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Hiroshima and Nagasaki-1
Name: Paul Tibbets
Occupation: WWII B-29 pilot of the Enola Gay
Hometown: Quincy, Illinois ("Paul")
Birthday: 2/23/15 ("Paul")
I, Paul W. Tibbets, is the man who dropped the bomb on the thousands of Japanese men and women in Hiroshima. On August 6, I piloted the Enola Gay over Hiroshima carrying "Little Boy", a uranium atomic bomb. At 9:15 I dropped the bomb. Forty-three seconds later, the city was leveled (Danzer et al. 584). Many people ask me how I can live with the thought that I killed thousands of people. As I said once before, "On August 6, 1945 as the Enola Gay approached the Japanese city of Hiroshima, I fervently hoped for success in the first use of a nuclear weapon. To me it meant putting an end to World War II. I viewed my mission as one to save lives" (qtd. in "Paul").
After the first bombing of Hiroshima, Japan did not surrender. Three days later, there was an order to drop a second bomb over Kokura,
Japan; Nagasaki was an alternate target. Charles W. Sweeney would fly this mission in a B-29 named the Bockscar carrying the plutonium atomic bomb named "Fat Man". In flight he experienced mechanical problems and, over Kokura, the bombardier could not see the target through the fog. The decision was made to drop the bomb over Nagasaki instead. When the bomb was dropped, it exploded 2,000 feet above the ground (Bernstein). Half the city was leveled and an estimated 200,000 people were killed. A 15 year old survivor named Yamaoka Michiko recalled the bomb, "They say temperatures of 7,000 degrees centigrade hit me... Nobody there looked like human beings... Humans had lost the ability to speak. People couldn't scream, 'It hurts!' even when they were on fire... People with their legs wrenched off. Without heads. Or with faces burned and swollen out of shape. The scene I saw was a living hell" (qtd. in Danzer et al. 584).
Emperor Hirohito finally decided to end the war and sign a surrender. I still stick by my decision to pilot the Enola Gay over Hiroshima. Without the bomb, thousands of U.S. soldiers could have died from
entering Japan as the alternate plan suggested. I did my part as a B-29 pilot.
Bernstein, Adam. "Charles W. Sweeney Dies; Led Bomb Drop Over Nagasaki."
. 19 July, 2007 <
"Paul W. Tibbets."
The Manhattan Project
. 25 Oct. 2007 <
Danzer, Gerald A. et al.
. Evanston, Illinois: McDougal Littel, 2003.
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