Chester Eugene Godfrey

501st Bomb Group

Picture taken July 19, 1945, Crew No. 61 A/C Campbell
Flew aircraft named Fussy Hussy

1st Row, Left to Right
Harry Carter, 1st Lt. - Navigator - Circleville, Ohio
Robert J. Campbell, 1st Lt. - Airplane Commander - St. Louis, Missouri
Vernon R. Blankenship, 2nd Lt. - Pilot - Kilgore, Texas
Lynn Blough, 2nd Lt. - Radar Operator - Pennsylvania
Melvin Moxley, 2nd Lt. - Bombardier - Natural Bridge, Virginia

2nd Row, Left to Right
Samuel T. Riker, Cpl - Radio Operator - Port Chester, New York
Chester E. Godfrey, Sgt. - Left Gunner - Lima, Ohio
James W. Gambill, Sgt. - Right Gunner - Rising Sun, Maryland
John R. Fibranz, M/Sgt. - Flight Engineer - Chicago, Illinois
Joseph J. Fetzer, Sgt. - Tail Gunner - Cleveland, Ohio

The following was transcribed by Joyce Godfrey from papers provided by Edith Godfrey (originals in possession of Joyce Godfrey). The papers were the typed unit history presented to Mr. Godfrey at the time of his departure from Guam.


The unending and tireless search for an instrument which would permit precision bombing without visual sighting of the target reached its highest level in the perfection of the AN/APQ-7 airborne radar, known as the "Eagle." The idea of this equipment was spawned early in 1942 at the Radiation Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The length of time spent on development and production did not permit the use of APQ-7 in the European Theater, although approximately 20 Eagle-equipped B-24s had been undergoing tests in England for several months prior to the German surrender.

Technical details of the APQ-7 and its operation are available in various Army publications for those who possess a scientific curiosity concerning the equipment. For the purposes of this report, however, only a brief explanation will be given; previous radar sets used in so-called "blind bombing" presented a 360-degree scan on the scope. Definition thus obtained was, at best uncertain. With the APQ-7, the beam was narrowed so that a 60-degree sector was presented on the scope, and the return obtained was far superior in definition. Design of the equipment provided for an antenna constructed in the form of a wing, which was attached to the underside of an aircraft.

In December, 1944, the decision was made by the Air Staff in Washington that the 315th Bombardment Wing would be equipped with APQ-7 radar - the first combat organization to be so equipped - and that all turrets and guns save those in the rear would be omitted from the aircraft. The omission of armament was made to provide greater bombloads, greater speeds and higher altitudes.

One of the most intensive training programs ever undertaken by an air combat unit prefaced the Wing's entry into the Theater of Operations. Particular emphasis was placed on high altitude (30,000 feet), long distance over-water flights with further emphasis on navigation, target identification operation of the APQ-7, and cruise control.

Interrogation of high German leaders following the end of the European war brought a diversity of opinion as to the effects of Allied bombing and its results in bringing about the Nazi defeat - diversity in all except one category, fuel. Almost without exception, the Germans who were in a position to know declared that the attacks on fuel installations and storage facilities were one of the major causes of the German downfall; so seriously handicapped mobility that the German armies and Luftwaffe were unable to meet the thrush of Allied power. In scores of instances, equipment was available but there was no fuel to feed the machines. It was apparent, even before these admissions, that in the highly technical warfare of today an army no longer travels upon its stomach but upon the cylinders of gasoline engines which need the feed of fuel.

Shortly before the 315th Wing was scheduled to go into operation, the XXI Bomber Command (later to become the 20th Air Force) decided that oil refineries of the Japanese mainland, heretofore barely scratched, would be the first objectives of the organization. The success of this mission can be judged by the information that follows


The first Empire strike by the 315th Wing was flown the night of 26-27 June 1945 against this target.

In accordance with the tactics established by Major General Curtis E. Lemay, Commanding General, XXI Bomber Command, the bombing altitude for the attack was established at 15,000 feet to 15,400 feet. This represented a drastic lowering from the original conception of altitudes to be employed by this Wing. The method of attack planned was by individual aircraft, each using synchronous radar bombing (a term employed to denote the use of the bombsight in conjunction with the radar equipment).

At the time the firm decision reached this headquarters on 25 June 1945 only a portion of two groups, the 16th and 501st, were in place and had completed the pre-operational theater training requirements. A maximum effort was specified in the field order and 38 aircraft of the two groups were scheduled to take off.

The route was from Guam to Iwo Jima to a start-climb point at 32 degrees 12' north, 138 degrees 07' east to 34 degrees 34'30" north, 137 degrees 01' east, which was both landfall and initial point, then 28 nautical miles to the target. After a breakaway to the left to a turning point and hence to land end at 133 degrees 53" north, 136 degrees 06'30" east, the aircraft was to proceed to Iwo Jima, and return to base. The axis of the attack was 320 degrees true.

Although opposition was known to be relatively weak, a compressibility factor was taken into consideration in the planning in order to make use of this "saturation measure" for future missions against heavily defended targets.

The target assigned was one of the three most important oil refineries in Japan, consisting of an oil storage and hydrogeneration plant for aviation gasoline. It held a #1 priority in the petroleum industry. Located at the north of the Utsube River on the western shore of Ise Bay two miles south of Yokkaichi, the target measured 5,000 feet east-west by 4,000 feet north-south on the east side and 3,000 feet north-south on the west side.

A night mission was planned in order to provide a daylight takeoff and a daylight landing - a procedure which was followed on all subsequent missions by this Wing.

At 1700K on 26 June the "Fluffy Fuz III" piloted by the Wing Commander Brigadier General Frank A. ARMSTRONG, Jr., began to roll down the south runway (the only one completed at the time) and became airborne 42 seconds later. 34 aircraft followed at one minute intervals. 33 aircraft reached and bombed the primary target. 1 aircraft returned early due to engine trouble and another bombed a target of opportunity, also because of engine trouble. The route out was flown as briefed and the compressibility over the target was good, with 80 per cent of the striking force over the target in 22 1/2 minutes.

Ideal weather conditions for blind bombing were encountered at the target - 10/10 undercast. All aircraft were on instruments, flying in thin alto-stratus.

223 tons of 500 pound GP bombs, or 94 per cent of the bombs airborne were dropped on the primary target.

No aircraft were lost and only one received damage - a small hole in the rear right bomb bay from meager heavy AA fire encountered in the target area. No personnel were lost and none injured.

Reconnaissance photos disclosed that 539,330 square feet, or 30 per cent of the roof area was destroyed or damaged as a result of this mission. Many of the vital portions of the refinery were hit and seriously damaged. 10 small by-products tanks and one large crude oil storage tank were destroyed.

It was decided that the refinery had not been put out of action completely, so another mission against this target was scheduled and flown on 9-10 July 1945. This mission was the fifth to be flown against Empire targets by the 315th Wing.

In a plan to obtain a longer run up to the target, another landfall was selected which would allow a straight flight from this landfall at 34 degrees 10'N - 137 degrees 00'E to the same initial point and on to the target.

By the date of this mission, the north runway was completed and it was thus possible to obtain a 30 second interval of take off by the use of both runways, with a corresponding greater compression over the target.

No other new factors were pertinent in the planning of this mission, so it was flown substantially the same as mission 1.

Of the 64 aircraft from the Groups airborne, 61 bombed the primary target. A total of 468.7 tons of 500 pound GP bombs were dropped. This represented 93.4 per cent of the bombs airborne. No aircraft were lost and there were no casualties, but four aircraft suffered minor battle damage from flak.

Reconnaissance photographs showed an excellent distribution of the bomb load throughout the entire plant area. Seven large tanks in the north storage area were damaged and 11 buildings in the hydrogeneration area were damaged.

As a result of the two strikes, it was estimated that this plant was knocked out of action for several months, if not completely beyond repair.


This target was attacked on the second mission, flown 29-30 June 1945, and the seventh mission, flown 15-16 July 1945.

Mission 2 was planned with a landfall on the eastern tip of Kyushu island, with a wind run between this point and the initial point on the northern tip of a jutting peninsula on Kyushu. A turn across water on to the target, a sharp breakaway to the right crossing Shikoku and thence to Iwo Jima, and return to the base. The route was flown as briefed except for one crew which mistook the IP, but finally made a run to the target from a different axis of attack than the 42 degree turn which was planned.

36 aircraft were airborne, of which 32 reached and bombed the primary target, dropping 209 tons of 500 pound GP bombs.

Although this target was weakly defended, a moderate compressibility was attempted and obtained with 32 aircraft over the target in 32 minutes.

A 45,000 square foot refining unit was destroyed, as were two small storage type buildings and a small by-products tank. Other units received slight damage. The Hitachi Manufacturing Company (target 90.32-825) locate adjacent to the Kudamatsu Oil Refinery was approximately 40 per cent destroyed or damaged by bombs which fell over the briefed target. Five large industrial buildings were severely damaged and four shop type buildings destroyed.

On the return to Kudamatsu Refinery the night of 15-16 July, the route was planned to make landfall on Shikoku Island at approximately the western side of Shikoku Island at approximately the point used as lands end on mission #2 with the IP located on the North western side of Shikoku, giving a run across water to the target. This course was decided upon in order to give a long straight run to the target, approximately 85 nautical miles. Breakaway was to the left to a turning point on northern Kyushu, cutting across the eastern tip of Kyushu to landend and thence to Iwo and base.

Two wind run aircraft which preceded the main force to broadcast wind direction and velocity were loaded with bombs on this mission and attacked the Ube Coal Liquification Company (90.32-1841) after fulfilling their primary function. The attack against the Ube was planned to provide a diversionary feature.

71 aircraft were airborne (including the 2 windrun aircraft) and 59 bombed the primary target, dropping 476.8 tons of 500 pound GP bombs. There were no aircraft losses or damage or casualties.

As a result of the 2 missions the refinery was considered completely out of production for many months to come. All refinery units in the plant were damaged or completely destroyed. Virtually all of the warehouse buildings in the north section appeared to be destroyed, while the crude oil tank farm, located in the southwest part of the refinery was almost completely destroyed. A breakaway of the damage follows:

341,000 barrels, or 85 per cent of the original crude oil tank capacity (400,000 barrels) destroyed or damaged; 49,300 barrels or approximately 70 per cent of the original intermediate oil tank capacity (71,300 barrels) destroyed or damaged; _ _ _,200 barrels, or approximately 15 per cent of the original refined oil tank capacity (115,700 barrels) destroyed or damaged; 2 oil bunkering piers on the south side of the refinery destroyed.

Comparative strike photography indicated that most of the damage was inflicted on mission 7.


This target was attacked on mission 3, 2-3 July 1945, and mission 4, 6-7 July 1945.

This important installation produced aviation gasoline, lube oil, ordinary gasoline and fuel oil. It also had extensive storage facilities for the Japanese Navy. Crude capacity was approximately 5,000 barrels per day. This refinery was located immediately north of Shimotsu and approximately 7 nautical miles south-southwest from Wakayama.

Landfall for both missions was just northwest of the southeast tip of Shikoku Island. The run to the target was without deviation allowing a better opportunity for wind runs and a longer time to identify correctly the target.

Of the 40 aircraft airborne on mission 3, 39 dropped 296.7 tons of 500 pound GP bombs on the primary. This figure represents 95.7 per cent of the bombs airborne. The remaining aircraft bombed a target of opportunity.

60 aircraft were airborne on mission 4. 59 aircraft dropped 441.5 tons of 500 pound GP bombs on the primary - - 98.2 per cent of the bombs airborne. The remaining aircraft bombed a target of opportunity.

Damage from mission 3 was only moderate but photo reconnaissance obtained after mission 4 showed that 95 per cent of the installation was destroyed, all buildings on the north bank of the river which bisects the target completely destroyed, and only five large tanks, several small tanks, and two buildings left undamaged on the south side of the river.

Shortly after mission 4, the following message was received from Major General Lemay:



Because of their close proximity in the Kawasaki area, these three targets are considered together. Target 128 was attacked on mission 6, flown 12-13 July 1945. Target 116 and 127 were attacked on mission 10 flown 25-26 July 1945, and all three targets, or what was left of them, were attacked on mission 12, flown 1-2 August 1945.


The target 128 covered the facilities of 4 separate companies, the Standard Oil Company, Rising Sun Oil Company, Nippon Oil Company, and the Mitsui Products Company. The four companies were adjacent, forming a square target area 215 feet on each side. The daily refining capacity of the target was 7,000 barrels. Products included various types of gasoline, illuminating oil, light and heavy oil and lubricating oil.

A course was designed to place the aircraft within the range of the heavy anti-aircraft defenses within the shortest possible time and to present the best axis of attack from a radar standpoint. See track chart for a visual presentation of the route.

Of the 62 aircraft airborne, 53 dropped 452 tons of 500 pound GP bombs on the primary target; 2 of the airborne total were wind run aircraft which did not carry bombs.

Because of the heavy flak defenses a compressibility factor was initiated in the planning and was successfully carried out. 42 aircraft, representing 80 per cent of the force reaching target, released bombs within the span of _ _1/2 minutes.

The wing suffered its first combat losses on this mission. One aircraft is classed as missing since no word was received from it and no knowledge is available as to its mishap. Another aircraft developed engine trouble shortly after taking off and crashed into the sea 125 miles north of Guam. It is known that at least 5 crew members bailed out before the crash. 3 were picked up alive by surface Air-Sea Rescue vessels; another was taken from the water dead, and the fifth was never located.

Damage on the mission was assessed as follows:

204,800 square feet of the 741,000 square foot roof area within the target was damaged. Only moderate damage was done to the tank storage capacity 1,3 _ 4,000 barrels. These structures were damaged or destroyed: an office, 1_ warehouses, 4 tanks, pipe stills, 2 stills and furnaces, treating plant, primary distillation, pump house and two small tanks, a probable office building, a probable pumphouse, and 3 probable canning or packing buildings.

In addition to the above, the following adjoining targets were damaged as a result of the same attack:

90.17-51 Asana Iron Works
90.17-133 Shibaura Engineering Works
90.17-493 Toyko Steam Power Plant
90.17-1343 Ishikawajima Motor Company
90.17-2038 Army Oil Storage
90.17-2038G Japan Casting Company
90.17-2038I Tokunaga Glass Company
90.17-2038J Mitsubishi Chemical Equipment Company
90.17-2038K Niishin Flour Mill


On the night of 25-26 July 1945 an attack was made upon the Hayama and Mitsubishi Oil Refineries, targets 127 and 116.

These adjacent targets received 668 tons of 500 pound GP bombs from 77 aircraft of the 85 aircraft airborne. Of the airborne total 2 were windrun aircraft which attacked the Japan Light Metals Alumina Plant at Shimizu.

Post-strike photographs revealed the following damage to the Hayama plant:

277,500 barrels or approximately 26 per cent of the original total storage capacity (761,600 barrels) destroyed or damaged. 26,200 barrels or approximately 26 percent of the original capacity of intermediate tanks (1,800 barrels) destroyed or damaged. Five industrial buildings destroyed or damaged, one probable office building destroyed or damaged, 4 maintenance structures destroyed or damaged. Most of the bombs fell in southeast portion of plant and installations in the other sector were largely unhurt.

Damage to Mitsubishi plant:

452,400 barrels or 32 percent of the original total capacity of storage tanks (1,404,400 barrels) destroyed or damaged. Destroyed or damaged:

2 iso-octane units and a furnace; asphalt loading units; 2 medium sized warehouses, 1 large warehouse. Damage to the target also was restricted to the southern and central parts of the refinery with the installations in the northern sectors escaping virtually unscathed.


In order to complete the destruction of these 3 targets a mission was planned dividing the main effort into 2 forces, 1 of which was to strike at 128 and the other at 116 and 127. The attack was carried out as mission 12 on 1-2 August 1945.

Rather than detail the extensive further damage inflicted, it can be said that these 3 targets were no longer of use to the enemy.


This target, one of the most important known oil refineries in the Osaka area, was struck on mission 8, flown 19-20 July, and mission 14, flown 9-10 August.

Its products were gasoline, fuel oil, and other by-products of this production. Crude capacity was 5,000 barrels per day and the refinery had a cracking capacity of nearly 1/3 of that amount. It was estimated that a production of 2,000 barrels of synthetic oil products were the annual output. Immediately to the west of the refinery and located at the mouth of the Muto River was a tank farm consisting of 12 large tanks with a total oil storage capacity estimated at one million barrels.

Of the 86 aircraft airborne on mission 8, 83 aircraft bombed the primary target, dropping 684.8 tons of 500 pound GP bombs. Of the number of aircraft airborne, 2 were wind run aircraft which bombed the Shimotsu Refinery at Shimotsu after broadcasting wind information. Again the diversionary feature was employed in the planning for the wind run aircraft.

No aircraft were lost, 4 suffered minor battle damage, and there were no crew casualties. The course and penetration to the target were the same on both missions with the landfall being effected on the eastern tip of Shikoku Islands, the IP selected being the tip of land below Osaka on Honshu on a direct line to the target. Breakaway was to the left for three minutes before making a turn to the right and then another turn to the right to lands end. This maneuver was designed to place the aircraft within the heavy flak defences for the shortest possible time and then to avoid the heavy guns emplaced in the Kobe-Osaka area by flying around them.

One group, the 502nd, was assigned the specific task of knocking out the tank farm area. Since the group was not completely in place, it was able to supply only 11 aircraft for the job, but these 11 accomplished the objective in a superior manner. Photo reconnaissance after the mission disclosed that only 2 of the 10 large tanks remained undamaged - - and these two tanks were empty.

The other aircraft of the wing inflicted major damage to the synthetic oil plant, where only 2 of 14 buildings and only 4 small tanks appeared undamaged.

However, the refinery area escaped with little or no damage and it was decided to return to the target.

109 aircraft were airborne on mission 14, of these 97 bombed the primary target, dropping 918 tons of 500 pound GPs. No aircraft were lost and there were no crew casualties. 11 aircraft were battle damaged to a minor extent.

Photo reconnaissance after the strike disclosed that the target had ceased to exist. Almost complete destruction of the area was visible, with many buildings and other units disappearing.


Bombs from mission 8, 22-23 July 1945, and mission 13, 5-6 August 1945, cascaded onto this target.

One of Japan's leading producers of synthetic oil, the refinery was considered of highest priority in the Japanese petroleum industry, It produced low temperature tar and synthetic oil by hydrogenation. With the shipping blockade making access to crude oil nearly impossible, this plant had become vitally important to the Japanese war effort. A low temperature carbonization plant formed part of the target. Other vital units were the hydrogenation plant, a power plant, a gas generating plant and the oil refining and storage area.

82 aircraft were airborne on mission 9. 74 aircraft attacked the primary target, dropping 636.8 tons of 500 pound GP's. On mission 13, 113 aircraft were airborne and 108 attacked the primary target with 938.1 tons of 500 pound GP's. There were no aircraft losses or crew casualties on either of the missions.

Scattered but serious damage was the result of mission 9, and after mission 13 reconnaissance photos showed 100 per cent of the refining units to be destroyed or damaged, with about 80 per cent of the stores and workshops damaged or destroyed. Details of the damage follows:

From mission 9: 5 storage buildings, 1 gantry crane damaged; 4 unidentified buildings, 1 coke conveyor, boiler house of power station damaged; 2 workshops, 4 unidentified buildings damaged; 1 unidentified building, pipe stills, control and pump house, stores buildings damaged.

From mission 13; Pump house destroyed; storage buildings destroyed, LTC retort house destroyed, small building destroyed, coal gas plants damaged, pump house destroyed, unidentified building destroyed, coal conveyer system damaged, fuel crushing plant destroyed, central power station and generator damaged, tank or gas holder damaged, water tower, compressor and gas washing house destroyed, injector house and 3 stalls damaged, 2 unidentified buildings destroyed, rundown tank damaged, 3 storage tanks damaged, rundown tank destroyed, oil treatment units destroyed, 8 work shops destroyed, main office destroyed and stores and work shop buildings damaged.

Dykes which were built to hold back the sea from the low reclaimed land were breached by bombs, permitting such a flooding of the area that photo-interpreters were able to report: "This target destroyed and sunk."

A near-by target, the Ube Iron Works Company (90.32-1878), was 50 per cent destroyed by the attacking aircraft on mission 13.


This is the target attacked on mission 11 flown 28-29 July 1945.

An important refinery of crude petroleum with large and modern facilities and good shipping and rail connections, the target also had a tank capacity of 600,000 barrels. It was roughly the shape of an equilateral triangle about 2,500 feet along each side. The storage area extended 1,000 feet beyond the northern tip of the refinery area.

84 aircraft were airborne and 78 bombed primary target, dropping 658.3 tons of 500 pound GP bombs. Opposition was light and there were no aircraft losses or crew member casualties.

Photos showed it was unnecessary to return to the refinery for in this mission the target was almost completely destroyed. 927,000 barrels of the 1,246,000 barrel capacity was damaged while the 1,274,100 cubic foot gasometer capacity was almost completely destroyed. 69 per cent of the 210,254 square foot group area was destroyed. The target was thoroughly saturated with bombs and obliterated beyond repair.


This target was attacked on the 15th and last mission flown by this Wing, flown on the night of 14-15 August 1945 with bombs released only a few hours before the announcement by President Truman that the Japanese had accepted the United States surrender terms.

This mission was the longest nonstop combat flight ever made, a distance of 3,740 statute miles from the base at Guam to the target on the northern coast of Honshu Island and return.

Postponed for several days by the peace negotiations, the mission took off, led by the Wing Commander, at 1637 hours on 14 August. 142 aircraft were airborne and 134 dropped 953.9 tons of 100 pound and 250 pound GP bombs on the primary.

Results of the photo-interpretation of damage brought now familiar words: "Almost completely destroyed or damaged." Photographs disclosed that no portion of the target was untouched. The three refining units were a tangled mass of wreckage, the main power plant still standing but seriously hit. More than 66 per cent of the tank capacity was destroyed. Lesser installations, including the worker's barracks, were destroyed.


In the short time of its operation, the 315th Wing revolutionized heavy bombardment by proving that it was possible to knock out small difficult targets through the use of APQ-7 radar. This pioneer organization blazed a new path in aerial warfare, accomplishing its task with the lowest combat losses on record.

The primary target was found and attacked on every mission flown, with an extremely high percentage of airborne aircraft dropping bombs on the assigned objectives.

No estimate is available at this time, but it is believed that the blasting of nine refineries and storage areas seriously crippled Japan's oil production capacity and that had the attacks continued much longer the Nipponese production would have been cut to a trickle, seriously handicapping their ability to wage war, thus materially shortening the length of the war and saving countless American lives.

Transcribed from unnamed newspaper article (probably Lima newspaper), copy provided by Edith Godfrey:


Lima Flier Describes How News Of Victory Came As His Plane Was Returning To Guam

Flying on the longest mission ever taken by B-29 Super-Forts without bomb bay tanks, Sgt. Chester E. Godfrey, son of Mr. and Mrs. H.B. Godfrey, 814 Dingledine Ave, learned en route to his home base on Guam in the Marianas that the Japanese had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. It was the flier's 11th combat flight.

"We were just passing over Iwo Jima when the announcement that the war was over came over the radio," Sgt. Godfrey wrote his parents in a letter received Saturday. "We were dead tired but that news woke us up and we talked about it for the four hours we were in the air from Iwo to Guam.

However, the crew of the "Fussy Hussy" was so exhausted at the completion of the mission that the omitted celebrating that night.

"I was thankful that it was over and was happy just to be able to crawl into bed," Sgt Godfrey added.

Termination of most censorship rules enabled the Lima serviceman to disclose that he had been to Tokyo three times and that "those yellow devils" played soldier and made things pretty rough for the attackers.

On the second of these flights, Sgt. Godfrey reported. that ship next to the "Fussy Hussy" was shot down in flames, victim of a direct flak hit.

"We couldn't do a thing but watch it go down and pray the crew could bail out. We never found out if any of them made it or not and we didn't hang around any longer than we had to, either."

Among landmarks Sgt. Godfrey witnesses were Mt. Fujiyama, Yokohama, Tokyo Bay, the Sea of Japan, the Inland Sea, and other places. He said he was glad he didn't have to look at Japan again and that he had seen enough of the Pacific to last him a lifetime.

Sgt. Godfrey also noted that his last mission proved to be on the final day of World War II, an unusual honor for a flier.

"Get those guns cleaned up, Dad," he wrote enthusiastically. "I'll get rid of the surplus."

Larry Miller

October 21, 2005