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Other 'routine' bombing missions during Hiroshima mission?

Discussion in 'Atomic Bombs In the Pacific' started by Dave55, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Saw this on Martin O'Malley's wiki entry:

    Martin O'Malley was born on January 18, 1963, in Washington, D.C.,[2] the child of Barbara (née Suelzer) and Thomas Martin O'Malley.[3] Thomas O'Malley served as a bombardier in the U.S. Army Air Force in the Pacific theater during the Second World War, and said he witnessed the mushroom cloud rise over Hiroshima while on a routine mission

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_O%27Malley

    I can't find any information about other raids in the area that day. Anyone have any additional info on them?
     
  2. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    From the USAAF Combat Chronology:


    FEAF Okinawa-based aircraft pound tgt.s on Kyushu. 150-plus P-47's and A-26's fight bad weather to hit the primary, Miyakonojo. 170-plus B-24's, B-25's, and P-47's hit Kagoshima as secondary tat. 60-plus B-25's and P-51's attack shipping and ground T/Os in Tsushima Strait area and in N Ryukyus. P-51's operating in area between Kyushu and Korea bomb A/F and strafe numerous T/Os on Saishu I. P-47's bomb Anjo on Tanega I. Other aircraft, operating individually or in pairs, hit various T/Os on S Korea coast, in Inland Sea, S Honshu, W Shikoku I, throughout the N Ryukyus, and in Shanghai area. B-24's pound resistance pockets on Negros I.

    Fourteenth AF 10 P-51's and P-47's damage 10 locomotives between Tehsien and Suchow and 5 around Anyang, Kaifeng, and Loyang, and lightly damage bridges N of Chihsien and S of Houmachen.

    Twentieth AF The world's first atomic attack takes place. At 0245 Col Paul W Tibbets pilots the B-29 Enola Gay off the runway at North Field, Tinian. At 2-min intervals, 2 observation B-29's follow Maj Charles W Sweeney's Great Artiste and Capt George W Marquardt's No 91. At 0915 (0816 Japan time) the atomic bomb is released over Hiroshima from 31,600 ft. It explodes 50 secs later. More than 80 per cent of the city's buildings are destroyed and over 71,000 people (Japanese figures; US figures say from 70,000 to 80,000) are killed. The Enola Gay lands on Tinian at 1458, followed within the hr by the 2 observation planes.

    VII FC Almost 100 ftrs from Iwo Jima attack A/Fs and military installations at 6 locations throughout general area around Tokyo.
     
  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    That's good info, thanks.

    So the raids within sight of the mushroom cloud were probably the T/O ones on South Honshu.
     
  4. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Makes perfect sense. Long before I knew about these I worked up an RAF atomic mission profile for Berlin....that put a formation of three Lancasters in the Bomber Stream of a normal night's raiding...for a WI on AHF. To best ensure their arrival with a single Bomb over Berlin despite the Germans' excellent nightime air defences.

    A formation of three B-29s operating as the ONLY USAAF aircraft over the Home Islands on that day would have been more than suspicious and set nerves a'jagglin'...

    One thing to find out was if any of those crews, particularly the closest ones, were in any way briefed to expect the events that were to unfold at Hiroshima - in respect of flash and tailwinds.
     
  5. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    True but hardly any of the missions described in Mcoffee's post were near Hiroshima
     
  6. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    The 509th flew several practice missions with the three plane formations dropping "pumpkin" bombs with the hope that it would convince the Japanese that the small formations did not represent a significant threat to justify a strong response.
     
  7. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    I recall in the 348th FG history a P-51 pilot saw the mushroom cloud and was awaken later that night by 'some guys from the government' to ask him what he saw. The group was stationed on ieShima at the time and he was patrolling (I believe South West) of Japan at the time. Those who saw the blast were most likely flying regular scheduled missions far from Hiroshima. Rescue and CAP missions were daily occurrences but I seem to recall the vicinity of the bombing had been designated as a No Fly Zone.
    Opana Pointer would probably be able to fill in the blanks and confirm or discount that.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    mccoffee... they flew missions with empty "pumpkins", and they flew missions with them filled with H.E. and ballast to mimic the weight of the real Bomb...and IIRC they flew at least three missions with empty Bomb cases, nestled in among other aircraft on larger raids so the Japanese wouldn't notice the odd bomb fragments ;)

    Not only to fool the Japanese - but to train the crews in the effects of suddenly releasing one high-weight piece of ordnance, and how it would affect the balance and trim of the aircraft for a few seconds. They also had to train in how the "ordnance" would behave when dropped, in terms of windage and accuracy.

    They also flew a number of mission profiles to and from navigational checkpoints on other islands under U.S. control to mimic the range, flightplan and navigational checkpoints of the real flight to Hiroshima.

    They were REALLY busy that summer! :)
     

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