The Enola Gay is one of the most famous--some might call it infamous--aircrafts in history. The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was the plane which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. The bomber was named by its pilot, Colonel (later Brigadier General) Paul Tibbetts Jr., for his mother, Enola Gay Tibbetts. The Hiroshima mission, which delivered the single atomic bomb nicknamed "Little Boy," has been termed as "flawless" by historians: The single bomb, which killed 80,000 citizens upon impact and caused an estimated 90,000-140,000 deaths (mostly due to radiation poisoning) within the year, directly led to the surrender of Japan.
The 13-man crew for the Enola Gay on its historic Hishoma run were as follows:
- Colonel Paul Tibbetts, pilot and mission commander.
- Captain Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot. Lewis was the Enola Gay's regular pilot, and he was "furious" when he discovered that he had been replaced as commander for the mission--and that the plane had been named for Tibbetts' mother
- Major Thomas Ferebee, bombardier.
- Captain Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, navigator.
- U.S. Navy Captain William S. "Deak" Parsons, bomb commander.
- Lieutenant Jacob Beser, radarman. Beser also flew on the Nagasaki A-bomb mission--the only man to do both.
- 2nd Lieutenant Morris R. Jeppson, assistant weaponeer.
- Technical Sergeant George R. "Bob" Caron, tail gunner.
- Technical Sergeant Wyatt E. Duzenberry, flight engineer.
- Sergeant Joe S. Stiborik, radar operator.
- Sergeant Robert H. Shumard, assistant flight engineer.
- Private First Class Richard H. Nelson, VHF radio operator.
- John P. Merrill, flight surgeon.