Return of the Enola Gay, by BG Paul Tibbets

In 2003 I met General Tibbets in Newport, RI. He used to work for cavalryman General Patten. I discovered him to be a highly skilled commander/pilot who saw to it that an enemy army base was utterly ruined. He explained that his comprehensive book will obviate years of subversive fiction about his nuclear attack, one of two; and he stated that he had a third one in hand. He stressed that he was in a killing war, and his writing exposes his professionalism, which I do very much admire. The professional airman/soldier never covers collateral damage as do the Viet Nam or SW Asian generations. He rather mentions his responsibility in transporting very important personnel long distances in IFR (Instrument Meteorological Conditions), combat with a B-17, etc.

This book is an account by a most dedicated and competent officer who never lost his faith in the his country and its leaders; it entails a very complex and dangerous mission with a new and terrible weapon in which one mistake could have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

He was fond of his conventional weapons, also — his M2 .50-caliber machine-guns. His manner of maintenance kept them clean and in excellent shape; and I have always liked that method.

I highly recommend the book, it would support any airman with the technical expertise. The layperson would enjoy the truth, the politics the combat, the military in-fighting, the grave historical significance, the personal account of his life, the very complex training/mission, etc. Someone once said that General Tibbets not only saved the American people, but also those miserable war protesters of the 1965-75 period.

(Mid Coast Marketing, Columbus, OH; 1998; 339 pp.; ISBN 9780970366603)