They were formed as a combat unit in the spring of 1941. From all parts of the United States they came — young, fearless and thirsty for adventure. Well-trained and highly qualified, they fiew the powerful Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the biggest and deadliest bomber of World War II. With it, they bombed the Japanese from their base on Tinian Island in the Marianas. They were the crews of the 40th Bomb Group.
In the realm of World War II historical accounts, the 40th Bomb Group’s accomplishments might seem rather small, for they did not receive the headlines accorded to Paul Tibbet’s 509th Composite Group, which dropped the first atomic bomb. However, like many other groups that fiew out of the three Mariana bases on Tinian, Guam and Saipan in the months before the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks, the 40th helped to lay the groundwork for ending the war.