Mission flown 7/31/45 to the coast of Korea but the weather forced the Group to hit secondary targets and the one that hit Nagasaki was a was a surprize. Taken from an Article by Everett P. Brady
Assigned a shipping search on 7/31/45 along KOREA'S west coast with KUMNING as the secondary target, 6 B-25's of the Green Dragon Squadron took off at 7:35 with four 500 pound 4-5 second delay para-demolition bombs.The 405th sextet led the 4 squadron 38th Bomb Group to it's P-47 Fighter rendezvous at GOTO-SHIMA where the 71st and the 822nd turned NE to search the eastern coast and the 405th and the 823rd turned NW to search the western coast.
When bad weather closed in 40 miles SE of SAICHU SHIMA, the 405th and 823rd turned back at 10:22 forgoing the sweep and its own secondary, and decided to attack the secondary target of the 71st-822nd squadrons, the small town of NAGASAKI on FUKO-SHIMA. Due to a misunderstanding of the village coordinates, the squadron leader Captain Max Brown led an attack on the large Japanese naval and ship building center of NAGASAKI on north western KYUSHU.
Enroute 2 planes attacked a small lugger; all missed. At 11:22 the six 405th planes sped across the south end of NAGASAKI Harbor, the 823rd turned back just before reaching the city.The attack was as much a surprise to the attackers as those attacked-the crews expected a smaller town. The surprise element allowed the low flying strafers to hit the well defended and rough target without serious opposition or damage to the planes.
Twentyone bombs were dropped thru the lower half of the city's port area, while all guns belched 18,325 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition. A large black smoke fire and a white smoke fire were started by 2 direct hits among the small yards West of TOHOO-YAWA Hill, both verified by low oblique strike photos taken by 4 planes, and believed to be the first low level obliques of the city. Two hits made in KOSUGEMACHI: unobserved results. Results of 4 bombs in TOMACHIE unobserved other than flying debris and bomb explosionsas the strike plane carried no camera. Two hits were scored in the urban and small boat area south of MATSUO RIVER, with one bomb explosion revealed by strike photographs. Two direct hits and a near miss were scored in another small boat area at SUZURE SAKI; one hit was made on a concrete building just off this area with unobserved results. A newly completed Sugar Able Love in the south part of the harbor received one direct hit just forward of the superstructure. When the picture was taken the bomb had not yet exploded but dust from the hit and smoke from strafing were revealed. A large black smoke fire, visable for 10 minutes after leaving the target was started by a direct hit on a camouflaged oil tank on KOZAKI POINT. Two bombs scored direct hits on a factory in the KAMIGO district, throwing debris and starting a gray smoke fire. Strike photos revealed extensive ship building facilities and a large concentration of Patrol Craft and another large Sugar Able Love not under attack. A cruiser camouflaged with netting and trees, lay in deep fjord-like cove NW of KOURA harbor., and a probable crusier was in the center of the harbor, no signs of activity seen on either cruiser. Other vessels observed but not attacked were 15/20 Patro Craft along East side of harbor. two (2) Fox Tare Charlies, 3 or 4 ferry boats with high superstructures, 2 tanker types in dry dock, one unidentified cargo vessel in NISHIDOMA basin, one large tug boat and one barge north of vessels in inner harbor.
A large tunnel into the hillside behind oil storage tanks in NEGAMI and KAMIGO was observed from which meagre, heavy and medium inaccurate to accurate machine gun fire was noted, also from harbor and positions along harbor coast, further testifying to Jps surprise at sudden, unexpected attack. Two planes received one hole each from this fire: no personnel injured. On an island in harbors mouth was observed a large radar or radio station. The 823rd reported heavy black columns of smoke rising from harbor area. On withdrawal from NAGASAKI area, last two bombs dropped by the Green Dragons hit the town of MOGI, two miles SE of NAGASAKI; onobserved results. Only one bomb dropped is known to have caused no damage, a complete miss on afore mentioned Sugar Able Love. After an uneventfull return trip, the sextet landed safely at Yontan strip, Okinawa, at 14:10
The official mission report gives all of the facts but does not tell the whole story. As all of you seasoned combat veterans know, the right way to hit a target such as NAGASAKI would be to come down the side of the mountain with everything firewalled and on out to the open sea. We didn't do this. We came in from the water, hit NAGASAKI, and went up the side of the mountain. This accomplished two things: surprised the Japs and gave us a preety good readout on the stallig speed of a combat equipped B-25- but we did make it over the top.
After getting back to Yontan Strip, Captain Brown and his Navigator were racked up pretty good by some top brass for hitting the wrong target. This was a little hard to understand at the time because it wasn't the first time the 405th or any other squadron had hit the wrong target.
Six days later , August 6, Hiroshima was hit with the A-Bomb, and three dayslater, August 9, NAGASAKI was hit with the second atomic bomb -- but now you know!!!!