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What was the name of the plane that was Enola Gay's backup?

Originally published under Ask Mr. History. Published Online: May 24, 2012 
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What was the name of the back up B-29 that flew to Iwo Jima  and remained on standby during the Hiroshima mission in the event that the Enola Gay had to abort and transfer Little Boy for completion of the atomic bomb mission.

Joe Papalia


Dear Mr. Papalia:

The backup B-29 was Top Secret, piloted by Captain Charles Knight. That information is not exactly "Top Secret," and can be found in any book or website devoted to the bombing of Hiroshima.



Jon Guttman
Research Director
Weider History Group
More Questions at Ask Mr. History



3 Responses to “What was the name of the plane that was Enola Gay's backup?”

  1. 1
    Joe Papalia says:

    But what was it? I don't have a library card anymore (Kindles are great). Can you please tell me? Thanks. – Joe Papilia

  2. 2
    Joe Papalia says:

    As per my previous e-mails with Mr Guttman, I made it known (with references to support it) that Top Secret was not the backup plane for the Enola Gay, instead it was Big Stink. Furthermore, the posted 5/26/2012 with my name on it was not posted by me.

    • 2.1
      Kaen Jenkins says:

      Do you know if a Joe (or Joseph) Macaluso was involved with the bombing or Hiroshima or Nagasaki? He would not have been on the main plane but one of the back up planes.

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