The Silverplate Bombers

A History and Registry of the Enola Gay and Other B-29s Configured to Carry Atomic Bombs


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SKU: 9780786469079 Categories: , , , Tag:

About the Book

This book documents the development and delivery of the Silverplate B-29 bomber, the remarkable airplane with capabilities that surpassed those of known enemy fighters of the time and was employed to release the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. The basic history from conception to successful development is set forth in the early chapters, which discuss the then secret work of the 509th Composite Group. Subsequent chapters discuss the Los Alamos test program, Silverplate B-29 combat operations, the Air Force bases from which the aircraft operated, accidents associated with operations and details of the atomic bombs carried. Concluding chapters give special attention to the members of the 509th, who were responsible for dropping the bombs and whose efforts brought an end to World War II, provided the backbone of America’s nuclear deterrent force in the years after the war, and opened the Atomic Age.

About the Author(s)

The late Richard H. Campbell was retired from the military and lived in Tucson, Arizona.

Bibliographic Details

Richard H. Campbell

Foreword by Paul W. Tibbets

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 245
Bibliographic Info: 113 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2012 [2005]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6907-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9175-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Paul W. Tibbets      1
Preface      3

1. The Beginning      5
2. Development and Production      8
3. Combat Operations      25
4. The Los Alamos Test Program      42
5. Silverplate Accidents      47
6. Places and Units      56
7. The Bombs      70
8. The 509th Composite Group      96
9. The End      103

Appendix A: Chronology of Events      109
Appendix B: Silverplate B-29 Mission List (Tinian, 1945)      113
Appendix C: Crew Information      119
Appendix D: 509th Composite Group and Project Alberta Roster (Tinian, 1945)      143
Appendix E: Project Alberta      155
Appendix F: Silverplate B-29 Summary      159
Appendix G: Individual Silverplate B-29 Histories      161

Chapter Notes       217
Bibliography       223
Serial Number Index       227
General Index      229

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “hard-to-find information”—C&RLNews
  • “interesting…detailed…absolutely invaluable”—Stone & Stone Second World War Books