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6th Bomb Group Mission: Hiroshima

Photos of the B-29 Enola Gay aircraft that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

THE ART OF DECEPTION – Enola Gay was a part of the special (and secret) 509th group. The plane was made to look like it was part of the 6th Bomb Group, hidden in the Sixth Bomb Group area with 6BG tail markings and dropped the A-bomb with 6BG markings to fool Japanese spies.

The Enola Gay is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named after Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets. On August 6, 1945, during the final stages of World War II, piloted by Tibbets and Robert A. Lewis it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb.The bomb, code-named “Little Boy,” was targeted at the city of Hiroshima, Japan, and caused the near-complete destruction of the city. Enola Gay participated in the second atomic attack as the weather reconnaissance aircraft for the primary target of Kokura. Clouds and drifting smoke resulted in a secondary target, Nagasaki, being bombed instead. After the war, the Enola Gay returned to the United States, where it was operated from Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico. In May 1946, it was flown to Kwajalein for the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests in the Pacific, but was not chosen to make the test drop at Bikini Atoll. Later that year it was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution, and spent many years parked at air bases exposed to the weather and souvenir hunters, before being disassembled and transported to the Smithsonian’s storage facility at Suitland, Maryland, in 1961.
Excerpted from: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enola_Gay

NOTE: For a more complete overview of the Pacific War, go to Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

LEGACY

Individuals can view the anniversary of the bombings in different ways. Some say it was not justified, and others disagree. But in Hiroshima each year, a tribute is paid to the many men and women, most of them civilians, who died in the bombings. The country lobbies against use all nuclear weapons. In the United States, tributes are paid each year on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, honoring those Americans who fought in WWII and other conflicts. In the decades after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States has threatened to use its nuclear weapons many times, but restraint has always prevailed. It is a symbol of America’s values and morals that since 1945, the United States had deliberately chosen not to use nuclear bombs or tactical nuclear weapons in any of the wars it has fought since WWII. The government and the population at large works to continue that legacy.

Excerpted from: veterans.nv.gov/august-marks-atomic-bomb-anniversary/


These aerial target photos photographs were taken before and after the bombing of Hiroshima by Bill Webster and Iner Nielsen. The Enola Gay was parked with and identified (Circle R tail markings) with the 6th Bomb Group to disguise its special presence on Tinian.

THE ENOLA GAY TODAY | Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C. PHOTOS: Kent Vincent

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