TOKYO – Five American veterans who took part in firebombing Japan during World War II saw photos of stacks of charred bodies and leveled homes at a museum dedicated to the victims, and said the outcome on the ground of their missions was awful.
Fiske Hanley was an engineer on a B-29 bomber in the March 10, 1945, firebombing of Tokyo that killed about 100,000 people and destroyed much of the eastern part of the city. On the ground, Haruyo Nihei was running for her life as a schoolgirl.
Hanley and Nihei, now 95 and 79, met at the museum on Wednesday and celebrated their survival.
The five veterans, who were on separate planes that firebombed different areas of Japan, are visiting Tokyo on a Japanese government reconciliation program.