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Lot #250
Hiroshima (10) Original Photographs of Atomic Bomb Devastation - From the Collection of Enola Gay Co-Pilot Robert A. Lewis

Remarkable photographs of the devastation at Hiroshima, from the collection of Enola Gay co-pilot Robert A. Lewis

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Estimate: $4000+
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Description

Remarkable photographs of the devastation at Hiroshima, from the collection of Enola Gay co-pilot Robert A. Lewis

From the collection of Enola Gay co-pilot Robert A. Lewis—ten original vintage glossy 10 x 8 silver gelatin photographs of the destruction of Hiroshima following the atomic bomb, dropped by the Enola Gay on August 6, 1945. Each is captioned on the reverse with AEC catalog number and brief description, with captions including: "Agricultural Exposition Hall (Commercial Display Bldg.) Ground Zero is 100 ft. to left of the Building," "Devastation of Hiroshima," "Bridge damage," "Aioi Bridge, 100 meters from center of explosion," "A-bomb damage," "Japanese troops resting in the railway station after the atomic bomb explosion," "Hiroshima after the A-bomb drop on August 6, 1945," "Damage to bridge at Hiroshima," and "Gas tank showing the effects of flash on asphalt paint." In overall very good to fine condition, with scattered creases and binder punch holes to most photos.

Provenance: The World War II 70th Anniversary Sale, Bonhams, April 29, 2015, noting the provenance as Robert A. Lewis, co-Pilot, Enola Gay, 6 August 1945; and then as a gift to Steven K. Lewis.

On September 15, 1945, the crews that had dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were invited to Japan to witness the aftermath of the atomic bombs. Flying low, at an altitude of about 300 feet, Enola Gay co-pilot Robert Lewis circled Hiroshima, observing the remains of the city that he helped to destroy. Lewis later wrote: 'I have always had trouble describing this scene, and always now think that the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, described it best when he said in such a bombing, 'The living will envy the dead.' I am sure that the living in Hiroshima after the blast must have felt this way.'

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #680 - Ended December 06, 2023