America Make Public Preparations Before Atomic Bombings In Japan (16 pics)
1On the left, geophysicist and Manhattan Project participant Francis Birch marks the bomb unit that would become "Little Boy" while Norman Ramsey, who would later win the Nobel Prize in Physics, looks on.
2A technician applies sealant and putty to the crevices of "Fat Man," a final preparation to make sure the environment inside the bomb would be stable enough to create a full impact once it detonated.
3Soldiers and workers sign their names and other messages on the nose of "Fat Man."
4Here's a closer look.
5"Fat Man" is loaded onto a transport trailer and given a final once-over.
6The bomb is then escorted to the nearby North Field airbase on Tinian, shrouded in tarp.
7At the airfield, "Fat Man" is lined up over a pit specifically constructed for it, from which it is then loaded into the plane that eventually dropped it over Nagasaki.
8Both pits for "Little Boy" and "Fat Man," each roughly 8 feet by 12 feet, still exist today on the island and now serve as a memorial of sorts.
9The bomb and its trailer are lowered down into the pit using a hydraulic lift.
10Workers check "Little Boy" one last time, keeping the tarp on for security reasons, following a similar lowering procedure like the one done for "Fat Man" three days later.
11Once "Little Boy" is ready, the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, is reversed and positioned over the trench.
12The tarp is removed and the bomb is readied for loading.
13Using the hydraulic lift, "Little Boy" is carefully raised and loaded into the belly of the Enola Gay.
14Once inside the plane, the bomb is secured and all connections and equipment are checked again.
15From there, both "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" were flown over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, and detonated. World War II ended shortly afterwards.
16Left: Atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Right: Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, taken by Charles LevyAP