Text on Flickr (excerpt):
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From 27 August to 20 September 1945, B-29’s of the 58th, 73rd, 313th, 314th and 315th Bombardment Wings gathered on Isley Field, Saipan. Together they flew 900 sorties against 158 Prisoner of War and civilian internment camps in Japan, Korea and parts of China.
This included sorties flown to camps which were added to the lists after operations had begun. Although all five Wings participated in the operations, more than half of the effective sorties (52.4%) were flown by the 73rd Bomb Wing, based on Saipan. Ten sorties were staged through Okinawa.
A total of 4,470 tons of supplies were dropped by aircraft during these 900 sorties. Loading of individual aircraft varied according to the need of the particular target. The number of bundles varied from 25 to 40 per aircraft.
These missions came at a high cost, considering the war was officially over. Eight(8) aircraft were lost along with 77 souls.
These missions had to happen. We had to get our men out of these hell holes. In the eyes of the Japanese, these white men who allowed themselves to be captured in war were despicable. They deserved to die. They viewed all Caucasians as racially inferior, incomprehensible and barely human. The Japanese Guards beat them until they fell, then beat them for falling, beat them until they bled, then beat them for bleeding. They denied them medical treatment. They starved them. They sacrificed prisoners for medical experiments. They watched them die by the tens of thousands. If the war had lasted another year, there would not have been a POW left alive. Read on here.