On August 20, 1944, pilot Richard McGlinn and his crew of ten took off from a base in southern China. Their plane, a B-29 American superfortress dubbed “St. Catherine,” was destined for a bombing raid on the industrial target of Yawata, on the Japanese island of Kyushu. Little did they suspect that they would not return from their “routine” bombing raid for over five months, during which time they would traverse the entire breadth of the Soviet Union.
After a long flight north, McGlinn and his crew met with fierce Japanese resistance. “Bingo! One of our engines was hit,” McGlinn later recalled. In fact, the plane was severely crippled and had no chance of making it back to China.
McGlinn sought cover in the clouds and charted a course for Vladivostok.
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