Remarkable original signed pencil sketch on an off-white 11 x 8.5 sheet. Van Kirk draws a large mushroom cloud with a caption “Mushroom cloud, about 60,000 ft. above the target of Aioi Bridge – Center of Hiroshima…The major concerns about the mission were a) Would the bomb work or be a dud b) getting away from the bomb blast. Remember that this had never been done before—it was a great unknown. After the bomb exploded there was a great sense of relief—it had worked and it didn’t destroy or damage the airplane.” He also draws the Enola Gay airplane’s position at the time of the explosion and adds in his hand “Enola Gay Altitude 31,060, heading about 60° speed 259 knots.” He also adds at the center of the explosion ” Atomic Bomb Explosion 1980 ft. above ground zero.” Signed in pencil “Theodore J. Van Kirk – Navigator – Enola Gay – 6 Aug 1945.” In fine condition. An important, and possibly one-of-a-kind, first hand account of the first ever use of a nuclear weapon during war time. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Category Archives: Enola Gay
Signed book: Enola Gay. Later printing. NY: Stein and Day, 1977. Hardcover with dustjacket, 6.25 x 9.25, 327 pages. Signed on the first free-end page, “Morris Jeppson, Weapon Test Officer, Enola Gay Mission, Hiroshima, 6 Aug 1945.” Under his signature, Jeppson adds a lengthy personal commentary which reads, “Few people remember how or know why atomic bombs were used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WWII. How close the World came to domination by Japan and Germany. The atomic bomb did end WWII to then enable the US to put Germany and Japan back on their feet to evolve as good democratic countries. At the time the atomic weapons were used it was not realized the radiation effects of the atomic detonation. In time it was realized primary radiation of x-rays and gamma rays burned people and started fires. Also fission of U235 produced radio by-products that scattered to distribute across Japan.” In fine condition, with some edge wear, creasing, and toning to dustjacket. A rare look into the thoughts of one of the crew members who had a direct hand in ending the second World War. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.