Grand Island in Hall County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
B-29 Superfortress / 6th Bomb Group / Tinian Island
Very Heavy Bomber (increased speed, range, and bomb load)
Features included pressurized cabin, electronic fire control system, remote-controlled gun turrets.
First Flown: September 21, 1942
Intro to Service: May 8, 1944
Service Users: U.S. Army Air Forces, U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force
Production Years: 1943-1946
Number Built: 3,970
Unit Cost: $639,188.00 (Today's Dollars 8.62 Million)
Wingspan: 141 feet 3 inches
Length: 99 feet 0 inches
Height: 27 feet 9 inches
Wing Area: 1736 square feet
Aspect Ratio: 11.58
Airfoil: Boeing 117
Four Wright R-3350-41 Duplex Cyclone eighteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engines with each having two General Electric Turbochargers, delivering 2200 hp for takeoff with a war emergency rating of 2300 hp.
Ferry Range: (no bombs) 5830 miles
Combat Range: (with 20,000 lbs. bombs) 3250 miles
69,000 lbs. empty and 137,000 lbs. loaded
Bomb Load: 20,000 lbs (40 x 500 lbs)
The Sixth Bomb Group, who trained here, was deployed to Tinian Island in December 1944. Their B-29's were technologically the greatest bombers of World War II. The construction of Tinian's North Field, the Sixth's base, was the largest, most expensive single construction project of WWII. It continues today to be the largest and busiest airfield ever operated by the United States Air Force. The longest combat missions flown by any aircraft in WWII were flown by the Sixth, when ports in Korea were mined on the night of 11 July, 1945. The B-29 "Enola Gay" based at the Sixth BG flew the first atomic mission with the Sixth's Circle R tail insignia. The plane is now permanently displayed at the Smithsonian in our historic 6th BG markings. The climactic bombing campaigns helped to bring an end to WWII, without an invasion of Japan, saving an estimated 500,000 lives.
"Sacrifices, fears and loneliness were endured by those stationed on Tinian, as well as their dependents in the States, during this period. We pray that the world may never again suffer such extreme and devastating warfare."
Tinian island was captured from the Japanese and declared secure August 2, 1944 after the June 15, 1944 assault of Saipan, Tinian and Guam islands at a cost of over 16,000 American Soldiers.
The Seabees were able to construct much of the base using crushed coral. Starting with the northernmost strip, Seabees constructed four airstrips designated A ("Able"), B ("Baker"), C ("Charlie") and D ("Dog"). In order to pave the coral runways and roads Seabees constructed an asphalt plant at the site. The first 6th Bomb Group airplanes landed on Tinian January 18, 1945 less than 4 months after construction began.
Erected by 6th Bomb Group Association; and Virgil Morgan.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • War, World II. A significant historical year for this entry is 1944.
Location. 40° 58.155′ N, 98° 19.146′ W. Marker is on Grand Island, Nebraska, in Hall County. Marker can be reached from Sky Park Road, 0.6 miles north of East Airport Road, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located in a small memorial plaza on the south side of the Central Nebraska Regional Airport terminal. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3773 Sky Park Road, Grand Island NE 68801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. Central Nebraska Regional Airport (here, next to this marker); Arrasmith Field (here, next to this marker); Hall County Poor Farm Cemetery (approx. 2.2 miles away); B-17 Bomber Crash, 1944 (approx. 2.2 miles away); 6th Bomb Group (approx. 2.6 miles away); Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 2.6 miles away); Hall County Veterans Memorial Park (approx. 2.6 miles away); The Seedling Mile (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grand Island.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Central Nebraska Regional Airport
Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 12, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 403 times since then and 207 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 12, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.