Boeing B-29 Superfortress (American Bomber Aircraft in World War II)
By John M. Campbell
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd 2004 264 Pages
PDF 82 MB
The B-29 "Superfortress", one of the most revered heavy bombers of the Second World War, proved herself to be quite a worthy adversary. The men & women who built her had a fierce pride in what they had manufactured & built. Her pilots and crewmembers have an undying devotion to her and a solemn reverence for the missions they flew in her & her safe returns back to their home bases in the Pacific.
I will attempt at best to tell a little more of a personal account of what the men went through day by day—the hardships, the quieter moments, as well as the humor which was always present in these fine men.
I will dive headlong into the many roles the B-29s filled & filled well. The tasks the B-29 undertook, from tanker and cargo transport flying daily missions over the treacherous Himalayas, affectionately referred to in this journal as the "Hump", in the CBI. The bombing missions, the search and rescue missions, or "Dumbos" as they were referred to in that role. The supply drop missions to our POWs being held in Japan. The two Atom bomb missions. Many think only of "Enola Gay" and the Atom bomb dropped at Hiroshima, but the B-29 meant much more and did much more than that.
The B-29 was involved in experimental projects, and set many records of her own. It was the B-29 that air dropped the first rocket-powered aircraft to break the impenetrable "Sound Barrier", with Charles "Chuck" Yeager at the controls, now a Brig. General Retired from the United States Air Force. We will look at the B-29s' role in Strategic Air Command, and her brief but powerful role in the bombing of North Korea. New information will be revealed about the B-29s in the Soviets' hands, copied and re-manufactured into the TU-4, code named "Bull", and the Tu 126 "Moss", an AWACs conversion of the B-29 with Turpolev turboprop engines. The Communist Chinese even had the Russian variants in their aircraft inventory. Many were still in service in the late 1960s. I will report on the few still existing B-29s & the museum displays. I'll give you a brief look at the Operation Crossroads bombs of the Bikini Island tests, and a never before published look at the natural disaster at OC/AMA, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, in 1947.
But whatever else you may find of value in this record, I hope it jogs fond memories and makes us all remember the many valiant men who flew, serviced, and admired this fine aircraft.
This book is to enhance not just an aircraft, but the many people who gave their toil, their sweat, their tears, and in many instances their blood to keep a free way of life and to oppose tyranny.
We owe these people for the very freedoms we now enjoy.
I had at the very beginning of this project, been told that "I was taking on an enormous task". This I do with great pleasure, Great Pride. Bless them All, "Tailwinds".