509th Composite Group


 

Photo: P-574 (Enola Gay Crew Members)

   

 

 

A Rare Photo of the Enola Gay Crew Members Including the Ground Crew - 1945; Standing L to R: Lt. Jacob Beser, Radar Specialist; Sgt. Richard Nelson, Radio Operator; Sgt. Robert Shumard, Asst. Flight Engineer; Capt. Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, Navigator; Maj. Robert Lewis, Co-Pilot (Mission - Normally Pilot); Pvt. John Lesnieski, Engine Mechanic; Col. Paul Tibbets, Group Commander and Mission Pilot; Pfc. Harold Olsen, Engine Mechanic; S/Sgt. Walter McCaleb, Crew Chief; Unknown; Capt. Cecil King; Line Maintenance; Unknown.  Kneeling L to R:  T/Sgt. Wyatt Duzenbury, Flight Engineer; Maj. Thomas Ferebee, Bombardier; Unknown; Sgt. Jean Cooper, Engine Mechanic; Pfc. John Jackson, Engine Mechanic; Sgt. Leonard Markley, Engine Mechanic, and Unknown.

 

 Web Master's Note:  Below is an e-mail I received from Sgt. Jean Cooper who was an engine mechanic on the Enola Gay.  Jean provided the names of the men in the above photo.  Feb. 10, 2002.

 


 

Hi Mike,

 

We were able to call up the picture of the crew, and the first thing I noticed is that it is printed backwards.  We all have our watches on our right wrists.  I know that I never wore mine that way and doubt that the rest did.

 

The picture is a bit fuzzy and so is my memory after 56 years.  I have identified all the ground crew and most of the flight crew, but some seem to be missing.  There are also a few strangers that I don't recognize as either ground or flight crew.

 

FRONT ROW left to right:

 

Wyatt Duzenbury, flight engineer: Maj. Tom Ferrebee, Bombardier:  Unknown, not part of crew:  Sgt. Jean S. Cooper, eng. mechanic:  PFC John Jackson, eng. mech: Sgt. Leonard Markley, eng. mech: Unknown, not enough to recognize

 

BACK ROW l to r

 

Lt. Jacob Beser, radar specialist:  Sgt. Richard Nelson, radio operator: Sgt. Robert Shumard, side scanner and asst. flight engineer: Capt. Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk, Navigator: Maj. Robert Lewis, co-pilot on this mission but normally first pilot: Pvt. John Lesnieski, eng. mech: Col. Paul Tibbets, Pilot and Group Commander; PFC  Harold Olsen, eng mech.: S/Sgt Walter McCaleb, Crew Chief:   Next is unidentifiable.

 

Missing are George R. Caron, tail gunner: Sgt. Joe Stiborik, side scanner: Navy Captain William Parsons, bomb assembler in flight: Lt. Morris Jeppson, Assist to Parsons.

 

I don't understand Bob Caron's being missing unless he is off to the right and not included or possibly off behind the revetment taking a leak. There were no toilet  facilities in the tail gunner's "suite" There wasn't even enough room to swing a cat by the tail.  Bob had to lie there all scrunched up for the eleven hours of the flight.  He barely had room for his K-25 camera with which he took the first picture of a mushroom cloud that has been published thousands of times.  Too bad he didn't get a royalty.

 

There aren't many of us old bastards left.  The first to go was Bob Shumard of a heart attack around 1965.  Wyatt Duzenbury  went in January 1993. Then came Bob Lewis, whose date I don't know.  Bob Caron died in June 1995, and Maj. Tom Ferrebee in March 2000.  There may be others who have died and whose names didn't make the papers.  I don't know about any of the ground crew because we weren't important enough to make the news.  The only people who really appreciated us were the flight crew since we were responsible for getting their asses safely back to the base.     

 

Sorry I couldn't be more thorough in identifying all the faces in the group.  It seems that there were some lens louses who jumped in when they saw a picture being taken.

 

Muchos saludos,            Jean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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