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Colonel Paul Tibbets removed the 509th Air Group arrow and circle from the tail of his B-29 Superfortress and replaced it with the "R" in a circle to minimize unwelcome attention from Japanese pilots. As a personal touch, he also added a design on the nose of the aircraft, naming it after his mother, Enola Gay.

On August 4th, 1945, (AD -2), a briefing was held about the mission and the Atomic bomb. On the 6th of August, at 2.45am, the Enola Gay took off with its important cargo from Tinian in the Marianas islands. The crew was subjected to something resembling a Hollywood premiere, as the mission was photographed and filmed for posterity. The Enola Gay met a companion plane - outfitted with cameras and instruments - over Iwo Jima at 8,000 feet. The formation then climbed to 31,000 feet, and the target was confirmed. They arrived over the target, Hiroshima, just after 8.00am. A radio signal was sent to the other planes to warn of the impending drop, and at 8.15am, the Enola Gay dropped its deadly cargo, a bomb called "Little Boy." Colonel Tibbets put the Enola Gay into its well-practised 158-degree dive turn, to put as much distance as possible between the plane and the expected nuclear explosion. At 8.16am - 43 seconds later and 1,850 feet above the T-bridge target in Hiroshima - "Little Boy" exploded.

The first sign that the bomb had worked was a blinding flash, followed by two shock waves -- first thought to be enemy ground fire -- that rocked the Enola Gay. Then a large mushroom cloud rose above the Earth as the power of the bomb sucked everything into it. As the cloud structure rose into the sky, it boiled and glowed, turning different colours as the mushroom cloud climbed higher and higher. It is said that the temperature at the centre reached 100,000,000 degrees for a microsecond. As the Enola Gay circled the devastation, Tibbets' co-pilot, Captain Robert Lewis, wrote in his journal: "My god!.......What have we done?"

The blast wave moved at 1,100 feet per second, the speed of sound. It has been estimated that over 70,000 people were killed by the blast directly, and 30,000 more died in the following weeks, months and years because of radiation poisoning. The temperature at ground level reached 5,400 degrees, melting tile and granite within 3/4 of a mile of ground zero.

The Enola Gay arrived back at base at 3.00pm on the afternoon of August 6th. The mission had taken 12 hours and 15 minutes. Top military brass were there to greet Colonel Tibbets and his crew on landing, and he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) on the spot. The mission had gone without a hitch, and to the letter.

This was the first of two blows that struck at the heart of the Japanese Empire. Truman announced to the world: "If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the likes of which has never been seen on this Earth." On the dropping of the bomb, President Truman said it was "the greatest thing in history" -- which was in stark contrast to Oppenheimer's quote from scripture.

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For those visitors that have entered to this site, directly to this page, we would like to inform you that this page is part of a series of pages, within a section that acts as a backdrop to 'The Puzzle' project. 'The Puzzle' is a musical project that looks at different events from the 20th-21st Century.

This section is part of the 'World War II' zone. 'A Promise Of Peace' tells the story, in chronological order, of World War II.

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