The guys felt FINE about it —great, in fact. They were not wracked by gnawing guilt.
ONE crew member did give in to the temptations of greed and did several times accept invitation$ to give speeches in Japan. In those appearances he did jump through several of the guilt hoop$ they put in front of him. The Japanese media did grab those up and ran very far with them:
The guilting process that occurred in Germany was not imposed on Japan and when push comes to shove most Japanese, incredibly, do consider themselves as victims of WW2).
On the few occasions I read stuff about the crew members in Japan, they usually single this one guy out and they might throw in something brief about this one guy’s supposed regret.
But in fact the mission went textbook and they didn’t indulge in the Guilt Orgy that so many lefties and revisionist Japanese (and American) historians would prefer.
To this day in Japan, the historic significance of Dec. 7th is unknown.
Whenver I mention it (usually on that very day) it always takes my Japanese listener by surprise, though very fairly they never relish it. Meanwhile, of course the exact dates of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are famous.
The exact history of Nanking is not dwelled upon, other than the extremely tiny Chinese community in Japan, some honest lefties and the extreme right, which admonishes that it never happened, or barely.
School textbooks in Japan mostly DO conceed that Nanking happened, but they do not go into the actual details.
The war in the Pacific is usually summed up with the word “advance”, i.e., Japanese forces advanced into China and the Pacific.
When my youngest was 9 or 10 years old he took a Japanese language class at his school, about 20 years ago. The teacher was a 20 something woman from Japan and one day brought up Hiroshima and said the United States was wrong to have done that.
My son called out, “Japan should have never bombed us first”.
Teacher dropped the topic.