B-29s of the 874th Squadron Pass Mount Fuji

B-29s of the 874th Squadron, 498th Bombardment Group, 73rd Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force pass Mount Fuji after a daylight precision bombing of Musashino Engine Works of the Nakajima Aircraft Company in Tokyo (Target 357). The 498th was commanded by US Army Air Forces Colonel Wiley D. Ganey. Picture taken from number four in a formation of twelve aircraft. The B-29 "Pocahontas" intersecting the left ridge of Fuji is piloted by USAAF Captain Jas. R. Norris (T-Square-23, serial number 42-24601 Boeing B-29-40-BW Superfortress built in Wichita, Kansas) with Lieutenant William C. Atkinson as radar navigator. Pochantas survived the war with 56 missions completed. USAAF Captain Alexander's T-Square-21 (serial number 42-65345 Martin B-29-30-MO Superfortress built in Omaha, Nebraska) flew 43 missions before going missing on September 4, 1945, during missions to locate and supply Allied prisoners of war in Japan. This earlier system of marking aircraft was discarded in April by both the 73rd and 313th Wings. Except for the 314th Wing, which maintained its markings throughout the war, the remaining wings of the XXI Bomber Command used 126-inch diameter symbols in black to outline 63-inch high group letters. The 73rd Wing dropped all use of symbols and marked its aircraft with the group letter only, painted in 126-inch high black lettering. The symbol outline of the 313th Wing was a circle, that of the 58th Wing a triangle, and that of the 315th Wing a diamond. This photo appeared first in Time Magazine and subsequently became part of an advertisement for the Boeing Aircraft Corporation.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
United States Air Force
Date Photographed: 
Friday, April 13, 1945
Mount Fuji
Boundary of Shizuoka and Yamanas