At midnight on August 6, 1945, the crew of the Enola Gay got the orders to get ready for their mission. By 2:45 AM they were all packed, ready to go, and took off for their intended target (Black & Blashfield, 1993, p. 30). They flew through the darkness of the night sky for many hours. Dawn appeared and finally Enola Gay came close to their future objective. Then, around 7:24 AM, the pilot received a transmission from a weather aircraft, which had flown ahead of them, that there was hardly a cloud in the sky and that they should continue to their goal (p. 30). As they grew closer to Hiroshima, about 30 miles away, the captain gave the controls over to Major Ferebee (p. 30). As the minutes and seconds passed by it seemed perpetual. Finally at 8:15:17 Major Ferebee yelled out, “Bombs away!” (p. 30). It took about 50 seconds for the atomic bomb to fall and reach1,900 feet above the city where it exploded (Langford, 2004, p. 57). One of the crew members commented on it:
A column of smoke rising fast. It has a fiery red core. A bubbling mass, purple gray in color, with that red core. It’s all turbulent. Fires are springing up everywhere, like flames shooting out of a huge bed of coals…Here it comes, the mushroom shape…It’s like a mass of bubbling molasses…its nearly level with me and climbing…(pp. 32-34).
Never again will anything be the same.
In New York City the main ideas about the atomic bomb were developed, it was called the “Manhattan Project”. It was originally General Leslie R. Groves that was put in charge of the development of the atomic bomb. He wasn’t exactly people friendly so he got Dr. Julius Robert Oppenheimer, a civilian, involved as a project director. Communication and working proficiently improved because of the addition in management. Soon they realized that working mutually needed to be at one site.
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Due to the isolation and the geography protecting Las Alamos, NM, they came to the decision to transfer the Manhattan Project there. During the development of Little Boy security was the utmost importance. All communication and mail was done through Santa Fe, NM. And Los Alamos, NM turned into a military station to supply security for the top secret atomic bombs being developed there.
The bomb was made up of uranium-235. It was smaller and more slender then the other atomic bombs, e.g. Fat Man. It was only ten feet long but weighed approximately four and half tons. Really, the design of it was quite simple; the military didn’t want to risk a more complex design for the bomb to fail. Inside of Little Boy there was a gun tube, where at one end it had batteries connected to a detonator. When detonated there was an explosive charge that shot the uranium projectile down the tube, it caused a collision with three rings of uranium at the other side of the gun tube. Also it caused a reaction that would start an enormous blast that wiped out much of the population...