Bockscar Crew

Bocks Car Crew
[back row (L-R)] Captain Beahan, Captain Van Pelt, Jr., First Lt. Albury, Second Lt. Olivi, Major Sweeney
Staff Sgt. Buckley, Master Sgt. Kuharek, Sgt. Gallagher, Staff Sgt. DeHart, Sgt. Spitzer

On August 9, 1945, the Bockscar dropped an atomic bomb (the "Fat Man") on Nagasaki, instantly killing tens of thousands of people. This marked only the second time in history that the atomic bomb had been used.

Just as its counterpart the Enola Gay, the Bockscar had been altered to serve the purpose of carrying and deploying the heavy bomb. Adaptations included removing most of the armament; installing heavier racks to support the heavy bomb; and replacing the engines.

The plane was named after Frederick Bock, the plane's commander. However, on the day of the Nagasaki bombing, Bock switched planes with Charles W. Sweeney, whose regular plane was The Great Artiste. The Bockscar and its crew left Tinian in the Marianas Islands in the middle of the night. Its mission was to bomb the industrial city of Kokura, but the target was blocked by clouds and smog. The contingent plan was for bombing Nagasaki, so the plane flew to that city and dropped its cargo. This second bombing prompted the surrender of Japan and the war ended shortly thereafter.

The Bockscar was restored, and, in 1961, it went on permanent display at the Air Force Museum, located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio.

Crewman Position
Major Charles Sweeney Commander
First Lieutenant Charles Albury Co-Pilot
Captain James Van Pelt, Jr. Navigator
Captain Kermit Beahan Bombardier
Lieutenant Jacob Beser Electronic Countermeasures
Staff Sergeant Ed Buckly Radar Operator
Sergeant Abe Spitzer Radio Operator
Master Sergeant John Kuharek Flight Engineer
Sergeant Raymond Gallagher Asst. Flight Engineer
Staff Sergeant Albert Dehart Tail Gunner
Commander Frederick Ashworth Weaponeer
2nd Lieutenant Fred Olivi Third Pilot