On August 6, 1945, the crew of the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Approximately 200,000 people died. This atomic bomb, nicknamed Little Boy, along with a second atomic bomb, dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945, prompted the Japanese government to surrender, bringing World War II to an end.
The Enola Gay was a B-29 Superfortress. Boeing Aircraft Company manufactured the plane, and the Glenn L. Martin Company assembled it in Omaha, Nebraska, in early 1945. The plane had a 2,200-horsepower engine, with a maximum speed of 360 miles per hour and a range of 3,250 miles. Captain Paul Tibbets, the Enola Gay's pilot, personally selected this plane to drop the atomic bomb. Tibbets named the plane after his mother.
The United States military kept the Enola Gay in use for only a short period of time. The Glenn L. Martin Company delivered the plane to the military on May 18, 1945. On August 30, 1946, the Enola Gay was placed in storage and never flew another combat mission. In 1949, the Smithsonian Institution assumed control of the plane, and it is now part of the Air and Space Museum.