Operation Bombing of Numazu

The 'Bombing of Numazu' was part of the strategic bombing campaign waged by the US Army Air Forces against military and civilian targets, as well as population centres, during the Japan home islands campaign late in World War II (17 July 1945).

Although Numazu was not a major centre of population, it possessed a number of militarily significant targets: these were centred on the port and included a ship repair yard and a number of small- and medium-sized factories supplying military equipment and munitions. The Tokaido main line railway connecting Tokyo and Osaka also ran through the town, and as Numazu was also located at the base of Mt Fuji, a prominent landmark used by bombers en route to Tokyo or Nagoya from their bases in the Mariana islands group, it often served as a secondary target for bombers unable to complete their primary mission assignment.

Numazu was attacked on eight occasions during World War II, the largest raid taking place on the night of 17 July 1945. During this attack, 130 Boeing B-29 Superfortress four-engined heavy bombers of Brigadier General LaVerne G. Saunders’s 58th Bombardment Wing dropped 1,039 tons of incendiary bombs, resulting in a firestorm which destroyed most of the town. The estimate for civilian casualties was 274 persons killed, and 9,523 homes destroyed. During the war, Numazu’s losses were 322 persons killed and 634 severely injured, as well as 11,883 homes destroyed.

One year after the war, the US Army Air Forces' Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific War) reported that 89.5% of the city had been totally destroyed.