US AIR FORCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY US AIR FORCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Start of the first atomic bombing mission. Colonel Paul Tibbets waving from the cockpit of his B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay before departing to drop the first atomic bomb, 6 August 1945. Tibbets flew the aircraft from Tinian Field in the Marianas Islands to drop the 'Little Boy' atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The bomb detonated at 8.16 am local time at an altitude of 565 metres. The explosive energy was equivalent to 12.5 kilotons (12,500 tons) of TNT. Over 155,000 people died as a result; this figure includes radiation-related deaths within one year. Tibbets named the plane "Enola Gay" after his mother.
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