Tokyo Firefighters Rush to Contain Blaze

Tokyo firefighters rush to contain a fire started by high explosives dropped by radar from 56 B-29 Superfortresses of the 73rd Bomb Wing during Operation Enkindle. The target was the Nakajima Aircraft Engine Factory in Musashino, but complete cloud cover prevented accurate results. The factory was untouched, but secondary targets in the Tokyo urban area were bombed by radar. The Japanese rated the damage as "extensive." With only 8,000 firefighters for all of Tokyo, for six million residents, most of their equipment was hand-drawn or horse-drawn. Here firefighters ride a truck while others pull hoses. Precision daylight raids were unsuccessful because the Jet Stream, unknown and unexpected by the Americans, interfered with aiming. During this raid, 9 Superfortresses were destroyed, many by ramming. Some squadrons did not encounter fighters or flak while others were hard hit. Superfortress A Square 52 shot down fourteen Japanese planes, a record for a single mission in aerial combat.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Tuesday, January 9, 1945