Talk:Bockscar

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Good article Bockscar has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
April 1, 2013 Good article nominee Listed
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Comments[edit]

If the actual name is "Bockscar", shouldn't that be the name of the article? - Molinari 19:05, 11 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Google thinks so:

  • Bock's Car (795)
  • Bocks Car (259)
  • Bockscar (819)

That, combined with the fact that the US Air Force Museum Archives calls it "Bockscar" is good enough for me: http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/research/bombers/b3-35.htm -- Bill 19:12, 11 Aug 2003 (UTC)

"BOCK'S CAR"?[edit]

As painted on the plane, the name is "BOCKS CAR"; there's a small but clear space between the S and C. In my opinion, since "Bockscar" and "Bocks Car" don't parse, and "[Frederick] Bock's Car" does--and probably was a pun on Boxcar--we should call it that. My guess is that the apostrophe went the way of Neil Armstrong's "a" in "That's one small step for [a] man,..."
—wwoods 03:02, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

In his book Mission : Hiroshima (originally published as The Tibbets Story) (Stein & Day, 1979, ISBN 0-8128-8169-9) Colonel Paul W. Tibbets refers to the aircraft as "Bock's Car" throughout. Is this not definitive? Dawkeye 23:27, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

I would say that the spelling used by the National Museum of the United States Air Force, where they have professional curators and try to be as accurate as possible, would be the best source. They use "Bockscar" [1]. --rogerd 17:54, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
That it was a pun on "boxcar" (one word) is indisputable--the painted cartoon is of a boxcar. The "perceived" gap between the S and the C is in the eye of the beholder and therefore, in the absence of any documentation showing that the namer or the artist intended it to be such is ORIGINAL RESEARCH and therefore forbidden. The point about Tibbets is irrelevant--he wasn't the namer nor the artist, nor do we know under what circumstances the ghost writer/editor of his book chose that spelling ("Bockscar" looks odd--very possibly an editor chose the spelling). The point about the NMUSAF exhibit is well-taken. An impeccably-credible source has defined the name: Bockscar. We don't, in the words of the first editor above, need to "guess".--Buckboard 05:25, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
It is completely silly and foolish to say that Col/Gen. Tibbets's opinion is "irrelevant". (Are you in the business of handing out insults?) Col. Tibbets was the commanding officer of the USAAF 509th Composite Group, and as such, he was responsible for everything in that B-29 Group, including the names of all the airplanes and all the nose art. It is insulting to say that he did not KNOW the name of such an important airplane as "Bock's Car".
To say so is like saying that a commanding Admiral did not know the names of every ship in his Task Force, or in his squadron of ships (in the example of the commander of a destroyer or submarine squadron, or a cruiser division). It is just completely unbelievable.

Bocks Car[edit]

Well, I'll give a reason for the third possible choice: I think the spelling on the aircraft should be definitive, grammatical or not, most commonly used or not. So I think the article should be titled Bocks Car, although the space between S and C is pretty thin, more the absence of an overlap than an actual space.

In any case, I've put a link to the above image on the article page and edited it to leave it to the reader to decide whether there's a space in there. 207.176.159.90 00:03, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I agree, Bocks Car makes most sense. The Enola Gay was also all caps, but it is written in this format. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ragesoss (talkcontribs)
Wow, look at the change from the older photo to the newer. Clearly, someone has done a poor job restoring here. There is a clear absence of an overlap in the older photo, and not in the newer one. Still, even the oldest version must have been made after the mission. Does anyone know who the artist was? Greswik 13:29, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

The Great Artiste[edit]

According to The Bomb: A Life, Bocks Car (or whatever the format) was the original name, after it's normal pilot, and it was renamed The Great Artiste by Sweeney but the name didn't stick. The line about manning the Great Artiste is confusing and seems to suggest that the plane flown by Bock on the Nagasaki mission was the The Great Artiste.--ragesoss 00:14, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I can't see any confusion. The intro quite clearly says "On the day of the attack Bockscar was manned by the crew of The Great Artiste and was commanded by Major Charles W. Sweeney of Massachusetts." Also, it is probably more accurate to say Sweeney attempted to rename the aircraft, not that he actually did so. Does the book say exactly when the BOCKSCAR name was painted on the aircraft? Moriori 02:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
The plane that flew the instrumentation missions for both Hiroshima and Nagasaki was already named the Great Artiste. The Great Artiste was originally scheduled to drop the second bomb, but when it was realised that there was not enough time to move the instrumentation from the Great Artiste to Bocks Car, the crews were swapped. The document at [2], which is an External link from the article, explains most of this. The initial press releases said that the second bomb had been dropped from the Great Artiste because that had been the plan.[3] Note that the press release states the mission was flown in no. 77, which was the BocksCar.[4] As for when the nose art was painted on Bocks Car, a photo taken right after the mission shows a clean nose; the nose art was added later. Unfortunately, I can't find the photo right now. -- Dalbury(Talk) 05:09, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
None of the aircraft except Enola Gay were "named" (i.e. painted on the nose) before the missions. One (Luke the Spook) was not named until the next year, and one (Jabit III) very possibly never carried a name. All nose art was unofficial and there are no documents showing when any were applied, except that Tibbets has confirmed that the plane was lettered the day before the mission. The reason the Nagasaki press release gives a victor number is that it was the only ID painted on the a/c at the time. The debate over "all caps" etc is a little overblown--nose art lettering came out in the style of the artist, without regard to caps etc. Enola Gay was lettered in BLOCK lettering. Many nicknames were painted by their artists using quotation marks, so some here would have them shown in an article as ""Name"". Also, the reason victor 77 was chosen to drop the Kokura-Nagasaki bomb was that it had been used by Sweeney and Albury's crew to conduct all three Fat Man test drops on August 1, 5, and 8. It was ready to go and they were comfortable flying it. The switchover of instrumentation could have been done, but why bother? Of the 393rd B-29s, only one (Some Punkins) was flown exclusively by its assigned crew, and one (Big Stink) was flown on missions by nine of the fifteen 393rd crews.--Buckboard 05:14, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
The main article may engender some confusion regarding when the "Bocks Car" nose art was restored and contains a reference to the nose art having been "restored" AFTER the aircraft arrived at the Air Force Museum. While that is no doubt literally true, one may infer from the article that the "Great Artiste" art may have lasted until after the plane had been flown to the Museum. At least as early as Spring 1960 the "Bocks Car" nose art was back on the plane. It was photographed in April or May of that year on display at Davis-Monthan AFB bearing the "Bocks Car" nose art. It is evident from the photograph that sometime during the plane's "stay" at DMAFB the "Bocks Car" nose art was restored or reapplied. That photograph is available for downloading, if appropriate. Herandher (talk) 05:54, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Restoration[edit]

Should it be mentioned that that there are plans to bring the box car to flight status? The idea came about when inspection of the Enola Gay reviled her to be in remarkable shape, except for severed wire bundles dooming a restoration project. These wires where cut when the Enola Gay was disassembled for storage purposes. Bockscar never underwent such disassembly, and was store better than any other of the B-29's on display (almost all survivors but Bockscar and the Enola Gay sat at China Lake missile range as unused missile targets for years, Including FiFi). Inspection of Bockscar relieved a little more damage than was hoped but is still hands down the best candidate for a second flying Super-fortress. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.155.113.22 (talk) 06:18, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. With three editors each supporting a different version, this defaults to no move without consensus. Of the arguments put forward, the most convincing is In ictu oculi's: gbooks does have far more "Bock's car" (with apostrophe) than "Bockscar", which might indicate that as the common form, but both forms are found. DrKiernan (talk) 11:05, 23 October 2012 (UTC)


BockscarBocks Car – The name of the aircraft is clearly shown in the photo of the nose-art as being written in two words, so I feel that the ghost should be laid to rest, particularly as the evidence is already published in Wikipedia. Relisted. Jenks24 (talk) 09:22, 7 October 2012 (UTC) Petebutt (talk) 02:32, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

A more proper Alternative would be all caps as BOCKS CAR, the same goes for ENOLA GAYPetebutt (talk) 02:34, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Arguments that museum spellings are paramount are obviously bogus due to the evidence availablePetebutt (talk) 02:37, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Bock's Car gets twice the hits, 2,800, in GB of Bockscar - in addition to the likelihood of someoneone misreading "Bock Scar"., plus the nose art photo which shows S not overlapping with C like the other letters. In ictu oculi (talk) 12:52, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Is Bock's a typo since the request you are supporting was for Bocks Car not Bock's Car?--174.93.171.108 (talk) 00:12, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Bockscar" is correct. It's supported by the nose art, the museum, and the pun on "Boxcar". "Bocks Car" is against both WP capitalisation conventions and grammar. "Bock's Car" would at least have grammar in its favour, but it's very clear that no halfway decent sources claim there's an apostrophe in there. Andy Dingley (talk) 01:22, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Bockscar/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 01:56, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi Hawkeye, I'll be glad to take this one. Initial comments to follow in the next 1-5 days. Thanks in advance for your work on it! -- Khazar2 (talk) 01:56, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Initial comments[edit]

On first read, this seems quite good, and clearly ripe for promotion. I've noted a few quibbles below; I've also done a bit of copyediting, so please doublecheck that I haven't inadvertently added any errors, and feel free to revert anything you disagree with.

  • "Bockscar, sometimes called Bock's Car" -- should "Bock's Car" also be italicized here?
  • What would you think about adding just a touch more context to the lead or body of the article (or both)-- mentioning, for example, that the nuclear bombing took place during World War II, or that this second bomb effectively ended the war. 95% of readers will already know this, I grant you (or I hope they would), but I think it's generally good practice to give a full context for young or non-Western readers.
  • "test drop rehearsals" seems slightly redundant--would just "test drops" do?
  • " Gunner, assistant flight engineer" -- should "assistant flight engineer" be capitalized here for consistency with other entries in the list?

Checklist[edit]

Will check for "main aspects" and copyright tomorrow.

Sorry, Hawkeye, that I left you hanging on this one; it went right out of my head. Will follow up on the rest of the checklist soon. -- Khazar2 (talk) 06:21, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct. See minor questions above. Spotchecks show no evidence of copyright issues.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. For such a brief article, the lead is a rather long per WP:LEADLENGTH.
  • I have reduced the lead in size. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:33, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines.
2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic. I think a little context would be helpful for the reader--mentioning that all this took place in World War II, for example, or the role of the Fat Man bomb in the war against Japan, or what it meant to be redesigned as a silverplate. But I don't think this rises to the level of not covering "main aspects".
  • I've added a paragraph on Silverplate, but I don't want to get into it too deeply, as it has its own article. Also mentioned the war in the lead. Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:42, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
    • I agree. I think what you added is ideal; enough to give the sense of the plane's redesign without all the nuts-and-bolts. -- Khazar2 (talk) 03:17, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.
7. Overall assessment. Pass as GA

Contradiction - How much damage to Nagasaki?[edit]

This article (Bockscar) indicates that 44% of Nagasaki was destroyed. But, the Wikipedia article on Charles Sweeney states that 60% of Nagasaki was destroyed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Sweeney

Which is correct? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.73.52.186 (talk) 17:30, 18 May 2013 (UTC)


Which Type of Boeing ?[edit]

In the right upper square, we read : "Type Boeing B-29A-40BN Superfortress".
But the Airplane History section starts by : "Bockscar, B-29-36-MO 44-27297, (...)". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.6.224.137 (talk) 10:47, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Well spotted. The latter is correct. I have corrected the article accordingly. Hawkeye7 (talk) 11:41, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Salt Lake[edit]

The drawing on the fuselage depicts a route from "Salt Lake" to "Nagasaki". What is the relevance of Salt Lake [City?] to the Bockscar? —jameslucas (" " / +) 20:43, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Wendover Field Andy Dingley (talk) 21:34, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
I was thinking that too. Hawkeye7 (talk) 23:09, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
I guess it's more romantic than the hexagonal outline of Utah, even if the the base is not exactly near the lake. I wonder if it should be more explicit in the article. —jameslucas (" " / +) 17:07, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Only if you can find a reliable source. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:58, 19 August 2015 (UTC)