C O P Y

March 31, 1955

MEMORANDUM FOR GENERAL EVEREST

SUBJECT: Capabilities of Entire USAF Considering Atomic vs H.E. Weapons - Specific Inference to Matsu and Quemoy Applications

1. In answer to paragraph 4.a. of the attached correspondence (TAB 1), the USAF has the H.E. capability as reflected in TABS 2 and 3. Of significance, it is pointed out that our B-47 Force has a very limited H.E. capability. Without modification only four (4) 500# or 1000# H.E. bombs can be carried by each B-47. With a fairly extensive modification, requiring some 1100 man hour aircraft, this capability can be improved to permit loading of twenty-one (21) bombs per aircraft (TAB 2).

2. Fifteen (15) B-47 Wings are combat ready to perform H.E. missions. Consideration in the modification should not overlook the fact that once the aircraft are modified, it will take a depot modification in excess of the previously quoted 1100 man hours to convert each aircraft to the original atomic configuration.

3. With respect to the B-36 inventory, our ten (10) Wings could be made H.E. capable with minor modification (approximately fifty (50) man hours per aircraft). Load carrying capability after this modification would be one-hundred thirty-two (132) 500# bombs or seventy-two (72) 1000# bombs.

4. It could be logically concluded that a drastic program to modify the SAC B-47 Wings from the atomic to the H.E. configuration would not be warranted. This is especially true when considering that the major atomic strike potential of the USAF would be rendered impotent. As will be reflected below it would be necessary that all B-47 Wings be modified to H.E, configuration to approach delivery of required tonnages. Not considered in such a fantasy is the base complex needed to support such an effort. There are but four (4) bomber bases in being in the Far East suitable to accept Medium Bomber operations.

5. Further, inventory of USAF Bomber Wings reflect an H.E. combat capability in one (1) B-45 Wing and one (1) B-26 Wing.

C O P Y

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6, Insofar as our Fighter-Bomber inventory is concerned, we have eighteen and one-third (18-1/3) Fighter Bomber Wings world-wide with combat ready capability for H.E. warfare. Of this number five (5) are assigned to the Strategic Air Command. An additional six (6) Fighter Bomber Wings have a reduced combat capability (TAB 3).

7. It is significant to note that no Fighter Bombers need to be converted to employ their H.E. capability.

8. Analysis of the Far East situation indicates there are a total of 150 targets that would require air attack to deter the invasion of Quemoy, Matsu and Formosa. To neutralize these targets 150 sorties carrying atomic weapons would be required. One F-84G F/B squadron deployed to Okinawa and one B-47 Wing deployed through Kadena could accomplish this delivery. One F-86F Wing could be deployed to Formosa for air defense or F/B H.E. mission if required. Existing air bases are available for this deployment.

9. Utilizing H.E. weapons to keep the 150 targets neutralized for 30 days would require delivery of 74,755 tons of bombs. The expenditure would be as follows:

TARGETS


TONS

SORTIES

Gun positions

60

640

640

Air bases

46

55,800

55,800

Ports

4

11,500

11,500

Invasion Force

2

2,000

2,000

POL Sites

15

1,250

1,250

Troop Areas

8

825

825

Supply Depots

7

2,240

2,240

Rail Bridges

8

500

500

TOTAL

150*

74,755

74,755

10. The above chart was based on 1000# bombs and 300' CEP for Fighter Bomber Aircraft. To deliver this tonnage would require 23 F/B Wings flying 1.5 sorties per aircraft per day over a 30-day period. Twenty (20) additional bases would be required for this operation at a total cost of 110 million dollars.



2

* Target system provided by Directorate of Intelligence, 30 March 1955

C O P Y

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C O P Y

11. At present there are three (3) F/B Wings in FEAF that could be deployed to the Formosa, Okinawa area. A fourth F-86F Wing could be deployed to Formosa from Japan if an additional base could be made available. These four (4) Wings, however, represents only 17% of the force needed to accomplish the H.E. mission.

12. Examples of Bomber (B-47) employment against certain of the above targets, using H.E. munitions with 3000' CEP (Radar release), demonstrates the lucicrousness of such application. For instance, against the six (6) early phase airfields, requires the delivery of six thousand, one hundred twenty (6,120) 500# bombs. Even with this effort, the airfields would be rendered non-operational but twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) hours. Two hundred sixty-two (262) effective sorties or the equivalent of six and one-half (6 1/2) modified B-47 Wings would be required on a daily basis. If unmodified B-47's were employed, this daily requirement would be increased by a factor of five (5) or thirty-two and one-half (32 1/2) Wings.

13. In contrast to the H.E. effort it would take the following atomic bomber effort for the early phase target system:

a.

60 Gun replacements
(31 KT atomic bombs utilized)

60 effective sorties




b.

4 Ports
(83 KT atomic bombs utilized)

4 effective sorties




c.

6 Airfields
(83 KT atomic Bombs utilized)

6 effective sorties



70

14. Two (2) Medium Bomb Wings should therefore be able to deny or destroy the above targets system on one (1) night mission.

15. It is concluded from the facts thus far presented that H.E. munitions alone cannot prevent the invasion of Matsu and Quemoy. In fact it would take months of H.E. bombing to retard the Red Chinese invasion threat. No Far East base complex could possibly be available to support this effort.

16. An atomic effort in contrast would take only one (1) Fighter-Bomber Squadron and one (1) Medium Bomber Wing to destroy the nucleus of the Red invasion complex on one (1) mission. Though this tremendous potential is most practical and in being, the fact should not be overlooked that timing is the key to success in this operation. The withholding of this atomic force until after the invasion was in progress would not assure the hold of the off-shore islands.

C O P Y

4 Incls
     Tab 1 - Memo frm DCS/O
     Tab 2 -Chart
     Tab 3 - Chart 3
     Tab 4 - Prop Memo to C/S

3

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C O P Y

TYPE ACFT

WINGS

BOMB TYPE & NUMBERS

TON/SORTIE

COMBAT RADIUS

MOD

TIME

SORTIE RATE

B-47

15

500# (4)

1

1900 NM

-

-

9-3

B-47

15

1000# (4)

2

1900 NM

-

-

9-3

B-47

15

750# (21)

7.88

1475 NM

GP 'B'

1100 man/hr

9-3

B-36

11

500# (132)

33

2700 NM

Minor

25 hr per bomb bay

2

B-36

11

1000# (72)

36

2700 NM

Minor

25 hr per bomb bay

2

B-45

1

500# (27)

6.75

750 NM

-

-

15/12/7

B-45

1

1000# (14)

7

750 NM

-

-

15/12/7

B-26

1

500# (10)

2.50

500 NM

-

-

15/12/7

B-26

1

1000# (4)

2

500 NM

-

-

15/12/7

NOTE:

a. The above reflects only CR units as of 1 April. However, there are 8 B-47 units and 4 light bombardment units that have some capability not figured in above.

b. 1100 hr to convert B-47E from short bomb bay to long bomb bay high density load. Depot function to convert vice-versa.

c. Only 28 GP 'B' long bomb bay kits available. Production rate 10 per month.

d. B-36 bomb bay conversion from special to GP configuration approximately 25 hrs per a bomb bay.

e. Station set kits availability in Far East.

Andersen AFB

Basic

85%

B-47

0%

KC-97

43%

B-36

44%

Kadena AFB

Basic

72%

B-47

1%

KC-97

45%

B-36

54%

Yokota AFB

Basic

100%

B-47

0%

KC-97

100%

B-36

0%

C O P Y

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C O P Y

FIGHTER BOMBER & STRATEGIC FIGHTER HE DELIVERY CAPABILITY

COMBAT READY

Location

Type Acft

No. Wings

Max Bomb Load

Radius Action

Sortie Rate Mo.

Mod

FEAF

F-84G

1 1/3

2 x 1000

420nm

625

None
Required

F-86F

2 2/3

2 x 1000

275nm

1098

USAFE

F-84G

1

2 x 1000

420 nm

825


F-86F

4

2 x 1000

275 nm

1098


ZI

F-84F

6

2 x 1000

600nm

600


F-84G

1

2 x 1000

420nm

825


F-86F

2

2 x 1000

275nm

1098


ALASKA

F-86F

1/3

2 x 1000

275nm

366



TOTAL

18 1/3 Wgs





LIMITED COMBAT CAPABILITY

USAFE

F-84F

1

2 x 1000

600nm

600


ZI

F-84F

2

2 x 1000

600nm

600


F-86H

3

2 x 1000

300nm

750



TOTAL

6 Wgs






1. Limitations when using HE weapons.

a. Range of aircraft is lessened because of increased drag.
b. Higher attrition rates due to more missions.
c. Higher cost of delivery per ton of explosive.
d. More air base requirement to accommodate increase in aircraft required.
e. Increase requirement.

C O P Y