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  • Cromig21
    Member
    • Jan 2000
    • 54

    B-29 losses in ww2?

    How many B-29 have been lost over Japan??What Japanese fighters were used to attack B-29 formations??Thanks for any help!
  • Nitram
    Junior Member
    • Jan 2000
    • 23

    #2
    RE: B-29 losses in ww2?

    In B-29 Superfortress at War David Anderton gives the following stats:
    B-29s carried out around 33,000 sorties with a loss rate of 1.38% which meant that about 450 aircraft were lost with all or part of their crew (how many were lost over Japan I cannot say). 11,026 fighter attacks reported over Japan. B-29s claimed 714 destroyed, 456 prob and 770 damaged

    As I cannot tell a Zero from a pork chop I'll leave someone else to fill you in on the types involved.

    Nitram

    Comment

    • Ant.H
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jan 2000
      • 3021

      #3
      RE: B-29 losses in ww2?

      Hi Cromig,
      The main problem the Japanese had with intercepting the Superforts was the altitude the B29's were operating at,usually well in excess of 20,000ft.There were relatively few fighters in the Japanese arsenal that could fight at these altitudes,and some would fail to reach them altogether.It's also quite a well known fact that Japanese fighters were quite lightly armed,so it was a question of finding fighters which could both reach the bombers and also carry enough punch to knock them down when they got amongst them.This meant that your average Oscar or Zero was out of the running for these missions.
      Even those fighters such as the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden or the Kawasaki Ki84 Frank,which did have the right mixture of performance and punch, were still operating pretty close to thier cielings,which meant that they could be 'bounced' relatively easily by the fighter escort. There were also massive problems within the Japanese aviation industry,and one aircraft would not perform like another.Whereas one Raiden might be able to reach the bombers,another might shake and rattle it's way to 20,000ft and then refuse to go any further,the main reason for problems like this being the poor quality of the engines,somthing which affected most Japanese types toward wars end.
      The Japanese also used a number of heavy fighters and night fighters against the American raids.One of the most successful B29 killers was the Nakajima Ki45 Toryu "Nick".This was originally designed as a twin-engined daylight heavy fighter,but it adapted well to the night fighter role aswell.Some were fitted with an array of upward firing canon in the fuselage,almost identical to the Schrage Musik installation on Luftwaffe night-fighters.There was no haven for the B29's in the darkness over Japan.
      Although the Superforts are remembered today as the bombers which raised hell over Japan in the war's closing months,the earlier operations in 1944 were not always a great success,particularly those launched from China.The B29 was an immature aircraft at the time with a number of teething troubles,not least engine fires and failures.There were times when losses through mechanical failure outweighed those in combat.If you were one of these early B29 crewmen,you weren't expected to survive your tour,it was as simple that,and very few did.This would all have been easier to take if the raids that were being mounted were doing serious damage,but unfortunately they weren't doing that either.The bombers would drop thier loads from extremely high altitudes on these early missions,and bombing accuracy was accordingly abysmal.What wasn't appreciated at the time was that the bombers flying at such extreme altitudes were flying up in the jetstream,facing winds of incredible speeds which the bombsights couldn't compensate for,hence the woeful accuracy.It also put extra strain on the already dubious reliability of the B29, which contributed to the poor reliability these early 29's experienced.All this makes it very hard to come up with accurate figures for the number of bombers the Japanese brought down,and how many were lost,atleast in part,to mechanical failures.
      Hope this is of some interest and help


      "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease." Sergei Sikorsky

      Comment

      • Andy P
        Member
        • Jan 2000
        • 39

        #4
        RE: B-29 losses in ww2?

        Phill,
        Warbird History "B29 Superfortress" states that the 20th AirForce lost 414 bombers only 147 due to flak/fighters. 3015 aircrew were either dead, wounded or missing.
        Andy

        Comment

        • Jules Horowitz
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Dec 2004
          • 186

          #5
          My tentmate who finished his combat tour before me, came back to the states and went into B29's. He kept a diary of which I have a copy, he also wrote quite well.
          He trained with a crew and went to the Pacific in mid 1944 as plane commander. His account of his missions was an eye opener, they sustained heavy losses from fighters,mechanical problems and long over water flights. He flew 18 missions and was shot down over Japan, he and his crew were all KIA.
          Jules Horowitz, B-17 pilot, 99th Bomb Group, 12-15th USAF 50 combat sorties, from 7/1943-2/1944

          Comment

          • jpeters
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Dec 2005
            • 34

            #6
            One would assume that many of the B-29 crew members that were able to successfully bail out over land were quickly executed by the Japanese.

            Comment

            • Jan
              Jan
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jul 2004
              • 250

              #7
              Brief details on USAAF losses to all causes during WW II, including B-29s, can be found here: http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/db.asp

              Regards,

              Jan

              Comment

              • THAM
                Member
                • Apr 2003
                • 46

                #8
                Ki-46-III "Dinah"

                The Mitsubishi Ki-46-III "Dinah" (named "Kai") twin-engined recce aircraft was also modified with upward-firing 20 mm and 37 mm cannon for B-29 interceptions, but not with much success.

                http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=1160

                Comment

                • Jules Horowitz
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Dec 2004
                  • 186

                  #9
                  Before Iwo Jima was won, subs generally cruised along tracks that the bombers flew , they were always on the lookout for airmen that bailed out or ditched.

                  One of the main reasons for invading Iwo was for it's airstrip
                  Jules Horowitz, B-17 pilot, 99th Bomb Group, 12-15th USAF 50 combat sorties, from 7/1943-2/1944

                  Comment

                  • Ian Quinn
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Mar 2006
                    • 71

                    #10
                    Further to Ant's posting its interesting to note that the first B-29 group mounted some very long range missions from their bases in India, eg to Singapore and Palembang before they went to China.
                    Missions from there were to targets like Mukden & Formosa.
                    It's a tribute to the crews of these early B-29s that were the frontline of technology at the time that they achieved the results they did given the primitive conditions of their bases in the CBI. When they were in China all suppport had to be flown in over the "Hump".

                    Comment

                    • Jules Horowitz
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Dec 2004
                      • 186

                      #11
                      WINGS of FREEDOM ( B-17, B-24, B-25) Burbank, Ca. April 28- May 2 Friday- Tuesday
                      Bob Hope Airport Flight reservations 800-568-8924 (Flights are $425 for the 17s and 24s, but $325 and $400 for the 25s. (Tax Deductible Donations) $10 walk through adult


                      $425? Hmmm That's about what they paid me for flying them for 2 months.
                      Jules Horowitz, B-17 pilot, 99th Bomb Group, 12-15th USAF 50 combat sorties, from 7/1943-2/1944

                      Comment

                      • Jules Horowitz
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Dec 2004
                        • 186

                        #12
                        My friends diary states that high altitude missions were flown at 30,000 ft, He was shot down by an "Irving" zero, from his C.O.s letter home
                        Jules Horowitz, B-17 pilot, 99th Bomb Group, 12-15th USAF 50 combat sorties, from 7/1943-2/1944

                        Comment

                        • Ant.H
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Jan 2000
                          • 3021

                          #13
                          Hi Jules,
                          The page on the link below gives some information on the 'Irving' fighter. It seems it was a twin-engined heavy fighter, rather than a model of Zero.

                          http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/aero...nakairving.htm
                          "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease." Sergei Sikorsky

                          Comment

                          • JoeB
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Feb 2004
                            • 94

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Andy P
                            Phill,
                            Warbird History "B29 Superfortress" states that the 20th AirForce lost 414 bombers only 147 due to flak/fighters. 3015 aircrew were either dead, wounded or missing.
                            Andy
                            Here's a table agreeing with that total with a few more details, from the USAAF Statistical Digest, "Very Heavy Bomber" meaning B-29. Of enemy action losses 74 were to fighters, 54 to AAA, and 19 to a combination. That's known cases, some unknowns counted as "other" were probably due to the Japanese, that's obvious in some particular cases.
                            http://www.usaaf.net/digest/t165.htm

                            The B-29's were credited (same source) with 914 Japanese fighters destroyed in the air (others on ground). Non-scientifically sampling claims in US sources v. known Japanese fighter losses given in Henry Sakaida's "B-29 Hunters of the JAAAF" the real J fighter losses were roughly 1/3 of the bombers' destroyed claims. If so that's probably better than USAAF bomber claims in ETO, probably because the J's used ramming tactics, and those fighter losses were pretty certain!

                            The B-29's were not immune at night, suffered losses at night right from the early raids from China on Japan, but the loss rate to enemy action at night in general was never serious. The absolute numbers in the linked table don't scream that, but taking the fighter loss rate in general dropped to almost negligible as time went on. For example 549 sorties were flown in January (XXI BC, Marianas, only) for 14 fighter related losses 2.5%; 22 fighter related in April but 3489 sorties .63%, no fighter losses in 6464 sorties in July. The VII Fighter Command P-51's (and later P-47N's) from Iwo Jima flew only 13 escort missions, of around 270 B-29 missions in their period of operation (from April 45, though a larger % of sorties were escorted than that suggests). Most of their missions were fighter sweeps and a/f attacks which probably helped the bombers somewhat too, but escorts weren't of the same importance as for USAAF bombers over Germany; because of partial night tactics after March 45 (though many later missions were again in daylight), and the fact J fighters just couldn't inflict the same kind of losses day or night on B-29's as the German day and night fighters could against USAAF and RAF bombers in Europe.

                            Joe

                            Comment

                            • James S. Peters
                              Junior Member
                              • Dec 2005
                              • 7

                              #15
                              B-29 Websites

                              There is a website dedicated to B-29s in WW II and Korea....
                              http://b-29.org and there is a message board for B-29s in the www.armyairforces.com website.

                              There is a comprehensive compiling of all B-29s in Robert A. Mann's Book "The B-29 Superfortress , A Comprehensive Registry of the Planes and Their Missions"....tail markings, nose art, names, and disposition. (including the British "Washingtons").

                              Jim :-)
                              Last edited by James S. Peters; 29th April 2006, 04:05.

                              Comment

                              • Don Chan
                                Rank V Registered User
                                • Aug 2003
                                • 3392

                                #16
                                B-29

                                http://www.iga-younet.co.jp/news/syn.../050816_3.html
                                with QT and WMV video files of TV news report, and
                                http://backnumber.dailynews.yahoo.co...&e=pacific_war
                                http://dailynews.yahoo.co.jp/fc/domestic/pacific_war/
                                http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...0007-maip-soci
                                http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...-soci.view-000
                                with photos, reported:

                                27 May 2006:
                                A mourning monument constructed at Shourenji Temple, Nabari City, Mie Prefecture, for 11 crew of USAAF B-29 shot down in WWII.

                                On 5 June 1945 (Shouwa 20), a flight of nine B-29 bombed Koube City, Hyougo Prefecture, and was returning to base, when Japanese fighters attacked them. About 08:40, one B-29 was shot down, and crashed on hill slope at or near Shourenji Temple.
                                Two crew burnt and killed. Nine parachuted, and reportedly captured and executed.

                                At first, residents disgreed with memorialising enemy soldiers, but the chief priest (Buddhist monk) explained now is 60 years after the war, and the war victims have neither an enemy nor an ally.
                                Debris of B-29 kept to educate peace to children.
                                Mourning monument constructed to remind crash site. Made of rock, height 1.5 m, width 20 cm, thick 15 cm.
                                Attached Files
                                Last edited by Don Chan; 29th May 2006, 03:43.
                                Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 missing photographs

                                http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-databas...irforce/ROKAF/

                                Comment

                                • J Boyle
                                  With malice towards none
                                  • Oct 2004
                                  • 9618

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Don Chan
                                  Two crew burnt and killed. Nine parachuted, and reportedly captured and executed.

                                  I wonder if the school kids hear about that...or just the "aggression" of the Americans?
                                  There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                                  Comment

                                  • Don Chan
                                    Rank V Registered User
                                    • Aug 2003
                                    • 3392

                                    #18
                                    I checked the 1945 June - Overseas list at
                                    http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/s...y/Jun1945O.htm
                                    in
                                    http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/AFrptsMO.htm
                                    but not certain this B-29 was which B-29.
                                    Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 missing photographs

                                    http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-databas...irforce/ROKAF/

                                    Comment

                                    • Don Chan
                                      Rank V Registered User
                                      • Aug 2003
                                      • 3392

                                      #19
                                      B-29

                                      Originally posted by Don Chan
                                      but not certain this B-29 was which B-29.
                                      (Thanks to Thomas Britton, member of the 58th Bomb Wing Association, of which the 468th Bomb Group was a part.)

                                      "B-29
                                      Serial Number 44-69665
                                      Unit Assignment was the 468th Bomb Group Tail Markings were Tri I 25
                                      Mission was 188
                                      Primary Target was Kobe Urban Area
                                      Aircraft was attacked by Japanese fighters and crashed in [Shourenji], Nabari Town, Naga County, Mie Prefecture. Nine of the crew survived of which three were moved to Chubu Kempei-tai Headquarters in Osaka and either executed or died of wounds. The other six were taken to Tokai Army Headquarters and were behaded there on 24 July l945
                                      The Missing Aircrew Report is 14390"
                                      Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 missing photographs

                                      http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-databas...irforce/ROKAF/

                                      Comment

                                      • Don Chan
                                        Rank V Registered User
                                        • Aug 2003
                                        • 3392

                                        #20
                                        5 May 1945

                                        [If able to assist, suggest you contact Japanese embassy in US, US embassy in Japan, USAF, AGARA Kii Minpou newspaper that posted these articles, or the locals.]

                                        http://www.agara.co.jp/modules/daily...storyid=124305
                                        http://www.agara.co.jp/modules/daily...storyid=117076
                                        http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...0005-agara-l30
                                        http://map.yahoo.co.jp/pl?sc=7&lon=1...t=33.53.25.173
                                        reported:

                                        5 May 1945:
                                        B-29.
                                        USAAF.
                                        Crashed into mountain, Tonohara, Ryuujin Village, Tanabe City, central eastern Wakayama Prefecture.
                                        11 crew. Seven killed. Four bailed out and captured.
                                        The seven bodies buried. The four survivors fed by villagers, but later executed.

                                        Every 5 May, memorial service at memorial monument for the crew.
                                        After WWII, US military personnel visited the graves, but the crew's relatives never visited.
                                        Now (2007), local historian Furukubo Ken (69) looking for the crew's relatives. His father was killed in action in China, and he understands relatives' desire to know the circumstances of soldiers' deaths.

                                        AGARA Kii Minpou
                                        http://www.agara.co.jp/modules/cnts/...index.php?id=9
                                        http://www.agara.co.jp/modules/liaise/?form_id=4
                                        TEL: +81 (0)739 22 7171
                                        FAX: +81 (0)739 26 0077

                                        Tanabe City
                                        http://www.city.tanabe.lg.jp/index.html
                                        webmaster@city.tanabe.lg.jp

                                        Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau
                                        http://www.tb-kumano.jp/en/index.html
                                        info@tb-kumano.jp
                                        ADD: 24-1 Nakayashiki-Machi, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture 646-0035
                                        TEL: +81 (0)739 26 9025
                                        FAX: +81 (0)739 26 5820
                                        Last edited by Don Chan; 8th June 2007, 14:41.
                                        Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 missing photographs

                                        http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-databas...irforce/ROKAF/

                                        Comment

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