Air raid Feb 23 1938
Our friend Mr D Koh's reply plus the original question was published in the Feb, 2008 issue (see above). Essentially, Mr Koh recalls that the air raid was the one and only time in the eight years of war when the Japanese territory was attacked by the Chinese. Mr Koh was then in the second grade, a resident of west Taipei in 蓬萊 (now 大同)區District near Danshui River. On that day, he heard 2-3 explosions. It was a high-altitude sneak attack. The air raid sirens also did not go off. In the evening, Mr Koh's father came home and mentioned that the 松山 Airfield in northeast Taipei, was bombed and there were collateral damages with many living nearby died/injured. A few days later, the government invited the public to view the destruction...
This (left) is the Tupolev SB2 bomber powered by two M100 12-cylinder water-cooled engines with a crew of three. In the fall of 1937, the Nationalist Chinese Air Force received 62 SB2 M100s from Soviet Union. And the attack on Taiwan on Feb 23, 1938, was carried out by the Soviet Volunteer Group based in 漢口Hankow, more than 1,000km from Taiwan. Twenty eight (28) SB2s were deployed, accompanied by 12 others from the 南昌Nanchang Bomber Group. The formation flew over Foochow, across Taiwan Straits to the north of Taiwan, then turned south to reach the targeted airfield in Taipei. The Japanese air-defense might have assumed that planes from the north would have been from Japan and therefore did not sound any alarms. There was in fact no resistance of any kind until almost the end of the raid.
Presumably, a total of 280 bombs were dropped, the first ones from 10,000 ft. Some 40 [or 12 according to another source] Japanese warplanes were destroyed on the ground. The hangars and fuel depots (with 3 years' worth of supply) had also burned.
The victory dinner in honor of the Soviet volunteers was hosted by Madam Chiang Kai-Sek herself.
The surprise attack must have embarrassed the Japanese Colonial Gov't, so the populace was told that the SB2s had cut their engines and flown in silently. It is also unclear if Hsin-chu was ever bombed. On the other hand, the claim of 280 bombs unleashed by the SB2s seems an exaggeration as well [Note: This number might have come from the 10 small bombs, consisting of 6x154- and 4x33-pounders, carried by each SB2, and 10 x 28 bombers = 280].
We thank Mr Koh for providing the article shown above and Mr Patrick Cowsill for bringing this matter up (for more, see his comments in the previous post).
Posted by EyeDoc at 上午2:36