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Lot 294
Captain Robert A. Lewis' fair copy of the log book of the Enola Gay flight, 1945; 1971
11 x 8-1/4 in (280 x 205 mm)
29 April 2015, 10:00 EDT
New York

Sold for US$50,000 inc. premium

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Captain Robert A. Lewis' fair copy of the log book of the Enola Gay flight, 1945; 1971

Manuscript fair copy of Lewis' original 1945 log of the flight of the Enola Gay, 8 pp, small 4to. Upper cover titled "Bombing of Hiroshima Aug 6 -1945," inside front cover copying his statement of May 8, 1945 saying that this log was a last minute request of William Lawrence, Science Editor, New York Times, followed by 3 and a half pages in ink, with 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, as in the original. Fawn wrappers. The original log was written out on the morning of the 6th August 1945 as Lewis flew out from Tinian Island to Hiroshima, and back to Tinian on August 6 1945. In it he disguises his report of the mission in a letter home to "Mom and Dad," and as the mission was top secret, there was to be no official account of the mission from the Enola Gay during the flight, excepting Lewis's original clandestine manuscript. This "fair copy No 6" was given to his youngest son in 1971, before the occasion of the auction sale of the original log in 1971.
Provenance: Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot, Enola Gay, 6 August 1945; and thence as a gift to his son, Steven K. Lewis.

A fair copy of Lewis's famous log, the original having been sold by Lewis at auction for $37,000 in 1971 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 subsequently sold at Christies for $391,000 in 2002.
Lewis was very aware throughout his life of his central role in the training and creation of the team that manned the plane that was to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, an act that changed the world completely. During his life he only sold one item from his personal collection, the original of this log, which was sold at auction in 1971 for $37,000, purchased by a dealer who sold it on to Malcolm Forbes in 1978. 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. Lewis had decided that before he relinquished his original log, he would make 6 fair copies of the document for his wife and 5 children, to serve as a personal record of his part in the action of that fateful day in 1945. It is said he worked long into the night for several months perfecting the exactness of the copies.
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 story of that fateful day, written out with a clarity and a devastating accuracy, by the man who piloted the Enola Gay.
11 x 8-1/4 in (280 x 205 mm)

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