29 March 1944

29 March 1944



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29 March 1944

War at Sea

German submarine U-961 sunk with all hands east of Iceland

Pacific

US Task Force 58 begins three days of attacks on Japanese targets in the Carolines

Burma

Japanese troops cut the Imphal-Kohima road, starting the siege of Imphal



Reverend Isaac Simmons, a black man, is buried three days after he is murdered by six white men who wanted to steal his family’s land in Mississippi his family is threatened and flees the county.

From the Equal Justice Initiative’s A History of Racial Injustice – 2018 Calendar.

“The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is proud to present A History of Racial Injustice – 2018 Calendar. America’s history of racial inequality continues to undermine fair treatment, equal justice, and opportunity for many Americans. The genocide of Native people, the legacy of slavery and racial terror, and the legally supported abuse of racial minorities are not well understood. EJI believes that a deeper engagement with our nation’s history of racial injustice is important to addressing present-day questions of social justice and equality.

“This calendar is designed to be a helpful tool for learning more about racial history. Expanded content from A History of Racial Injustice is available in our online timeline, which along with additional materials on the legacy of racial injustice and information about the work of EJI, can be found at www.eji.org.

“It is increasingly clear that our nation needs a more informed, detailed, and truthful understanding of our history and its relationship to contemporary issues ranging from mass incarceration, immigration, and human rights to how we think and talk about cultural monuments and icons. We hope you find the calendar useful as we advance important and long-neglected conversation about race in America.”


The Grass Burr (Weatherford, Tex.), No. 13, Ed. 1 Wednesday, March 29, 1944

Bi-weekly student newspaper of Weatherford High School in Weatherford, Texas that includes school news and information along with advertising.

Physical Description

four pages : ill. page 16 x 12 in. Scanned from physical pages.

Creation Information

Creator: Unknown. March 29, 1944.

Context

This newspaper is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2017 and was provided by the Weatherford High School to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 19 times. More information about this issue can be viewed below.

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this newspaper or its content.

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Check out our Resources for Educators Site! We've identified this newspaper as a primary source within our collections. Researchers, educators, and students may find this issue useful in their work.

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Weatherford High School

In 1875, the Weatherford High School Association was formed. The first five students graduated in 1885, receiving certificates of completion. In 1894, the first Weatherford High School diplomas were awarded. Weatherford Independent School District was formed in 1954, and the first high school was built. The present campus, opened in January 2003, serves approximately 1,850 students with over 150 faculty and staff members.


HQ Company:112th Infantry

CHRONOLOGY
[combining official US Army records for the 28th Division
with place names from Lt. Flynn's unit history]
7/24 - arrives on continent
7/26 - attached to XIX Corps
8/1 - Percy captured (near Tessy) Hill 210, Maupartuia
8/2 - St. Martin
8/3 - La Chienne de la Plaine
8/4 - Le Mesnil
8/5 - St. Manvieu de Bocage
8/6 - Hill 193 SE of St. Manvieu do Bocage
8/8 - toward La Julliere
8/9 - unable to advance in Gathemo region Hill 246, south of St. Germain de Tallevande
8/10 - overruns Gathemo RJ 338, south of Hill 246 held up by enemy fire
8/11 - moving SE from Gathemo
8/12 - to Sourdeval on right, St. Sauveur-de-Chaulieu on left
cross E-W highway that comes into RJ 338
8/13 near Etan, no resistance
8/14 - goes into reserve after overrunning Ger no active resistance
8/15 - near Beauchine
8/19 - concentrating in Montagne area
8/21 - moves up to clear Verneuil march 4 miles east of Montagne to Bivouac
8/22 - clears Verneuil reaches vicinity of Evreux advance to point 2 miles north of Breteuil
8/23 - advance through Conches to point near Emanville, there to wait for Brits to catch up on left flank
8/26 - to Roudan, 40 miles east
8/27 - Versailles
8/28 - attached to V Corps Paris
8/29 - march down Champs Elysee
8/30 - pursuing enemy northeastward advance on foot to Survillers
8/31 - continues NE to a point near Senlis
9/1 - Compeigne
9/2 - Bethancourt
9/3 - Noyens
9/4 - back through Compeigne, Soissons, Neufchatel, to Herpy
9/5 - Neuvizy
9/6 - Thelonns
9/7 - 15 miles east of Sedan Liney
9/8 - between Jemelle and Margut crossed into Belgium Haudrigney
9/9 - northeast of Chatillon
9/10 - in rapid strides overruns Bastogne, Longvilly, Wiltz, Selange, Arlon
through Messancy, to 1 mile east of Guerlange
9/11 - through Arlon to 7 miles north, then back to city of Luxembourg, Senningen
9/12 - takes Sevenig, Junglinster
9/13 - attacks West Wall
9/14 - major attack to breach West Wall
9/15 - attached to 5th Armored Div clears Biersdorf, moves on to Stockight to protect SE flank
marched to Breuch "Gaslight"
9/17 - brings sharp reaction from enemy while attempting to advance
9/18 - assembled at Beidweiler, trucked to Wallendorf, stopping for night at Fals
9/19 - fresh battalion relieves original battalion of 112th in reduced perimeter of Wallendorf bridgehead
relieves 1st Battalion through Wallendorf, outskirts of Beindorf (could be Riesdorf), Germans counterattack evening near Crutchen
9/20 - withdrew to Wallendorf, cross river, set up CP in Riesdorf, much fighting
9/21 - withdrew to Bettendorf
9/22 - Eschweiler for two days
9/24 - back to Beidweiler
9/26 - 2 miles south of Burg-Reuland on German border
9/28 - Schnee Eifel, just east of Buchet
9/29 - to Kutzenich, then by truck back to point south of Burg-Reuland
10/7 - begins new advance on West Wall
10/8 - encounters outlying positions of German West Wall defense
10/25 - begins relief of battle-worn 9th Div. in preparation for drive on Schmidt
10/30 - Vossenack-Schmidt line established
11/2 - 2nd Battalion seizes Vossenack ridge
11/3 - cross Kall River, taking Kommerscheidt and Schmidt
11/5 - German counterattack retakes Kall bridge steady artillery fire on Vossenack weakening defenders
11/6 - 12th Infantry begins to relieve 28th forced from end of Vossenack ridge
11/7 - enemy counterattack retakes forces withdrawal from Kall bridgehead, Kommerscheidt
11/10 - limited progress near Huertgen
11/14 - greatly weakened 28th begins moving to XIII Corps sector
11/19 - 8th Div completes relief of 28th in Vossenack/Schmidt
12/16 - 28th falls back under enemy onslaught
12/17 - in 28th zone, Germans drive almost to Wiltz
12/18 - 28th unable to stop enemy, completely disorganized
12/19 - ordered to abandon Wiltz and make way back to Allied lines by infiltration
12/20 - 112th defending St. Vith along with 106th enemy undiminished
12/27 - RCT 112 reinforces 9th Armored Div
12/28 - RCT 112, 9th Armored Div, CCB, back up 3rd Armored Div & 75th Infantry
1/3 - 28th defends Meuse from Givet to Verdun
1/6 - 112th attacks south toward Spineux & Wanne
1/7 - RCT 112 seizes Spineux, Wanne, Wanneranval
1/16 - 28th attached to 7th Army
1/18,19 - relieves 3rd Div in 2nd Corps area
1/20 - takes command of sector from Sigolsheim southwest to Le Valtin
1/25 - along Weiss River
1/28 - from Le Valtin to Ill River, 2 miles northeast of Colmar
1/30 - takes limited objective north of Colmar

CASUALTY STATISTICS


Entered Combat
27 July 1944

Days in Combat
196

Battle Casualties
15,094

Non-battle Casualties
8,936

Total
24,840

% Turnover
176.3


AWARDS AND CITATIONS
Congressional Medal of Honor 1
Distinguished Service Cross 18
Distinguished Service Medal 1
Legion of Merit 8
Silver Star 359
Soldier's Medal 15
Bronze Star 2,627
Air Medal 101

PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION
Awarded to the 112th Infantry Regimental Combat Team
Officially Presented 17 August 1947 at Indiantown Gap

On the night of 23-24 Dec. 1944, the action of the 112th Infantry Regimental Combat Team was especially notable. Being ordered by higher headquarters to act as a covering force for units withdrawing to the American lines, it held its position under furious enemy infantry and tank attacks until the Regimental Headquarters and 1st Battalion 112th Infantry were surrounded. The 1st Battalion then fought its way clear to friendly lines, bringing with it a number of vehicles and personnel of other units. The gallantry under extremely hazardous and physically trying conditions, the stubborn defense of the sectors assigned to them, and the heroic conduct of all personnel of the 112th Regimental Combat Team, in nine days of continuous fighting, exemplify the highest traditions of the armed forces of the United States.


Breckenridge American (Breckenridge, Tex.), Vol. 23, No. 226, Ed. 1 Wednesday, March 29, 1944

Daily newspaper (except Sunday) from Breckenridge, Texas that includes local, state and national news along with extensive advertising.

Physical Description

four pages : illus. page 22 x 16 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.

Creation Information

Context

This newspaper is part of the collection entitled: Breckenridge Daily American and was provided by the Breckenridge Public Library to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 40 times. More information about this issue can be viewed below.

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this newspaper or its content.

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Check out our Resources for Educators Site! We've identified this newspaper as a primary source within our collections. Researchers, educators, and students may find this issue useful in their work.

Provided By

Breckenridge Public Library

The Breckenridge Library is a part of the Breckenridge Library and Fine Arts Foundation. It is a private library providing public services to Breckenridge, Stephens County and the surrounding area. The library occupies over 7500 square feet and containing more than 27,000 titles, staffed by two employees and many volunteers.


The complete works of Anne Frank

When reading about The diary of Anne Frank, most people assume that a single diary is all there is. But in reality, Anne's work comprises much more. Here you can read what Anne wrote and how it all merged into the book you can now find in the bookstore.

When does Anne get her diary?

On 12 June 1942, Anne was given a diary for her thirteenth birthday. It was something she really wanted. Her parents let her to pick one out herself in a bookshop.

When does Anne start writing?

On her birthday, Anne only wrote that she hoped that she would be able to entrust everything to her diary and that it would be a great support. The actual writing started two days after her birthday, on 14 June 1942.

In which language does Anne write?

Anne wrote in Dutch. On occasion, she used German or English words.

Anne addresses her diary letters to Kitty. Who was Kitty?

Kitty was the fictional character Anne eventually addressed all her diary letters to. The name Kitty came from a series of books Anne had read, by Dutch author Cissy van Marxveldt. These books were about Joop, a girl who had all kinds of adventures with her group of friends.

One of the books from this series was partly written in the form of letters. This inspired Anne to do the same: from 21 September 1942 onwards, she pretended to send letters to Joop’s circle of friends.

Kitty Francken was one of the characters from that group. Anne preferred to write to 'her'. The Kitty character in the Cissy van Marxveldt books was ‘bright', cheerful, and funny. And so, Kitty became the imaginary friend Anne confided in.

What happens when Anne has filled up the diary she had been given?

Anne took her diary with her when she went into hiding. It was one of the first items she packed.

  • The last entry is dated 5 December 1942. By then, she had been in hiding in the Secret Annex for five months. The diary was not completely filled, there still were several empty pages.
  • Anne added some texts at later dates, for instance on 2 May 1943 and on 22 January 1944.
  • Anne apparently considered the diary to be full and continued to write in notebooks. She would receive these notebooks from her sister Margot and the helpers.
  • The 1943 notebooks have not survived (see below). The two notebooks from 1944 have: one covers the period from 22 December 1943 - 17 April 1944 and the other from 18 April 1944 - 1 August 1944.

What is the date of Anne’s last entry?

Anne's last diary letter is dated 1 August 1944, three days before the arrest.

Does Anne only write in her diary?

  1. Tales. Anne wrote 34 tales. About her schooldays, things that happened in the Secret Annex, or fairytales she invented herself.
  2. The Book of Beautiful Sentences. These were not her own texts, but sentences and passages she copied from books she read in the hiding place. Her father inspired her to do so.
  3. Cady’s Life. This is the title of the novel Anne attempted to write. She quit after a few chapters.
  4. Het Achterhuis (The Secret Annex). This was the title Anne had in mind for a book about her time in the Secret Annex. She used the texts of her diary as a basis. We therefore have two versions of some of the diary letters: Anne’s original diary letter and her rewritten version.

What inspires Anne to write a book about her time in the Secret Annex?

On 28 March 1944, the people in hiding in the Secret Annex heard an appeal on the radio from Dutch minister Bolkestein, who had fled to London because of the war. He asked the Dutch to hang on to important documents, so that it would be clear after the war what they all had experienced during the German occupation.

He inspired Anne: she planned after the war to publish a book about her time in hiding. She also came up with a title: Het Achterhuis, or The Secret Annex. She started working on this project on 20 May 1944. Anne rewrote a large part of her diary, omitted some texts and added many new ones. She wrote the new texts on separate sheets of paper. She describes the period from 12 June 1942 to 29 March 1944. Anne worked hard: in a those few months, she wrote around 50,000 words, filling more than 215 sheets of paper.

What are the main differences between Anne's diary and The Secret Annex?

15-year-old Anne looked very critically at the texts written by 13-year-old Anne. She gave to the texts written during the first six months in hiding an especially thorough going-over. There, the differences between the original diary and Anne's rewritten version are the greatest. Since the original diary letters from 1943 have not survived, we do not know anything about them. It is noteworthy that in The Secret Annex, Anne left out her notes about her love for Peter and her vicious remarks about her mother, such as 'my mother is in most things an example to me, but then an example of precisely how I shouldn’t do things.'

What does writing mean to Anne?

Writing meant a great deal to Anne. It was her way to vent.

The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings otherwise, I'd absolutely suffocate. (Anne Frank, 16 March 1944.)

She hoped one day to become a famous writer or journalist. Although she doubted from time to time whether she was talented enough, Anne wanted to write anyway.

Why have Anne's writings from 1943 (from 6 December 1942 - 21 December 1943) not survived?

We do not know, nor do we have any clue how many notebooks there were for this period. So far, they have not resurfaced. Luckily, Anne’s rewritten version for that period has survived.

How was the diary preserved?

After the arrest of the eight people in hiding, helpers Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl found Anne's writings in the Secret Annex. Miep held on to Anne's diaries and papers and kept them in a drawer of her desk. She hoped that she would one day be able to return them to Anne. When she learned that Anne had died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she gave all the notebooks and papers to Anne's father, Otto Frank.

After the war, Otto Frank published the diary. Were any changes made to the texts at that time?

Otto did not just publish Anne's rewritten version, The Secret Annex. From 29 March 1944 onwards, he added Anne's original diary texts. He also reinserted some of the passages that Anne had left out when rewriting her diary. In 2000, it turned out that Otto had withheld a diary letter in which Anne was very critical of his marriage to Edith.

The Secret Annex was published on 25 June 1947. Otto compiled the book from Anne's rewritten version, her original diary texts and some of her short stories. He also corrected the language errors in Anne's texts.

In 1986, a scientific edition of Anne's texts was published. This edition presents Anne's diary text, her rewritten version, and Otto Frank’s version on the same page This shows clearly how Anne changed the original texts, which choices Otto Frank made, and what he adapted, omitted, or changed.

New texts from diary of Anne Frank revealed

The Anne Frank House, together with the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, presented on 15 May 2018 the hidden text on two pages covered up with gummed paper in the first diary of Anne Frank, with its red checked cover.


10 Amazing Pictures of Tinians MASSIVE B-29 Bases & 1 Sad Picture

After the battle for the Tinian island, which lasted from 24 July until 1 August 1944, the island became a very important base for Allied operations in the Pacific campaign. Camps were built that could hold up to 50,000 troops.

In a few weeks, fifteen thousand Seabees turned Tinian into the busiest airfield of the war they built six 7,900-foot runways for the United States Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortress bombers. These would be used attacking enemy targets in the Ryukyu Islands, the Philippines, and mainland Japan.

B-29 bombers took off from Tinian for Operation Meetinghouse firebombing of Tokyo, which took place on March 9/10 1945. The bombers that dropped the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki also took off from Tinian.

North Field was built over what were former Japanese Airfields No. 1 and 3, and became operational in February 1945. The West Field was built over former Japanese Airfield No. 2, it became operational in March 1945.

US Navy Seabee view USAAC B-29 Superfortresses arriving at uncompleted North Field, Tinian, 1944 [Via]

509th Composite Group aircraft immediately before their bombing mission of Hiroshima. Left to right: Back-up plane, The Great Artiste, Enola Gay. Photo by Harold Agnew 1945 [Via]

North Field in 1945, just prior to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the 509th Composite Group private collection of Harold Agnew [Via]

Officers salute each other as photographers and men look on in front of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay” (509th Composite Group), Tinian, Mariana Islands, 1945. Saluting officer facing camera appears to be Colonel Paul Tibbets…Credit: George E. Staley. (Smithsonian Institution) [Via]

Left side view of the cockpit section of a Boeing B-29 Stratofortress, “The Ernie Pyle”, featuring a portrait of the war correspondant. Aircraft also shows the victor number 56. Tinian, c.1945…Credit: George E. Staley (Smithsonian Institution) [Via]

The Enola Gay, with Necessary Evil (No. 91) on the far right. Because the aircraft received its Circle R disguise on August 1 and the aircraft name on August 5th, it can be concluded that this photo was taken after the mission, when the tail had been painted back to its 509th identification. [Via]

505th Bombardment Group B-29s North Field Tinian July 1945 [Via]

B-29’s lined up, Tinian – Raymond J. Biedenbach Collection [Via]

Tinian, Mariana Islands, 1945 after airfield construction, looking north to south. The massive North Field, 313th Bombardment Wing in front, West Field, 58th Bombardment Wing, in background. The 313th BW consisted of 4 B-29 Superfortress Bombardment Groups, later adding the 509th Composite Group, which conducted the Atomic Bomb Attacks against Japan in August 1945. [Via]

Warning, this picture will make your cry:


The Fire Raids on Japan

The fire raids on Japan started in 1945. The fire raids were ordered by General Curtis LeMay, who some see as the ‘Bomber Harris’ of the Pacific War, in response to the difficulty B-29 crews had in completing pinpoint strategic bombing over Japanese cities. LeMay, therefore, decided that blanket bombing raids on cities to undermine the morale of civilians were an appropriate response. After the attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941 (referred to as “unprovoked and dastardly” by President Roosevelt), no-one was willing to speak out on behalf of the Japanese citizens.

On November 1st, 1944, a B-29 Superfortress flew over Tokyo for the first time in what was a propaganda victory flight as opposed to anything else. The B-29 was designed to carry a 20,000 lb bomb load for a distance of 5000 miles. It was designed for long flights and the crew had pressurised compartments to give them a degree of comfort on these flights. Based in the Marianas and China, the B-29 groups were under the direct command of General H Arnold and the Joint Chief-of-Staff in Washington DC.

The difficulty of strategic bombing had been seen on June 15th, 1944, when a raid on Yawata’s iron and steel works resulted in just 2% of the complex being damaged. On August 20th, a raid on the same plant led to 18 bombers being shot down out of 70 planes – an attrition rate of 25%. The target was barely touched. Such losses for so little reward convinced many crews that strategic bombing was untenable.

Curtis LeMay had experienced the bombing of cities in Germany as the leader of the 8th Air Force. Now in the Pacific theatre, he was convinced of one thing – that any city making any form of contribution to Japan’s war effort should be destroyed.

As the Allies had advanced through the Pacific Islands using MacArthur’s ‘island hopping’ tactic, they captured Saipan, Tinian and Guam. These islands became bases for the B-29’s of 21st Bomber Command. The bases for the B-29’s had to be huge. At Saipan the airstrips were 200 feet wide and 8,500 feet long and they were served by 6 miles of taxiways and parking bays. The runways at Tinian were 8,000 feet long and 90 miles of roads were built just to serve the bomber base there. The runways on Saipan and Tinian were ready by October 1944, just 2 months after the fighting on the islands had finished.

The first bombing raid against Tokyo occurred on November 24th. The city was 1,500 miles from the Marianas. Brigadier-General Emmett O’Donnell flying the ‘Dauntless Dotty’ led 111 B-29’s against the Musashima engine factory. The planes dropped their bombs from 30,000 feet and came across the first of a number of problems – accuracy. The B-29’s were fitted with an excellent bomb aimer – the Norden – but it could not make out its target through low cloud. Also flying at 30,000 feet meant that the planes frequently flew in a jet stream wind that was between 100 and 200 mph which further complicated bomb aiming. Of the 111 planes on the raid, only 24 found the target.

In January 1945, Curtis LeMay flew to the Marianas to take control of 21st Bomber Command. The 20th Bomber Command, which had been based in India and China, was also transferred to the Marianas and LeMay was given command of this as well. Both units became the 20th Air Force. By March 1945, over 300 B-29’s were taking part in raids over Japan.

However, flights over Japan remained risky as there were very many young Japanese men who were willing to take on the risk of attacking a B-29, despite its awesome firepower (12 x .50 inch guns and 1 cannon). When Japan introduced its ‘George’ and ‘Jack’ fighters, the number of casualties for the 20th Air Force increased and the damage done by the bombers was not really worth the losses. In March 1945, the capture of Iwo Jima meant that P-51 Mustangs could be used to escort the B-29’s. P-61 ‘Black Widows’ gave night time protection to the bombers during night raids. The Mustang was more than a match for the ‘Jack’ and ‘George’ fighters and daylight bombing raids over Japan became less hazardous with such protection.

LeMay still experienced one major problem though. The investment the Allies were getting for the number of bombs dropped was small. The bombers were not having a discernable impact on manufacturing in Japan. Pinpoint bombing was simply not giving the returns that LeMay wanted. He was also acutely aware that any potential invasion of Japan would be massively costly for the Americans if the Japanese Home Defence Force was well-equipped with reasonably modern weapons. If the manufacturing industries of Japan could not be destroyed, then there was no doubt in his mind, that the force would be well equipped – to the detriment of the Americans.

LeMay, having already seen the success of a fire raid on Hankow when B-29’s flew much lower than their normal 30,000 feet and dropped incendiary bombs.

LeMay decided that Tokyo would be the first target for a massive raid on Japan itself. The raid was planned for the night of March 10th and the B-29’s were to fly at between 5,000 and 8,000 feet. As Japan was not expected to send up night fighters, the guns from the planes were taken off as was anything that was deemed not useful to the raid. By effectively stripping the plane of non-essentials, more bombs could be carried for the raid. Along with Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka and Nagoya were also targeted. As each had flourishing cottage industries that fed the factories of each city, LeMay hoped to starve these factories of required parts. He also hoped that the fires that would be started would also destroy the larger factories as well. As the target for the raid was so large – a city area – the B-29’s did not have to fly in strict formation, especially as little resistance was expected from the Japanese.

The incendiary bombs dropped were known as M-69’s. These weighed just 6 lbs each and were dropped in a cluster of 38 within a container. One B-29 usually carried 37 of these containers, which equated to just over 1,400 bombs per plane. The bombs were set free from the container at 5,000 feet by a time fuse and then exploded on contact with the ground. When they did this, they spread a jelly-petrol compound that was highly inflammable.

For the attack on Tokyo, over 300 B-29’s were involved. They took off for a flight that would get them to Tokyo just before dawn, thus giving them the cover of darkness, but with daylight for the return journey to the Marianas. They flew at 7,000 feet. This in itself may have baffled the city’s defenders as they would have been used to the B-29’s flying at 30,000 feet.

The raid had a massive impact on Tokyo. Photo-reconnaissance showed that 16 square miles of the city had been destroyed. Sixteen major factories – ironically scheduled for a future daylight raid – were destroyed along with many cottage industries. In parts of the city, the fires joined up to create a firestorm. The fires burned so fiercely and they consumed so much oxygen, that people in the locality suffocated. It is thought that 100,000 people were killed in the raid and another 100,000 injured. The Americans lost 14 B-29’s under the 5% rate of loss that was considered to be ‘acceptable’.

On March 12th, a similar raid took place on Nagoya. The raid was less successful as the fires did not join up and just over 1 square mile of the city was destroyed. On March 13th, Osaka was attacked. Eight square miles of the city were destroyed. Nearly 2.5 square miles of Kobe was also destroyed by incendiary raids. In the space of ten days, the Americans had dropped nearly 9,500 tons of incendiaries on Japanese cities and destroyed 29 square miles of what was considered to be important industrial land.

Few men who flew on the raids felt that what they did was immoral. The Japanese treatment of prisoners and civilians in its occupied zones was all too well known to the flight crews and many felt that the Japanese had brought such attacks on themselves. The incendiary raids were carried out at night and the chance of a crew returning from such a raid was high. Only 22 bombers were lost in this ten-day period – an overall loss of 1.4%. If crews needed to land early, they could do so at Iwo Jima and the return flight to the Marianas was covered by ‘Dumbos’ and ‘Superdumbos’ – polite nicknames for the planes that escorted back the B-29’s and provided lifeboats for them if they had to ditch in the sea. These planes, usually Catalina’s and B-17’s, also radioed ahead the position of crews that had ditched in the sea and ships could picked them up with due speed.

LeMay was highly impressed with the destructive results of the raids – as were the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff. For the Japanese government, the raids must have brought huge despair as they had no way of fighting back and it was obvious to all civilians who knew about the raids, that Japan was defenceless against them.

LeMay developed the tactic so that incendiary raids took place during the day. Without the cover of night, the B-29’s flew at between 12,000 and 18,000 feet. Any attacks by Japanese fighters were covered by P-51 Mustang and P-47 Thunderbolt fighters. The Americans believed that the massive damage done to Tokyo by the fire raids would have persuaded Japan’s leaders to surrender but they did not. Instead, the B-29 bomber would be needed for another raid – an atomic one. On August 6th, the Enola Gay took off for Hiroshima. On August 9th, Bockscar took off for Nagasaki. Japan surrendered shortly after.

“A month after the March raid, while I was on a visit to Honjo on a particularly beautiful cherry-blossom day, I saw bloated and charred corpses surfacing in the Sumida River. I felt nauseated and even more scared than before.”

“We ourselves were burned out in the fire raid of May 25th 1945. As I ran I kept my eyes on the sky. It was like a fireworks display as the incendiaries exploded. People were aflame, rolling and writhing in agony, screaming piteously for help, but beyond all mortal assistance.”


Surrendering at Last

In October 1972, at the age of 51 and after 27 years of hiding, Kozuka was killed during a clash with a Filipino patrol. Though Onoda had been officially declared dead in December 1959, Kozuka's body proved the likelihood that Onoda was still living. Search parties were sent out to find Onoda, but none succeeded.

Onoda was now on his own. Remembering the division commander's order, he could not kill himself yet he no longer had a single soldier to command. Onoda continued to hide.

In 1974, a college dropout named Norio Suzuki decided to travel to the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Nepal, and perhaps a few other countries on his way. He told his friends that he was going to search for Lt. Onoda, a panda, and the Abominable Snowman. Where so many others had failed, Suzuki succeeded. He found Lt. Onoda and tried to convince him that the war was over. Onoda explained that he would only surrender if his commander ordered him to do so.

Suzuki traveled back to Japan and found Onoda's former commander, Major Taniguchi, who had become a bookseller. On March 9, 1974, Suzuki and Taniguchi met Onoda at a pre-appointed place and Major Taniguchi read the orders that stated all combat activity was to be ceased. Onoda was shocked and, at first, disbelieving. It took some time for the news to sink in.

During the 30 years that Onoda had remain hidden on Lubang island, he and his men had killed at least 30 Filipinos and had wounded approximately 100 others. After formally surrendering to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Marcos pardoned Onoda for his crimes while in hiding.

When Onoda reached Japan, he was hailed a hero. Life in Japan was much different than when he had left it in 1944. Onoda bought a ranch and moved to Brazil but in 1984 he and his new wife moved back to Japan and founded a nature camp for kids. In May 1996, Onoda returned to the Philippines to see once again the island on which he had hidden for 30 years.