Exploring historical pieces at Tinian airport
STRANDED for over an hour to wait for the next flight in an airport has never been a bother for me, but not when you are not feeling well and the ground seems to shake and your start to see double of everything. Most of all, not if you are stranded at the Tinian Airport where there is nothing to do but stare at the empty seats and the small confines of the departure area.
Fighting the urge to curl up on one of the benches and go to sleep last Monday, I had time on my hands with nothing to do. I left my Kindle at home, which would have come handy that time and it was no use wishing I had called earlier to reconfirm my flight back to Saipan. Otherwise I would have spent another hour in bed in my hotel room.
Walking out of the departure lounge, I stared dully at the deserted roads and the burning heat outside and saw something that I have always seen before but never paid any attention to—relics of the World War 11 located just in front of the airport building.
Fishing out my cameras and my boredom forgotten, I walked over and started taking photos of the Japanese cannon and B29 wheels and an antiaircraft machine gun. These historical pieces were found in a firing position and hidden in one of the caves in San Jose, Tinian and have been moved to the airport to create a historical display.
Innocently sitting there in all its rusted glory is a machine gun with the steel seat still attached was reported to be one of those that inflicted heavy damage on the battleship Colorado and destroyer Norman Scott during the first day of the battle of Tinian.
Beside the machine gun is a plaque erected and dedicated to honor the surviving VPB-116 Blue Raiders airmen who served on Tinian.
Located at the historic west field of the island, Tinian Airport is the third of three runways used by the 58th Bomb Wing of the 20th Air Force and constructed for the B-29 Super-fortress for smaller planes.
That spare hour before my flight gave me a chance to capture on the lens more relics that have played important roles during the World War 2. If you’re on Tinian, take a few minutes to check out these artifacts right outside the airport building. You just don’t know how many thousands of people around the world envy you for having this chance.