Fam­ily His­tory with the Enola Gay

Flight Journal - - AIRDROP -

My fa­ther was sta­tioned in Hawaii when the Enola Gay landed there en route to the is­land of Tinian. Dad was a B-29 crew chief, and he was as­signed the duty of check­ing out the air­plane be­fore she made her next leg of the flight. I have a pic­ture of him stand­ing next to the air­plane. Dad left the Air Force and went on to earn an aero­nau­ti­cal engi­neer­ing de­gree at Pur­due Uni­ver­sity, fol­lowed by a masters course at the Air Force In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy. He had an ex­cit­ing ca­reer with nu­mer­ous de­fense con­trac­tors in the bur­geon­ing U.S. aerospace busi­ness. Among other things, he was in­volved in projects such as the B-36 ma­chine-gun con­trol sys­tem, the B-58 Hustler tail gun (he told them the gun was a bad idea on a su­per­sonic air­plane), var­i­ous flight-test pro­grams at Wright-Pat­ter­son Air Force Base, the in­er­tial guid­ance sys­tem for the Gemini mis­sions, pre­lim­i­nary de­signs for the lu­nar rover, elec­tron­ics for the Apollo Mis­sion Con­trol Cen­ter, and oth­ers.

Steve Brady, Lon­don, Eng­land

It sounds as if your dad had an in­ter­est­ing ca­reer.—BD

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