Enola Gay Hiroshima Log - kept by Capt. Lewis USAAF, Mission Co-Pilot
This copy and only typed transcript of the of the log kept on the Enola Gay 6 August 1945 by Captain Robert A. Lewis, the co-pilot of the B-29, Enola Gay, which delivered the atomic bomb "Little Boy" to its target, Hiroshima, Japan. It is the only first person, real time narrative of the mission which was kept at the request of the Science Editor of the New York Times, William "Atomic Bill" Laurence. Although initially scheduled to make the flight, Laurence was unable to join the Hiroshima mission and at the last moment requested Capt. Lewis keep a record; which he did with the tacit permission of the Mission Commander Col. Paul Tibbits.
During the long flight to Hiroshima Capt. Lewis recorded the events of the flight, some mundane, most routine, others profound. During the flight he ran out of ink and finished the account, which he was writing in a USAAF "Line of Position" notebook, in pencil. When the bomb, nicknamed "Little Boy" detonated, Lewis famously recorded, "My God what have we done?" Which has since become the seminal and most repeated quote from the mission.
The flight departed from and returned to Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands. At that time almost the entire island had been converted into the busiest and most advanced airfield of World War II with over 40,000 U.S. personnel assigned. Upon his return from the Hiroshima Mission Capt Lewis was debriefed, but did not officially mention or share the existence of his log. Fearing confiscation, he crudely added a greeting and a salutation disguising the log as a letter to his Mom and Dad. The crew was kept segregated from others areas of the massive base, and were entirely self-contained having their own housing, offices and support facilities which contained some of the most sophisticated telecommunications equipment in the world.
On 8 August 1945, Mr. Laurence annotated and dated the log, overwriting some of Lewis' faint inscriptions so they would reproduce better. Between 9 and 10 August 1945 a copy and typed transcript were made, utilizing their high-tech equipment and presented to Commodore William "Deak" Parsons the weaponeer and bomb commander on the mission who had just been named Associate Director of the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory, in New Mexico.
Later promoted the grade of Rear Admiral, Parsons retained these copies, which besides the original Lewis log, sold by the Stephen Forbes estate at auction to an anonymous bidder in 2002, these are thought to be the only period copies of the Enola Gay log in existence.
These are truly the "Omega" of WWII collectibles.
• Capt. Robert A. Lewis 6 August 1945.
• Copy & transcript to Commodore William "Deak" Parsons, August 1945.
• Retained by Admiral Parsons until passing 1953.
• Log from Parsons' estate conveyed to USN Procurement officer, until 1991.
• Sold via Frank Cea's Barnstormer Auction, Roosevelt Airfield, Long Island, New York, to The War Museum of New York City, 1991.
• The War Museum of New York city, until 2013.
• Sold via Bonham's of New York City, NY to Zaricor Flag Collection, 2013.