Original U.S. WWII Bombing of Tokyo B-29 Bomber Bombardier Fuse Keys
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This fantastic set consists of 2 Bomb keys (pins, wire seals) each identified:
May 25, 1945
On the reverse side of each tag is printed in heavy black lettering:
REMOVE WITH PIN AND STRIKER
STOP AFTER ARMING WIRE
HAS BEEN INSERTED. IF
BOMB IS NOT DROPPED,
REPLACE PIN, STRIKER
STOP, AND SEALING WIRE
BEFORE REMOVING ARMING WIRE.
LAUNCHING THE BOMBING OF TOKYO
By April, LeMay had the incendiaries he needed and a massive fleet of B-29s, as more and more planes and crews were arriving from India and the States every day. To add to those growing numbers, B-17 crews from Europe, where the war was coming to an end, were being retrained on the B-29s and began showing up in Guam and Tinian as well. With the added crews, the Twenty-first Air Force in the Marianas would now be known as the Twentieth Air Force. He had what he needed to executive the bombing of Tokyo.
LeMay sent his growing arsenal of bombers back to Tokyo on April 13, 1945, and destroyed over eleven square miles north of the Imperial Palace; two days later, on April 15, another six square miles were gutted. After another interlude to help again with the effort on Okinawa, LeMay focused exclusively on his Bombing of Tokyo campaign through mid-May.
With a World Almanac in hand, LeMay went down the list of Japanese cities one by one by population. On May 14, 1945, LeMay sent 529 B-29s in a daylight incendiary raid over Nagoya, destroying the Mitsubishi engine plant and 3.6 square miles of the city around it. Two days later, 457 bombers went back to Nagoya and destroyed another 3.8 square miles. On May 23 and 25, there were two more raids against Tokyo to implement his bombing of Tokyo, destroying 5.3 and then 16.8 square miles. On May 29, it was 6.9 square miles of Yokohama, and on June 1, Osaka lost 3.1 miles of its industrial base. On June 5, 4.3 square miles of Kobe went up in flames.
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