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June 28, 1995 – May 17, 1998
Museum: Air and Space Museum
Location: The Enola Gay (Formerly Vertical Flight) Gallery 103, 1st Floor, West Wing
This exhibition, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, tells the story of the role of the Enola Gay in securing Japanese surrender. It contains several major components of the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber used in the atomic mission that destroyed Hiroshima, Japan. The components on display include two engines, the vertical stabilizer, an aileron, propellers, and the forward fuselage that contains the bomb bay.
A video presentation about the Enola Gay's mission includeds interviews with the crew before and after the mission including mission pilot Col. Paul Tibbets. The exhibition text summarizes the history and development of the Boeing B-29 fleet used in bombing raids against Japan.
Another portion of the exhibit detailes the painstaking efforts of Smithsonian aircraft restoration specialists who had spent more than a decade restoring parts of the Enola Gay for this exhibition. Museum specialists continued to restore the remaining components of the airplane, and after an additional nine years the fully assembled Enola Gay went on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in December 2003.