Sunday, December 5, 2010

Enola Gay and Bockscar

The plane which dropped the first atomic bomb on a city, Hiroshima (below), on 6 August 1945 was known as the Enola Gay and was under the command of Colonel Paul Tibbets (above). The plane had been named by him after his mother, Enola Gay Tibbets. Interviewed after the mission, Tibbets confessed that he was embarrassed at having attached his mother’s name to such a fateful mission. The bomb that was dropped was nicknamed Little Boy

Three days later another B 29, named Bockscar (above), sometimes written as Bock’s Car, dropped a second atomic bomb. Nicknamed Fat Man, it was dropped on Nagasaki (below).  The name Bockscar was a play on words of the railroad term boxcar in that the captain of the plane was Captain Frederick Bock. Bockscar was flown by another crew, the crew of the plane The Great Artiste, on the bombing mission to Nagasaki. The original target was Kokura but adverse cloud conditions resulted in the bomb being dropped on the secondary target, Nagasaki. The Enola Gay with a different crew was the weather reconnaissance plane on that mission.


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