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During the remainder of July, this B-29 made eight training missions plus two combat mission dropping "pumpkin bombs" (non-nuclear replication of the "Fat Man" bomb) on Kobe and Nagoya. On July 31, 1945 flew a training mission for the atomic bombing mission.
On August 1, 1945 assigned victor number 82 painted in black on the nose and tail markings of circle R of the 6th Bombardment Group as a security measure.
On 5 August 1945, Col. Tibbets assumed command of this B-29 and nicknamed it "Enola Gay" after his mother Enola Gay Tibbets. The nickname was painted in black block letters on the left side of the nose by Allan L. Karl.
On August 6, 1945 this B-29 was loaded from Atomic Bomb Pit No. 1 with the "Little Boy" atomic bomb. For the mission, this B-29 was flown by aircraft commander Major Charles W. Sweeney with crew C-15 usually assigned to B-29 "The Great Artiste" 44-27353. Took off from North Field on Tinian piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr. at 02:45am bound for Hiroshima with alternate targets Kokura and Nagasaki. At 08:15 (Japan local time) from 31,600', this B-29 dropped the atomic bomb. 50 seconds later, the bomb exploded. Afterwards, "Enola Gay" returned to North Field Airfield on Tinian at 14:58.
On August 9, 1945 this B-29 was flown by Captain George Marquardt and crew B-10 on a weather reconnaissance mission over Kokura, and reported clear skies. By the time B-29 "Bockscar" 44-27297 reached Kokura was obscured by smoke from the bombing of Yawata and after three unsuccessful bombing runs diverted to the secondary target of Nagasaki.
Since the December 15, 2003 opening of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM) Udvar-Hazy Center, the restored B-29 is on static display with jacks lifting it off the ground and a catwalks allowing visitors to see the nose view and look down from above. A clear protective shield protects the bomber's nose to prevent any vandalism by atomic protesters.
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