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    North Field (Ushi Point Airfield) Tinian | CNMI USA
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USAAF 1945

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2000

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2000
Location
North Field (Ushi Point Airfield) was located near Ushi Point on the northern tip of Tinian Island in the Southern Islands Municipality of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in the United States of America (USA). Known to the Japanese as Ushi Point Airfield and known to the Americans as North Field.

Construction
Built by the Japanese as military airfield. Known as "Ushi Point Airfield" for nearby Ushi Point.

Japanese Usage
Used by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a military airfield. During July 1944, heavily damaged in the bombing missions and pre-invasion bombardment against Tinian Island.

Japanese units based at Ushi Point Airfield
121 Kokutai (C6M1 Myrt)

American Usage
On July 26, 1944 captured by U. S. Marines (USMC).

At the airfield, several Japanese aircraft were captured including C6M1 Myrt 821 Tail 21-104, C6M1 Myrt 916 Tail 21-101 and C6M1 Myrt 21-103.

Immediately, U. S. Navy (USN) Seabees began repairing and expanding the airfield, even before the fighting had ended. After 45 days and nights of continuous work, the airfield was ready eleven days ahead of schedule. In that time, the construction of the three 6000' runways involved the moving of nearly 1,000,000 cubic yards of earth and coral while 900,000 truck miles were absorbed.  In May 1945, a fourth runway was constructed. Hardstands for 265 B-29 bombers were built around the airfield.  The four parallel 8,000 foot runways are oriented roughly east-west.

To the Americans, known as North Field and became a base for B-29 Superfortresses flying bombing missions against Japan. A B-29 flight from North Field on Tinian to a target in Japan was usually a 1,500 mile round trip.

American units based at North Field (Ushi Point)
505th BG, HQ USA December 19, 1944 - ?
313th BW, 504th BG HQ USA December 23, 1944
504th BG, 398th BS (B-29) USA December 23, 1944
504th BG, 421st BS (B-29) USA December 23, 1944
505th BG, 482nd BS (B-29) USA December 24, 1944
505th BG, 483rd BS (B-29) USA December 24, 1944
505th BG, 484th BS (B-29) USA December 24, 1944
6th BG, HQ USA December 28, 1944
6th BG, 24th BS (B-29) USA December 28, 1944 - first mission Jan 27, 45
9th BG, HQ USA December 28, 1944
9th BG, 1st BS, 5th BS, 99th BS (B-29) USA December 28, 1944 - first mission Jan 25, 45
509th Composite Group, Adv echelon USA May 18, 1945
509th Composite Group, HQ USA May 18, 1945
509th Composite Group, 320th TCS (C-47, C-54, B-29) USA May 30, 1945
509th Composite Group, 393th BS (C-47, C-54, B-29) USA May 30, 1945
509th Composite Group combat crews arrive (B-29) June 11, 1945
504th BG, 680th BS (B-29) USA June 15, 1945

Postwar
Disused since the Pacific War. During the 1950s, the remaining B-29s left at the airfield were melted down for scrap metal.

Today
The crushed coral runways are grayish and weathered but are still generally clear and accessible north of San Jose using Broadway" Other than the runways, nothing seemed to be left of the old facilities. No buildings were to be seen. The forest had grown right up to the edges of the runways and taxiways.

Atomic Bomb Pit #1 and Memorial
The No. 1 bomb loading pit on Tinian where the atomic bomb, "Little Boy" was stored before being loaded onto the B-29 "Enola Gay" 44-86292. This area was heavily guarded and a tent erected over the bomb before the top secret weapon was loaded before take off on August 6, 1945 against Hiroshima.

Today, a single coconut palm and a plumeria tree grow in it. Locals have always observed misshapen coconuts on this tree, normal ones have never been produced on this tree. This hole is probably one of the most historically charged remain of the island's past.

Atomic Bomb Pit #2
The No. 2 bomb loading pit on Tinian where the atomic bomb, "Fat Man" atomic bomb was loaded into B-29 "Bockscar" 44-27297 and dropped over Nagasaki. Today, the two concrete lined pits are filled in with dirt.

References
Echoes from the Apocalypse includes footage of North Field and the Atomic Bomb Pits

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Last Updated
December 27, 2019

 

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