Dropping of atomic bomb 75 years ago brought peace to world at that time

Seventy-five years ago today, the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress bomber, dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

It was 8:15 a.m. Hiroshima time and the first time a plane had dropped an atomic bomb.

Pilot Paul Tibbets Jr. led the crew of men on this mission that would change the history of the world.

They took off from their base in Tinian, near Guam, and headed for the city of Hiroshima in southern Japan, with the plane carrying the top-secret bomb.

Three days later, another atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki.

Japan surrendered, bringing World War II to an end.

Living military members who served in World War II when the atomic bomb was dropped are in their their 90s now.

Don Wunderlich of Voltaire was on a ship “in the vicinity” when the Enola Gay was dropped. In a story in the Aug. 1-2 edition of The Minot Daily News, Wunderlich, 94, said when the announcement came over the ship’s PA system that the bomb had been dropped: “It was dead silence – nothing but quiet.” But after that, he said people began hoping they could get out of the military.

The first explosion of a nuclear device took place at White Sands Missile Range near Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945. Years of secrecy, research and tests for what was called the Manhattan Project headed by Robert Oppenheimer, came to a culmination at that time.

North Dakotan, the late Dr. Leon Jacobson, had a role in the Manhattan Project. From Sims in Morton County, he was the chief doctor for the research team that created the atomic bomb. He received a bachelor of science degree from North Dakota State University in 1935 and his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1939. He was chosen because he had done research on the biological effects of radiation, and was one of the first doctors to treat blood disorders with radioactive phosphorus, according to his obituary. By the conclusion of the project in 1945 Jacobson and his staff had produced several medical advances, including testing the first forms of chemotherapy to fight cancer.

Three weeks after the test of the nuclear device in the New Mexico desert, the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and three days after that on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

These weapons had devastating power and brought the world into the Nuclear Age.

There remains controversy over whether the bomb should have been dropped or should not have been dropped. Gen. Tibbets, who was serving his country when he was the pilot of the Enola Gay, said in an interview when he reflected on Hiroshima in 1989, that the atomic bomb did “what it was supposed to do. It brought peace to the world at that time. “


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