On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb ("Little Boy") on Hiroshima, Japan, instantly killing tens of thousands of people. This marked the first time in history that the atomic bomb had been used in warfare.
The Enola Gay had been altered to serve the purpose of carrying and deploying the heavy bomb. Adaptations included removing most of the armament; installing heavier racks to support the heavy bomb; and replacing the engines.
The plane was named after Col. Paul Tibbet's mother.
The Enola Gay eventually was restored, and, in 2003, it went on permanent display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located in Chantilly, Virginia.