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DONALD COLE - AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH CO-SIGNED BY: LLOYD REEDER, JACOB BONTEKOE, GEORGE COHEN, JACK WIDOWSKY, FRANKLIN H. MacGREGOR - HFSID 303869

Six crew members of the backup plane for the Hiroshima mission, who also flew the advanced weather plane for the Nagasaki mission, sign a photo of themselves in Sloppy Joe's Bar (Havana, Cuba) during training for the mission.

Sale Price $396.00

Reg. $440.00

Condition: fine condition
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ATOMIC BOMBING OF JAPAN (CREW OF TOP SECRET AND LAGGIN' DRAGON)
Six crew members of the backup plane for the Hiroshima mission, who also flew the advanced weather plane for the Nagasaki mission, sign a photo of themselves in Sloppy Joe's Bar (Havana, Cuba) during training for the mission.
Photograph signed: "George Cohen/Flight Engineer", "Franklin H. McGregor/bombardier", "Doug/Cole/Asst. Eng", "Lloyd/Reeder/Radio", "Jacob Bontekoe", "Jack Widowsky/Navigator". B/w, 10x8. Photo paper reproduction from the original Sloppy Joe photo, formerly owned by Lloyd Reeder, signed in blue ink by 6 crew members. The photo was taken in Havana, Cuba when 10 crews of the 509th Composite Bombardment Group were training for navigation over water. All six crew members have listed their assignments except for Bontekoe, who was the pilot. After landing on Tinian Atoll on June 11, 1945, this crew flew four "pumpkin bomb" missions over Japanese cities in preparation for the real atomic strikes. On the fateful day of August 6, 1945, this crew - on the specially equipped B-29 later named Top Secret, accompanied the Enola Gay on the first leg of the flight to Hiroshima, landing on Iwo Jima when the Enola Gay was judged ready to continue to the target. (Had Enola Gay experienced mechanical problems, both planes would have landed, and the Enola Gay crew would have transferred themselves and the bomb ("Little Boy") to the spare plane. The crew here flew another B-29, the Laggin' Dragon, as the advanced weather plane for the second atomic attack (Nagasaki, August 9). The planes of the 509th were painted with a deceptive group designation prior to the atomic attacks, for security reasons. Consequently, the name Top Secret was given to the plane only after the mission. Fine condition.

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