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Built by Maritn-Omaha as a B-29-45-MO Superfortress at the Glenn L. Maritn Aircraft Plant in Bellevue, Nebraska. On May 9, 1945 one of fifteen B-29s selected by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., Commanding Officers (C. O.) of the 509th Composite Group (509th CG) while being built on the production line for "Silverplate" the code name for the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) portion of the Manhattan Project.
On May 18, 1945 delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-29-45-MO Superfortress serial number 44-86292. Assigned to crew B-9 under the command of Captain Robert A. Lewis. On June 14, 1945 flown to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah.
Assigned to the 20th Air Force (20th AF), 509th Composite Group (509th CG), 393rd Bombardment Squadron (393rd BS) whose mission was to drop the first atomic bombs used in combat against Japan. On June 27, 1945 took off from Wendover Army Air Field on a ferry flight to Guam for additional bomb bay modification. On July 6, 1945 flown to North Field on Tinian. Assigned victor number 12. to Captain Robert A. Lewis
During the remainder of July 1945, this B-29 made eight training missions plus two combat mission dropping "pumpkin bombs" (non-nuclear replica of the "Fat Man" bomb) on Kobe and Nagoya. On July 31, 1945 flew a training mission for the atomic bombing mission.
On August 1, 1945 assigned victor number 82 painted in black on the nose and tail markings of circle R of the 6th Bombardment Group (6th BG) as a security measure to give the appearance of a conventional bomber.
On August 5, 1945 Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr. assumed command and that same day nicknamed this bomber "Enola Gay" after his mother Enola Gay Tibbets. The nickname was painted in black block letters on the left side of the nose by Allan L. Karl.
On August 6, 1945 loaded from Atomic Bomb Pit No. 1 with the atomic bomb nicknamed "Little Boy". For the mission, this B-29 was flown by aircraft commander Major Charles W. Sweeney with crew C-15 (normally assigned to B-29 "The Great Artiste" 44-27353).
Pilot Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.
Co-Pilot Captain Robert A. Lewis
Bombardier Major Thomas Feebee
Navigator Captain Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk
Weaponeer Captain William S. "Deak" Parsons, USN
Radar Countermeasures 1st Lt. Jacob Beser
Asst Weaponeer 2nd Lt. Morris R. Jeppson
Tail Gunner SSgt George Robert "Bob" Caron (Flatbush, NY)
Engineer SSgt Wyatt E. Duzenbury
Radar Sgt Joe S. Stiborik
Asst Engineer Sgt Robert H. Shumard
VHF Radio Pfc Richard H. Nelson
At 2:45am took off from North Field on Tinian piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr. on a flight with the first leg passing over Iwo Jima then northwest bound for the primary target Hiroshima with alternate targets of Kokura and Nagasaki. At 8:15am from an altitude of 31,600' over Hiroshima released the atomic bomb and fifty seconds later it detonated. Afterwards, returned to North Field Airfield on Tinian landing at 2:58pm.
Nagasaki Mission: August 9, 1945
On August 9, 1945 took off piloted by Captain George W. Marquardt and crew B-10 (normally assigned to B-29 "Up An' Atom" 44-27304) on a weather reconnaissance mission over Kokura and reported clear skies as the target for the second atomic bomb. When B-29 "Bockscar" 44-27297 reached Kokura it was obscured by smoke from the conventional bombing of Yawata and after three unsuccessful bombing runs diverted to the secondary target of Nagasaki.
Pilot Captain George W. Marquardt
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. James M. Anderson
Navigator 2nd Lt. Russell Gackenbach
Bombardier Captain James W. Strudwick
Radar Countermeasures 1st Lt. Jacob Beser
Engineer TSgt James R. Corliss
Radio Sgt Warren L. Coble
Radar Sergeant Joseph M. DiJulio
Asst Engineer Sgt Anthony D. Capua Jr.
Tail Gunner Sgt Melvin H. Bierman
On November 6, 1945 flown back to the United States by Captain Robert A. Lewis
On December 15, 2003 the fully restored B-29 was unveiled during the opening of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM) Udvar-Hazy
Center. For the permanent display, the bomber is lifted off the ground with jacks with catwalks allowing visitors to see the nose view and look down from above. A clear protective shield protects the nose from vandalism by atomic protesters.
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