“I VIEWED MY MISSION AS ONE TO SAVE LIVES RATHER THAN TO TAKE THEM”: FLIGHT OF THE ENOLA GAY, SIGNED BY TIBBETS, FEREBEE AND VAN KIRK
TIBBETS, Paul Warfield. Flight of the Enola Gay. Reynoldsburg, Ohio: Buckeye Aviation, 1989. Octavo, original pictorial yellow paper wrappers. $1100.
First edition of Colonel Tibbets’ own account of “the organization, training, and command of the world’s first nuclear strike force,” with 10 pages of photographs, signed by Enola Gay pilot Tibbets, bombardier Ferebee and navigator Van Kirk.
"In the only uses of nuclear weapons in war, and on the order of President Harry S. Truman, the American bomber Enola Gay attacked Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945… Americans derived competing truths from [the attack]. Depending on who was telling the story, it came to signify America's martial triumph and moral righteousness, its racism and technological fanaticism, its entry into an agonizing nuclear age, its fate if undefended, its threat to others if unrestrained" (ANB). This accurate first-hand account, including the true story of Major Claude Easterly's contribution to the mission, is signed by Enola Gay pilot Paul W. Tibbets, bombardier Thomas W. Ferebee and navigator Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk.