On This Day: Enola Gay Drops Atomic Bomb

Posted on Sat, August 6, 2016

On this day in 1945, during the final stages of World War II, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Three days later, Bockscar dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Enola Gay flew as the advance weather reconnaissance aircraft that day.

After the war, Army Air Forces crews flew the airplane during the Operation Crossroads atomic test program in the Pacific, although it dropped no nuclear devices during these tests. Enola Gay was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution on July 4, 1949.

Restoration of the aircraft began in 1984 and lasted nearly two decades and took 300,000 work hours to complete. The B-29 is now displayed at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.