Bombardier's Position looking forward
At the center of this position is the famous Norden bombsight. It was this bombsight that permitted
halfway reasonable accuracy to be achieved from six miles up. This particular sight is missing the autopilot guidance
accessory, thus the cable connectors on the floor at lower left. It has been installed since this photo was taken. The bombardier's station
was in effect a greenhouse, requiring a pair of two blade fans to cool things off enough for him to do his work.
Another fan is shared between the pilot and copilot. Everyone else evidently just cooked until enough altitude was gained
to cool things off.
Bombardier's Position, left hand panel
This is the heart of the "setup" control panel, allowing the correct sequencing and intervals to be
established between bombs. Such complex configuration settings weren't needed with the "Little Boy"
dropped on 6 August 1945. The camera intervalometer installed at upper left has been moved - there
is another mount for one in the rear of the aircraft near the camera to take sequential photographs for BDA, and it seems more likely it was
installed there, at least on the Silverplate birds. The records for the aircraft show that the Enola Gay had a K-18
camera installed for the Hiroshima mission (missing in the Enola Gay). Why that was selected is lost from the records
- the K-18 is a high altitude camera optimized for night work, but apparently wasn't used to photograph anything on the mission. Only a couple
of other 509th aircraft had the K-18 assigned to the airframe, so it appears the selection was simply a need to provide
more weight in the rear of the aircraft for proper balance to improve flight attitude and optimize fuel consumption
to the target.
Bombardier's Position, left panel detail
Bombardier's Position, right hand side, showing SCR-718 height finding radar indicator
It is not at all clear how this radar could be effectively used on a bright sunny day, despite the
availability of a hood (missing from this installation). The only other indicator, normally
installed at the navigator's position, was moved to next to the left foot of the Weaponeer and
untimately deleted in the Silverplate B-29s, so that provided little help. Our current thinking is
to move it back to the navigator's position, since we discovered an original photo of Bockscar with
the indicator in that location. Fabrication of a new sheet aluminum mount is next in the queue.
Return to Enola Gay Crew Positions