Tibbets renamed the plane the Enola Gay after his mother, over the objections of the plane's usual pilot Robert A. Lewis. At 1600 (Tinian time) "Enola Gay" was painted on its nose. Bomb unit L11 was selected for combat use and on 31 July the U-235 projectile and target were installed along with the four initiators – making Little Boy ready for use the next day. An approaching typhoon required postponing the planned attack of Hiroshima on 1 August. Several days are required for weather to clear, and on 4 August the date was set for two days later. On 5 August Lt. Col. Paul W. Tibbets, the 509th commander, selected B-29 No. 82 for the mission, renamed the Enola Gay after his mother, over the objections of its pilot Robert A. Lewis. Little Boy was loaded on the plane the same day. The Enola Gay returning from the bombing mission against Hiroshima. At 1400 on 5 August the first combat atomic bomb Little Boy was loaded onto a trailer and taken to the loading pit where a hydraulic lift raised it into the bomb bay of the Enola Gay. At 1530 Parsons began practicing his new task of in-flight propellant insertion. At 1600 Tibbets had his mother’s name, Enola Gay, painted on the strike plane. At 1730 the Enola Gay taxied on to the pad for pre-mission testing. The pre-flight briefing for the seven flight crews began at about 2000. The flight briefings for the weather planes occurred at 2300; the strike plane flight briefing was at midnight. At 0015 on 6 August assembly on the flight line began. Just before 0200 the crew boarded the Enola Gay; takeoff was at 0245. The Enola Gay rendezvoused with the observation planes over Iwo Jima at 0605. Little Boy was armed at 0730. At 0741 Tibbets began the climb to the drop altitude above 30,000 feet. The Enola Gay came within sight of the Empire, as bombing crews called it, at about 0750 as it approached the southern tip of Shikoku Island. The weather plane over the primary target radioed good conditions at 0830 and Tibbets announced that Hiroshima would be their destination. At 0909 Hiroshima came into view. At 0913.30 the bombardier, Thomas Ferebee, took control of plane in preparation for release. At 0914.17 the Aioi Bridge appeared in the Norden bombsight cross-hairs and Ferebee initiated the automatic release sequence. At 0915.17 Little Boy dropped away. The fall to the burst altitude of 600 meters lasted 43 seconds, at that moment Little Boy had a vertical velocity of 335 meters/second, just a bit faster than sound. As soon as the bomb was released Tibbets took control and the Enola Gay began its escape manoeuvre. Eleven and a half miles from the detonation point and nearly a minute after the explosion the plane was rocked by the shock wave travelling directly out from the fireball, and then several seconds later it was struck by a second weaker shock reflected from the ground. Aside from the sighting of a single fighter, the flight back from the mission was uneventful. The mushroom cloud, which had climbed to 40,000 feet, was visible from the plane for almost an hour and a half, finally being lost from sight at 1041, 363 miles from Hiroshima. At 1458, after a textbook perfect mission lasting 12 hours and 13 minutes, the Enola Gay landed at Tinian Island. The Enola Gay flew one more combat mission, on 9 August 1945 to scout the weather over Kokura Arsenal, the primary target of Operation Centerboard II, the second atomic bombing mission. The Enola Gay on Tinian Island. The Bombing of Hiroshima Nuclear Weapon Archive.