New book explores Tinian role in A-bombs


It took Don Farrell almost 20 years to finish his latest book, Tinian and the Bomb, but the CNMI historian said it’s a well-written piece that’s worth the wait.

“I wrote a first draft of the book, but I wasn’t satisfied with it so I rewrote it, then another one before I came up with the best way to present the story so people would understand the issues at that time,” Farrell told Saipan Tribune yesterday.

The book will be launched tomorrow, Thursday, from 6pm to 8pm at the American Memorial Park Visitors Center where Farrell will also give his remarks and present a PowerPoint presentation, followed by a question-and-answer with the audience.

“This is a combat story that took place in the island of Tinian. My point is, I don’t want to spend my time to play philosopher. This is during the war times, so there’s no right or wrong. It is a story that had never been told,” Farrell added.

He said that based on history, everyone knew that the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but not all are familiar that both bombs—christened Fat Man and Little Boy—were put together on Tinian.

“Some may know that the bombs were delivered to Tinian. Most think that the bombs were assembled in the U.S., then shipped out here to prepare for the attack on Japan. But what they didn’t know is the bombs were produced and assembled on Tinian.”

Farrell said a group of four men were flown to Tinian from Los Alamos, New Mexico for the Allied Forces’ top-secret Project Alberta and Operation Centerboard.

“All the parts in making the bomb were shipped and stored in a warehouse [on] Tinian. [J. Robert] Openheimmer was the lead physicist in the Los Alamos facility that established the Manhattan Project,” said Farrell.

“The parts that were put inside the bombs, including the bomb casings, were made [on] Tinian as part of Project Alberta. Project Alberta delivered the first nuclear bombs in Japan that forced them to surrender, thus ending the Second World War.”

He added that the book tells the story of the Allied Forces’ decision to choose Tinian to be the base where the plane that would bomb the two cities in Japan. It details the events from February to September 1945.

The Northern Marianas Humanities Council, under executive director Scott Russell, is hosting the launching where Farrell will also have a book signing after he interacts with the audience.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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