|"Little Boy" replica: the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima|
Five states in four days...that was our drive from California, through Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, to arrive in Colorado. We had an amazing road trip and I have lots of historical stuff to share. I'll start first with the Wendover Airfield in Utah and its role in the launch of the atomic bomb (and I'll post again about the base in general, so stay tuned).
This airfield was an important WWII base nestled in the Great Salt Desert. Today, where men once teemed to ready their planes, the base is desolate, the hangars empty. There is a veritable atmosphere to the place.
Inside the very nicely-put-together museum, you can see a replica of "Little Boy," the bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the Enola Gay. It is astonishing to see how very small a device it is, to have wrought so much destruction. The replica shows signatures from the flight crew, including Col. Paul Tibbets, who was the pilot.
The museum features an audio of the Enola Gay being loaded on that fatal day, Aug. 6, 1945. You press a button and hear the busy airfield readying itself for the flight, the bomb being loaded, men talking, calling out to each other. I got a distinct chill listening to it, and listened to the brief clip several times. At the end, there's a little burst of jazz music and a woman singing--did someone turn on a radio? I was trying to imagine that day and how the men felt. Apparently, the true mission of the Enola Gay was kept quiet to all but Col. Tibbets until the plane was actually underway, but you have to wonder...
|"Press here for audio playback of the loading of the Enola Gay"|
Here's a scale model of the plane itself.
|The day before the bomb dropped, Tibbets named the plane for his mother.|
And a photograph of Col. Tibbets:
|At Tinian Island, near Japan, where the crew went after the bomb drop|
Tibbets died in 2007, and his cremated remains were scattered over the English Channel. He had feared a funeral or tombstone would provide a gathering place for those who objected to the use of the atomic bomb.
On Sept. 26, 2015, you can attend Wendover's 2015 Warbirds & Wheels WWII Commemoration celebrating the 70th year since the end of WWII.
Wendover's website is www.wendoverairbase.com.
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