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Images in: /World War II/Pacific Theater /Japan

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40mm Bofors gun firing aboard USS Hornet 40mm Bofors gun firing aboard USS Hornet
 Task Force 58 raid on Japan, USS Hornet launches pre-dawn strikes on Tokyo to resume where HORNET (CV-8) had left off 34 months before. The 40mm Bofors gun firing aboard USS Hornet during the attack on 16 February 1945, as the carrier's planes were raiding Tokyo. Note expended shells and ready-service ammunition at right. Photo by Lt. Comdr. Charles Kerlee, US Navy.
 
 
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Aircraft dropping bombs on Hakodate, Japan Aircraft dropping bombs on Hakodate, Japan
 USS Essex based Grumman TBF Avenger bombers and Curtiss SB2C Helldiver bombers dropping bombs on Hakodate, Japan, July 1945.
 
 
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B-25 bomber on the deck, USS Hornet B-25 bomber on the deck, USS Hornet
 North American B-25B Mitchell bomber on the deck of USS Hornet prior to "Doolittle Raid" on Tokyo, Japan. You can see the crew loading supplies and equipment  on the planes, 17 April 1942.
 
 
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B-25 Bomber taking off from the USS Hornet B-25 Bomber taking off from the USS Hornet
 North American B-25B Mitchell Bomber taking off from the USS Hornet, en-route to Toyko for the first U.S. Bombing mission to Japan, "Doolittle Raid." 24 operational B-25B medium bombers were detached from the 17th Bomb Group on April 18, 1942.   The "Doolittle Raid," was the first air raid by the United States to strike the Japanese home island of Honshū during World War II. The mission was notable since it was the only time in U.S. military history that United States Army Air Forces bombers were launched from a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier on a combat mission. The Doolittle Raid demonstrated that the Japanese home islands were vulnerable to Allied air attack.
 
 
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B-25 bombers on deck USS Hornet B-25 bombers on deck USS Hornet
 North American B-25B Mitchell bomber on the deck of USS Hornet prior to "Doolittle Raid" on Tokyo, Japan. The bombers were detached from the 17th Bomb Group, based at Lexington County Army Air Base, Columbia, South Carolina. You can see a cruiser with Task Force 16, in the background, April 14, 1942.  The Doolittle Raid demonstrated that the Japanese home islands were vulnerable to Allied air attack, and it provided an expedient means for U.S. retaliation for Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.
 
 
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B-25 during low level strafing mission B-25 during low level strafing mission
 North American B-25J Mitchell during low level strafing mission over Japanese held island, May 1945.
 
 
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B-25 Mitchell takes off the USS Hornet B-25 Mitchell takes off the USS Hornet
 North American B-25B Mitchell Bomber taking off from the USS Hornet during "Doolittle Raid" bombing mission, 18 April 1942. This is only time in U.S. military history that United States Army Air Forces bombers were launched from a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier on a combat mission, "Doolittle Raiders."
 
 
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B-29 Bomber flying over Mt. Fuji B-29 Bomber flying over Mt. Fuji
 Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber flying over Mt. Fuji.
 
 
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B-29 fly to Iwo Jima after bomb run B-29 fly to Iwo Jima after bomb run
 A Boeing B-29 Superfortress with one engine out is escorted back to Iwo Jima by another Superfortress after bomb run over Japan.
 
 
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Daylight Firebombing of Osaka, Japan Daylight Firebombing of Osaka, Japan
 458 B-29 Superfortresses (out of 509) of the 58th, 73rd, 313th and 314th Bomb Wings, all of XXI Bomber Command, attacked Osaka on June 1, 1945 in a daylight incendiary attack. 2890.7 tons of bombs, mostly M47 incendiaries and M26 antipersonnel, fell on the city. The docks were hit, as well as the manufacturing area along the Yodo River. 3.4 square miles were burned out, including the main Allied prisoner of war camp, Chikko, in Nishinomachi District. Smoke from the fires rose to 25,000 feet.  Over 4,000 people were killed, 10,095 wounded and 218,682 were homeless when 65,183 buildings were destroyed. So many B-29s overwhelmed the target that the radar-controlled antiaircraft guns could not track individual targets and fired barrages of heavy flak hoping to hit something. Only ten B-29s were lost, but weather caused 27 P-51D fighters to crash, and only 27 of 148 fighters rendezvous with the bombers. 26 pilots were lost. June 1, 1945.
 
 
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USS Franklin hit by Japanese dive bomber USS Franklin hit by Japanese dive bomber
 USS Franklin, was attacked by a single Japanese plane which dropped two armor-piercing bombs, devastating the hangar deck and setting off ammunition. The USS Franklin was enveloped by fire, and casualties totaled 724 killed and 265 wounded. The USS Santa Fe rendering assistance after the carrier had been hit, the USS Franklin remained afloat and proceeded under her own power to Pearl Harbor for repairs on March 19, 1945.  Before dawn on 19 March 1945, USS Franklin maneuvered to within 50 miles of the Japanese mainland, closer than any other U.S. carrier during the war and launched a fighter sweep against Honshū and later a strike against shipping in Kobe Harbor.
 
 
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USS Sandlance on war patrol, Japan USS Sandlance on war patrol, Japan
 R.H. Swickard (QM2/c) operating searchlight on the USS Sandlance (SS-381) during her fourth war patrol near Honshu, Japan, May 1945.
 
 
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