The Enola Gay is famous, or infamous, for being the first aircraft to deploy a nuclear weapon in combat. On August 6, 1945 the Enola Gay dropped the “Little Boy” bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, ushering in a new age of warfare.
The aircraft is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution National Air & Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center annex
, adjacent to Dulles International Airport in the Washington D.C. area of Virginia.
Some Enola Gay facts and figures:
- Commanded by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets on the Hiroshima mission
- Named for Col Tibbets’ mother
- Model number: B-29-45-MO
- Serial Number: 44-86292
- Manufacturer: Martin Co., Omaha, Nebr., 1945
- Delivered: May 18, 1945
- Modified into a “Silver Plate” B-29
- Two modes of targeting: Norden bombsight, and the AN/ALQ-7 or AN/APQ-13 radar (Note the spherical radar antenna ‘dome’ hanging down between the two bomb bays)
- Stationed at the Roswell Army Air Field, Roswell, New Mexico, USA, after World War II
o Home of the 509th Bombardment Group
o For years it was the only unit in the world with nuclear capable aircraft
- Stored at the “Bone Yard” at Davis-Monthan, Arizona from Sept 1946 to July 1949
A caveat on the photos: As with most aerospace museums, the exhibits are crammed-in and the display areas are cramped. Getting profile shots of the whole aircraft is nearly impossible. Also, other displays, hand rails and barriers, facility beams and girders, and, of course, the museum patrons, also get in the way of obtaining that ‘perfect’ shot.
If anyone requires more detailed close-ups of any of the aircraft’s minutiae, send me an email or message and I’ll be glad to ‘zoom in’ and extract desired portions of my larger format photos.
Norman Polmar. Enola Gay, The B-29 That Dropped The Atomic Bomb On Hiroshima, Potomac Books, Inc. 2004