Veterans memorials

B-29 Memorial Plaza
B-29 Memorial Plaza in Great Bend, Kansas

Great Bend, Kansas
9047 Sixth St.
GPS coordinates: 38.347563,-98.849487
Take a photo of your rally flag with the above image.

Starting in July of 1943, service members started reporting to the Great Bend Army Air Field (currently the Great Bend Municipal Airport) to form the 58th Bomb Wing. Training was originally done in B-17's and B-26's while the B-29 Superfortresses were stuck in production (at Boeing in Wichita, KS) and an airfield was built to withstand the weight of the new aircraft and accommodate the crews and support personnel. Once the B-29's were received, day and night training runs were made to the Gulf of Mexico and back. In less than a year, on March 10, 1944, the Bomb Wing left for Europe.

The B-29 Superfortress crews were trained as 11-man teams. The crew consisted of a Aircraft Commander, Pilot, Bombardier, Navigator, Flight Engineer and Radio Operator located in the forward cabin compartment, another Radio Operator, Central Fire Control Gunner, Left Side Gunner and Right Side Gunner located in the mid-fuselage area and the Tail Gunner located in his own turret in the rear of the aircraft.

Construction on the memorial was started on September 2, 1999, the 54th anniversary of the Japanese surrender of WWII. The B-29 model in this memorial, was built by blacksmith and machinist Jerry Hinde and weighs over 600 lbs.

This area of Kansas is known for its stone fence posts, as trees were in short supply but rock bountiful so farmers/ranchers adapted. Keep your eye out for them.

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