JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
As we all know Tinian Island was of a vast strategic importance to Allied War effort against Japan. It sits just a few miles away from Saipan, and is situated close enough to Japan (1500 miles) to make the place an integral part of the advance on Japan as an airstrip. The battle fought to control the island--in August 1944--resulted in it being taken by U.S. forces, the Japanese losing all but 300 or so of a garrisoned force there of 8500. Tinian became home to (among others) the 509th Composite Group, which was the home base for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was the penultimate step of the fulfillment of the Manhattan Project--the last being the dropping of the bombs--and it struck me only very recently that after all of this time, it seems to me that Tinian bears a resemblance to Manhattan Island, which makes for a peculiar irony.
Now that I have for the first time looked at a map of Tinian with street names, I see that this irony was deeply incised into the very earth of the place by Seabees, because when the plan of the city was laid out in the fall of 1944, the place received a gridwork of streets similar to Manhattan--and as a matter of fact, a number of the streets were named with Manhattan in mind: Broadway, Riverside Drive, Canal Street, 42nd Street, Wall Street, Canal were there and named, and even for the north end of the island, the major road leading out was named Saw Mill River Parkway, which is what I would drive leaving the city for Great Barrington, Ma. I don't know why I am so very late to this party, but I am. If you've not noticed this before, join the club, and enjoy. (See here for a clearer map of the Tinian street names: http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/marianas/maps/tinian.html#axzz4HjqvMu1w )