04 Feb 2014
Tinian Island, Northern Mariana Islands
Today we were docked in Saipan but flew to Tinian Island. It is in the Northern Maiana Islands and is a US Commonwealth a la Puerto Rico.
The purpose was to learn about WWII in the Pacific from this important island that I had never heard of just a week ago.
Japan had taken control of it during WWI
After a week of heavy fighting and loss of lives the US took it in 1944. The entire island was turned into a 40,000 person military base with great strategic importance for the Boeing B-29. That was a great plane and now Japan was within its range.
It was from Runway Able that the planes left carrying the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
We visited the actual pits that were constructed to load the bombs, since they were too large to be loaded in the conventional manner. The B-29s were maneuvered over a pit with their bomb bay doors open to facilitate loading.
Afterwards we were treated to a local beach barbeque. It’s really a beautiful island.
Sightseeing takes a lot out of a guy