TINIAN ATOMIC BOMB FILES DECLASSIFIED

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By Lindablue F. Romero

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (August 11, 1999 - Saipan Tribune)---It was 54 years ago when U.S. bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people.

So many stories have been written about the horrors of what had happened, but very few people really know what transpired between August 4-9, 1945 on Tinian Air Base, where the atomic bomb was reconstructed from boxes of parts shipped from the U.S. mainland.

The photographs taken by the 509th Composite Group Photographic Laboratory, U.S. Army Forces have been recently declassified and provide the readers an idea on how the men carried out their job during those historic days.

Former Board of Education member Don A. Farrell was able to retrieve the photographs and the files through a grant from the CNMI Council of Humanities.

According to Farrell, these previously unpublished photographs represent the frantic and stressful last days of World War II as they were lived by a handful of soldiers, sailors and civilians on Tinian.

Some of the photographs on display include the loading of the bomb onto the B-29s, landing of Enola Gay to Tinian after the strike at Hiroshima and the men who formed the pit crew.

Access to the files was made possible by the National Archives.

The photographs and records are now on file at the Northern Marianas Archives, Northern Marianas College and they are now on exhibit at the Joeten-Kiyu Library.

For additional reports from The Saipan Tribune, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Saipan Tribune.

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