Atomic Bomb Research Article from History Firsthand

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Paul W. Tibbets Jr.

Paul W. Tibbets Jr. was the Air Force pilot of the B-29 bomber that dropped the first atom bomb. He named his plane after his mother, Enola Gay, because she said he would never be harmed while flying. Tibbets’s crew consisted of bombardier Tom Ferebee, navigator "Dutch" Van Kirk, copilot Bob Lewis, tailgunner Bob Caron, radar operator Joseph Stiborik, radio operator Richard Nelson, explosives expert Morris Jeppson, and weaponeer Deak Parsons. The Enola Gay was specially modified to carry the bomb called "Little Boy." This bomb was 10 1/2 feet long, 29 inches in diameter, and weighed more than 9,000 pounds. "Little Boy" was a gun-type nuclear weapon, in which a bullet of uranium 235 is fired at a target ring of uranium 235 at the end of the bomb, creating a critical mass and the explosion.

At 2:45 A.M. on August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay took off...

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This section contains 4,090 words
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Buy the Atomic Bomb Encyclopedia Article
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History Firsthand
Atomic Bomb from History Firsthand. ©2001-2006 by Greenhaven Press, Inc., an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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