On April 26, 1945, 859 men loaded onto two trains at a small rail station in western Utah for a two-day journey to Seattle, Washington. After a short stay, the men boarded the ship “Cape Victory” and on May 6 set off for Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands where they were met by Lt.Col. Hazen J. Payette on May 29. The men were members of the 509th Composite Group, a part of the U.S. Army Air Forces, the predecessor to the modern Air Force. Payette, the group intelligence officer, had led an advanced Air Echelon of 90 men that arrived several days earlier. Over the course of the next two months, most of the remaining members of the 509th CG would arrive on the island along with equipment, supplies and fifteen specially modified B-29 Superfortress aircraft.