the "Miracle of the Marianas" was the ground traffic direction
control system used at the start of a B-29 mission to Japan.
The diagram above shows how one wing at North field, Guam, took
off on a typical "Night Burn Job." Each group appears at normal
strength of 33 planes, plus two spares. By the war's end the
maximum group strength averaged well over 40.
Zero hour plus one minute Wing leader in No.1 of the 39th Bomb
Group (A) is airborne at the end of the North runway while No.1
of the 29th B.G. is halfway down South runway, 30 seconds behind.
Others are all lined up ready to go on signal from a green Aldis
lamp. One by one, the rest move out on exact schedule from their
hardstands and taxi into position (follow red arrows). Vacant
stands are occupied by planes either unassigned or in repair.
Uncompleted areas are shown in gray, outlined in white.
image above is the daytime takeoff procedure for one group.
This differed from the night system only in that each group
used both runways to speed up assembly into formation. Here
the 29th Group, third to takeoff after the 19th and 39th, flies
32 planes, which are divided into two sections, North (N) and
South (S). As soon as the first planes have been given the gun
(again at 30-second interval), 8 N taxis over behind 7 N, while
2 S slides down the South runway into starting position. This
continues until all the N planes are lined up. Then the backlog
of seven S planes takes position.
clarity all Superforts are shown out on the taxi strips; in
actuality the last 16 would still be dispersed on their hardstands
at the time the group leader takes off.
"Impact" Magazine's Final Issue Sept-Oct 1945