Enola Gay pilot recalls fateful flight

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When the Enola Gay took off en route to Hiroshima, Japan, 60 years ago, Col. Paul Tibbets sat at the controls carrying a few cigars and his favorite pipe.

He also brought a small cardboard box holding a dozen cyanide pills, in case his crew had to bail out over enemy territory.

Hours later, the crew released 8,900-pound "Little Boy," the first atomic weapon used in war, and the stripped-down B-29 lurched upward from losing so much weight in an instant.

On the ground, tens of thousands were killed in an instant, and many more died from lingering effects.

"I knew when I got the assignment it was going to be an emotional thing," Tibbets, now 90, told The Columbus Dispatch for a story on August 6, the 60th anniversary of the bomb. "We had feelings, but we had to put them in the background. We knew it was going to kill people right and left. But my one driving interest was to do the best job I could so that we could end the killing as quickly as possible."

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