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Anyone from "The Greatest Generation" can tell what it was like hearing the war planes flying overhead, or training.
The B-29 Memorial is dedicated to those veterans who served during World War II on the Army Airbase which is now the home of the Great Bend Airport.
Stand under the
Memorial Plaza arches and listen to the echoes of history. Imagine
standing at the Headquarters building of the Great Bend Army Air Field.
It's July of 1943 and crews are arriving ready to be trained as 11-man
combat teams to fly huge B-29 bombers. Construction crews are still
working to transform this Kansas wheat field into an airfield and
training facility. Barracks, airplane hangers, and miles of concrete
runways designed to hold the enormous weight of the B-29s (70,140 lbs
empty/135,000 lbs loaded) are rapidly taking shape on the prairie.
Now imagine hearing B-17 and B-26 aircrafts roaring overhead. Crews are
training on these war-weary planes until the Superfortress B-29s start
rolling off Boeing assembly lines. When the B-29s arrive, crews take day
and night practice missions to Cuba. The men and women around you are
in a hurry. Their mission is critical to the war effort. Some of them
are part of elite combat crews, but there are also mechanics, armorers,
cooks, and clerks. In less than a year, on March 10, 1944, the 58th Bomb
Wing will take off from these runways.
Great Bend's B-29
Memorial Plaza is open to visitors every day, all day, to honor the men
and women of the Great Bend Army Airfield.
Plan a visit to hear the echoes of World War II history and Stan with the crews of the Superfortress.