10 February 1945 — Ota, Japan
Carmel McClellan Slaughter, Jr. enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in the Army Air Corps on 30 December 1940 at MacDill Field near Tampa, Florida. In 1941, he completed flight training and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant (ASN: O-424304) in the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF).
In April 1944, he flew B-17F Flying Fortress aircraft with the 505th Bombardment Group (BG) while training at Dalhart Army Air Field (AAF), Texas. During the summer of 1944, he underwent Boeing B-29 aircraft transition and Combat Crew Training at Harvard AAF in Clay County, Nebraska.
The 505th BG Ground Echelon left Nebraska and traveled to Fort Lawton, Washington. They sailed from the Seattle Port of Embarkation (POE) on the 15th of November 1944. After a long ocean voyage aboard the USS Sea Star (a cargo "Victory Ship"), ground crews debarked at "Tinian Town" on the 24th of December 1944 to prepare for the arrival of aircrews and aircraft. Meanwhile, the Air Echelon and combat aircrews were being out-processed through Kearney AAF, Nebraska. The aircrews deployed to the Pacific Theater of Operations from Hamilton and Mather Fields, California with refueling stops at Rodgers Field on Hawaii, and Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, before arriving at North Field, Tinian.
Captain Slaughter was assigned to the Central Pacific Theatre of Operations, 20th Air Force, XXI Bomber Command, 313th Bomb Wing, 505th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy), 483rd Bomb Squadron stationed at North Field on Tinian in the Mariana Islands.
At 0430 hundred hours on the 2nd of January 1945, a Japanese air raid flew over the field and dropped some fragmentation bombs that put holes in two or three B-29 aircraft.
On the 21st day of January 1945, Capt. Slaughter led the Bomb Group against Japanese Forces at Moen Airfield in the Truk Atoll. Three days later, in a combined operation with the Navy and elements of the 7th Air Force, the Group attacked an airfield and installations on Iwo Jima.
On the 4th of February 1945, the target was the port and urban area of Kobe, Japan. Ground crews loaded the B-29 aircraft with “incendiaries” and a few “frag” bombs thrown in for good measure. During the bomb-run, Veterans of the European Theater (…Capt. Slaughter among them) said they had seen more flak, but none so accurate as the Japanese.
On 10 February 1945, Capt. Slaughter flew as the Airplane Command Pilot aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress nicknamed “Slick’s Chicks” (Tail # 42-24784). His aircraft was one of 120 aircraft launched in a wing formation to bombard the Nakajima Aircraft Assembly Plant at Ota on the northwest side of Tokyo, Japan.
While over the target at an altitude of 28,000 feet, the group was attacked by a band of Nakajima Ki-44 single-engine “Tojo” fighter planes. During the attack his aircraft suffered a mid-air collision with another B-29 bomber, resulting in the loss of both aircraft and aircrews.
NOTE: Japanese personnel collected two sets of dead bodies, which after cremation, were collectively buried in the Obara cemetery near Akizuma, Japan.