We were headed east. We were in an area where anything could happen. Over the radio … I told the rest of the men to hold their fire until we positively identified the planes below us. You see, I thought they might be Russian planes. I certainly didn’t want to get in a fight if they were. So… we dropped in behind them. They never knew we were there. They were flying a pretty sloppy formation. Sort of strung out in a long uneven line. I closed up behind the last plane … about 150 feet from him. There was no doubt about it … they were Jerry planes.
The wind and flames became terrific. We were in Hell. All the houses were burning, debris raining down on us. It was horrible. Sparks flew everywhere. Electric wires sparked and toppled. Mother, with my little brother on her back, had her feet swept out from under her by the wind and she rolled away. Father jumped after her. “Are you all right?” he screamed. Yoshiaki shouted, “Dad!” I don’t know if his intention was to rescue Father or to stay with him, but they all disappeared instantly into the flames and black smoke. Everything was buming. In front of us were factories, red flames belching from windows.