Enola; or, Her fatal mistake

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Enola; or, Her fatal mistake
Author Mary Young Ridenbaugh
Country United States
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Woodward & Tiernan, Printers and Binders
Publication date
1886
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 336
ISBN 978-1-120-24667-7

Enola; or, Her fatal mistake is an 1886 book written by Mary Young Ridenbaugh. It is notable for being the inspiration, indirectly, for the naming of the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber airplane which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Its commanding pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets, named the aircraft after his mother, Enola Gay Tibbets (1893–1983), who was named after the title character of Ridenbaugh's book.

The book is introduced with the poem:

Oh, fatal day - oh, day of sorrow,
It was no trouble she could borrow;
But in the future she could see
The clouds of infelicity.

The story includes these passages:

He is the bird of ill omen.
How harsh his midnight cry!
It seems to shriek, in mournful sounds,
Death! Death!
The Prince of the Air certainly causes them [destructive cyclones],
since he has control of our atmosphere. They are displays of his wrath,
Oh! eternal woes! Deliver us from the "Prince of Darkness."
Deliver us from his fiery embraces. Rather fear Him that is able
to destroy both soul and body.
"In calling me by the strange name of 'Enola,' I wonder if my dear departed parents
received a glimpse of the future life of their child in a camera, speaking to them
of her life of loneliness," mused Enola, "for truly I am alone..."

('Enola' is 'alone' spelled backwards.)

We have been discussing the "clouds of sorrow" that have obscured a bright and beautiful life,
that afforded food for meditation. How many clouds have darkened the horizon of other valuable lives.
There are clouds too real, not figurative, that we will now contemplate. ...
The funnel-shaped cloud deals death and destruction to all that come within its whirling, deadly grasp.
When seeing the approach of such a cloud, it sends an agonizing thrill of horror into the heart of the beholder...
"...the vital question at issue now is, how to remedy the great evil that is about to engulf our moral law and prosperous government.
... I feel, that something should be speedily done to stem the tide of extravagance, threatening to ruin every civilized country on the face of the globe," said Mrs. [Enola] Dale.

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