Today is the 73rd anniversary of the first use of an atomic bomb against Japan during World War Two.
More than 90,000 residents of the City of Hiroshima were killed either immediately or over the course of several weeks as a consequence of the blast. Suburban Philadelphia resident Rosario Messina was a U.S. Army Air Force Sergeant stationed on Tinian Island, the home base for the plane that dropped the bomb. He says no one knew the Enola Gay would launch the atomic age and hasten the end of the war.
“We had no idea, all I know is a month before they took the Enola Gay off the fight line and out it all the way at the end of the air field, roped it off 100 squarely with guards and dug a pit under it.”
Messina says the evening before the bomb was dropped there were no briefings for any of the flight crews except the one on the Enola Gay making it the only plane to take off that day from what was at the time the busiest air base in the world.