SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Enola Gay Group, ca. 1945

    Appraised Value:

    $15,000 (2012)

    Appraised on: July 14, 2012

    Appraised in: Rapid City, South Dakota

    Appraised by: Rafael Eledge

    Category: Arms & Militaria

    Episode Info: Rapid City (#1715)

    Originally Aired: May 6, 2013

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 8 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Photograph, Document, Medal
    Material: Paper
    Period / Style: Second World War (WWII), 20th Century
    Value Range: $15,000 (2012)

    Related Links:

    Article: The Legacy of Enola Gay
    In 1945, Enola Gay's 12-man crew dropped the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Today the plane remains a poignant symbol of Allied victory in the Pacific, unprecedented man-made devastation, and the coming of the nuclear age.

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (3:39)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Rafael Eledge
    Arms & Militaria
    Owner
    Shiloh Civil War Relics

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: I brought a few pieces from my dad that he had, of course, during World War II. He was on the crew of the Enola Gay that dropped the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, and so I brought a few of the items that I have had in the trunk, so to speak, and along with a lot of other things of his.

    APPRAISER: Where is he at in the picture?

    GUEST: This is him, right there, with his eyes closed.

    APPRAISER: There are very few things that we get to see as antique collectors that have affected every person in the world. 12 hours and 15 minutes, we have the log time when they flew out, on August 6, 1945, and the world changed. What was his role on the plane?

    GUEST: He was radar operator.

    APPRAISER: So he was watching out to see what was coming at them, where they were at, very important job on the plane. And these are what?

    GUEST: Well, these are some of the medals that he was awarded subsequent to the dropping of the bomb, the Silver Star and the Air Medal.

    APPRAISER: And to this point, they had used nuclear bombs in testing. Nobody knew what would happen once they dropped that bomb out of that plane.

    GUEST: That's true.

    APPRAISER: And they didn't know if they'd make it back.

    GUEST: That's true.

    APPRAISER: And these are the awards that were given to him because of that gallantry. And this is the actual paper that was given to him because of getting the award. It says, "For the first time "this bomb, more destructive than any other in existence, "had been dropped from an airplane. "The effect it would have on the airplane and these crew members was only to be estimated." They had no idea. They didn't know if they'd be able to get away in time.

    GUEST: That's true.

    APPRAISER: It's important to remember that when they left out, they brought one bomb. It was called "Little Boy." And when they dropped it, unfortunately, there were over 100,000 lives lost. And it's important to remember those lives. But we also have to remember it was estimated that millions would be lost if they had to invade the island of Japan.

    GUEST: That's true.

    APPRAISER: These are his wings.

    GUEST: Uh-huh.

    APPRAISER: The crew members, they have the American eagle in the center, they're a simple wing. Nothing fancy, because these guys were regular guys doing extraordinary things.

    GUEST: Yes, they were.

    APPRAISER: What about the little note down there in the corner?

    GUEST: This is a $2 bill. And apparently all of the crew members signed it.

    APPRAISER: And right at the top it says, "Hiroshima, atomic special." And right below that, we have the signature of Paul Tibbets.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: The man that flew the Enola Gay.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: There are only a handful of those in existence. There were a lot of air medals awarded. This is the air medal. And it was given for a certain amount of sorties or missions. We have the silver star, which...there are fewer of them done, but you do run into them. The wings are fairly common. As a collection, if it were anybody else that served those things and got the same medals, you'd be looking at something worth $300 to $500.

    GUEST: Mm-hmm.

    APPRAISER: Because of the mission that your father went on and what he meant to our country, it's a group that if we were going to insure it, I would insure this group for $15,000.

    GUEST: (laughing) Wow. That's a surprise.

    APPRAISER: It's an amazing group.

    GUEST: I'm proud to be the caretaker.




    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube