Cumberland Goes To War
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Cumberland Goes To War is a community heritage project coordinated and promoted by Allegany County Tourism in partnership with the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, the City of Cumberland, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce. Funded in part by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, the Allegany County Commissioners and the City of Cumberland. More information about the project and/or the images in the archive can be obtained by emailing

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Boeing B-29A Superfortress


Registered: August 2008
Posts: 1,721
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The B-29 Superfortress built by Boeing has been called the weapon that won the war in the Pacific. Designed to carry large bomb loads long distances, it made possible the strategic bombardment that brought Japan near to collapse. This mighty war machine was available when needed because Air Corps leaders of the 1930's pressed for the development of strategic bombers.

Designed to eventually replace the B-17 and B-24, the Boeing B-29 was on the drawing boards in 1940. By September 21, 1942, the maiden flight of the first "Superfortress" was completed.

The U.S. was then fighting World War II and the planes were immediately earmarked for combat. Because of its 3,700 mile range, it was decided in 1943 that the B-29 would be used in the Pacific theater to launch attacks on Japan, rather than in Europe.

The B-29 was first reported in action on June 5, 1944, in an attack on railway yards at Bangkok, Siam, and on June 15 the first raid was made in Japan from bases in China. Following that date, attacks on the Japanese mainland were steadily stepped up, mainly from bases in the Marianas and in Guam, with forces up to 450 and 500 Superfortresses.

In 1945, the B-29s launched their famous low-level incendiary missions over Japanese cities. In the first raid over Tokyo on March 10, 299 B-29s carried out the most destructive bombing raid in history when they leveled 17 square miles of the city with fire bombs.

Probably the most well known flights from Tinian came on August 6, 1945 when "Enola Gay," under the command of Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, flew over Hiroshima to drop the first atom bomb. Three days later, another B-29, the "Bockscar," dropped its nuclear payload on Nagasaki. This not only signaled the end of the war, but also resulted in the greatest identification snafu of World War II.

Captain Frederick C. Bock, the Bockscar pilot, switched planes and flew "The Great Artiste," an instrument plane for the raid. The Great Artiste was then credited in published accounts and communiques with the drop. It was not until a year later that the mistake was discovered and the Bockscar credited with this historic flight.

By 1946, more than 3,900 B-29s had been built and delivered into service.

· Date: Wed November 19, 2008 · Views: 9202 · Filesize: 150.6kb · Dimensions: 600 x 483 ·
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