USS Indianapolis and the Enola Gay

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So the other day dad and I went on a little bike ride in Indianapolis. We went on the cultural trail and we saw the monument for the USS Indianapolis so now I’m wrighting a blog post about it.

The USS Indianapolis was a Portland-class cruiser. When in the water it displaces 10,110 metric tons of water, that’s a lot of water. It is 186 m long which is almost twice as long as a football field. For the engine, it was 8 White-Forster boilers which produced 80,000 kW of electricity and it had a top speed of 60.6 km/h. While the USS Indianapolis was on duty there were about 1,269 officers and men on board the ship. It has a total of about 19 guns.

USS Indianapolis at sea

What made the USS Indianapolis so notable was that it was the Flagship for Admiral Raymond Spruance in 1943 and 1944 while he commanded the Fifth Fleet in the battles across the central Pacific during World War II.

In July 1945, Indianapolis completed a top-secret high-speed trip to deliver parts of the Little Boy, the first nuclear weapon ever used in combat, to the United States Army Air Force Base on the island of Tinian. On July 30th at 12:15 am the Indianapolis was hit by 2 torpedoes from a Japanese submarine and sank.

The Enola Gay is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber. On August 6th, 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb. The bomb, called “Little Boy“, was targeted at the city of Hiroshima, Japan, and caused the near-complete destruction of the city.

The Enola Gay has a wingspan of 43m, is 30.2m long and 9m tall. It weighs a staggering 63.5 metric tons or 140,000 lbs, it has a top speed of 546km/h. It has 4 Wright R-3350-57 Cyclone turbo-supercharged radials which produced about 8,800 horsepower and it had a crew of 12 men.

After the war, the Enola Gay returned to the United States, where it was from Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico. In 1946 it was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution and spent many years parked at air bases exposed to the weather and souvenir hunters, before being disassembled and transported to the Smithsonian’s storage facility at Suitland, Maryland, in 1961 and it is still there to date. We saw the Enola Gay on our Trip to the National Air and Space Museum, go check out the post on it it’s very interesting:

Taylor's the big-time snowboarder of the family. When he's not complaining about doing the dishes, he's coming up with new ways of bugging his sisters.

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