Friday, August 31, 2018

TheList 4802

The List 4802 TGB

To All,
I hope that you all have a great holiday weekend. A couple of long but interesting tidbits for the weekend.
This day in Naval History
Aug. 31
1842—Congress replaces the Board of Navy Commissioners, a group of senior officers who oversee naval technical affairs, with the five technical Bureaus, ancestors of the Systems Commands. One of the 1842 Bureaus, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, continues to serve under its original name.
1862—The daily rum issued to US Navy sailors on board vessels is abolished. On July 14, by an Act of Congress, the spirit ration ceases Sept. 1. Secretary of Navy Gideon Welles issues a further order requiring captains of naval vessels to remove all distilled liquors from their ships except those that serve as medical stores. 
1911—USS Utah (BB 31) is commissioned. During World War I, she serves in the Atlantic protecting convoys. In 1931, she is converted to a radio-controlled target ship and is redesignated (AG 16). Utah spends the rest of her career in this role, with additional duties as an anti-aircraft gunnery training ship beginning in the mid-1930s. On Dec. 7, 1941, while moored at Pearl Harbor, Utah is hit by a Japanese aerial torpedo attack, rolls over and sinks. A few years later, her hull is partially righted and moved closer to Ford Island, where she remains today.
1942—USS Reid (DD 369) and PBY Catalinas from VP-42 and VP-43 sink Japanese submarine RO-61 off Atka, Aleutians.  
1962—The last flight of a Navy airship was made at Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, N.J.
1990—Iraqi merchant vessel, Al Karamah, is boarded by the crew of USS Biddle (CG 34) in the first interception during Operation Desert Shield.     
Sept. 1
1800—During the Quasi-War with France, the schooner, USS Experiment, commanded by Lt. Charles Stewart, captures the French privateer "Deux Amix" off Barbuda, West Indies.
1814—The sloop-of-war, USS Wasp, commanded by Johnston Blakely, sinks the British brig sloop, HMS Avon, south of Ireland.
1925—Cmdr. John Rodgers and a crew of four in a PN-9 aircraft run out of fuel on the first San Francisco to Hawaii flight. Landing at sea, they rig a sail and set sail for Hawaii. On Sept. 10, they are rescued by the submarine USS R-4, 10 miles from Kaui, then Territory of Hawaii.
1941—The United States assumed responsibility for Trans-Atlantic convoys from Argentia, Newfoundland, to the meridian of Iceland.
1942—The United States Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet is established. Vice Adm. Aubrey W. Fitch assumes duties of this administrative command that replaces the commands Carriers, Pacific Fleet and Patrol Wings, Pacific Fleet.
1942—The first Seabee unit to serve in a combat area, the Sixth Naval Construction Battalion, arrives on Guadalcanal.
1942—PBY Catalina aircraft from VP-73 bomb and sink German submarine U-756 southwest of Iceland.
Sept. 2
1777—The frigate, USS Raleigh, commanded by Thomas Thompson, captures the British brig, HMS Nancy, while en route to France to purchase military stores.
1864—During the Civil War, the 8-gun paddle-wheeler, USS Naiad, engages a Confederate battery at Rowe's Landing, La., and silences it. 
1940—As the Battle of Britain intensifies, U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull agrees to the transfer 50 warships to the Royal Navy. In exchange, the U.S. is granted land in various British possessions for the establishment of naval or air bases, on ninety-nine-year rent-free leases.
1944—USS Finback (SS 230) rescues Lt. j.g. George H.W. Bush, who is shot down while attacking Chi Jima.  During this time, Lt. j.g. Bush serves with Torpedo Squadron Fifty-One (VT 51) based on board USS San Jacinto (CVL 30). Lt. j.g. Bush later becomes the 41st President of the United States.
1945—More than two weeks after accepting the Allies terms, Japan formally surrenders, marking the end of World War II. The ceremonies, less than half an hour long, take place on board the battleship USS Missouri (BB 63), anchored with other United States and British ships in Tokyo Bay.
1989—USS Sentry (MCM 3) is commissioned. The Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship is the second to bear that name.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
In today's top national news, a California man was arrested and charged Thursday with making violent threats to Boston Globe employees, calling the newspaper the "enemy of the people," and a judge ordered a New Jersey couple Thursday to give a homeless Philadelphia man whatever's left of the $400,000 they raised for him.  USNI News reports that the Navy has selected Boeing to build the MQ-25A Stingray. The Navy plans for the first four Stingrays to achieve initial operational capability on carrier decks in 2024.  According to Stars and Stripes, the heads of 6th Fleet and 2nd Fleet convened Thursday at the Navy's European headquarters to discuss how they will monitor an increasingly assertive Russian navy, which is now massing warships in the Mediterranean Sea for large-scale exercises.  Additionally, AP reports that the U.S. military said early Friday it seized over 1,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles being smuggled by small ships in the Gulf of Aden amid the ongoing war in nearby Yemen.  The seizure by the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham may mark the first such interdiction of weapons at sea bound for Yemen in years for American forces patrolling the region.
Today in History August 31

The War of Vespers in Sicily ends with an agreement between Charles of Valois, who invaded the country, and Frederick, the ruler of Sicily.

The British at Fort William Henry, New York, surrender to Louis Montcalm of France.

Captain Meriwether Lewis leaves Pittsburgh to meet up with Captain William Clark and begin their trek to the Pacific Ocean.

At the Democratic convention in Chicago, General George B. McClellan is nominated for president.

The Communist Labor Party is founded in Chicago, with the motto, "Workers of the world unite!"

Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera opens in Berlin.

Joseph Avenol steps down as Secretary-General of the League of Nations.

The British army under General Bernard Law Montgomery defeats Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps in the Battle of Alam Halfa in Egypt.

The British Eighth Army penetrates the German Gothic Line in Italy.

Six of the 16 surviving Union veterans of the Civil War attend the last-ever encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, held in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The 1st Marine Division begins its attack on Bloody Ridge in Korea. The four-day battle results in 2,700 Marine casualties.

A concrete wall replaces the barbed wire fence that separates East and West Germany, it will be called the Berlin wall.

US Congress creates Department of Housing & Urban Development.

The Dasht-e Bayaz 7.3 earthquake in NE Iran completely destroys five villages and severely damages six others.

Lonnie McLucas convicted of torturing and murdering fellow Black Panther Party member Alex Rackley in the first of the New Haven Black Panther Trials.

Polish government forced to sign Gdansk Agreement allowing creation of the trade union Solidarity.

Police capture Richard Ramirez, dubbed the "Night Stalker" for a string of gruesome murders that stretched from Mission Viejo to San Francisco, Cal.

A Russian cargo ship collides with cruise ship Admiral Nakhimov, killing 398.

Longest mine strike in South Africa's history ends, after 11 people were killed, 500 injured and 400 arrested.

East and West Germany sign the Treaty of Unification (Einigungsvertrag) to join their legal and political systems.

Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. become first father and son to play on same team simultaneously in professional baseball (Seattle Mariners).

Last Russian troops leave Estonia and Latvia.

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announces a "complete cessation of military operations," opening the way to a political settlement in Ireland for the first time in a quarter of a century.

Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a Paris car crash along with her companion Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul while fleeing paparazzi.

New York Yankees retire Don Mattingly's #23 (first baseman, coach, manager).

Edvard Munch's famed painting The Scream recovered by Norwegian police. The artwork had been stolen on Aug. 22, 2004.
This is a great story that I have to dig out of the List archives once in a while to remind us how close a thing many of the battles we have fought over the years have come down to extraordinary effort of one man.

It Came Down to One Marine
by Vin Suprynowicz

On Nov. 15, 2003, an 85-year-old retired Marine Corps colonel died of congestive heart failure at his home in La Quinta, Calif., southeast of Palm Springs.

He was a combat veteran of World War II. Reason enough to honor him. But this Marine was a little different. This Marine was Mitchell Paige.

It's hard today to envision -- or, for the dwindling few, to remember -- what the world looked like on Oct. 26, 1942. The U. S. Navy was not the most powerful fighting force in the Pacific. Not by a long shot. So the Navy basically dumped a few thousand lonely American Marines on the beach on Guadalcanal and high-tailed it out of there.

You Navy guys can hold those letters. Of course Nimitz, Fletcher and Halsey had to ration what few ships they had. I've written separately about the way Bull Halsey rolled the dice on the night of Nov. 13, 1942, violating the stern War College edict against committing capital ships in restricted waters and instead dispatching into the Slot his last two remaining fast battleships, the South Dakota and the Washington, escorted by the only four destroyers with enough fuel in their bunkers to get them there and back.

Those American destroyer captains need not have worried about carrying enough fuel to get home. By 11 p. m., outnumbered better than three-to-one by a massive Japanese task force driving down from the northwest, every one of those four American destroyers had been shot up, sunk, or set aflame. And while the South Dakota -- known throughout the fleet as a jinx ship -- had damaged some lesser Japanese vessels, she continued to be plagued with electrical and fire control problems.

"Washington was now the only intact ship left in the force," writes naval historian David Lippman. "In fact, at that moment Washington was the entire U. S. Pacific Fleet. She was the only barrier between (Admiral) Kondo's ships and Guadalcanal. If this one ship did not stop 14 Japanese ships right then and there, America might lose the war..."

On Washington's bridge, Lieutenant Ray Hunter had the conn. He had just seen the destroyers Walke and Preston "blown sky high." Dead ahead lay their burning wreckage. Hundreds of men were swimming in the water and the Japanese ships racing in.

"Hunter had to do something. The course he took now could decide the war," Lippman writes. "'Come left,' he said.... Washington's rudder change put the burning destroyers between her and the enemy, preventing her from being silhouetted by their fires.

"The move made the Japanese momentarily cease fire. Lacking radar, they could not spot Washington behind the fires...." Washington raced through burning seas. Dozens of destroyer men were in the water clinging to floating wreckage. "Get after them, Washington!" one shouted.

Sacrificing their ships by maneuvering into the path of torpedoes intended for the Washington, the captains of the American destroyers had given her one final chance.

Blinded by the smoke and flames, the Japanese battleship Kirishima turned on her searchlights, illuminating the helpless South Dakota, and opened fire. Finally, as her own muzzle blasts illuminated her in the darkness, Admiral Lee and Captain Glenn Davis could positively identify an enemy target.

The Washington's main batteries opened fire at 12 midnight precisely. Her radar fire control system functioned perfectly. During the first seven minutes of Nov. 14, 1942, the "last ship in the U. S. Pacific Fleet" fired 75 of her 16-inch shells at the battleship Kirishima.

Aboard Kirishima, it rained steel. At 3:25 a.m., her burning hulk officially became the first enemy sunk by an American battleship since the Spanish-American War. Stunned, the Japanese withdrew. Within days, Japanese commander Isoroku Yamamoto recommended the unthinkable to the emperor -- withdrawal from Guadalcanal. But that was still weeks in the future. We were still with Mitchell Paige back on the god-forsaken malarial jungle island of Guadalcanal, placed like a speed bump at the end of the long blue-water slot between New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago ... the very route the Japanese Navy would have to take to reach Australia.

On Guadalcanal the Marines struggled to complete an airfield. Yamamoto knew what that meant. No effort would be spared to dislodge these upstart Yanks from a position that could endanger his ships. Before long, relentless Japanese counterattacks had driven supporting U.S. Navy from inshore waters. The Marines were on their own.

As Platoon Sgt. Mitchell Paige and his 33 riflemen set about carefully emplacing their four water-cooled 30-caliber Brownings, manning their section of the thin khaki line which was expected to defend Henderson Field against the assault of the night of Oct. 25, 1942, it's unlikely anyone thought they were about to provide the definitive answer to that most desperate of questions: How many able-bodied U.S. Marines does it take to hold a hill against 2,000 desperate and motivated attackers?

Nor did the commanders of the mighty Japanese Army, who had swept all before them for decades, expect their advance to be halted on some God-forsaken jungle ridge manned by one thin line of Yanks in khaki in October of 1942.

But by the time the night was over, "The 29th (Japanese) Infantry Regiment has lost 553 killed or missing and 479 wounded among its 2,554 men," historian Lippman reports. "The 16th (Japanese) Regiment's losses are uncounted, but the 164th's burial parties handled 975 Japanese bodies.... The American estimate of 2,200 Japanese dead is probably too low."

You've already figured out where the Japanese focused their attack,haven't you? Among the 90 American dead and seriously wounded that night were all the men in Mitchell Paige's platoon. Every one. As the night of endless attacks wore on, Paige moved up and down his line, pulling his dead and wounded comrades back into their foxholes and firing a few bursts from each of the four Brownings in turn, convincing the Japanese forces down the hill that the positions were still manned.

The citation for Paige's Congressional Medal of Honor picks up the tale: "When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, P/Sgt. Paige, commanding a machine gun section with fearless determination, continued to direct the fire of his gunners until all his men were either killed or wounded. Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, he fought with his gun and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire."

In the end, Sgt. Paige picked up the last of the 40-pound, belt-fed Brownings -- the same design which John Moses Browning famously fired for a continuous 25 minutes until it ran out of ammunition, glowing cherry red, at its first U. S. Army trial -- and did something for which the weapon was never designed. Sgt. Paige walked down the hill toward the place where he could hear the last Japanese survivors rallying to move around his flank, the belt-fed gun cradled under his arm, firing as he went.

And the weapon did not fail.

Coming up at dawn, battalion executive officer Major Odell M. Conoley was first to discover the answer to our question: How many able-bodied Marines does it take to hold a hill against two regiments of motivated, combat-hardened infantrymen who have never known defeat?

On a hill where the bodies were piled like cord wood, Mitchell Paige alone sat upright behind his 30-caliber Browning, waiting to see what the dawn would bring.

One hill: one Marine.

But "In the early morning light, the enemy could be seen a few yards off, and vapor from the barrels of their machine guns was clearly visible," reports historian Lippman. "It was decided to try to rush the position."

For the task, Major Conoley gathered together "three enlisted communication personnel, several riflemen, a few company runners who were at the point, together with a cook and a few messmen who had brought food to the position the evening before."

Joined by Paige, this ad hoc force of 17 Marines counterattacked at 5:40 a.m., discovering that "the extremely short range allowed the optimum use of grenades." They cleared the ridge.

And that's where the unstoppable wave of Japanese conquest finally crested, broke, and began to recede. On an unnamed jungle ridge on an insignificant island no one had ever heard of, called Guadalcanal.

But who remembers, today, how close-run a thing it was -- the ridge held by a single Marine, in the autumn of 1942?

When the Hasbro Toy Co. called some years back, asking permission to put the retired colonel's face on some kid's doll, Mitchell Paige thought they must be joking.

But they weren't. That's his mug, on the little Marine they call "G.I. Joe."

And now you know.
- - -
Subject: Fwd: Paul Tibbets, pilot Hiroshima bomb
  Here is a bit of most interesting American history which has yet to reach the history books. It's an interview by Studs Terkel with Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the B-29 that dropped the First Atom Bomb on Hiroshima during WWII, fascinating.

Studs Terkel: We're seated here, two old gaffers. Me and Paul Tibbets, 89 years old, brigadier-general retired, in his home town of Columbus, Ohio, where he has lived for many years.

Studs Terkel: But once upon a time, you flew a plane called the Enola Gay over the city of Hiroshima, in Japan, on a Sunday morning - August 6 1945 - and a bomb fell. It was the atomic bomb, the first ever.
And that particular moment changed the whole world.
You were the pilot of that plane. 

Paul Tibbets: Yes, I was the pilot.

Studs Terkel: And the Enola Gay was named after...

Paul Tibbets: My mother. She was Enola Gay Haggard before she married my dad, and my dad never supported me with the flying - he hated airplanes and motorcycles.
When I told them I was going to leave college and go fly planes in the army air corps, my dad said,  "Well, I've sent you through school, bought you automobiles, given you money to run around with the girls, but from here on, you're on your own.  If you want to go kill yourself, go ahead, I don't give a damn."
Then Mom just quietly said,  "Paul, if you want to go fly airplanes, you're going to be all right." And that was that.
Studs Terkel: Where was that?

Paul Tibbets: Well, that was Miami, Florida.
My dad had been in the real estate business down there for years, and at that time he was retired.
And I was going to school at Gainesville, Florida, but I had to leave after two years and go to Cincinnati because Florida had no medical school. 

Studs Terkel: You were thinking of being a doctor?

Paul Tibbets: I didn't think that, my father thought it.
He said, "You're going to be a doctor," and I just nodded my head and that was it.
And I started out that way; but about a year before, I was able to get into an airplane, fly it - solo it - and I knew then that I had to go fly airplanes. 

Studs Terkel: Now by 1944 you were a pilot - a test pilot on the program to develop the B-29 bomber.
When did you get word that you had a special assignment? 

Paul Tibbets: One day [in September 1944] I'm running a test on a B-29, I land, a man meets me.
He says he just got a call from General Uzal Ent [commander of the second air force] at Colorado Springs, he wants me in his office the next morning at nine o'clock.
He said, "Bring your clothing - your B4 bag - because you're not coming back."
Well, I didn't know what it was and didn't pay any attention to it - it was just another assignment.
I got to Colorado Springs the next morning perfectly on time. 

A man named Lansdale met me, walked me to General Ent's office and closed the door behind me.
With him was a man wearing a blue suit, a US Navy captain - that was William Parsons, who flew with me to Hiroshima - and Dr Norman Ramsey, Columbia University, professor in nuclear physics.
And Norman said: "OK, we've got what we call the Manhattan Project.
What we're doing is trying to develop an atomic bomb.
We've gotten to the point now where we can't go much further 'til we have airplanes to work with." 

He gave me an explanation which probably lasted 45, 50 minutes, and they left.
General Ent looked at me and said, "The other day, General Arnold [commanding general of the army air corps] offered me three names.
"Both of the others were full colonels; I was a lieutenant-colonel.
He said that when General Arnold asked which of them could do this atomic weapons deal, he replied without hesitation, "Paul Tibbets is the man to do it."
I said, "Well, thank you , sir."
Then he laid out what was going on and it was up to me now to put together an organization and train them to drop atomic weapons on both Europe and the Pacific - Tokyo. 

Studs Terkel: Interesting that they would have dropped it on Europe as well. We didn't know that.

Paul Tibbets: My edict was as clear as could be.
Drop simultaneously in Europe and the Pacific because of the secrecy problem - you couldn't drop it in one part of the world without dropping it in the other.
And so he said, "I don't know what to tell you, but I know you happen to have B-29's to start with."
"I've got a squadron in training in Nebraska - they have the best record so far of anybody we've got."
"I want you to go visit them, look at them, talk to them, do whatever you want."
"If they don't suit you, we'll get you some more." 

He said: "There's nobody could tell you what you have to do because nobody knows.  If we can do anything to help you, ask me." 
I said, "thank you very much."
He said, "Paul, be careful how you treat this responsibility, because if you're successful you'll probably be called a hero. And if you're unsuccessful, you might wind up in prison."
Studs Terkel: Did you know the power of an atomic bomb?
Were you told about that? 

Paul Tibbets:  No, I didn't know anything at that time.
  But I knew how to put an organization together.
He said, "Go take a look at the bases, and call me back and tell me which one you want."
I wanted to get back to Grand Island, Nebraska; that's where my wife and two kids were, where my laundry was done and all that stuff.
But I thought, "Well, I'll go to Wendover [army airfield, in Utah] first and see what they've got."
As I came in over the hills I saw it was a beautiful spot.
It had been a final staging place for units that were going through combat crew training, and the guys ahead of me were the last P-47 fighter outfit.
This lieutenant-colonel in charge said, "We've just been advised to stop here and I don't know what you want to do..  but if it has anything to do with this base, it's the most perfect base I've ever been on.
You've got full machine shops, everybody's qualified, they know what they want to do.
It's a good place." 

Studs Terkel: And now you chose your own crew.

Paul Tibbets: Well, I had mentally done it before that.
I knew right away I was going to get Tom Ferebee [the Enola Gay's bombardier] and Theodore "Dutch" van Kirk [navigator] and Wyatt Duzenbury [flight engineer]. 

Studs Terkel: Guys you had flown with in Europe?

Paul Tibbets: Yeah.

Studs Terkel: And now you're training.
And you're also talking to physicists like Robert Oppenheimer [senior scientist on the Manhattan project]. 

Paul Tibbets: I think I went to Los Alamos [the Manhattan project HQ] three times, and each time I got to see Dr Oppenheimer working in his own environment.
Later, thinking about it, here's a young man, a brilliant person.
And he's a chain smoker and he drinks cocktails.
And he hates fat men.
And General Leslie Groves [the general in charge of the Manhattan project], he's a fat man, and he hates people who smoke and drink.
The two of them are the first, original odd couple. 

Studs Terkel: They had a feud, Groves and Oppenheimer?

Paul Tibbets: Yeah, but neither one of them showed it. Each one of them had a job to do.

Studs Terkel: Did Oppenheimer tell you about the destructive nature of the bomb?

Paul Tibbets: No.

Studs Terkel: How did you know about that?

Paul Tibbets: From Dr Ramsey.
He said the only thing we can tell you about it is, it's going to explode with the force of 20,000 tons of TNT.
I'd never seen 1 lb of TNT blow up.
I'd never heard of anybody who'd seen 100 lbs of TNT blow up.
All I felt was that this was gonna be one hell of a big bang. 

Studs Terkel: Twenty thousand tons - that's equivalent to how many planes full of bombs?

Paul Tibbets: Well, I think the two bombs that we used [at Hiroshima and Nagasaki] had more power than all the bombs the air force had used during the war in Europe.

Studs Terkel: So Ramsey told you about the possibilities.

Paul Tibbets: Even though it was still theory, whatever those guys told me, that's what happened.
So I was ready to say I wanted to go to war, but I wanted to ask Oppenheimer how to get away from the bomb after we dropped it.
I told him that when we had dropped bombs in Europe and North Africa, we'd flown straight ahead after dropping them - which is also the trajectory of the bomb.
But what should we do this time?
He said, "You can't fly straight ahead because you'd be right over the top when it blows up and nobody would ever know you were there."
He said I had to turn tangent to the expanding shock wave.
I said, "Well, I've had some trigonometry, some physics.
What is tangency in this case?"
He said it was 159 degrees in either direction.
"Turn 159 degrees as fast as you can and you'll be able to put yourself the greatest distance from where the bomb exploded." 

Studs Terkel: How many seconds did you have to make that turn?

Paul Tibbets: I had dropped enough practice bombs to realize that the charges would blow around 1,500 ft in the air, so I would have 40 to 42 seconds to turn 159 degrees.
I went back to Wendover as quick as I could and took the airplane up.
I got myself to 25,000 ft, and I practiced turning, steeper, steeper, steeper and I got it where I could pull it around in 40 seconds.
The tail was shaking dramatically and I was afraid of it breaking off, but I didn't quit.
That was my goal.
And I practiced and practiced until, without even thinking about it, I could do it in between 40 and 42, all the time.
So, when that day came... 

Studs Terkel: You got the go-ahead on August 5.

Paul Tibbets: Yeah. We were in Tinian [the US island base in the Pacific] at the time we got the OK.
They had sent this Norwegian to the weather station out on Guam [the US's westernmost territory] and I had a copy of his report.
We said that, based on his forecast, the sixth day of August would be the best day that we could get over Honshu [the island on which Hiroshima stands].
So we did everything that had to be done to get the crews ready to go: airplane loaded, crews briefed, all of the things checked that you have to check before you can fly over enemy territory. 

General Groves had a brigadier-general who was connected back to Washington, DC by a special teletype machine.
He stayed close to that thing all the time, notifying people back there, all by code, that we were preparing these airplanes to go any time aftermidnight on the sixth.
And that's the way it worked out.
We were ready to go at about four o'clock in the afternoon on the fifth and we got word from the president that we were free to go:
"Use me as you wish."
They give you a time you're supposed to drop your bomb on target and that was 9:15 in the morning , but that was Tinian time, one hour laterthan Japanese time.
I told Dutch, "You figure it out what time we have to start after midnightto be over the target at 9 am." 

Studs Terkel: That'd be Sunday morning.

Paul Tibbets: Well, we got going down the runway at right about 2:15 am and we took off; we met our rendezvous guys, we made our flight up to what we call the initial point, that would be a geographic position that you could not mistake.
Well, of course we had the best one in the world with the rivers and bridges and that big shrine.
There was no mistaking what it was. 

Studs Terkel: So you had to have the right navigator to get it on the button.

Paul Tibbets: The airplane has a bomb sight connected to the auto-pilot and the bombardier puts figures in there for where he wants to be when he drops the weapon, and that's transmitted to the airplane.
We always took into account what would happen if we had a failure and the bomb bay doors didn't open: we had a manual release put in each airplane so it was right down by the bombardier and he could pull on that.
And the guys in the airplanes that followed us to drop the instruments needed to know when it was going to go.
We were told not to use the radio, but, hell, I had to. I told them I would say,
"One minute out," "Thirty seconds out," "Twenty seconds" and "Ten" and then I'd count, "Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four seconds", which would give them a time to drop their cargo.
They knew what was going on because they knew where we were.
And that's exactly the way it worked; it was absolutely perfect. 

After we got the airplanes in formation I crawled into the tunnel and went back to tell the men, I said, "You know what we're doing today?"
They said, "Well, yeah, we're going on a bombing mission."
I said, "Yeah, we're going on a bombing mission, but it's a little bit special."
My tail gunner, Bob Caron, was pretty alert.
He said, "Colonel, we wouldn't be playing with atoms today, would we?"
I said, "Bob, you've got it just exactly right."
So I went back up in the front end and I told the navigator, bombardier, flight engineer, inturn. I said, "OK, this is an atom bomb we're dropping."
They listened intently but I didn't see any change in their faces or anything else.
Those guys were no idiots.
We'd been fiddling round with the most peculiar-shaped things we'd ever seen.
So we're coming down. 

We get to that point where I say "one second" and by the time I'd got that second out of my mouth the airplane had lurched, because 10,000 lbs had come out of the front.
I'm in this turn now, tight as I can get it, that helps me hold my altitude and helps me hold my airspeed and everything else all the way round.
When I level out, the nose is a little bit high and as I look up there, the whole sky is lit up in the prettiest blues and pinks I've ever seen in my life.
It was just great. I tell people I tasted it.
"Well," they say, "what do you mean?"
When I was a child, if you had a cavity in your tooth, the dentist put some mixture of some cotton or whatever it was and lead into your teeth and pounded them in with a hammer.
I learned that if I had a spoon of ice-cream and touched one of those teeth I got this electrolysis and I got the taste of lead out of it.
And I knew right away what it was. 

OK, we're all going.
We had been briefed to stay off the radios:
"Don't say a damn word, what we do is we make this turn, we're going to get out of here as fast as we can."
I want to get out over the sea of Japan because I know they can't find me over there.
With that done we're home free.
Then Tom Ferebee has to fill out his bombardier's report and Dutch, the navigator, has to fill out a log.
Tom is working on his log and says, "Dutch, what time were we over the target?"
And Dutch says, "Nine-fifteen plus 15 seconds." Ferebee says:
"What lousy navigating. Fifteen seconds off!" 

Studs Terkel: Did you hear an explosion?

Paul Tibbets: Oh yeah.
The shockwave was coming up at us after we turned.
And the tail gunner said, "Here it comes."
About the time he said that, we got this kick in the ass.
I had accelerometers installed in all airplanes to record the magnitude of the bomb.
It hit us with two and a half G's.
Next day, when we got figures from the scientists on what they had learned from all the things, they said,
"When that bomb exploded, your airplane was 10 and half miles away from it." 

Studs Terkel: Did you see that mushroom cloud?

Paul Tibbets: You see all kinds of mushroom clouds, but they were made with different types of bombs.
The Hiroshima bomb did not make a mushroom.
It was what I call a stringer.
It just came up. It was black as hell, and it had light and colors and white in it and grey color in it and the top was like a folded-up Christmas tree. 

Studs Terkel: Do you have any idea what happened down below?

Paul Tibbets: Pandemonium! I think it's best stated by one of the historians, who said: "In one micro-second, the city of Hiroshima didn't exist."

Studs Terkel: You came back, and you visited President Truman.

Paul Tibbets: We're talking 1948 now.
I'm back in the Pentagon and I get notice from the chief of staff, Carl Spaatz, the first chief of staff of the Air Force.
When we got to General Spaatz's office, General Doolittle was there, and a colonel named Dave Shillen.
Spaatz said, "Gentlemen, I just got word from the President he wants us to go over to his office immediately."
On the way over, Doolittle and Spaatz were doing some talking; I wasn't saying very much.
When we got out of the car, we were escorted right quick to the Oval Office. 

There was a black man there who always took care of Truman's needs and he said, "General Spaatz, will you please be facing the desk?"
And now, facing the desk, Spaatz is on the right, Doolittle and Shillen.
Of course, militarily speaking, that's the correct order: because Spaatz is senior, Doolittle has to sit to his left.
Then I was taken by this man and put in the chair that was right beside the president's desk, beside his left hand.
Anyway, we got a cup of coffee and we got most of it consumed when Truman walked in and everybody stood on their feet. 

He said, "Sit down, please," and he had a big smile on his face and he said, "General Spaatz, I want to congratulate you on being first Chief of the Air Force," because it was no longer the air corps.
Spaatz said, "Thank you, sir, it's a great honor and I appreciate it."
And he said to Doolittle:
"That was a magnificent thing you pulled flying off of that carrier," and Doolittle said, "All in a day's work, Mr... President."
And he looked at Dave Shillen and said, "Colonel Shillen, I want to congratulate you on having the foresight to recognize the potential in aerial refueling.
We're gonna need it bad some day."
And he said thank you very much. 

Then he looked at me for 10 seconds and he didn't say anything.
And when he finally did, he said, "What do you think?"
I said, "Mr... President, I think I did what I was told."
He slapped his hand on the table and said: "You're damn right you did, and I'm the guy who sent you.
If anybody gives you a hard time about it, refer them to me." 

Studs Terkel: Anybody ever give you a hard time?

Paul Tibbets: Nobody gave me a hard time.

Studs Terkel: Do you ever have any second thoughts about the bomb?

Paul Tibbets: Second thoughts? No. Studs, look…
Number one, I got into the air corps to defend the United States to the best of my ability.  That's what I believe in and that's what I work for.
Number two, I'd had so much experience with airplanes... I'd had jobs where there was no particular direction about how you do it and then of course I put this thing together with my own thoughts on how it should be because when I got the directive I was to be self-supporting at all times.
On the way to the target I was thinking:
I can't think of any mistakes I've made. Maybe I did make a mistake: maybe I was too damned assured. At 29 years of age I was so shot in the ass with confidence I didn't think there was anything I couldn't do. Of course, that applied to airplanes and people. So, no, I had no problem with it. I knew we did the right thing because when I knew we'd be doing that I thought, yes, we're going to kill a lot of people, but by God we're going to save a lot of lives. We won't have to invade Japan. 

Studs Terkel: Why did they drop the second one, the Boxcar [bomb] on Nagasaki?

Paul Tibbets: Unknown to anybody else - I knew it, but nobody else knew - there was a third one. See, the first bomb went off and they didn't hear anything out of the Japanese for two or three days. The second bomb was dropped and again they were silent for another couple of days. Then I got a phone call from General Curtis LeMay [Chief of Staff of the Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific]. He said, "You got another one of those damn things?" I said, "Yes sir." He said, "Where is it?" I said, "Over in Utah." He said, "Get it out here. You and your crew are going to fly it." I said, "Yes sir." I sent word back and the crew loaded it on an airplane and we headed back to bring it right on out to Tinian and when they got it to California debarkation point, the war was over.

Studs Terkel: What did General LeMay have in mind with the third one?

Paul Tibbets: Nobody knows.

Studs Terkel: One big question. Since September 11, what are your thoughts? People talk about nukes, the hydrogen bomb.

Paul Tibbets: Let's put it this way. I don't know any more about these terrorists than you do; I know nothing. When they bombed the Trade Center, I couldn't believe what was going on. We've fought many enemies at different times. But we knew who they were and where they were. These people, we don't know who they are or where they are. That's the point that bothers me. Because they're gonna strike again, I'll put money on it. And it's going to be damned dramatic. But they're gonna do it in their own sweet time. We've got to get into a position where we can kill the bastards. None of this business of taking them to court, the hell with that. I wouldn't waste five seconds on them.

Studs Terkel: What about the bomb? Einstein said the world has changed since the atom was split.

Paul Tibbets: That's right. It has changed.

Studs Terkel: And Oppenheimer knew that.

Paul Tibbets: Oppenheimer is dead. He did something for the world and people don't understand. And it is a free world.

Studs Terkel: One last thing, when you hear people say, "Let's nuke 'em," "Let's nuke these people," what do you think?

Paul Tibbets: Oh, I wouldn't hesitate if I had the choice. I'd wipe 'em out. You're gonna kill innocent people at the same time, but we've never fought a damn war anywhere in the world where they didn't kill innocent people. If the newspapers would just cut out the s**t: "You've killed so many civilians." That's their tough luck for being there.

Studs Terkel: By the way, I forgot to say Enola Gay was originally called number 82. How did your mother feel about having her name on it?

Paul Tibbets: Well, I can only tell you what my dad said.
My mother never changed her expression very much about anything, whether it was serious or light, but when she'd get tickled, her stomach would jiggle.
My dad said to me that when the telephone in Miami rang, my mother was quiet first.
Then, when it was announced on the radio, he said: "You should have seen the old gal's belly jiggle on that one." 
Paul Tibbets was born in 1915 so the interview was conducted some time in 2002."
Item Number:1 Date: 08/31/2018 AFGHANISTAN - 11 KILLED IN RAID ON TALIBAN IN NANGARHAR PROVINCE (AUG 31/TN)  TOLONEWS -- At least 11 people have been killed in a raid by Afghan special operations forces in Nangarhar province, reports the Tolo News (Kabul).   Twelve Taliban fighters were also captured in Thursday's raid in the province's Khogyani district, said a member of the Nangarhar Provincial Council.   The casualties included a Taliban commander, he added.   Some of the fatalities were civilians, said residents.   Government sources in Kabul declined to comment on the operation. The Taliban confirmed that an operation occurred, while only mentioning civilian casualties.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 08/31/2018 ESTONIA - NAVY DIVERS CLEAR BOMB ON GAS PIPELINE ROUTE (AUG 31/EPR)  ESTONIAN PUBLIC RADIO -- Estonian navy divers have removed a bomb that was discovered on the planned route for the Balticconnector gas pipeline that is being built between Estonia and Finland, reports Estonian Public Radio.   The 110-pound (50-kg) bomb was safely detonated at a depth of about 130 feet (40 m), officials said.   The bomb was initially detected north of Lahepere Bay west of Tallinn during a route study, said a spokesman for the Estonian military.   The command and support ship Wambola took part in the operation.   The Estonian navy eliminated two World War I and World War II-era naval mines that were along the Balticconnector route earlier this year.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 08/31/2018 ETHIOPIA - MILITARY AIRCRAFT GOES DOWN IN OROMIA REGION KILLING 18 (AUG 31/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- At least 18 people have been killed after an Ethiopian military helicopter crashed, reports Agence France-Presse.   The helicopter went down Thursday between the eastern city of Dire Dawa and the Ethiopian air force headquarters in Bishoftu, in the Oromia region, according to state media.   Fifteen troops and three civilians traveling on the aircraft were killed.   The ET-AIU model helicopter had taken off about 20 minutes before going down, reported the Addis Standard.   The Aviation Safety Network said that the crash involved a DHC-6 Twin Otter Aircraft. Images published by the Fana Broadcasting Corporate showed the wreckage of a DHC-6 despite media reports that a helicopter had crashed.   The air force has opened an investigation into the crash.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 08/31/2018 IRAQ - INTERROGATION RECORDS SHOW IRANIAN INFLUENCE ON IRAQI MILITIAS (AUG 31/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- Recently declassified U.S. interrogation reports have shed new light on Iran's role in training and arming Iraqi militias during the Iraq war, reports the Wall Street Journal.   The information comes from the interrogation of Qais al-Khazali, the leader of a major Shi'ite militia group, which was conducted after his arrest by American troops in 2007.   At the time, Khazali was best known for his role in leading Asaib Ahl al-Haq, which launched attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces.   Now, Khazali fronts a political party of the same name that is maneuvering for power after making significant gains in parliamentary elections earlier this year.   The reports come as the Trump administration is considering designating the militia a terrorist entity, a move that would hurt Khazali and potentially alienate some Iraqi politicians.   The interrogation records show that Khazali received instructions and training from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Lebanon's Hezbollah at three bases near Tehran.   Iran also provided explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, a deadly explosive device that killed or wounded hundreds of U.S. troops, Khazali told interrogators.   According Khazali, Iranian handlers did not direct attacks but encouraged the targeting of certain locations and forces, such as British forces in Basra and U.S troops across the country
Item Number:8 Date: 08/31/2018 UNITED KINGDOM - F-35B MAKES 1ST FLIGHT WITH BRITISH WEAPONS (AUG 31/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- For the first time, a British F-35B Lightning stealth jet has conducted flight tests with domestically developed weapons, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   The fighter, flown by a pilot from the Royal Air Force's 17 Squadron, was equipped with Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (ASRAAMs) during the recent flight at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.   The trial is part of the RAF's work-up toward initial operational capability, which is anticipated in December.   617 Squadron at RAF Marham is slated to conduct its own weapon trials in the next few months.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 08/31/2018 USA - BOEING WINS COMPETITION TO BUILD UNMANNED AERIAL TANKERS FOR NAVY (AUG 31/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The U.S. Navy has chosen Boeing to build an unmanned aerial tanker to fly from its aircraft carriers, reports Defense News.   The $805 million contract covers the design, development, fabrication, test and delivery of four MQ-25 Stingray air vehicles. Plans call for buying 72 Stingrays at a cost of $13 billion, said Navy officials.   First flight is anticipated in 2021, reported USNI News. Initial operational capability is planned for 2024.   The entry of the Stingrays into the fleet could double the range of the carrier air wing. It would also free up Super Hornet fighters currently serving on tanker missions.   The MQ-25 is expected to be able to supply up to 15,000 pounds (6,800 kg) of fuel at a range of 500 nm (930 km
Item Number:10 Date: 08/31/2018 USA - MARINES BUILD CONCRETE BARRACKS WITH 3D PRINTER (AUG 31/FN)  FOX NEWS -- The U.S. Marine Corps has for the first time used a specialized 3D concrete printer to build a barracks in less than two days, reports Fox News.   The project produced a 5,280-square-foot (500-square-meter) barracks room at the U.S. Army Research and Development Center in Champaign, Ill., in about 40 hours. This was the first ever continuous 3D-printed concrete barracks, according to the service.   Army engineers and Navy Seabees also took part in the construction.   Using computer-aided design software, the concrete was pushed through a print head and layered repeatedly to build the walls, said the Marines.   The project could be completed in about 24 hours if a robot was used to mix and pump the concrete, said officials.   Typically, it takes 10 Marines five days to build a barracks hut out of wood.   More testing of the technology is planned.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 08/31/2018 USA - WASHINGTON LOOKS FOR NEW SOLUTIONS AFTER COUNTRIES REFUSE TO REPATRIATE CAPTURED ISIS FIGHTERS (AUG 31/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- The Trump administration is considering sending hundreds of captured members of the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) to an Iraqi prison and others to the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, reports NBC News.   The move is driven by the refusal of many countries to take custody of their citizens captured while fighting for ISIS.   The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) hold about 600 suspected ISIS fighters, but lack the resources to detain, prosecute or protect such a number of prisoners.   The Trump administration is considering sending Alexandar Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh -- two of the four members of the ISIS cell known as the "The Beatles" -- to Guantanamo, U.S. officials said.   Washington is also looking at sending prisoners to Iraq, which would remove some concerns that they could escape. It would also eliminate the need for countries to enter Syria to collect their citizens, officials said.   The U.S. would retain the right to prosecute ISIS fighters sent to Iraq.   U.S. officials declined to confirm the report. A State Dept. spokesperson said the U.S. encouraged others to arrest, try and imprison their citizens suspected of fighting for ISIS.   Efforts to do so have been mixed. The administration sent a request to countries earlier this year, telling them that their citizens were held by the SDF. Few prisoners have been taken back.   Tunisia, one of the largest sources of ISIS fighters, reportedly agreed to take 150 fighters if it received compensation.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 08/31/2018 YEMEN - TOP HOUTHI COMMANDER DIES IN AIRSTRIKE (AUG 31/AL ARABIYA)  AL ARABIYA -- The brother of Yemeni rebel leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi has reportedly been killed in an airstrike, reports Al Arabiya (Dubai).   Abdul-Khalik al-Houthi was killed on Friday by a Saudi-led coalition strike on the Bajil district of Hodeidah, the city held by Houthi rebels on Yemen's western coast, according to Arab media reports.   Coalition forces tracked the rebel commander for days before the attack.   Abdul-Khalik al-Houthi was the sixth-most-wanted man on the coalition's list. He was involved in several Houthi military operations, including the capture of Sanaa in 2014, Reuters reported at the time.   This was the second death of a prominent Houthi leader this week. Abdul Karim Amir al-Din al-Houthi, a hardline Houthi commander, was killed on Tuesday in western Yemen. 

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