Crew of Madolyn II
The Mariana Islands had been taken for the purpose of launching bombers at the Japanese mainland. Situated just 1,500 miles to the south, the islands provided suitable airfields from which to launch the long-range B-29s beginning in the fall of 1944. The crew of a B-29 was comprised of pilots, navigators, engineers, gunners, and a bombardier. The bombardier was responsible for the accurate deployment of thousands of pounds of traditional explosives and, beginning in spring 1945, incendiary bombs.
Charles W. Vann (Vyhnanek) Collection