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The story of Colonel Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, the bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Although unaware of the full potential of this new weapon, he knows that it is capable of doing tremendously more damage than any other weapon used before, and that the death toll resulting from it will be enormous. He is reluctant to be the person who will end so many lives, but if using it may bring an end to the war, then not doing so may result in even more lives being lost in continued ground assaults as the fighting goes on. At the same time, the intense secrecy surrounding this mission leaves him with no one he can express his thoughts and doubts to, not even his wife. As time goes on, the pressure upon him only increase. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The B-29 representing Tibbet's plane, shown landing on Tinian, has a tail designation of "T - Square - 5". In actuality, this was "Joltin' Josie, The Pacific Pioneer." It was the very first B-29 to land on the new runways on Saipan. The film of it landing may very well be the original film of the actual plane arriving at Saipan on 12 October 1944. The "T" on the tail is for the 498th Bomb Group, the "square" means the 73rd Bomb Wing, and plane number 5 was part of the 873rd Bomb Squadron. This aircraft, piloted by Capt. Wilson C. Currier, crashed on takeoff from Saipan on 1 April 1945 with the loss of the entire crew according to the book, "Rain of Fire, B-29s over Japan, 1945" by Charles L. Phillips (USAF Ret.). See more »
The real mission took off in darkness about 2am local time, not daylight as shown in the film. See more »
I knew of Wendover Airbase long before seeing this movie. Although the movie infers that Tibbets picked the field for its isolation (true) it was also where they taught heavy bomber crews during WW2. So the field hardly had to be developed for the special mission of the 509th.
And today it has another famous reason - it is the site of many movie scenes, such as Independence Day and ConAir.
In fact, when I went to visit the site - right on the Utah-Navada border, they were filming ConAir.
Today all one sees as a reminder of its importance are the old concrete foundations of the many wooden buildings - with signs telling you what each building's purpose was.
But to the movie - I know that the main points were factually correct - right down to the flight time a B29 required flying from Saipan or Tinian to Japan - and back.
It seems that the secrecy at this base was as stringent as Los Alamos, where the Bomb was developed.
Besides being an entertaining movie it is educational.
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