Gen. Paul Tibbets War Department Letter - AutographInv# AU1127 Autograph
Brig. Gen. Paul W. Tibbets boldly signs this copy of a letter dated July 25, 1945 from the War Department's Office of the Chief of Staff. The letter announces that the "..Air Force will deliver its first special bomb as soon as weather will permit...on one of the targets: Hiroshima, Kokura, Nigata and Nagasaki." Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr. (23 February 1915 – 1 November 2007) was a brigadier general in the United States Air Force. He is best known as the aircraft captain who flew the B-29 Superfortress known as the Enola Gay (named after his mother) when it dropped a Little Boy, the first of two atomic bombs used in warfare, on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
Tibbets enlisted in the United States Army in 1937 and qualified as a pilot in 1938. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he flew anti-submarine patrols over the Atlantic. In February 1942, he became the commanding officer of the 340th Bombardment Squadron of the 97th Bombardment Group, which was equipped with the Boeing B-17. In July 1942, the 97th became the first heavy bombardment group to be deployed as part of the Eighth Air Force, and Tibbets became deputy group commander. He flew the lead plane in the first American daylight heavy bomber mission against Occupied Europe on 17 August 1942, and the first American raid of more than 100 bombers in Europe on 9 October 1942. Tibbets was chosen to fly Major General Mark W. Clark and Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower to Gibraltar. After flying 43 combat missions, he became the assistant for bomber operations on the staff of the Twelfth Air Force. Read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Tibbets