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Google Earth Plug-in: Tinian North Airfield Overlay

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Tinian was in the central Pacific Marianas, in sight of Saipan three miles away, only 1,450 miles from Tokyo. Since its capture by the Marines during July-August 1944, it had been turned into the largest airfield in the world with over 500 B-29s operating from there on daily missions. The 509th, with its aircraft identified by a distinctive insignia of a circled black arrow, ran more combat training and practice flights from the island during July and early August 1945, including four bombings of Japan itself (staring on 20 July) with "pumpkin" bombs simulating the forthcoming atomic weapon. The most crucial finding of the test runs was that weather over the target was the crucial factor determining mission success or failure.

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