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BOCKSCAR CREW (MAJOR GENERAL CHARLES W. SWEENEY) - ENVELOPE SIGNED CO-SIGNED BY: BRIGADIER GENERAL HARRISON R. THYNG, CAPTAIN CHARLES F. MCKNIGHT - HFSID 298554
NAGASAKI MISSION: CHARLES W. SWEENEY, CHARLES F. McKNIGHT and
Envelope signed by 3 pilots involved in the second atomic bombing
mission, which hastened the end of World War II.
Envelope signed: "Charles W. Sweeney/Nagasaki 1945", "Charles F.
McKnight/Pilot 'Top Secret' Nagasaki 1945", "B Gen Harrison R. Thyng/C. O. 413th
Ftr Grp/Nagasaki 9 August 1945", 6½x3¾. Envelope with no mailing address,
but postmarked Washington, D.C., August 9, 1978 (the 33rd anniversary of
the Nagasaki mission). On August 9, 1945, 25-year-old Major CHARLES W.
SWEENEY (1919-2004) was the pilot of Bock's Car, the
B-29 bomber that dropped the "Fat Man" atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.
The bombing, which came just three days after the Enola Gay,
piloted by Sweeney's close friend, Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., dropped the
first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, hastened the end of WWII. Sweeney
had piloted an accompanying observer plane on the Hiroshima run. Japan
surrendered August 15, 1945, V-J Day. Brigadier General Sweeney retired from the
military in 1979. Lieutenant CHARLES F. McKNIGHT was another pilot
assigned to the 509th Composite Group, the 16 specially modified B-29's designed
for atomic bombing missions. Flying Top Secret, McKnight made several
practice bombing runs over Japanese cities in preparation for the atomic attack.
On August 9, he flew another B-29, Laggin' Dragon, to observe weather
over Nagasaki, the backup target on that day, which became the actual target
when Kokura, the primary target, had poor visibility. HARRISON THYNG
(1918-1983) was one of only 6 US pilots to be an ace in two wars,
scoring 5 kills in North Africa in World War II (1942-1943), four of them
Me-109s; and 5 more in Korea (1951-1952), all MiG-15s. He ended World War
II as a colonel commanding the 413th Fighter Group in the Pacific, flying
fighter escort for the Bock's Car over Nagasaki.. Holding the same rank,
he led the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Group in Korea. Before retiring as a
brigadier general in 1966, he flew several combat missions in Vietnam.
Thyng was the Republican candidate for US Senate from New Hampshire in
1966. He was the first President of Daniel Webster College in that state. Fine
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
MAJOR GENERAL CHARLES W. SWEENEY BRIGADIER GENERAL HARRISON R. THYNG CAPTAIN CHARLES F. MCKNIGHT
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