I just realized this: 73 years ago today, a small group of fearless young men within the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay successfully delivered the world's 2nd. atomic bomb, during WW-II, devastating the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The first was a test-firing in NM. The intricacies of that delivery physically are beyond my ability to understand completely. First, Capt. William Parsons, Mission Commander, allowed take-off from Tinian Island with the bomb unarmed, against general orders. He armed the bomb in flight, after a successful takeoff. Second, one crew member asked of Pilot Paul Tibbets, if they were "Splitting atoms today"? Tibbets answered, "Something like that". Third, First Lieutenant Jacob Beser as Radar Operator, was solely responsible for setting in motion the detonation of the bomb using radar. He was the only one to fly both Hiroshima and Nagasaki flights. Fourth, as the bomb fell below the Enola Gay, it pulled with it a very long length of wire unrolling off a spool in the plane. The final pull upon the end of the wire-pull jerked a connection loose from the bomb, allowing the final arming to take place. Radar signal detonated the bomb 1870 feet + or - above the ground. Fifth, the Enola Gay experienced a severe shock wave as the bomb's initial detonation took place, followed shortly after by another shock wave, reflected upwards from the ground. Initially, the crew thought they were under antiaircraft fire. In reality, Japan had no antiaircraft capability able to reach 30,000 feet altitude. Sixth, looking downward, copilot Robert Lewis exclaimed loudly, "Look at that son of a bitch go!". He was immediately admonished by Tibbets, who had earlier warned them to watch their language, as it was all being recorded for posterity. Seventh, upon return to Tinian Island, Enola Gay was received back amongst accolades and celebration, which included presence of the Press. No longer was the nature of the mission, nor the weapon used, to be guarded secretly. I believe Jacob Beser was the last crew member to pass away, during the 2000's. These were young men entrusted to carry out one mission capable of forcing the war's end, though at the time they did not know it, save for Paul Tibbets. His story of involvement is fully told in Rhodes's wonderful book, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb". EDIT: Just how intense had the bombing of Japan been can be imagined by the fact that the 2nd. atomic bombiong raid, scheduled to hit the city of Kokura, was diverted to Nagasaki due to heavy smoke obscuring Kokura due to the bombing the previous day of Yahata by 224 B-29s!