On August 6th, 1945, Hiroshima Japan became the first Atomic Target. The Atomic Bomb was developed by the United States by the super secret "Manhatten Project".
The work was dangerous as well as time-consuming. One of the worst accidents involved Louis Slotin, a Canadian scientist in charge of monitoring plutonium chain reactions in a device known as the "guillotine." One day the Slotin's screwdriver got jammed in the guillotine, causing the plutonium to form a hypercritical mass capable of explosion. Immediately Slotin tore apart the two pieces of plutonium with his bare hands and in the process absorbed an enormous amount of radiation.
The event is accurately portrayed in the movie "Fat Man and Little Boy ".
The code words for the bombs were:
Little Boy- Hiroshima
Fat Man- - Nagasaki
But the first bomb detonated as a test in New Mexico was named "Gadget".
"Born Inside Box 1663" - Box 1663, Santa Fe, NM was the "blind" address used for all correspondence to and from Los Alamos. The actual name Los Alamos was prohibited from showing up on any letters or parcels - coming or going! The address shown on the birth certificates of the children born at the Los Alamos Engineers Hospital during the war years indicated a simple "Box 1663".
Some weeks after Germany had surrendered, a German U-boat (#U-234) pulled into the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Virginia. The crew promptly surrendered themselves and their cargo - 10 cases of uranium ore being transported to Japan.
Edward Teller, whom history would later dub the Father of the Hydrogen Bomb made a bet that the Trinity Test (Gadget) might cause a chain reaction that would ignite the whole of the Earth's atmosphere, killing every living thing on the planet. While most viewed that outcome as all but impossible, there was sufficient "wiggle room" in the calculations used to predict the bomb's output that the Manhattan Project scientists actually started a small betting pool on the suspected force of the atomic blast. Physicist I. I. Rabi won the pool, having predicted an 18-kiloton blast, which most closely met the observed Trinity output of 18.6 kilotons.
The B-29's that participated in the first Atomic Mission (Hiroshima)were:
Enola Gay- Carrying the Bomb (Little Boy).
The Great Artiste- Carrying Instruments and Cameras.
Aircraft No. 91 (later named Necessary Evil)-Carrying Instruments and Cameras.
Straight Flush- Weather Plane (Hiroshima).
Full House- Weather Plane (Nagasaki, secondary target).
Jabbitt III- Weather Plane (Kokura, tertiary target).
Top Secret- Flying Spare Aircraft.
Navy Capt. William "Deak" Parsons, Manhattan Project Scientist
Sgt. Joseph S. Stiborik, radar operator
S/Sgt. George R. Caron, tail gunner
Pfc. Richard H. Nelson, radio operator
Sgt. Robert H. Shumard, assistant engineer
S/Sgt. Wyatt E. Duzenbury, flight engineer
Capt. Theodore J. Van Kirk, navigator
Maj. Thomas W. Ferebee, bombardier
Col. Paul W. Tibbets, 509th Group CO and pilot
Capt. Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot
Lt. Jacob Beser, radar countermeasure officer
Lt. Morris R. Jeppson, bomb electronics test officer
Technical Sgt. Walter F. McCaleb, crew chief
Sgt. Leonard W. Markley
Sgt. Jean S. Cooper
Cpl. Frank D. Duffy
Cpl. John E. Jackson
Cpl. Harold R. Olson
Pfc. John J. Lesniewski
Lt. Col. John Porter, ground maintenance officer
Capt. Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot of The Enola Gay was keeping a diary of the mission. as they started the bomb run he wrote:
"There'll be a short intermission while we bomb the target."
After the explosion he wrote:
Political correctness has revised his quote to read:
"OH MY GOD! What have we done? If I live 100 years I will never forget this moment."
In interviews, Lewis has said all he wrote was "OH MY GOD!". He says that was the only thing he could think of.