During World War II the Boeing Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas was in full steam in producing all sorts of aircrafts. Their factories completed 25,865 airplanes during the war, and enough equivalent airplanes in spare parts to bring the number above 30,000. Boeing employed as many as 30,000 workers. The B-29, nicknamed the Superfortress, was the heaviest four-engine propeller-driven bomber used in World War II. It was an aircraft ahead of its time. The B-29 contained guns that could be fired by remote control, and pressurized crew areas. It increased the bomb load, could fly at high altitudes, and ability to fly longer distances. The majority of the B-29s were produced in the Boeing’s manufacturing plants in Wichita, Kansas. By the fall of 1943, the first bombers were rushed into production before the “bugs” could be eliminated.
On January 12, 1944, General Hap H. Arnold, chief of the air forces, arrived at the Boeing plants and asked how many bombers could leave the next day for India. Due to the alterations and the “bugs” the answer was “none.” Arnold exploded in rage sending impossible orders that set phones ringing all over the country. This lead to the uproar famed as the Battle of Kansas. That same night G.I. mechanics flew in from numerous states and Boeing sent 600 civilian experts. Hangers were very scarce due to the immense wing span of the B-29. Workers had to work outdoors in a wintery gale. Gasoline heaters were flown in and many of the workers wore a high-altitude flying suit.
Two months later the Army Air Force bombed the Japanese homeland. The planes were delivered a full month ahead of schedule. Boeing-Wichita produced 4.2 Superfortresses per day for an average of 100 months. Of the 3,888 B-29s that were built, 1,644 were built in Wichita and an additional 125 in spare parts. The Boeing workers in Kansas made it possible for the Army Air Force to make their bombing raids on the islands of Japan and the Pacific islands. The fast production of the B-29 saved many of the American lives and paved the way for the atomic bomb drops on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Boeing-Wichita workers were given a job and finish the job and exceeded the AAF expectations.