The Atomic Bomb Knudsen

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This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Boeing's B-29 Superfortress was the most sophisticated propeller-driven bomber of World War II, and the first bomber to house its crew in pressurized compartments. Although designed to fight in the European theater, the B-29 found its niche on the other side of the globe. In the Pacific, B-29s delivered a variety of aerial weapons: conventional bombs, incendiary bombs, mines, and two nuclear weapons. On August 6, 1945, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Silverplate, "Enola Gay" dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan. On August 9, 1945, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Silverplate, "Bockscar" dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.

Captain Roy F. Knudsen (1918 - 2011), graduated from the 10th Class of the Aviation Cadet Detachment at Scott Field, Illinois in August, 1942. Initially assigned to the 1st Mapping Group at Bolling Field, Washington, DC, Knudsen was later rassigned to the 2nd Photo Charting Squadron at Felts Field, WA. In August, 1944, Knudson was assigned to the 1st Photo Charting Group while later in October of that year he was assigned to the 3rd Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, both located at Buckley Field, CO. In April, 1945, he was sent to Smoky Hill Army Air Field in Salina, KS, for training on communications equipment installation for B-29 aircraft. He was then deployed to the Pacific Theater, based on Guam where his squadron was responsible for the aerial reconnaissance leading up to and following the atomic bomb attacks in August of 1945 and the end of the war. He left active duty upon his arrival home in February 1946.