L/CPL Robert J. Slattery, Marine Corps League Det #206, NEWSLETTER, Jul 2019 - 14
The Crew of the Enola Gay

All hands
I got this email today
Gunny Monaco (ret)

Hello there.

FYI, at my blood lab, I gave the workers there some "Stars for Troops" to hand out to the people that come in. One of the "Stars" they gave it to was the 82 year old sister of Major Thomas Freebee, the bombardier on the B-29 Enola Gay that on August 6, 1945, dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. She was very happy it receive it. The next day she came back and gave Brandy, the lab tech, this signed picture of her brother & the crew of the Enola Gay.


Reference information:

The 509th Composite Group was formed by the U.S. Army Air Force to deliver and deploy the first atomic bombs during World War II. The group was segregated from the rest of the military and trained in secret. Even those in the group only knew as much as they needed to know in order to perform their duties. The group deployed to Tinian in 1945 with 15 B-29 bombers, flight crews, ground crews, and other personnel, a total of about 1770 men. The mission to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan (special mission 13) involved seven planes, but the one we remember was the Enola Gay.

Major Thomas Ferebee, Bombardier

Thomas Ferebee pushed the button that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. He slept in the plane both before and after he did his part. After the war, Ferebee stayed with the Air Force, serving in the Strategic Air Command and in Vietnam. Colonel Ferebee, who retired from the Air Force in 1970, always argued that the Hiroshima bomb was necessary. "I'm convinced that the bombing saved many lives by ending the war," he told Newsweek magazine in 1970.

"Now we should look back and remember what just one bomb did, or two bombs," he told The Charlotte Observer in 1995, the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. "Then I think we should realize that this can't happen again."

Colonel Ferebee died in Florida in 2000, at the age of 81.