By Adam Headley The Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber nicknamed Dinah Might struggled to stay in the air on the afternoon of March 4, 1945. She had been shot up during the course of a perilous bombing mission over the Japanese capital of Tokyo and was critically low on fuel. The pilot, Lieutenant Fred Malo, fought to maintain control of the heavy aircraft. Making it back to base on the island of Tinian in the distant Marianas was a long shot. But providence was smiling on Malo and his 10 crewmen that day. They probably could get to Iwo Jima, a speck of land in the Volcano Islands, 650 nautical miles south of his target for the day’s mission. Malo requested and got permission for an emergency landing on the principal of three airfields located on the porkchop-shaped landmass that was only eight square miles square. When Iwo Jima came within sight, Malo dropped from the thick cloud cover and slapped down on the strip. A wing snapped a telephone pole as the big silver bomber came to a shuddering stop just 50 feet from the end of the runway. Within a half hour, temporary repairs had been made, the fuel tanks were topped off, and the plane was airborne, headed once again for Tinian. Dinah Might was the first of many crippled aircraft engaged in the strategic bombing campaign against Japan that found a temporary haven on Iwo Jima, and its crewmen were among an estimated 25,000 American airmen whose lives were probably saved when they avoided ditching in the Pacific Ocean. On


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