It's a discolored concrete slab, molding in the tropical humidity. But on this slab, not much bigger than the footprint of a beach cabin, history changed. What was once a doorway is obvious, as are the bases for a couple interior walls and an opening for a larger garage-like entrance. I walk through the doorway, through the interior and out the garage. As I do, my guide puts these few steps in extraordinary perspective. This slab is where the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago were put together.
Enola Gay and the Apocalypse Equation
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.
155 B 29 Enola Premium High Res Photos
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. Enola Gay participated in the second atomic attack as the weather reconnaissance aircraft for the primary target of Kokura. Clouds and drifting smoke resulted in a secondary target, Nagasaki , being bombed instead.
But recalling them can hardly be pleasant. At both museums, portions of the audience, media reviewers and some funders objected strenuously to interpretation they perceived as unpatriotic, incomplete, and tendentious. The museums, individual staff, and outside scholars associated with the exhibits suffered damaged credibility, blighted careers, and several years of humiliating attack in the media and on the floor of Congress. The timing of the furor created serious problems for the practice of public history overall.