Missing Over Tokyo

It’s the name of a private project that seeks to document the B-29 campaign against Imperial Japan. In the words of the people working on this project:

“Missing Over Tokyo” is part of an upcoming documentary series about the end of WWII. We follow the 20th Air Force and their role in ending the Pacific War.

Missing Over Tokyo 1
B-29 Superfortress very heavy bombers of the Saipan-based 497th Bomb Group (VH) are depicted high in the sky over Tokyo, Japan, in this still from the “Missing Over Tokyo” documentary project video excerpt on Vimeo.  (Courtesy “Missing Over Tokyo” project)

Representing many, Episode “Missing Over Tokyo” is the story of crews lost over Japan, and the 70-year search to find out what happened to them by the families they left behind.”

Missing over Tokyo 4
A B-29 bomber pilot points out attacking Imperial Japanese fighters in this still from the “Missing Over Tokyo” project film clip “Under Fire…” shared on YouTube. (Courtesy “Missing Over Tokyo” project)

Source: Video clip titled “Under Fire,” on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZmJv4gRvqA

Although it doesn’t connect directly to the air war over Osaka, it is important to note the incredible efforts in this project to digitally render an approximation of what air combat in the skies over Japan was like in 1944 – 1945. The same types of aircraft seen in clips of the project released thus far, B-29 Superfortress, Ki-45 Toryu (NICK), Ki-44 Shoki (TOJO), were involved over Osaka and in other geographic locations besides Tokyo as the strategic air campaign and air defense of the Empire played out in the last year of the war.

Missing Oer Tokyo 2
An Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Allied codename NICK) takes the plunge on an attack through a B-29 formation over Japan in this still from the “Missing Over Tokyo” project video film clip on Vimeo. (Courtesy “Missing Over Tokyo” project)

An extended length (one minute 56 seconds) clip of the project also shows some of the computer generated image (CGI) techniques used to achieve the spectacular visual effects, under the title “Robert D. Perry digital animation reel 2015,” on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/141754025

Missing over Tokyo 3
High over the Tokyo metro area, an IJAAF Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (TOJO) pilot makes his approach against an intruding B-29 bomber formation in this Missing Over Tokyo” documentary project video clip still.  (Courtesy “Missing Over Tokyo” project)

To follow the latest updates in the project, see the “Missing Over Tokyo” page in Facebook, at: https://www.facebook.com/MissingOverTokyo

This being a private venture, the developers are in need of support to realize the completion of the project which has no estimated completion date at this time. They are preparing a crowdfunding campaign to raise money and will need help in promoting awareness of the project to prospective supporters.

They will thus need help from people engaged in the broader community of interest in the strategic air war over Imperial Japan. Veterans, family and friends of the same, historians, aviation or members of the public with such interest – if any reader of this web log or anyone you may know is willing to help, contact the “Missing Over Tokyo” team by sending a message in Facebook. You can even simply repost information on the project into pertinent discussion groups, message boards, emails, and help make conversations happen in Facebook groups.

Boeing B-29
With one wing gone, a B-29 falls in flames after a direct hit by enemy flak over Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo)

So, hats off to the people working the “Missing Over Tokyo” project, and best wishes to them as they endeavor to digitally document this important part of the history of the Pacific War. If we can remember what happened then, contemplate the historical lessons from the terrible death and destruction on the vast scale of total war, it will honor the service and sacrifice of all those involved, and perhaps help humanity to avoid similar cataclysmic conflict in the future.

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