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Web Sites On: Enola Gay Controvery  |  Atomic Bomb

Web Sites On the Enola Gay Controversy (Updated 6/2006)

Air Force Association
The home site for the AFA, an "independent, nonprofit, civilian organization primarily concerned with public understanding and acceptance of the pivotal role a well-manned, well-equipped and well-trained Air Force plays in the security of the nation and its allies and the relevance of overall American military strength to global peace." Features links to legislative issues and educational programs the AFA is involved in; a library that collects press releases and policy statements, in addition to archived material pertaining to Air Force involvement in world issues; and a members-only area where members can interact electronically. The AFA, of course, took the leading role in attacking the Smithsonian's exhibit (see the second link).
Air Force Magazine
The first address links to the electronic version of the AFA's monthly journal, with links to articles and editorials from the current issue, as well as a large collection of archived opinion pieces and articles from past issues. You can find information, for example, on the role of the Air Force in the Gulf War, the Balkan War, and, especially, in the second link, its take on the Enola Gay controversy.
Alsos: Digital Library for Nuclear Issues
"The Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues provides a broad, balanced range of annotated references for the study of nuclear issues. . . . It is the mission of the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues to make the history and current status of nuclear issues more accessible and comprehensible to the general public as well as to students and educators in the many fields influenced by the forces of the nuclear age." Search using such terms as "Enola Gay," "Enola Gay Controversy," and "Smithsonian Exhibit."
Committee for a National Discussion of Nuclear History and Current Policy [Archived]
A committee of scholars, veterans, clergy, activists, students, and other interested individuals formed to challenge the Smithsonian's plans to exhibit the Enola Gay solely as a "magnificent technological achievement" when it goes on display permanently at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in December 2003.
Cyber Exhibit: Enola Gay and the Atomic Bomb [Archived]
This cyber exhibit "is based on the exhibition script, 'The Last Act: The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II,' which was scheduled to open in the Spring of 1995 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The exhibition, as envisioned in this script dated January 1995, was ultimately canceled. After getting its permission, NHK made this cyber exhibit excerpting from the original script."
Enola Gay [Archived]
Information and photos, from the Smithsonian's Nation Air and Space Museum's website, about the Enola Gay exhibit as it appeared in 1995 to 1998. Also features cool QuickTime movies of a panoramic interior view of the Enola Gay's cockpit, as well as its exterior fuselage.
"Enola Gay"
Contains quick and dirty facts about the plane, the crews, and the chronology of events for easy reference.
Enola Gay Controversy
This site, from Lewis and Clark College's Hiroshima Archive project, houses a collection of historical resources links to sites around the Internet pertaining specifically to the Enola Gay controversy. Some dead links, but a pretty good collection of sites that could lead to further study about the controversy.
The Enola Gay Debate
The Air Force Association has handily collected all the on-line articles from Air Force magazine about the Enola Gay in this archive. To find out about the AFA's role and position on the debate, you'll find no site on the web more comprehensive or fascinating.
Enola Gay Exhibit Controversy [Archived] [Archived]
Both of these sites come from, a project of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. The former is a list, complete with contact information, of groups--such as the Wilmington College Peace Resource Center and the American Legion--who can provide resources and information for future study about the Enola Gay controversy. The latter is a long and comprehensive bibilography of readings about the controversy; it includes books, journal and magazine articles, and many editorials and op-ed pieces. To actually obtain these readings for perusal, however, you'll have to do some legwork: no links to readings that might be available online are provided.
Excerpts from Smithsonian Secretary I. Michael Heyman's Statement at the opening of the Enola Gay exhibit at the National Air & Space Museum [Archived]
This site gives exactly what's promised by the title.
General Paul W. Tibbets
Here is Tibbets' own well-designed and easily navigable website, complete with photographs, a biography of the man, details about his (in)famous Enola Gay, an encyclopedia-style section on the decision to drop the atomic bomb and the dropping of the bomb itself, and, most interestingly, Tibbets' 1994 statement on his role in history. Also houses a list of links and information on contacting Tibbets and bringing him to your town.
Historian's Committee for Open Debate on Hiroshima [Archived] [Archived]
These three sites come from the Historian's Committee for Open Debate on Hiroshima, which mobilized in response to the Enola Gay controversy in 1995. The first is a list of links to articles by committee members, and a list of members who signed the letter to the former secretary of the Smithsonian, I. Michael Heyman (the text of said letter--from July 31, 1995--is in the second site above). The third site is a detailed bibiliography compiled by the committee of resources concerning the controversy.
The Last Act
The table in the main frame of this site contains side-by-side links to both the first and final drafts of the planned Enola Gay exhibit, called "The Last Act: The Atomic Bomb and the End of WWII," which was cancelled on January 30, 1995. You can also find links to historical documents pertinent to the unit called "The Decision to Drop the Bomb" here.
Legacy of the Enola Gay
"A list of resources that explain the controversy as well as delve into the more basic issues of why the atomic bomb was used. . . . if you are one of those whose views lend themselves to viewing Japan as any type of 'victim' whatsoever, I don't want to hear from you. Your arguments won't hold water and your views would have been treasonous back in 1945." A section of the Society for the Historical Preservation of the Manhattan Project web site.
A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans & the U. S. Constitution
The controversial Smithsonian National Museum of American History exhibit marking the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution that preceded the Enola Gay proposal. Curator Tom Crouch said, "This is the story of a grave injustice done to a group of Americans who by virtue of their ancestry were denied basic civil rights guaranteed to all Americans. Our concern is that all Americans understand the importance of extending the safeguards and protections of the Constitution to every citizen."
National Air and Space Museum
The Smithsonian museum that exhibited the Enola Gay. See the Udvar-Hazy Center below.
Paul Tibbets
Short essay covering Tibbets' career drawn from one of the book-length biographies of him.
Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay
Transcribed articles, written by Bob Greene between January 10 and February 1, 1999, from The Chicago Tribune. Articles include a conversation with Tibbets himself, words from ex-soldiers who fought in WWII, and contemporary responses to Tibbets and the dropping of the atomic bomb.
Photo of Tibbets at Take off
A fine reproduction of the famous photo of Paul Tibbets waving from the cockpit of the Enola Gay before takeoff on August 6, 1945.
Restoration of the Enola Gay [Archived]
This site, from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, is devoted to preserving the memory of the restoration of the aft fuselage of the Enola Gay at its storage location at the Garber facility in Maryland. The curious can find photos and restoration updates here.
Revisionism Gone Wrong
More from the Air Force Association's side of the Enola Gay debate can be found at this website. This archive is organized into two sections: reports and analyses from the AFA's Air Force magazine, and articles and editorials from the same. Each section has a chronological archive of the full texts of the relevant articles.
Smithsonian Institution
The parent organization of the National Air and Space Museum that exhibited the Enola Gay. See the Udvar-Hazy Center below.
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
The new NASM museum -- opened December 15, 2003 -- where the Enola Gay is on permanent display.