Manuscript Flight Logs of Captain Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot of the Enola Gay, 1942-1947 2

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Lot 295
Manuscript Flight Logs of Captain Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot of the Enola Gay, 1942-1947

US$ 150,000 - 200,000
£ 120,000 - 170,000
Manuscript Flight Logs of Captain Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot of the Enola Gay, 1942-1947
Two standard issue proforma pilot's log books, filled in entirely in manuscript by Robert Lewis, front pages with details of himself, the first logbook starting 3 June 1942 running through to 10 October 1943, oblong 8 vo, 56 pp, and two blank memorandum pages at the end, with Lewis' note at the end: "This book covers time from primary flying up to and including start of B-29 test work at Eglin Field. Proving grounds." The second log book starts 10 August 1943 and finishes on 9 Jan 9 1946, 55 pp, with repetition of the last 4 pages of the previous log book, and the absence of any entries for the month of April 1945(!); together with 12 pp of notified flying time with American Overseas Airline, 14 June 1946 to 11 January 1947, 225 pp blank at end, occasional additional annotation by Lewis at a later date in black or blue ink, in the second log each page signed by Lewis at lower right corner. Endpapers of the second log with other service notes and verso back endpaper titled "measles 5-9-51 schedule" listing Bobby and Susie's aspirin dosage. Both bound in original black cloth, the second volume slightly shaken with first 2 pp gathering detached.
Provenance: Robert A. Lewis, co-Pilot, Enola Gay, 6 August 1945; and then as a gift to Steven K. Lewis.

An extraordinary series of log books carefully filled for every day that Lewis flew, the pages of proforma logging his flight plan, duration, type of plane, engines, and horsepower with a column for remarks. On combat missions from Tinian he adds in details of targets, bomb altitude and poundage dropped. His remarks are illuminating: at the end after the 9 Jan 1946 he adds "36 flights in Enola Gay #(6292). Tibbets was on 2 Flights." Although an official manuscript log for a pilot (something every pilot was supposed to do) this log is revealing in its suggestion that Tibbets was completely inexperienced at flying a B-29.
Against August 6, 1945 Lewis writes: "No#1 Atomic bomb a huge success 8900 lbs hit center of city." On December 13, 1944 his remarks against a 20 minute local flight "Paul checked me out." Later as an older man he goes over each page of entries in the months running up to the mission and adds near the bottom of each page the total of B-29 flights that page records, the addition of these flights on B-29s being 61 hours. The hand is shaky, as of an older man, looking back at the past at the injustice he had felt had been served out to some the crew that were forced out after training so hard with him. That injustice, the moment when Paul Tibbets joined the flight crew as "Commander"(with insufficient flying training on B-29s) and brought two of his friends with him to join the crew, seemed to Lewis to have been a flippant and dangerous move for the mission.
Of course he never spoke out. He wanted to object to Tibbets renaming the aircraft after his mother the night before the flight, and was appalled that Tibbets and Van Kirk joined the movie about the flight filmed in 1952 as advisors and then never shared any money they received amongst any of the crew. The way that Tibbets received his DFC, in front of cameras and invited media, then flew secretly to Guam to conduct a press conference on the Hiroshima Bombing on August 7th, while at the same time the rest of the crew flew a conventional bomb mission to Japan before they supported Sweeney on the Nagasaki mission that took place on the 8th August. Lewis was an honorable, quiet man, who remained aggrieved at the behavior of Tibbets that August in 1945 and following.
Manuscript Flight Logs of Captain Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot of the Enola Gay, 1942-1947 2
Manuscript Flight Logs of Captain Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot of the Enola Gay, 1942-1947 2
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