Lewis, Robert A. 1917-1983. Autograph Manuscript, being a fair copy of Lewis's original 1945 log book of the flight of the Enola Gay,
Lot 31
Lewis, Robert A. 1917-1983.
Autograph Manuscript, being a fair copy of Lewis's original 1945 log book of the flight of the Enola Gay,
US$ 30,000 - 50,000
£ 23,000 - 38,000

Lot Details
Lewis, Robert A. 1917-1983. Autograph Manuscript, being a fair copy of Lewis's original 1945 log book of the flight of the Enola Gay, Lewis, Robert A. 1917-1983. Autograph Manuscript, being a fair copy of Lewis's original 1945 log book of the flight of the Enola Gay,
Lewis, Robert A. 1917-1983.
Autograph Manuscript, being a fair copy of Lewis's original 1945 log book of the flight of the Enola Gay, 8 pp, small 4to, 275 x 205 mm, copied out from the original log early 1971, titled on upper cover "Bombing of Hiroshima, by Capt Robert A. Lewis," inside front cover copying his statement of August 8, 1945 saying that this log was a last minute request of William Lawrence, Science Editor, New York Times (who failed to join the flight in time), followed by 3 and a half pages in ink, with the final 4 and a half pages in pencil (as in the original), the back cover with a pencil sketch of the mushroom cloud and initialled and dated 8/6/45, fawn wrappers, stapled at head, minor water smudging of the ink on the upper cover.
Provenance: Captain Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot Enola Gay; gifted to his son, John Lewis.

The original "log" was written out on the morning of the 6th August 1945 as Co-pilot Lewis flew out from Tinian Island to Hiroshima, and back to Tinian by midday. In this document he disguises his report of the mission as a letter home to "Mom and Dad," as the mission was top secret, and there was to be no official account of the flight. Lewis's clandestine manuscript report is the only written account of the flight of the Enola Gay. This "fair copy Number (4)" was given to his son, John in early 1971, copied out before the occasion of the auction sale of the original log in the same year. He made 6 copies, one for his wife and one each for his 5 children. This house sold copy number 5 in 2015 for $50,000. The original document was sold by Lewis at auction in 1971 for $37,000, and subsequently sold on in 1978 to Malcolm Forbes for $85,000 (a record, at that time, for a piece of manuscript Americana). On Forbes' death, the original log was sold at Christies for $391,000 in 2002.

Lewis was aware, throughout his life, of his central role in the training and creation of the team that flew the plane, that was to drop the first atomic bomb on Japan, an act that changed the world completely. During his life he only sold one item from his personal collection, the original of this log. Lewis may have been encouraged to sell as he saw both Tibbets and Van Kirk cashing in on their celebrity status, doing special signings and even redrawing their original documents.

When it was sold at Christie's in March 2002 after Forbes's death, the original log was purchased by an anonymous buyer who has yet to display the copy in public. So these copies, in their own way, represent the only viewable first hand evidence of the flight, written out with a clarity and a devastating accuracy, by the man who piloted the Enola Gay.
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