Remembering the Airmen of the Twentieth Air Force on Veterans Day, 11 November 2015

Today is Veterans Day, when we honor the Veterans of all our wars, the men and women who served in our armed forces, past and present.

The personnel of the Twentieth Air Force who participated in the strategic air campaign against Imperial Japan, which included missions against Osaka, were but one element of the armed forces brought to bear against Japanese militarism in the Pacific. Just over 70 years ago, at peak strength on 31 August 1945, Twentieth Air Force had 15,914 officers and 85,551 enlisted men assigned for a total of 101, 465 personnel on the numbered air force’s roster.

19th Bomb Group Superforts over Japan in 1945 - note Fujiyama in background.  Of note, the 19th Bomb Group was based at Clark Field in the Philippines when the war began in December of 1941.  (Twentieth Air Force Association,  Photo Courtesy of Ken Minsch (330th BG))
19th Bomb Group Superforts over Japan in 1945 – note Fujiyama in background. Of note, the 19th Bomb Group was based at Clark Field in the Philippines when the war began in December of 1941. (Twentieth Air Force Association,
Photo Courtesy of Ken Minsch (330th BG))

Of those personnel, there were 3,415 casualties in the air campaign, including 576 who died, 433 wounded and evacuated, and 2,406 missing in action, interred (e.g. in the Soviet Union), or who became prisoners of war. These casualties were largely from the 319 B-29 aircrews lost in combat or accidents during the war.

So on this Veterans Day we remember the service and sacrifice of the members of the Twentieth Air Force. Their contribution to the war in the Pacific helped speed an end to a long, bloody and costly global war.
References

United States Air Force Statistical Digest World War II, at: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a542518.pdf

Image from Twentieth Air Force Association, at: http://www.20thaf.org/