« Municipal fountains at night | Main | Guy on knee »

Saturday, August 06, 2005

60 years ago today

I'm reading the most amazing blog. It's actually a blog category, entitled "Live blogging the atomic bomb, time-shifted by 60 years."

I'm so glad I found this. Reading it makes it easy to go back to that time and place, even though it was more than ten years before I was born.

The author, Susan A. Kitchens, as the title suggests, documents the days leading up to the bombing of Hiroshima. The bomb was nicknamed Little Boy. Enola Gay was the name of the plane that dropped the bomb. And the runway from which the Enola Gay took off for its mission, if I recall correctly, was Broadway on Tinian Island. (Obviously, the military has a rich history of naming things.)

The following passage from August 6, 1945, is particularly poignant for me:

Radioing back and forth with the control tower, the plane is told, “Dimples Eight Two cleared for take-off.” Tibbets uses nearly all of the unusually long runway to build up speed and get Enola Gay airborne.
It’s 2:45 am.

My dad worked on the building of that runway. Among other things, he drove a dump truck in the Seabees in the U.S. Navy. They dynamited hundreds (maybe thousands) of tons of coral to clear the land for that runway. The night before the mission, much of everyone involved with the runway project were shipped off the island, including my dad. They knew something big was going to happen. They just didn't know what or how big.

I blogged about the runway once before, last Veterans Day.

Posted by Marie at August 6, 2005 12:05 AM