Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay Autographed Crew Photograph

Display Status:

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

Collection Item Summary:

This collection consists of one 10 by 8 inch black and white photograph, taken in 1946, of Paul Warfield Tibbets, Thomas Wilson Ferebee, and Theodore J. "Dutch" Van Kirk, in uniform. The photograph is signed by all three in blue ink.

Collection Item Biographical / Historical:

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 Enola Gay dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan. After the war, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay returned to the United States before being flown to Kwajalein Island in May 1946 for use in the Operation Crossroads Nuclear Tests. Paul Warfield Tibbets served as the pilot for the Hiroshima mission, Thomas Wilson Ferebee was the bombardier, and Theodore J. "Dutch" Van Kirk was the navigator. All three were later involved in Operation Crossroads as part of the 58th Bombardment Wing, 509th Composite Group.