JAPAN: Candles on a River

One cloudy morning in August 1945, the B-29 Great Artiste, commanded by Major Charles W. Sweeney of North Quincy, Mass., was flying over Japan. After 50 minutes' unsuccessful search for his target, Major Sweeney asked a naval ordnance observer, Commander Frederick L. Ashworth of Wenham, Mass., what he should do. Try Nagasaki, said Commander Ashworth. With just enough fuel left for a single bomb run, the navigator, Captain James F. Van Pelt Jr. of Oak Hill, W. Va., hit Nagasaki exactly "on the nose." The bombardier, Captain Kermit K. Beaham of Houston,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!