B29 - Superfortress
Delivered to the US forces in the Pacific area the B29 started combat operations in mid 1944. By early 1945 many Bombardment Groups were flying missions to Japan from the various Pacific island bases. Up to 1,000 B29s were allocated to each sortie with a devastating effect on Japan�s infrastructure. Well armed, with remotely operated turrets, and flying at 30,000ft the B29 was well able to survive in a combat environment, however, it was plagued with engine problems and suffered a relatively high rate of �early returns� form operational sorties. Famously, or infamously, used to deliver the only atomic weapons used in combat the B29 was quickly decommissioned after WW2 and only one airframe, of the over 3,000 built, remains in flying condition.
The image shows a typical high level Far East mission with aircraft from the 479th Bombardment Group based in Saipan, Mariana Islands.