his calculated risk paid off.

The B-29's participated in two types of operations that demanded specialized training and tactics. One was a campaign against oil refineries by the 315th Wing, equipped with an improved radar (AN/APQ-7) mounted in stripped-down B-29's. Bombing wholly at night, the wing achieved a remarkable degree of accuracy, destroying or heavily damaging Japan's ten largest petroleum or synthetic oil plants and much of the nation's storage capacity. These attacks began late in the war, on 26 June, and although successful in wiping out most of the enemy's refining potential, they were not particularly important as the blockade had long since created an excess of plant capacity. To that blockade the B-29's had contributed generously in a program of aerial mining begun late in March by the 313th Wing, which expended by V-J Day 12,053 x 2,000- and 1,000-pound mines. As Allied submarines and aircraft had cut off one convoy route after another, the importance of the relatively safe Inland Sea routes was enhanced. The chief target for the 313th Wing was the Shimonoseki Strait, through which 80 per cent of the Japanese merchant marine traffic passed. Other objectives included sealing off the ports in the Tokyo and Nagoya areas (no longer of prime importance), those within the Inland Sea, and the smaller harbors of the west that were in contact with Manchuria and Korea. The campaign had as twin objectives interdiction and attrition. It was impossible wholly to choke off traffic in the target areas, since the Japanese could usually open a passage within a few days after a mission by sweeping and sending through small suicide craft. But their countermeasures could not cope with the varied mine-types and tactics used, and by persistent remining the B-29's reduced materially the traffic in the designated waters. So desperate was the shipping situation that the Japanese were forced to take grave risks, so that after April the B-29's supplanted the submarine as chief killer in the war against merchant shipping, accounting during that time for about half the tonnage put out of action.

The shipping situation had become increasingly serious since 1944 as losses mounted and as the advance of the Allies allowed them to cut one convoy route after another. Through desperate efforts the Japanese had increased their over-all production which reached a peak a little after the middle of that year, but only by drawing on some stockpiled materials and by giving overriding priorities to munitions


in immediate demand. Some Japanese officials and many of the intellectuals had become convinced that the fall of Saipan, with its obvious threat of aerial bombardment of the homeland, spelled eventual defeat; as the B-29 attacks gave reality to the threat, those persons began clandestine efforts to bring about a surrender. The loss of Saipan had brought about the fall of Tojo's militant government and while his successor Koiso attempted to spur the war effort, the peace movement gained quiet momentum during the latter's premiership. When the Allies invaded Okinawa, Koiso was ousted and the Emperor directed Suzuki to form a cabinet which should have the dual function of continuing the war effort while seeking appropriate means of bringing about peace, even if that meant accepting unfavorable terms. Suzuki set up a new organ of government, a small inner war council composed of the Premier, the Foreign, Navy, and War ministers, and the two military chiefs of staff. The first three in that list were for peace, the last three for a continuation of war until some Japanese victory would give a favorable position from which to engineer a negotiated peace. It was the task of the peace party to inform members of the government and of the circle of elder statesmen of Japan's desperate military situation, poorly understood by most, so that various factions among the ruling oligarchy should be convinced of the necessity of an early surrender. There was some thought of trying to negotiate through the Chinese government at Chungking; then, beginning in May, efforts were made to secure the services of the Soviets as mediators. These approaches, sanctioned by the Emperor, made little headway and when the Japanese ambassador became urgent in July, the Kremlin postponed any decision until after the imminent meeting of the Big Three at Potsdam.

Certain individuals in Washington, particularly Acting Secretary of State Joseph C. Grew and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, correctly diagnosed the situation in Japan and thought that that nation might be brought to surrender without an invasion if an increasing show of force could be accompanied by a public statement that the Allied demand for unconditional surrender did not contemplate the destruction of the Emperor or the Japanese nation. Others, impressed with the fanatical resistance of the Japanese at Iwo Jima and Okinawa and aware of the existence in Japan of a large and undefeated army, believed that an invasion in force would be necessary. If these latter leaders failed to appreciate conditions familiar to us all


through postwar disclosures, it must be remembered in their favor that: they were committed to winding up the war as soon as possible and that preparations for so large an invasion demanded an early decision on strategy. And so, in spite of a belief by many, particularly in the AAF and the Navy, that air attack and the blockade would force a surrender, the JCS in June set up an invasion of Kyushu for November and of Honshu or the following March. At Potsdam, this decision was confirmed by the CCS and the Soviets reiterated their earlier promise to enter the war against Japan in August. The clarification of war aims, which had been postponed for military purposes during the Okinawa campaign, was released on 26 July as the Potsdam Declaration, and disclosure by Stalin of Japan's recent peace eff om seemed to augur well for its success. The tightening of the blockade and the increasing tempo of the B-29 attacks, now grown so bold that leaflets were dropped in advance of attacks to warn cities of their impending doom, had in fact given impetus to the peace movement in Tokyo, but a recalcitrant clique of militarists objected to some of the Potsdam terms and in fear of a military coup Suzuki refused to treat on the basis of the declaration. His refusal, made public in a press interview of 28 July, gave no evidence of his continuing endeavors; it became, therefore, the signal for the United States to add a most terrible sanction to those already in force.

In 1939 the United States government had become interested in the possible military use of nuclear fission. In collaboration with some of our Allies, and through the teamwork of scientists, industry, and government, a vast project for the production of fissionable materials had been carried through to success and a bomb had been designed to derive from those materials unprecedented destructive power. The first test bomb had been exploded successfully at Alamogordo in New Mexico on 16 July, and it was the decision of President Truman and Stimson, his chief adviser in the matter, that the bomb should be used if the Japanese refused to accept the surrender terms. Since the previous autumn a specialized B-29 unit, the 509th Composite Group, had been in training to deliver the atom bomb, and the group was now at North Field, Tinian, awaiting the bomb and the required orders.

The orders, a facsimile of which is shown in the present volume,* were issued on 25 July; they authorized an attack, after 3 August, on

* See below, facing p. 696.


one of the following cities which had previously been relatively immune to attack: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, or Nagasaki. On 6 August, in an attack which was a model of tactical performance, the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Exploding at a considerable altitude, the bomb caused tremendous damage by blast and by fires of immediate and secondary origin which, fanned by a heat-induced wind, destroyed 4.7 square miles in the heart of the city; minor damage was done to buildings as far as 15,000 feet from the center of impact though industries in the suburbs escaped without substantial hurt. Casualties were terrific, amounting according to the best estimates to between 70,000 and 80,000 dead and a like number wounded.The most prevalent cause of casualties was burns, with direct or indirect effects of blast coming second and the dreaded effects of radiation third, though many more persons undoubtedly would have suffered from radiation had they not been killed immediately by other causes. The attack brought about a complete breakdown in the civilian defense organization and relief activities were taken over by the Army, whose headquarters at Hiroshima had been one of the reasons for the choice of that city as a target.

The Army's top command tried to play down the importance of the attack and to restrict knowledge of the type of bomb used, though that information had been disclosed in a broadcast by President Truman and confirmed by Japanese scientists. The fact that the United States had so terrific a weapon and was prepared to use it gave added weight to the arguments of the peace party, though in protracted sessions of the inner council and the cabinet the extreme militarists continued to haggle over terms they had previously objected to -- Allied trials for war criminals, the ambiguous position of the Emperor in postwar Japan, and the threat to the existing "national polity." Fear of a revolt of the radical element in the services, which included most of the Army officers and many junior Navy officers, still influenced some officials, and there was also much anxiety lest a surrender be followed by a Communist revolution.

On 9 August, while the debate continued, a B-29 dropped the second atom bomb on Nagasaki. The terrain of the city, divided by the hills and valleys of two converging valleys and a bay, prevented the wide and regular pattern of destruction that occurred at Hiroshima; within the bowl-shaped area hit, however, the surrounding hills tended to intensify the blast. Nagasaki was unusually well equipped with air-raid shelters, tunnels dug into the numerous hills


where a few persons at work were saved from the bomb. The Army's censorship of candid news about Hiroshima prevented full use of those shelters, however, and casualties were again severe -- including perhaps 40,000 dead and missing and 60,000 wounded. There was grim irony in the fact that Nagasaki had been the least preferred of the four target cities: Niigata had been scratched because of the distance involved; Kokura was the primary target on the 9th but was cloud-covered, and the drop at Nagasaki was possible only because of a last-minute break in the clouds just before the B-29 was prepared to turn back with the bomb.

With the threat of further atomic attacks and the news of Russia's declaration of war, Suzuki was able to break the deadlock in his cabinet, though only by securing the direct intervention of the Emperor. The surrender offer dispatched on 10 August was qualified by a clause intended to preserve the Emperor's life and position; momentary hesitation in Washington over the form rather than the substance of a reply delayed its transmittal, and there was more debate in Tokyo before the oblique rejoinder of the Americans was finally accepted by imperial mandate on 14 August. During the week of intensive debate in Tokyo the B-29's and other AAF and Navy planes had only momentarily interrupted their violent attacks on the home islands, but these ended as the Japanese with only sporadic exceptions obeyed the imperial cease-fire orders. The Emperor's broadcast to the nation on 15 August came as a surprise to most of the nation but there was no general protest to the news of the surrender and only a minor amount of difficulty from the Army radicals.

The surrender, coming without an invasion of the home islands, where the Japanese were still possessed of an undefeated and confident army of 2,000,000 and thousands of planes cached away for kamikaze service, made the war unique in American military annals. It is conventional to assign credit, as USSBS has done, to the combined efforts of all arms and services of the United States and its allies and the editors believe that the text of this volume fully substantiates that appraisal. Yet the role of the several services differed importantly from recent experiences in Europe and even more from that of earlier wars. Ground forces, whether Army or Marine, served principally to advance air and naval bases ever nearer the heart of Japan in a series of leapfrog hops. The forward movements, made usually by great armadas, required a decided and continuing air supremacy which the Allies gained as their offensive developed, first a local supremacy, then


as heated air battles depleted the enemy's supply of first-line pilots and crews, an over-all supremacy. By the time U.S. bombers were emplaced within striking distance of the home islands, Japanese air power had been badly defeated; the turn to wholesale kamikaze tactics was a confession of that defeat and while such tactics could inflict annoying losses on an invasion fleet, they left mastery of the air to the Allies. Free to bomb Japanese factories and cities without serious challenge, the B-29's added to industrial shortages caused by the blockade, and with the planned intensification of operations from Okinawa would eventually have destroyed Japan's ability to resist. The blockade, enforced largely by submarines and aircraft, would also have been intensified. Whether air attack or blockade was the more important factor it seems impossible firmly to determine and, in last analysis, is immaterial. It was the combination that broke Japan's will to resist, both within the ruling factions and among the people as a whole, and if postwar studies have suggested that it was the blockade that first undermined Japan's war economy, available evidence seems to indicate that it was the direct air attack that most strongly affected the nation's morale. In any event, chiefly through air and sea power the Allies were able to achieve their political objective without an invasion. It was not the kind of quick decision the air theorists wrote about in the 1920's and 1930's, but once bases had been seized within range of Tokyo, the end came without undue delay. With all his exaggerations, Billy Mitchell had been right in predicting that the future lay with the airplane, the carrier, and the submarine rather than the battleship and the large army. Right, that is, for the Pacific war.

Though each of the authors contributing to this volume is identified in the Table of Contents, it may be helpful to mention here their several wartime assignments. James Lea Cate as a member of the AAF Historical Division devoted his attention to studies of strategic bombardment and served as historical officer of the Twentieth Air Force from the time of its activation to the end of the war. Frank Futrell served as historical officer with the Far East Air Forces, Lee Bowen with Eastern Air Command in India, Woodford A. Heflin with the CBI Air Service Command, Maj. Bernhardt L. Mortensen with V Bomber Command in the Southwest Pacific, and James C. Olson and James Taylor with Army Air Forces, Pacific Ocean Areas, in Hawaii and on Guam.


Once more it is a pleasure to acknowledge the never failing aid rendered to the editors by Col. Wilfred J. Paul, Director of the Research Studies Institute, Air University, and Dr. Albert F. Simpson, Chief of the USAF Historical Division. Among the members of their staffs our chief indebtedness is to Mr. Joseph W. Angell and Lt. Col. Eldon W. Downs; their cooperative spirit has never failed, even in the face of unreasonable demands. Ernest S. Gohn and Robert F. Gleckner, by their careful checking of both manuscript and proof have done much to improve the accuracy and quality of the text. Mrs. Wilhelmine Burch, who was the editors' chief assistant during the preparation of the first four volumes, kindly consented to return to the project to help with the page proofs. Dr. Gohn has, in addition, prepared the index. Mr. Z. F. Shelton has done the maps. To others of the staffs of RSI and the Historical Division our obligation for many courtesies is heavy, especially to Miss Sara Venable, Mrs. Molly Keever, Mrs. Lois Lynn, and Mrs. Margie McCardel who handled the tedious and exacting task of typing the manuscript of the entire volume, and to Miss Marguerite K. Kennedy, Mr. Frank C. Myers, and the other members of the Archives Branch of the Historical Division who made available to the authors and editors the principal documents from which the book was written. Thanks also are due to Lt. Col. Ernest B. Stevenson, Lt. Col. Russell A. Bell, Maj. Thad S. Strange, Capt. George H. Saylor, Mrs. Juliette A. Hennessy, Dr. Edith C. Rodgers, Miss Ruth McKinnon, Mr. David Schoem, and Mrs. Frances Poole. In this volume, as in others in the series, the illustrations were made available through the courtesy of the Photographic Records and Services Division, Headquarters, USAF.

We are also glad to make special acknowledgment of the assistance provided by some of those who bore a heavy responsibility for the operations herein recorded. Gen. George C. Kenney has been kind enough to read that portion of the manuscript which covers air operations in the southwest Pacific and to offer helpful criticism. Lt. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer and Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault have readily submitted to interrogations which helped to clarify the complex problems of CBI. The Hon. Patrick J. Hurley, in addition to answering questions, has generously permitted the use of pertinent evidence from his personal files. Col. Cecil E. Combs, executive in the headquarters of the Twentieth Air Force, not only saw to it that the historical officer enjoyed an unqualified right of access to all files


but repeatedly found the time to talk at length about the peculiar problems of a unique experiment in command. Lt. Gen. Laurence S. Kuter, ever an understanding friend of the historical office, has generously responded to requests for clarification of problems relating to AAF planning, for which he bore a primary responsibility throughout most of the war. In all instances, these officers have given their time generously and with no effort to force their own views upon the historian. The opinions expressed in the following pages are those of the authors.

In bringing to a close the discussions of AAF combat operations, the editors would like to express their special sense of indebtedness to the many historical officers whose contribution to this history has been recorded chiefly in the footnotes. The assignment must often have seemed a thankless task, nothing more than an additional duty of debatable utility, but to those of us who have been charged with straightening out the record of a significant experience in the history of the nation the assignment appears in an altogether different light. We would have liked in every instance to credit the author by name, but experience soon taught us that grave injustice might be done by such a practice, for, as is true of other military documents, the name appended to the document was not always the name of the man who did the work. And so it was decided that citations should be made only by the name of the organization, a decision which also promised to be of assistance to those who may wish to consult the fuller record provided in the archives of the Historical Division, where all of the AAF histories have been filed according to organization. To those of our friends whose responsibility for organizational histories is beyond question but whose work is cited without credit to the author, the editors offer their apologies and this explanation: there seemed to be no fair line that could be drawn between a policy crediting all authors or crediting none.

From the very beginning of the project AAF historians have enjoyed the helpful and cheerful cooperation of the Army's Historical Division. To Dr. Kent Roberts Greenfield and his colleagues again go thanks from us all.


Princeton, New Jersey
November 8, 1952



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  JAMES LEA CATE University of Chicago  


  WOODFORD A. HEFLIN, Air University
LEE BOWEN, USAF Historical Division


  FRANK FUTRELL, USAF Historical Division


  JAMES TAYLOR, Southwest Texas State Teachers College
JAMES LEA CATE, University of Chicago
JAMES C. OLSON, Nebraska State Historical Society
FRANK FUTRELL, USAF Historical Division
WESLEY FRANK CRAVEN, Princeton University



*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *






*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Before the Yawata Mission
Attack on Mingaladon Cantonment Area, Rangoon
The First Ridge on the Hump Route
Loading Gasoline Drums
Runway at Liuchow
Abandoning Hengyang
FEAF Planes Sink Abukuma
But Miss Yamato
FEAF Planes Sink Destroyer
Attack on a Transport


Air Liaison Officer in L-5 Marking Target
P-38 Bombing Ahead of Ground Troops
Attack by Thirteenth Air Force B-24's
Damage to Cracking Plant
AMOY, 6 APRIL 1945
Harmon Field, Guam
Isley Field, Saipan
R-3350 Engines at Guam
Night Work During the March Fire Blitz
Fighter Making a Pass under B-29
Direct Hit on B-29 by Flak


Before Attack
After Attack


United States Air Force
Historical Advisory Committee

(As of May 1, 1983)

Lt. Gen. Charles G. Cleveland,
USAF Commander,
Air University, ATC
Maj. Gen. Robert E. Kelley, USAF
Superintendent, USAF Academy
Mr. DeWitt S. Copp
The National Volunteer Agency
Dr. Joan Kennedy Kinnaird
Trinity College
Dr. Warren W. Hassler, Jr.
Pennsylvania State University
Mr. David E. Place,
The General Counsel, USAF
Dr. Edward L. Homze
University of Nebraska
Gen. Bryce Poe II,
USAF, Retired
Dr. Alfred F. Hurley Brig. Gen., USAF,
Retired North Texas State University
Dr. David A. Shannon (Chairman)
University of Virginia


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