on August 6th 1945 the B29 Superfortress Enola Gay
became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb
The Boeing B29 Superfortress was the most sophisticated, complex, and expensive aircraft ever built up to that time. After Japan’s leaders ignored a demand to surrender, President Harry S. Truman authorised the atomic strike, in order to avoid the millions of casualties expected if ground troops invaded Japan’s Home Islands. Under the command of Colonel Paul Tibbets the Enola Gay flew from Tinian in the Mariana Islands and released the bomb at 08:15 over Hiroshima.
At that time the B29 Superfortress was the only aircraft capable of carrying the 10,000 or so pounds of the atomic weapons Little Boy and Fat Man the approximately 1,400 miles from Tinian to their targets in Japan, and getting home again.
The Atomic age had begun.
Japan unconditionally surrendered on September 2nd 1945 after a second strike by the B29 Bockscar on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. More people were killed and injured by the RAF’s conventional bombing of Hamburg than the casualties caused by the atomic bomb at Nagasaki.
Today, the Enola Gay is exhibited at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA. Bockscar may be seen at The National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, OH.
jack collier email@example.com