NEW YORK (Kyodo) The flight log kept by navigator Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk on board the Enola Gay during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima recently sold for $358,500 in a public auction conducted by Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas.
“This is an enormously important piece of history, which definitively documents the moment at which our world changed irrevocably,” said Tom Slater, director of Americana auctions for Dallas-based Auction Galleries.
“The bombing of Hiroshima was a watershed event in human history, and this is firsthand documentation from one of the participants, akin to having eyewitness accounts of the printing of the first book or a recording of the first telephone call,” he said.
The log, written in pencil, includes two large folios, the auction house said. The log was attached with two photos of the Enola Gay’s crew members.
Heritage Auction Galleries did not reveal the name of the successful bidder but said it was a U.S. citizen.
According to the auction house, Kirk decided to sell the documents because he wants them to be kept at a museum.
The log says the Enola Gay left Tinian Island at 2:45 a.m. Aug. 6, 1945, flew over Iwo Jima at 5:55 a.m. and dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima at 9:15:15 a.m. The mushroom clouds disappeared at 10:52 a.m., it says. The records are based on Tinian Island time.