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Return of the Enola Gay based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I wish I could have know Mr. Tibbets also. Dropping that bomb saved my dad's life and also many of my uncle's lives. A lot of people would not be born today were it not for this mans courage. The liberals twist everything up. Proud to be an American!
Having known Paul Tibbets for several years before his death, this book (re-printed a number of times as ENOLA GAY, RETURN OF THE ENOLA GAY, as well as a very rare "TINIAN EDITION" of this book that I purchased from Ted "Dutch" Van Kirk, the ENOLA GAY's navigator) gave me an insight into my friend Paul Tibbets military career, as the commander of the 509th, etc. Paul hated it when I'd call him "General Tibbets", always wanting me to call him Paul, but I never felt comfortable calling this great man by his first name. However, it was how Paul wanted me to address him, so I of course honored his request. Specific recommendations of reading material on the 509th bomb group, "Silverplate", and both atomic missions always came to me (over many years) via Ted "Dutch" Van Kirk (the ENOLA GAY's navigator) and Paul Tibbets, 509th commander and pilot of the ENOLA GAY. One fascinating "FYI" that's in the book, was that when the Boeing B-29's were being introduced into the PTO for bombing missions against Japan, Curtis LeMay came to Paul and complained that at high altitudes his B-29's were almost useless because of high winds, etc. LeMay came to Paul because Paul was also in charge of "wringing out" the new and troublesome Boeing B-29, in addition to everything else Paul was doing and was responsible for. Paul was the one who told LeMay that he should forget about trying to accurately bomb Japanese targets with the Norden bombsight from high altitude, and bring the B-29's bombing Japan down to 5,000 to 10,000 feet to unload massive amounts of incendiaries instead. That's how area firebombing of Japanese cities got its start. Another "FYI" is that when Paul met Mitsuo Fuchida (the leader of the first wave of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) in the 1960's, Paul (at first) didn't know Fuchida was. After asking Paul a few times if Paul knew who he was, Fuchida became a bit frustrated and said to Paul Tibbets "I am Mitsuo Fuchida! I started WW2 against America at Pearl Harbor!", to which Paul replied "Oh yeah? Well I finished it!" Knowing Paul Tibbets while I was reading his book, being able to ask him questions about it, his take on aviation history, his combat experience in the ETO, MTO and PTO, his experiences within the 97th and 509th bomb groups, and the atomic missions to Hiroshima and Nagasaki over the many years I knew him, was one of the most amazing privileges and honors I've ever experienced in my life. Ted "Dutch" Van Kirk, the ENOLA GAY's navigator to Hiroshima, August 6th, 1945, has always told me that Paul was one of the best, if not THE best pilot he'd ever flown with. If you're an aviation and military aviation buff, this book is a terrific read, incredibly informative, and REAL!