The B-29 Superfortress was once a familiar sight in the skies around Grand Island. In 1942 the US Army Air Force leased the Grand Island Airport and established an air base to train crews to fly the new B-29.
The flight crews trained in Grand Island were veteran B-17 crews who had seen action over Europe, and were needed to fly the new, more sophisticated, B-29 in the Pacific Theatre.
The original Director of Flight Operations at the Grand Island Base was Col. Paul Tibbets who, as the pilot of the B-29 Enola Gay, would drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.
Grand Island, NE