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Paul Tibbets

Paul Tibbets (1915–2007) was a brigadier general in the United States Air Force, best known as the pilot of the Enola Gay, the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb. Tibbets enlisted in the army in 1937 and qualified as a pilot the next year. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor he flew anti-submarine patrols over the Atlantic. In July 1942 he became the deputy group commander of the 97th Bombardment Group, the first such group deployed to the United Kingdom as part of the Eighth Air Force. He flew the lead plane in the first American daylight heavy bomber mission against Occupied Europe on August 17, 1942, and again in the first American raid of more than 100 bombers on October 9. After flying 43 combat missions, he joined the staff of the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa. He returned to the United States in February 1943 to help with the development of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. In September 1944, he was appointed the commander of the 509th Composite Group, which conducted the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the war, he was involved in the development of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet. He left the Air Force in 1966, working for Executive Jet Aviation until 1987. (Full article...)

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Ambrose Burnside

Ambrose Burnside (1824–1881) was an American soldier and politician from Rhode Island, serving as governor and a United States Senator. As a Union Army general in the American Civil War, he conducted successful campaigns in North Carolina and East Tennessee and countered the raids of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, but suffered disastrous defeats at the Battles of Fredericksburg and the Crater. His distinctive style of facial hair became known as sideburns, a term derived from his last name.

Photograph: Mathew Brady; restoration: Michel Vuijlsteke

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