Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr. He is best known as the pilot who flew the B Superfortress known as the Enola Gay named after his mother when it dropped Little Boy , the first of two atomic bombs used in warfare, on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Tibbets enlisted in the United States Army in and qualified as a pilot in After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor , he flew anti-submarine patrols over the Atlantic. In February , he became the commanding officer of the th Bombardment Squadron of the 97th Bombardment Group , which was equipped with the Boeing B In July , the 97th became the first heavy bombardment group to be deployed as part of the Eighth Air Force , and Tibbets became deputy group commander.
The American POWs Still Waiting for an Apology From Japan 70 Years Later
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The Enola Gay was part of a second batch of fifteen improved Silverplate bombers built between February and June The Enola Gay 's complete serial number BMO, indicated that it was a B built at the Martin Omaha plant built in block 45, and was ordered in fiscal year The Enola Gay arrived on Tinian on 6 July Prior to flying the first atomic combat mission the Enola Gay flew eight practice missions from Tinian, then two conventional bombing missions over Japan using the pound "pumpkin" high explosive bomb, designed to simulate the characteristics of the Fat Man bomb.
On 6 August , piloted by Tibbets and Robert A. Lewis during the final stages of World War II , it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb in warfare. The bomb, code-named " Little Boy ", was targeted at the city of Hiroshima , Japan, and caused the near-complete destruction of the city.
A fiery controversy ensued that demonstrated the competing historical narratives regarding the decision to drop the bomb. There its wings began to rust and vandals even damaged the plane. In , the Enola Gay was fully disassembled and moved to the Paul E. In the s, members of the th Composite Group asked for a proper restoration of the aircraft. Their motivations, at this time, stemmed primarily from the poor condition of the aircraft.