Designed in 1940 as an eventual replacement for the B-17 and B-24, the first B-29 made its maiden flight on Sept. 21, 1942. In December 1943 U.S. Army Air Forces leadership committed the Superfortress to Asia, where its great range made it particularly suited for the long over-water flights against the Japanese homeland from bases in China. During the last two months of 1944, B-29s began operating against Japan from the islands of Saipan, Guam and Tinian. With the advent of the conflict in Korea in June 1950, the B-29 returned to combat. Although vulnerable to MiG-15 jet fighter attacks, the Superfortress remained effective against several types of targets throughout the Korean War.