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Rain of Fire is the remarkable story from a 26 year-old Captain in the US Army Air Corps, piloting B-29s during the final stages of WWII in the Pacific Theater. Beginning on Thanksgiving Day 1944, B-29 fire bomb raids began on Japan from Saipan in the Mariana Islands. Receiving a Distinguished Flying Cross for piloting the largest planes used in during WWII, his last mission was August 6th, 1945 — the day of Hiroshima — the same day he was forced to ditch his aircraft into the sea.


9 x 12 inches - Oversize
225 Photographs; 210 pages
ISBN: 1-891030-32-9

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Rain of Fire
B-29’s Over Japan, 1945

Charles L. Phillips, Jr.
Colonel USAF (Ret.)

A first person account of a historic record of events from the perspective of a combat aircraft commander and squadron operations officer, some sixty years ago.

“As we approached the coast of Japan, about 1,200 miles from Saipan, we developed a large oil leak in one of the engines. We did not make it to the target that day. Bonner had to feather the propeller on the ailing engine and abort the mission. The bombs were salvoed into the sea. We logged 12 hours and 30 minutes of flying time, none of which counted as combat time or sortie credit. Most of that time the B-29 was operating on three engines en route back to Saipan. It was my first experience of being aboard a B-29 during an engine failure.”

"To me, it is important for us all to realize that the time period he covers was the only time in the history of military aviation that true strategic air power was actually put to proper use and air power had done what all its early pioneers had said could be done.”

-- General Curtis E. LeMay

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