bigpigeon.us webpage WW II - Japan > Japan Overpowered > Japan Under Attack, updated by RAC 9 Sep 1920. This webpage is currently incomplete.
This webpage covers the War with Japan in the Japanese Home Islands.
The four major home islands, from south to north, are Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu, and Hokkaido.
The seven largest cities, in order of size, are Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kobe. Hiroshima is the 11th largest city.
Not shown on the map is Nagasaki, a city whose name is known to many, on the west coast of Kyushu.
Air and Sea Attacks on the Japanese Home Islands
April 1942 - The Doolittle Raid
The Doolittle Raid was an attack from the USS Hornet of sixteen B-25 medium bombers led by Jimmy Doolittle against targets in Tokyo and other major Japanese cities. Most bombers then flew on to China, where the crews bailed out. The Doolittle Raid did little damage. However, it was a morale booster and propaganda victory for the United States. On the plus side, it may have encouraged Japan to keep more of its military resources in the Home Islands, rather than in the field. On the negative side, it led to the Japanese murders of thousands of Chinese civilians in areas that had aided Doolittle crew members after they landed. The Japanese Home Islands were not attacked from the air again until June 1944.
The Underseas War
June 1944 - January 1945 - B-29 Raids from the CBI Theater
The development of the B-29 very heavy bomber was a major WW II project in the United States. The B-29 was designed for use in the vast distances found in the War with Japan.
The B-29 first saw combat in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater in June 1944, flying from bases in India against targets in the CBI Theater as well as targets in the Japanese Home Islands. For Home Island targets, B-29s first flew over the mountain ranges known as the Hump to advanced bases in China.
B-29 raids of Japan from bases in India were never on a large scale. They were not cost effective and ceased in January 1945.
October 1944 - August 1945 - B-29 Raids from the Mariana Islands
1945 - Carrier-Based Raids
1945 - Bomber Raids from Okinawa
1945 - Naval Bombardment
The Atomic Bombs
Russia Enters the War with Japan
The Planned Invasion of the Japanese Home Islands
By the summer of 1945, the Japanese island empire had crumbled and the once-powerful Imperial Japanese Navy barely existed. Large portions of major Japanese cities already lay in ruins. The large island of Okinawa 400 miles south of the southern Japanese island of Kyushu was now available for use in Operation Downfall, the final Allied campaign of the war with Japan. The first invasion, Operation Olympic, was planned for November 1.
Japan still had a large army in China and thousands of planes in the home islands suitable for use as kamikazes. The increasing casualty count among Americans as the war approached Japan led many to predict the pending invasions would produce a blood bath among bogh Americans and Japanese. A million young American men born around 1927 viewed their future with apprehension as they, rather than existing veterans, would provide most of the cannon fodder.
Fortunately, the use of nuclear weapons, the Russian entry into the war, and the flexible position of Emperor Hirohito brought an end to the war without an invasion of the Home Islands.
The Japanese Surrender
Sources for the Japan Under Attack webpage:
Pottawattamie County, Iowa Area WW II Dead - Japan Under Attack
- The webpage header image Tokyo after Firebombing shows the aftermath of the March 1945 B-29 incendiary bombing raids over an area of Tokyo. It is courtesy of http://carynschulenberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Devastation-of-Tokyo-2.jpg.
- The photo B-25s on Hornet, April 1942 is courtesy of the Museum of the Air Force.
- The Japanese Home Islands map is courtesy of en.wikipedia.com.
- The map captioned CBI Theater Air Bases Used by B-29 Bombers is courtesy of semanticscholar.org.
- The First Bomb - Hiroshima - 6 August 1945 photo is courtesy of upi.com.
- The Second Bomb - Nagasaki - 9 August 1945 photo is courtesy of truthout.org.
- the diagram The Planned Invasion of Japan is courtesy of kilroywashere.org.
Pottawattamie County, Iowa Area WW II Dead - Japan Under Attack
- Taken from the bigpigeon.us WW II Dead webarea.
- Most deaths herein are due to US Pacific attacks on the Japanese Home Islands.
- The China-Burma-India Theater > China webpage has B-29 deaths from the 1944 Operation Matterhorn B-29 raids from China on Japan.
- Includes a death from the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, which had delivered parts of Little Boy, the Hiroshima atomic bomb, to Tinian.
- Includes deaths while training for the invasion of the Japanese Home Island
- Crew #P-46, 62nd Bomb. Sqdn., 39th Bomb. Gp., XXI Bomber Cmd., 20th AF, based at North Field, Guam, Mariana Is.; Boeing B-29 Superfortress #44-69889 The Slic Chic right gunner; KIA 29 May 1945, 120 miles NE of Tori-Shima, S of Tokyo; plane hit by flak over Yokohama and ditched, four dead, eight survivors; Japan Overpowered > Japan under Attack; BNR.
- Naval Air Fighter Sqdn. VBF-83, Carrier Air Group 83, on USS Essex (CV-9); Vought F4U Corsair pilot; KIA 18 Mar 1945 near Tomitake Airfield, Kyushu, Japan; shot down; Japan Overpowered > Japan under Attack; BNR.
- 869th Bomb. Sqdn., 497th Bomb. Gp, XXI Bomber Cmd., 20th AF, based at Isley AAF, Saipan, Mariana Is.; Boeing B-29 Superfortress #42-24595 Pacific Union bombardier; KIA 14 Jan 1945 NW of Saipan on a mission to Nagoya, Japan, plane exploded and ditched, eight dead, four survived; Japan Overpowered > Japan under Attack; BNR.
- Submarine USS Pompano (SS-181); KIA ~ Sep 1943 Pacific Ocean; Pompano failed to return to Midway Is. from patrol off Japan; 78 dead, no survivors; Japan Overpowered > Japan Under Attack; BNR.
- 866th Bomb. Sqdn., 494th Bomb. Gp., 7th AF, based at Yontan, Okinawa; Consolidated B-24J Liberator #44-40680 Lonesome Lady navigator, pilot Thomas C. Cartwright; KIA 28 Jul 1945, over Kure Harbor, Kyushu, Japan; plane shot down by flak on mission against Battleship Haruna; Japan Overpowered > Japan under Attack.
- 873 Bomb. Sqdn., 498th Bomb Gp., XXI Bomber Cmd., stationed on Tinian, Mariana Is.; B-29 #42-24614 Joltin' Josie radio operator w/ pilot Wilson C. Currier Jr.; KIA 1 Apr 1945, aircraft exploded after takeoff and crashed into Magicienne Bay on nearby Saipan, crew of 11 all died; Japan Overpowered > Japan Under Attack; BNR
- Cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA-35); KIA 30 Jul 1945 in the Philippine Sea en route from Guam to Leyte; Indianapolis sunk by Japanese submarine I-58; 879 died, 316 survived; Japan Overpowered > Japan under Attack; BNR.
- Naval Air Torpedo Sqdn. VT-34, on USS Monterey (CVL-26); Grumman/General Motors TBM-3 Avenger BuNo 69111 pilot; DNB 9 May 1945 near the Ryukyu Is., Japan, glide bombing exercise preparing for raids on Japan; Japan Overpowered > Japan under Attack; BNR.
- Naval Air Fighter Sqdn. VF-12, Carrier Air Group 12; carrier USS Randolph (CV-15); Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat BuNo 77880 pilot; KIA 14 May 1945 over Kyushu, Japan; Japan Overpowered > Japan under Attack.
- 873rd Bomb. Sqdn., 498th Bomb. Gp., based at Isley Field, Saipan, Mariana Is.; Boeing B-29 Superfortress #42-65295 co-pilot w/ pilot M. Geer; KIA 29 Apr 1945 Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Kyushu, Japan on a mission to bomb Nyakonojo Airfield, Kyushu; plane was attacked by fighters, hit, exploded, and crashed on land, no survivors from crew of eleven; Japan Overpowered > Japan under Attack.