By March 1945, when Ben Robertson took to the skies above Japan in his B-29 Superfortress, the end of World War II in the Pacific seemed imminent. But although American forces were closing in on its home islands, Japan refused to surrender, and American B-29s were tasked with hammering Japan to its knees with devastating bomb runs. That meant flying low-altitude, nighttime incendiary raids under threat of flak, enemy fighters, mechanical malfunction, and fatigue. It may have been the beginning of the end, but just how soon the end would come--and whether Robertson and his crew would make it home--was far from certain.
Gordon Bennett Robertson, Jr., flew thirty-five combat missions against Japan as a B-29 pilot in World War II.