US reopening world war II bases in The Pacific


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Mar 24, 2009
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U.S. reopening World War II bases in Pacific
Posted By Joshua Keating Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 6:43 PM Share

As part of its emerging "Air-Sea Battle" concept, (see Robert Haddick for more on that) and the strategic pivot to the Pacific, the U.S. military is planning to brush out the cobwebs on a number of long-disused facilities for potential use during a new Pacific conflict. reports:

A key component of this plan is the refurbishment of long-abandoned World War II airfields scattered across the Pacific. These fields would serve as pretty bare bones facilities that American aircraft could disburse to if a conflict seemed imminent (similar to the way Strategic Air Command's Cold War disbursal base concept worked).
It looks like the Marine Corps has begun practicing how to put such a plan into action. Last month, Marines refurbished the 8,000-foot "Baker" runway at the abandoned — and historic — North Field air base on the island of Tinian, and installed aircraft carrier-like arresting gear on the runway of the island's lightly-used West Field. Naturally, this was followed up by Marine Corps F/A-18D Hornets from nearby Guam performing arrested landings on West Field, as shown in the picture above.
Tinian has a storied history, the story notes. It's where the B-29s that dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki took off.

The idea of reopening the bases is to allow the U.S. to scatter its squadrons in order to make them less vulnerable to a sneak missile attack in the event of a conflict with China. Let's hope it's just a precaution.


Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2
Sep 28, 2011
Tinian has a storied history, the story notes. It's where the B-29s that dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki took off...

More on the atomic bomb:
Lightly populated but heavily garrisoned by Japanese forces in WW II, Tinian, with its sister islands, had passed through Spanish and German hands prior to becoming a protectorate of Japan after World War I. Under Japanese administration, Tinian was largely a sugar plantation.[2]

Tinian was captured by the US in July 1944 in the Battle of Tinian. The island was transformed into the busiest airbase [3] of the war, with two B-29 airfields (West and North) having six 8,500 foot (2700 m) runways. The four runways at the North Field are now overgrown and abandoned. The West Field runways are still in use as the Tinian International Airport.[4]...The Japanese had constructed three small fighter strips[2] on Tinian, but none were suitable for bomber operations. Under the Americans, nearly the entire northern end of the island was occupied by the runways, nearly 11 miles (18 km) of taxiways and the airfield area, designed to accommodate the entire 313th Bombardment Wing of B-29 Superfortress bombers.[2]

It was from Tinian that the bombers from the 509th Composite Group carrying the atomic bombs Little Boy and Fat Man were launched against Hiroshima and Nagasaki.[4] The bombs had been delivered to the island by the USS Indianapolis on July 26, 1945.

North Field is where the remains of the US bomber base and Atom Bomb Pits,[4] and the remains of Japanese fortifications, can be found. There is a memorial on the old airfield at the loading pits, which had been filled in for safety. Both pits were recently reopened in conjunction with the 60th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battles of Saipan and Tinian. The pits had been constructed to load the bombs, since they were too large to be loaded in the conventional manner. The planes were maneuvered over a pit with their bomb bay doors open to facilitate loading.
Tinian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The USS Indianapolis was later sunk by a Japanese submarine.


Senior Member
May 7, 2011
welcome home. but why the hell news comes from a blog?

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