The Enola Gay

Harry S Truman

Summary and Definition of the Enola Gay
Summary and Definition: The Enola Gay was the name given by its pilot to the airplane, a Boeing B-29  bomber, that dropped the atomic bomb "Little Boy" on the city of Hiroshima, Japan during WW2.  The American pilot, and commander of the crew who served aboard the Enola Gay, was Colonel Paul Tibbets who named the plane for his mother, Enola Gay Tibbets. The huge B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay is one of the world’s most famous airplanes.

Enola Gay Facts
Harry S Truman was the 33rd American President who served in office from April 12, 1945, the day that President Franklin D. Roosevelt died, to January 20, 1953. One of the most important events during Truman's presidency was the closing stages of WW2 and the development of the atomic bomb that was dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the aircraft known as 'Enola Gay'.

   
  

Colonel Paul Tibbets and the Enola Gay

Colonel Paul Tibbets and the Enola Gay
 

Enola Gay Facts: Fast Fact Sheet for kids
Fast, fun facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about the Enola Gay.

What was the Enola Gay? The Enola Gay was the name given to the airplane, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, that dropped the atomic bomb "Little Boy" on the city of Hiroshima, Japan during WW2.

Who was the pilot of the Enola Gay? The name of the pilot of the Enola Gay was Colonel Paul Tibbets.

Why was the plane called the Enola Gay? The aircraft was named for Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the pilot, Paul Tibbets.

When was the atomic bomb dropped from  the Enola Gay? The atomic bomb "Little Boy" was dropped from the Enola Gay on to the city of Hiroshima at 08.15am on August 6, 1945.

Enola Gay Facts for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting information, history and facts on Enola Gay for kids.

Enola Gay Facts for kids

Enola Gay Facts - 1: The Atomic Bomb was developed by scientists working on the Manhattan Project. The "Little Boy" uranium core atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 from the 'Enola Gay' Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber and the "Fat Man" a-bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 from the 'Bockscar' bomber.

Enola Gay Facts - 2: Project Alberta (Project A) was a section of the Manhattan Project that prepared for the delivery of the atomic bomb by conducting bomb delivery tests and modifying aircraft for carrying the atomic weapons.

Enola Gay Facts - 3: Details of the Enola Gay including the serial number, height, weight, length, speed and bomb load are as follows:

Model Type: Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber

Serial Number: 44-86292
Length: 30.2 m (99 ft)
Height: 9 m (29 ft 7 in)
Wingspan: 43 m (141 ft 3 in)
Weight: 31,400 kg (69,000 lb) empty
Weight: 54,500 kg (120,000 lb) fully loaded
Cruise Speed: 355 km/hr (220 mph)
Maximum Speed: 588 km/hr (365 mph)
Combat Radius: 4670 km (2900 miles)
Bomb Load: 9090 kg (20,000 lb)

Enola Gay Facts - 4: Tinian, one of the three principal islands of the Mariana Islands, was one of the largest airbases of WW2 and the North Field runway was the departure point of the 509th Composite Group bombers Enola Gay and Bockscar

Enola Gay Facts - 5: The Enola Gay arrived on Tinian on 6 July 1945. Colonel Paul Tibbets and the 393rd Bombardment Squadron begin test drops with dummy bombs called "Pumpkins" that were painted a distinctive mustard colored.

 Enola Gay Facts - 6: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Tibbets made the decision to use his mother’s name 'Enola Gay Tibbets' as the name for the aircraft because she was always positive and had once told him, “Whatever happens to you in your life, everything will work out”. The unusual name given to his mother was from the heroine of the novel Enola; or, Her fatal mistake.

Enola Gay Facts - 7: The Enola Gay was built under a top secret program, code-name "Silverplate", to produce huge B-29 Superfortress bombers specially modified for atomic bombing missions.

Enola Gay Facts - 8: On August 5, 1945, the day before the mission,  B-29 was maneuvered over a bomb loading pit from which the atomic bomb "Little Boy" was hoisted on an hydraulic lift into the aircraft weapon bay and then taxied to Runway Able at North Field, Tinian.

Enola Gay Facts - 9: The "Little Boy" atomic bomb was 10 feet (3.0 m) long and 28 inches (71 cm) wide. It weighed 4.1 tons, and the TNT firing device weighed nearly 28 pounds (12.5 kilograms)

Enola Gay Facts - 10: Six other aircraft, loaded with photographic and scientific equipment, accompanied the Enola Gay on the mission.

Enola Gay Facts - 11: The 13-hour mission to Hiroshima began at 02.45 hrs in the morning Tinian time on August 6, 1945.

Enola Gay Facts - 12: Once the Enola Gay was safely airborne, Navy Captain William Parsons climbed into the bomb bay and armed the 9,000-pound "Little Boy" atomic bomb

Enola Gay Facts - 13: At 0815, Hiroshima time, bombardier Tom Ferebee released the nuclear weapon. The bomb was dropped by parachute and exploded 1,900ft (580m) above the ground. After 43 seconds, "Little Boy" exploded with thermo-nuclear blast.  As soon as the bomb was released the Enola Gay began its escape maneuver.

Enola Gay Facts - 14: The effects of the atomic bomb explosion produced an intense light flash and a tremendous roar due to the shock wave of the explosion. A ball of fire rose rapidly, followed by a mushroom cloud that extended to the height of 40,000 feet (12,200 metres).

Enola Gay Facts - 15: The Enola Gay was rocked by the shock wave that traveled directly from the fireball. Several seconds later the aircraft was struck by a second weaker shock reflected from the ground.

Enola Gay Facts - 16: The mushroom cloud, which had climbed to 40,000 feet, was visible from the Enola Gay for almost an hour and a half, finally being lost from sight 363 miles from Hiroshima.

Enola Gay Facts - 17: After a return flight, lasting 12 hours and 13 minutes, the Enola Gay landed safely at Tinian Island.

Enola Gay Facts - 18: "Little Boy" destroyed about 63% of the city, 76,000 buildings. It is estimated that 265,000 people died due to the Hiroshima atomic bomb, including its radioactive fallout.

Enola Gay Facts - 19: On 4 July 1949 the Enola Gay was transferred by the U. S. Air Force to the Smithsonian Institution and remained in outdoor "storage", unprotected and unattended. In July 1961 the Enola Gay was disassembled and stored indoors at the Paul E. Garber Facility in Maryland. The airplane underwent restoration from 1984 to 1995.

Enola Gay Facts - 20: After considerable controversy the Enola Gay was put up for exhibition and moved to its permanent location at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia on 18 August 2003.

Enola Gay Facts - 21: "Enola Gay" is an anti-war song by the British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. The song was released on September 26, 1980. The lyrics of the anti-war song relate directly to the events of the day the atomic bomb was dropped with reference to "eight fifteen" the time the bomb was dropped and asks the question "Is mother proud of little boy today" in reference to the Hiroshima bomb's nickname.

Continued...

Enola Gay Facts for kids

Facts about the Enola Gay Facts for kids: The Flight Crew
The following fact sheet continues with interesting information, history and facts on the crew of Enola Gay for kids.

Enola Gay Facts for kids: The Flight Crew

Enola Gay Facts - 22: The flight crew of the Enola Gay consisted of twelve men, including Paul Tibbets, who were all trained in secret for the mission. The names of the crew were:

● Paul W. Tibbets, 509th Group CO and pilot
● William "Deak" Parsons, Manhattan Project Scientist
● Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot
● Theodore J. Van Kirk, navigator
● Richard H. Nelson, radio operator
● Joseph S. Stiborik, radar operator
● George R. Caron, tail gunner
● Robert H. Shumard, assistant engineer
● Wyatt E. Duzenbury, flight engineer
● Thomas W. Ferebee, bombardier
● Jacob Beser, radar countermeasure officer
● Morris R. Jeppson, bomb electronics test officer

Enola Gay Facts - 23: The only people who knew the significance of the top secret bomb on the Enola Gay were the Paul Tibbets, the pilot, Captain Robert Lewis the co-pilot and Captain Deke Parsons. The crew knew they were on a special mission, because the chaplains were there to see them off and before take-off they were surrounded by military photographers

Enola Gay Facts - 24: Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr. (February 23, 1915 – November 1, 2007) was the pilot of the Enola Gay. Brigadier General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project, selected Paul Tibbets to be responsible for organizing and training the flight crew and for the role of pilot on the Enola Gay. He published his autobiography, 'The Paul Tibbets Story' in 1978.

Enola Gay Facts - 25: Captain Robert Lewis (October 18, 1917 - June 18, 1983) was the Co-Pilot of the Enola Gay aircraft. Captain Robert Lewis allegedly recalls saying or thinking as he looked down, “My God, what have we done.”

Enola Gay Facts - 26: Captain Deke Parsons (26 November 1901 – 5 December 1953) was a Naval gunnery officer (Weaponeer), who had worked as a scientist on the Manhattan Project and appointed the head of Project Alberta.  He was responsible for the delivery of the nuclear weapon.

Enola Gay Facts - 27: 2nd Lieutenant Morris Jeppson (June 23, 1922 – March 30, 2010) was an Ordnance Expert and electronics specialist who was assigned to arm the atomic bomb on the Enola Gay. His role was to provide assistance to Captain William “Deak” Parsons with the final assembly and arming of the "Little Boy" atomic bomb in the bomb bay.

Enola Gay Facts - 28: Lieutenant Jacob Beser (May 15, 1921 – June 16, 1992) was an Army Air Force radar specialist and responsible Electronic Countermeasures. He was the only man to served on both the Enola Gay mission and the Bockscar mission which bombed Nagasaki three days later on August 9, 1945

Enola Gay Facts - 29: Sergeant Joseph Stiborik (1914–1984) was the Radar Operator on the Enola Gay

Enola Gay Facts - 30: Staff Sergeant Robert Caron (October 31, 1919 - June 3, 1995) was the Tail Gunner on the Enola Gay. He later wrote a book about the Enola Gay mission called Fire of a Thousand Suns.

Enola Gay Facts - 31: Major Thomas Ferebee (November 9, 1918 – March 16, 2000), a Bombardier was the crew member who pushed the button that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Enola Gay Facts - 32: Staff Sergeant Wyatt Duzenbury was the Flight Engineer who was assigned to monitor the aircraft's engines and electronic systems. He died in 1992 at the age of 71.

Enola Gay Facts - 33: Sergeant Robert H. Shumard was the Assistant Flight Engineer to Wyatt Duzenbury

Enola Gay Facts - 34: Private Richard Nelson was the radio operator and at 20 years of age was the youngest of the crew who relayed coded messages about the Hiroshima mission

Enola Gay Facts - 35: Air Force captain Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk (February 27, 1921 – July 28, 2014) was the navigator of the Enola Gay. Van Kirk later participated in Operation Crossroad, the first Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests. He became the last surviving member of the Enola Gay crew.

Enola Gay Facts for kids: The Flight Crew

Enola Gay - President Harry Truman Video
The article on the Enola Gay provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following Harry Truman video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 33rd American President whose presidency spanned from April 12, 1945 to January 20, 1953.

Enola Gay Facts

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Enola Gay Facts for kids
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Harry Truman Presidency from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945
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WW2 and the Enola Gay
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