By Gordon Bennett Robertson Jr.
The B-29 bomber used to be made to bounce in skinny, chilly air, shedding its colossal bomb load from heights so nice that the crews may well by no means see their objectives during the clouds under. That used to be simply high-quality with Ben Robertson, pilot in charge of one of many significant 4 engine bombers hammering Japan to its knees in a nonstop bombing crusade within the Pacific. while normal LeMay ordered the B-29s to change strategies from sunlight, high-altitude bombing runs to night, low-level runs, Ben's angle replaced. What used to be noticeable as easily dangerous--bombing Japan--now appeared a lot extra like suicide.
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Additional resources for Bringing the Thunder: The Missions of a World War II B-29 Pilot in the Pacific
5 degrees. I stood on the brakes and opened the throttles, revving the engines to full power, the plane shaking and rocking from the restraint as wisps and streams of vapor came off the prop tips in the moist tropical air. Then, with a signal from the tower, I released the brakes and we began to roll. I danced on the rudder pedals feeling for control, and I soon had it as my copilot began calling out the airspeed: "70 ... 80 ... 95 ... 110... " I could feel the lift beginning to build under the wings and the rumble of the wheels on the runway lessen somewhat as the landing gear struts extended.
This was to be a maximum-effort, low-level, night incendiary raid with over 300 Superforts participating. We were not scheduled to be in the initial attack force, so the fires would be burning merrily upon our arrival. ) The mission objective was to kill and dehouse as many Japs as possible in order to deprive them of a labor force, destroy their in-home cottage manufacturing industry, and break their will to continue their resistance. The type of mass destruction we planned to rain on them would, we hoped, motivate the Japanese people to overthrow their military leaders and force the emperor to seek peace.
It appeared that it would take years for me to meet the minimum. The other path to a flying career, of course, was the military-the best flying education you could get. War clouds were gathering. , it appeared that we would be involved sooner or later in one way or another. In the meantime, enlistment in the R(:AF looked appealing. I investigated it, but there were some problems. S. citizenship by enlisting in the armed forces of another country. So I procrastinated; being a soldier-of fortune was not my objective.