Mack Newsom was a member of the Army’s 509th Composite Group. Newsom worked as an airplane mechanic and B-29 engine specialist. He was part of the ground crew on the B-29 Silverplate plane Next Objective. In this interview, Newsom discusses the details of his work on B-29s and what he and his fellow mechanics did to maintain the plane. He also describes the working conditions on Tinian, speaking of the climate, accommodations, division of labor, and water shortage on the island. He reflects on the use of the bomb, and how those stationed at Tinian came to learn of Hiroshima. Newsom also recalls going to Cuba when Next Objective was assigned there for temporary duty.
Ray Gallagher and Fred Olivi were both members of the 509th Composite Group that was responsible for dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Gallagher flew on both missions, on The Great Artiste, which was an observer plane on the Hiroshima mission, and then on the Bock’s Car, which dropped Fat Man. Fred Olivi was the Bock’s Car’s co-pilot during the Nagasaki mission. They are joined by historian and Truman specialist, Robert Messer. In this interview, the veterans discuss their careers after the war, Colonel Paul Tibbets, and the upkeep of the Enola Gay and Bock’s Car. The program takes callers and the veterans and Messer answer questions about a number of issues surrounding the atomic bomb missions. Olivi and Gallagher reflect on dropping the atomic bombs and state their hope that no more atomic bombs will ever be used.