SSgt Chester Arthur Johnson, Jr
Tokyo Military Prison Fire
73rd Bomb Wing Mission 42
Page 1



The four pages of 73rd Bomb Wing Mission 42 contain documents from the 73rd Bomb Wing Mission Report (236 pages) and the 499th Bomb Group Consolidated Mission Report (20 pages).

Source of the complete 73rd Bomb Wing report is Jim Bowman while the 499th Bomb Group report is within REEL B0666 obtained from the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

Each mission flown by the Bomb Wings would have three mission numbers:

XXI Bomber Command
Bomb Wing
Bomb Group

In these pages you will find:

XXI Bomber Command Mission 67
73rd Bomb Wing Mission 42
499th Bomb Group Mission 67

The 73rd Bomb Wing consists of four Bomb Groups

A Square : 497th Bomb Group
T Square : 498th Bomb Group
V Square : 499th Bomb Group
Z Square : 500th Bomb Group

In these pages you will see B-29s of the 499th Bomb Group designated
by the letter V followed by the Tail Number.

Captain Will Latimer flew most of his missions on V-23

During January 1945 the 73rd Bomb Wing established Wing Control.
This was one building or tent where information from
all four Bomb Groups would be in a central location.

A part of this is the blackboard that was updated periodically. Each Bomb Group had its own Blackboard and in the below one for the 499th Bomb Group you will see V608 in the upper right corner.
The other three Bomb Groups would have their unique number.

These blackboards have become my gold standard when resolving discrepancies within and between mission documents.

You will notice that the Blackboard does not have any B-29 Serial Numbers.
This information can be found in a few documents, such as Bombing Data,
in both the 73rd BW and
499th BG mission reports in Pages 2-4.



TSgt Louis Vance was the only man with the Latimer crew to survive the war. The Mansell POW database lists him as being at the Ofuna POW Camp. The last document on this page is from MACR 14237 and contains a statement by TSgt Vance of what took place over the target. It is of interest to compare his comments with observations from other B-29 crews that appear in pages that follow.

The columns at the top of the Blackboard list the Aircraft Tail Number, time of Take Off ( TO), Time of Landing (LAND), ABORT, Aircraft Commander (PILOT), and REMARKS.

Two B-29s were lost on this mission and each has a ------- in place of Landing Time with the word MISSING in the Remarks column.

In the ABORT column those B-29s that did abort have an X while those landing at Iwo Jima are noted with IWO

The second document is a list of Landing Times for each aircraft with the last four digits of the Serial Number in parentheses. Finding the complete serial number involves finding a book or online reference that has this information. My choice has been Bob Mann's book THE B-29 SUPERFORTRESS.

In order to match the times in this document with those on the Blackboard it is necessary to convert from Local Time to Greenwich time.


source: 73rd Bomb Wing Mission Report



source: 499th Bomb Group Consolidated Mission Report


source : Fold3