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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Mac R. Johnson Tokyo Bombing Run Teletype

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: 2018-00-00-180
This small collection is comprised of United Press war correspondent Mac R. Johnson's teletype firsthand account as an observer onboard the B-29 aircraft "Little Gem" for a combat mission on November 24, 1944. The mission described in the teletype is the United States Air Force's first B-29 air raid on Tokyo. Johnson wrote a dramatic and detailed description of events onboard as the squadron performed a high altitude bombing over the target, the Nakajima Aircraft Factory. The teletype was received by United Press machines in newspaper offices throughout the United States; this particular printout was received by the Pueblo, Colorado Star-Journal. Johnson includes the names of each crew member of the "Little Gem" under command of Captain J.T.O. Archer, including co-pilot Second Lieutenant H.L. Crispi of Kent, Washington, who Johnson stated had worked on the first B-29 ever constructed at Boeing.


  • 1944 November 24


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 legal-size folder)

Biographical Note: Malcolm "Mac" R. Johnson

Malcolm "Mac" R. Johnson was a war correspondent over the course of World War II and later a television journalist.

Born in 1914 in Terry, Montana, Johnson grew up in Idaho and began his press career in 1937 working for the Twin Falls newspaper. He then moved to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend Brigham Young University. After briefly working for the Salt Lake Tribune, Johnson began working as a correspondent for United Press in 1939. During Warold War II, he was an observer in 23 air combat missions, including the United States' first air raid on Tokyo using B-29 aircraft. In early 1945, he joined the New York Herald Tribune and later covered the Japanese surrender from the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri.

Johnson shifted his news career to television in 1955 when he joined CBS News. He began work for NBC in 1962, managing coverage of major events such as the loss of the submarine U.S.S. Thresher in 1963 and President Johnson's Latin American Summit Meeting in Uruguay in 1967.

Johnson eventually retired to Westport, Connecticut where he passed away at the age of 70 in 1984.

Biographical note derived from collection materials and the following resource: "Malcolm R. Johnson, veteran news reporter and editor at both print and broadcast organizations for almost half a century, died Tuesday in Westport, Conn." United Press International, June 20, 1984. Accessed October 24, 2019.
Historical Note: First B-29 Bombing Mission Over Japan, November 24, 1944. In the Pacific theater of World War II between June and August of 1944, the United States armed forces had recaptured the northern Mariana Islands from Japan. From there, the United States XXI Bomber Command began an intensive bombing campaign against strategic targets in Tokyo and other cities on the Japanese homeland. The first mission to use B-29 Superfortress aircraft took place on November 24, 1944. One hundred and eleven bombers under the command of Brigadier General Emmett O'Donnell took off from Saipan headed for Tokyo and their primary target: the Nakajima Aircraft Factory in Musashino on the west side of the city. Capitalizing on the B-29's capability to fly at high altitudes, the bombers dropped their payload from an altitude of 30,000 feet, too high for the Japanese fighters and anti-aircraft measures to mount an effective defense. Mac Johnson stated that as the bombers left Tokyo for their home base in Saipan, "six violent fires were blazing up among the rectangular buildings of the great Nakajima Aircraft Factory," but the factory received no significant damage. Several of the bombers hit the primary target, while others dropped their bombs on surrounding areas due to bad weather and high winds. Only one bomber was lost due to collision with a Japanese fighter. The mission was the first of many air raids by the United States on Japan between the end of 1944 and the end of the war.

Historical note derived from collection materials and the following resources:
  • “American Missions Against Tokyo and Tokyo Bay.” Pacific Wrecks. Accessed October 24, 2019.
  • Balestrieri, Steve. “November 24, 1944, Tokyo is Bombed for the 1st Time Since the Doolittle Raid.” Special Operations Forces Report, 2017. Accessed October 24, 2019.
  • “Bombing of Tokyo.” Wikipedia. Accessed October 24, 2019.
  • “November 24th 1944 First B-29 Air Raids on Japan.” History Central. Accessed October 24, 2019.
  • Warner, Denis. “Over Tokyo the Tail Gun Fell Silent.” The New York Times, December 2, 1994. Accessed October 24, 2019.
  • “XXI Bomber Command.” Wikipedia. Accessed October 24, 2019.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection have been digitized and are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.
Guide to the Mac R. Johnson Tokyo Bombing Run Teletype
Completed - Level 2
L. Rola
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st edition

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

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