US Army Air Force Colonel Paul Tibbets in front of the Enola Gay

US Army Air Force Colonel Paul Tibbets stands in front of "Enola Gay" B-29-45-MO serial number 44-86292 after flying the aircraft from Tinian on November 4, 1945 to Roswell Army Air Field in New Mexico, arriving on November 8. The flight, which is 6,727 miles (10,827 kilometers) on a direct line, was part of the operations that returned the 509th Composite Group to the United States. The aircraft's markings, its Victor 82 number and name, have been repainted since the attack on Hiroshima. "Enola Gay" was called up as part of the Operation Crossroads testing of the atomic bomb on Bikini Atoll in July 1946. It was then placed in several storage facilities around the United States until it was donated to the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum in 1960. The fuselage was placed on display in 1995 and after restoration the entire aircraft was placed on display in 1998. Tibbets retired as a Brigadier General from the Air Force in 1966.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
United States Air Force
Date Photographed: 
Thursday, November 8, 1945
New Mexico
United States