Mission And Lessons Learned At The United States Army Air Corp

1767 Words Aug 9th, 2014 8 Pages
On July 29th, 2014 the last surviving member of the United States Army Air Corp (USAAC) aircrew that dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare died. Theodore Van Kirk, also known as “Dutch”, was the navigator of the Enola Gay the day it dropped the bomb.1 In interviews throughout his life Van Kirk expressed no regret regarding his part in the dropping of the atom bomb, saying it helped to end World War II (WWII).2 The 69th anniversary of that historic mission, Operation Centerboard 1, is on the 6th of August, 2014.
This case study will give an overview of Operation Centerboard 1 so the reader can gain a basic knowledge of the mission and provide sources so the reader knows where to find more information. The case study will begin with a brief history followed by a look at the mission itself and those involved. The final section will look at some of the impacts of the mission and some lessons learned. This overview is by no means extensive but will contain a bibliography of all references used if further research is required.


During WWII both the Allied and Axis nations were working aggressively to produce the first functioning nuclear weapon. Early in the war the US learned that Germany was pursuing nuclear weapons and at the urging of top scientists soon started a project of their own. The US nuclear weapons program began in 1939 and by 1942 was officially designated “The Manhattan Project”.3 In April, 1945 Harry S. Truman inherited a…

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