Precisely at 17 seconds past 8:15 a.m. on 6 August 1945, Colonel Paul W. Tibbets and the crew of the "Enola Gay," 44-86292, a B-29-45-MO, released the first atomic weapon used in war. Forty-three seconds later, this weapon, nicknamed "Little Boy" exploded and its target, the city of Hiroshima, ceased to exist as a city. The course of warfare changed.Paul W. Tibbets spent a career in the service of his nation. He was a key figure in the development and testing of the B-47 and served as a Strategic Air Command wing commander. He later served as Chairman of the Board of the world's largest jet air-taxi service; it is a job that he performed with professional pride and ability—just as he did in those that he was assigned in the United States Air Force. Harley Copic has portrayed a difficult and emotional subject with skill and taste. Many thousands of people did die as a result of this mission; that is a fact. It is also a fact that this mission also saved many lives - - possibly millions – of both Americans and Japanese. Fuchida, the pilot who led the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, many years later confirmed this. He told Paul Tibbets that indeed the Japanese people on the home islands were being prepared to conduct an Okinawa-style defense when the planned allied invasion came. It truly would have been a catastrophic event for the Japanese and for the allied troops who were training to go ashore later in 1945. EDITION: 2000 signed/numbered by Harley Copic and Paul W. Tibbets SIZE: 18” x 24”
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