Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

NC & the Bomb

Posted August 6, 2009 10:22 a.m. EDT

It happened 64 years ago today. A farm boy from Davie County did something that would change the course of history. Thomas Ferebee dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Thomas was 26 years old at the time. He was the bombardier aboard the Enola Gay. The B-29 plane carried an atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy.” Major Ferebee shouted “bomb away” as the “Little Boy” tumbled out of the plane. At least 80,000 Japanese were killed instantly. Thousands more would die later from radiation exposure. It was the beginning of the atomic age.

Ferebee went on to serve a lengthy military career extending into Vietnam. Before retiring from the military to sell real estate in Florida he accumulated many prestigious awards including The Silver Star. Ferebee died nine years ago. Until death he maintained a clear conscience. He claimed his act on August 6, 1945 saved many lives by ending a horrible world war.

What are your thoughts today on Mocksville’s Thomas Ferebee? Did he do the right thing? Did he help make the world a saver place? Or did he help usher in a deadly arms race that would consume the powerful nations on the globe and put the planet in peril of destruction?

Please share your thoughts.

If you’d like to learn more about Thomas Ferebee check out the NC Museum of History in Raleigh. A large collection of items from Ferebee’s military career can be found at the museum.