Rangoon, Burma
Missions of 3 Nov 44 and 12 Dec 44

News Articles, Copy and Photos from Matt Poole, Wheaton, MD
(Click on any image for an enlargement)

Japanese propaganda article from "Greater Asia"
An English language newspaper printed in Ra
(typed copy below) (from Matt Poole)

Article 2, Notes below
Marvellous Achievement Of Our Crack Ground Battery

In broad daylight at about 1-20 o'clock (Nippon Time) in the afternoon of
December 14, a formation of 11 B-29's flying at an altitude of about 6,000
meters audaciously conducted an assault over Rangoon area, but our crack
ground batteries, which intercepted the enemy raiders, giving full play to
their skilful and effective firing tactics, instantaneously hit and shot down
five of them in rapid succession.

The citizens of Rangoon, who were fortunate enough to witness the enemy
planes enveloped in fire and crash down to the ground to meet their doom,
were astounded at our impregnable air-raid defence structure and at the same
time clapped their hands with thundering shouts of joy upon seeing the end of
the enemy raiders.

It is revealed that just twenty rounds of anti-aircraft shell were fired by
our units, shooting down five out of eleven gigantic four-engined enemy
bombers. This is, indeed, a marvellous feat accomplished by our ground
battery, and it will not be an exaggeration to say that it is a world record
in percentage in the history of shooting down planes by ground fire in a
single raid.
"The second story. This one is cut off on the right.
I was in a mad rush one Saturday at the Library of Congress, as closing time
approached. When I got home I noticed that I'd missed part of the very end
of the story. I can tell that it was talking about the price of a
Superfortress and the fact that 72 crewmen were shot down in the raid, 12
airmen per crew. Propaganda! 29 men were made prisoner, and 17 killed in
the actual bomb detonation incident & its immediate aftermath. As far as I
know, only four Superfortresses were actually lost due to the explosion,
although most of the other seven were damaged." Matt Poole

Rangoon, 1945
Here's a 1945 Rangoon map, showing some bomb damage as red X's.
Mahlwagon marshalling yards are on the right
note the red X right in the middle of the roundhouse.
The 40th's target of 14 Dec 1944 was the Central Rail Station
"Rangoon RS" on the map. Note its proximity to Rangoon Central Jail,
where the POWs ended up. (Matt Poole)

Mahlwagon Rail Yards on the eastern end or Rangoon. Over the target
3 Nov '44, daylight raid by American B-29s based in India.
Note the roundhouse & turntable, camouflaged factory/industrial roofs
old bomb craters, rolling stock in the yard.
Note also the roof of the roundhouse -- some light, some dark
-- evidence of patchwork from past raids.
Also, note the shadow on the outer edge of the roundhouse.
You can see where sunlight has shone right through holes in the roof.

Mahlwagon Rail Yards on the eastern end of Rangoon.
Precision daylight bombing.

US 40th Photo Recon Squadron took this post-raid shot.
The roundhouse, which had survived repeated bombing
up to that point, was never the same.
Only about half of the roundhouse was rebuilt.
Note the rail bridge crossing the waterway
after the line exits the marshalling yard.
It is clearly damaged - note cockeyed shadow,
indicating the span out of alignment.
Pictures and text courtesy of Matt Poole

I have some information relating
to the RAF Beaufighter's downing of a Superfortress over Burma on Dec 20,
1944 (reported in Issue #57 of Memories). A good friend of mine, ex-RAF B-24
flight engineer, met a bloke when returning to England after the war. This
bloke, a Beaufighter navigator, said his pilot shot down the Superfortress,
knowing it was an American bomber. They were pissed off at the Americans for
shooting down Beaufighters -- something your Memories story brings up.

The name of the pilot and navigator involved (2-man crew in a Beaufighter)
could easily be found in the British records...may even be
able to get this via the internet, on a message board. (Matt Poole)

"Come to think of it, I have some photos of the 3 Nov 1944
raid on "Malagon" marshalling yards, Rangoon by 40th BG B-29s.
Actually, this is spelled "Mahlwagon"...no big deal.
I have posted three photos of this on the following RAF B-24 site:
The first two photos, taken during the attack,were from the USAF Photo
Collection, which now is held by the National Archives. It was at the
Smithsonian Air & Space Museum when I obtained prints. The last photo
I found on a photo recon imagery roll of negatives at the National
Archives. Pretty good accuracy! I visited the roundhouse in 1993.
It was rebuilt as a half-donut, not as a full roundhouse.
My mother's first husband, an RAF airman, was killed on 29 Feb 1944
bombing this same target." (Matt Poole)