Caron, George R.


“Enola Gay” tail gunner, 1st to witness and photograph the atomic bombing of Hiroshima


Type: Signed card
Description: (1919-1995) USAAF Technical Sergeant, tail gunner (only defender of the 12) crewmen aboard the B-29 “Enola Gay”  during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Facing the rear of the B-29, his vantage point made him the 1st to witness the cataclysmic growth of the mushroom cloud over the city. Caron was also the only photographer aboard, and took photographs as the mushroom cloud ascended. Of the four 509th Composite Group aircraft assigned to the Hiroshima bombing, Caron’s camera and 2 others captured the explosion on film.

Immediately before the mission, the 509th’s photography officer asked then Staff Sergeant Caron to carry a handheld Fairchild K-20 camera. After the mission, the officer developed photos from all the aircraft, but found that the fixed cameras failed to record anything. Film from another handheld was mishandled in developing, making Caron’s the only official still photographs of the explosion. Caron’s photographs of the explosion were printed on millions of leaflets that were dropped over Japan the next day.

2 x 3 ½ business card with Caron’s signature below printed unit emblem and above his printed name and “Hiroshima/August, 1945”.

Condition: Very good

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