Sunday, 5 February 2012
B-29 Superfortress 'Top Secret' - 509th Composite Group ( Hiroshima and Nagasaki).
This B-29 'Top Secret' was one of 15 B-29's that Paul Tibbets ordered using the code word "Silverplate" which gave him unlimited power for anything he needed. The crew of V-72 "Top Secret" flew both atomic missions, utilizing two different B-29's. The crew flew as the Hiroshima standby B-29 leaving before the Enola Gay and stationed on Iwo Jima in case the Enola Gay malfunctioned. If it did, the bomb would have been transferred to the waiting B-29 and the Enola Gay Crew would have flown the standby B-29 to Hiroshima. This crew flew the advance weather recon B-29 to Nagasaki before the bomb was dropped to report the weather to the B-29 "Bockscar". This photo has been hand signed by the navigator Jack Widowsky and the Flight Engineer, George Cohen..
This image is published in Robert Krauss' history of the 509th. Krauss' book is a complete history of the 509th Composite Group, the WWII Army Air corps unit that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, from their formation in 1944 to their return home to the United States in December 1945. The book contains over 125 personal stories from veterans of the unit as well as over 800 illustrations and an 8 page colour section of the nose art of the B-29s. Photos of all crews, all missions and the history of each plane is detailed in the book, as well as a complete roster of all men in the unit.