SANTA RITA, Guam (Aug. 19, 2016) -- The staff from U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) was honored when World War II veteran Rowland Ball, and his wife and daughter, visited NBG Aug. 19 - 72 years later when he was first on Guam as a U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. navigator on the B29 Superfortress.
Capt. Hans Sholley, Commanding Officer of NBG, also provided a base tour for Rowland and his family.
Rowland, who was 20 during the war, shared numerous stories with the NBG staff - amazing recounts of war stories where Rowland and his crew put their lives on the line numerous times in WWII, making bombing runs to Japan and recalling times when his B29 almost didn't make it back; including a miracle mission - the bombing run that went bad in Gifu City, Japan.
Rowland recalls targeting Gifu while Japanese searchlights made passes over their aircraft and then detected them inbound. Tracer rounds lit up around their B29 as they took on enemy fire. Right as their target was in sight, the signal to release the bomb was given - but the bombs never dropped - even after the salvo switch was hit. Their aircraft damaged, still taking on enemy fire, Japanese fighters on their tail, while carrying the bombs that were supposed to deploy, they had to make a hard decision.
To read more about this amazing veteran, please see the following story link.