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58th Bomb Wing Memorial
The 58th Bomb Wing Memorial pays tribute to the thousands of men in the first unit to introduce the Boeing B-29 Superfortress into combat in World War II.
Wall maps, photographs and artifacts retell the history of the 58th Bomb Wing from its beginning days in Kansas, to the bases in India, "flying the hump," to forward bases in China, and the final days of the war on the island of Tinian. Banners, tribute panels and armament surround the restored Boeing B-29A "Superfortress" in the dedicated 18,000 sq. ft. hangar that was built through the generous financial support from the members of the 58th Bomb Wing Association and the State of Connecticut. The Memorial was officially dedicated on May 31, 2003.
You can help assure that the legacy of the 58th Bombardment Wing endures for all future generations by:
58th Bomb Wing Veterans Database
58th Bomb Wing Reunions
History of the 58th Bomb Wing
The 58th Bomb Wing was called upon to take the mighty B-29 Superfortress from the drawing board into combat in order to effect the subjugation of Japan from the air during WWII.
The Wing's four Bomb Groups, the 40th, 444th, 462nd and 468th, were stationed in eastern India in 1944. On its earliest missions, the 58th Bomb Wing transported fuel and bombs from its bases in India over the treacherous Himalaya Mountains to staging bases in the Chengtu Valley in unoccupied China. "Flying the Hump" was so dangerous that it was counted as a combat mission. On June 5, 1944, the 58th flew its first combat mission, a raid against the railroad yards at Bangkok, Thailand. The mission originated from the rear bases in India. Ten days later 47 B-29s took off from the staging bases in China on their first nighttime attack on the Japanese homeland, striking the massive steelworks at Yawata. The B-29 had proven its long-range capabilities and the 58th Bomb Wing quickly developed a reputation as one of the elite bombing units of WWII.
In 1945, from Tinian, the Wing flew combat and reconnaissance missions throughout Southeast Asia and finally into the heart of the Japanese empire, striking at the core of the enemy's industrial cities, aircraft factories, steel mills, electronic facilities, ball bearing manufacturers, and merchant shipping centers. Through the efforts of the mighty 58th Bomb Wing the Japanese Empire was defeated by August 1945.
Click on the icons below to go to websites of the groups.
The 58th Archives provides permanent storage to all the artifacts, photographs, books and records donated by veterans of the 58th and their families.
Our Current Exhibit
In addition to the extensive display of 58th Bomb Wing history on exhibit in the Memorial we have also created a new exhibit that shares the stories of bombing runs the 58th made to Japan. The exhibit shares the stories from the members experience complete with maps, memorabilia and voice recordings.
The Search for the Praying Mantis
The Thin & High Team, led by American-Chinese businessman Bernard Yang, completed three Praying Mantis Expeditions between 2001 and 2005. The First Expedition in July 2001 found the crash site and recovered hundreds of pieces of debris. The Second Expedition in July 2004 installed a bronze plaque at the pagoda which had been built at the crash site. The Third Expedition in August 2005 marked the 60th Anniversary of the end of WWII and paid homage to the Praying Mantis crew.