As Robert Morgan gripped the controls of his B-29 Superfortress named “Dauntless Dotty,” his target came into view, and he prepared to release the payload. He then gave the order, and his plane unleashed its might to the enemy below.
As the stage was set for the Allies during WWII, the groundbreaking B-29 Superfortress entered the scene. It had a pressured cabin allowing it to fly at impressive heights and advanced defensive systems.
It had a wingspan of 141 feet, and a length of 99 feet, and the aircraft itself can carry a substantial payload.
State of the Art Bomber
This state-of-the-art bomber created a new era for combat aviation, with its capabilities tailored to the evolving strategic landscape.
Flying at heights unreachable by most Japanese fighters, B-29s can operate with relative impunity while delivering devastating payloads.
One Hell of a Pilot
By then, skilled pilot Robert K. Morgan had already made a name for himself in the European Theatre. He had flown most of his missions in the B-17 Flying Fortress Memphis Belle as part of the 91st Bomb Group VIII Bomber Command, and the bomber was officially recognized as the first one to complete 25 operations in the European Theatre.
Instead of retiring, his passion for flying prompted him to fly again and was eventually promoted and given command to the 869th Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group.
On November 24, 1944, Major Morgan would lead the 73rd Bomb Wing to Tokyo. Their target? The Nakajima Aircraft Company’s Musashi engine plant. However, they encountered fierce, high-speed wind with speeds up to 450 miles per hour, making accurate bombing impossible. Despite their efforts, the plant only suffered minimal damage.
On March 9, 1945, Dauntless Dotty joined another pivotal and innovative raid: Operation Meetinghouse. The two-hour raid involved 302 B-29s, with 279 reaching their target.
It managed to destroy 16 square miles of central Tokyo, making it WWII’ single most devastating air raid, surpassing the destruction of Dresden, Hiroshima, or Nagasaki. It showed the potential of strategic bombing, and shifting the tides of war.