Bombing Run

December 7, 2012

This picture was shot from the tail of a B-25 of the 5th Air Force during its bombing run over the major Japanese air base at Rabaul, New Britain on October 12th, 1943. The bombs are parafrag bombs, which used parachutes to slow their descent and allow the bomber dropping them to escape the range of their shrapnel. Using parafrags was necessary when attacking at such a low level as shown in the photograph, since without them bombs would explode almost directly beneath the aircraft, damaging it. Also visible in this picture are several Japanese G4M "Betty" medium bombers in revetments, and at the lower left is a wrecked A6M3 Zero fighter.

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