Project Alberta

Project Alberta was a section of the Manhattan Project which developed the means of delivering the first atomic bombs, used by the United States Army Air Forces against the Empire of Japan during World War II. Also known as Project A, the mission of Project Alberta was three-fold: (1) design a bomb shape for delivery by airplane, then procure and assemble it; (2) continue the testing work of Army Air Force Projects W-47 (ballistic testing of atomic bomb design) and Silverplate (modification of B-29s to perform the mission); and (3) train aircrews and ordnance crews in preparation for deployment overseas. Project Alberta consisted of approximately 55 scientists, engineers and military personnel who worked in conjunction with the 509th Composite Group, commanded by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets.

Project Alberta began in the October 1943 as Group E-7 of the Ordnance Division at Los Alamos under Dr. Norman F. Ramsey, with parallel military work being conducted by the USAAF 216th Base Unit at Wendover Army Air Field, Utah, under the name Project W-47. Initial work included designing the exterior casings for the bombs, and discerning the ballistics information necessary to achieve reasonable accuracy and develop delivery tactics for protection of the crew from the resulting blast. For this task the initial Silverplate B-29 modification, known as the Pullman B-29, was used in flight tests at Muroc Army Air Field in March and June 1944.

Much of its work, particularly from March 1945 forward, consisted in training aircrews, using B-29 Superfortresses modified to "Silverplate" specifications, and in training members of the 1st Ordnance Squadron (Special, Aviation), a highly classified unit of the 509th CG created March 6, 1945, whose function was to assemble the bombs on Tinian. Project Alberta was also responsible for developing the radar altimeters, timing clocks, and barometric switches placed in the weapons to keep them from prematurely detonating aboard the aircraft, before reaching detonation altitude, or remotely by emissions from Japanese equipment.

After completion of its development and training missions, Project Alberta assigned 51 of its members, under the administrative designation 1st Technical Service Detachment but referred to as the "Destination Team," to the 509th CG at North Field, Tinian. Selection of Tinian had been made by Cdr. Frederick L. Ashworth in February 1945 after an on-location visit, and under his command the Destination Team was responsible for the preparation of facilities to assemble and load the weapons, and to supervise their use during the actual missions.

Read more about Project AlbertaKey Personnel, Sources

Other articles related to "project, project alberta":

Atomic Bombings Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki - Preparations - Organization and Training
... Working with the Manhattan Project at Site Y in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Tibbets selected Wendover for his training base over Great Bend, Kansas, and Mountain Home ... units were activated at Wendover from personnel already present and working with its Project W-47, which was later superseded by Project Alberta, or in the 216th Base Unit, both of ... Alamos, and concurrent with the activation of Project Alberta ...
509th Composite Group - History - Organization, Training, and Security
... Wendover from personnel already present and working with its Project W-47 (superseded by Project Alberta) or in the 216th AAF Base Unit, both affiliated with the Site Y project ... On 6 March 1945, concurrent with the activation of Project Alberta, the 1st Ordnance Squadron, Special (Aviation) was activated at Wendover, again using Army Air ... A similar incident occurred to a Project Alberta courier, 2nd Lt ...
Frederick Ashworth - Naval Career
... Holding the rank of commander, he became Director of Operations for Project Alberta, the portion of the Manhattan Project tasked with dropping of the weapons on Japan, and ... The director of Project Alberta, Captain William Parsons, had been weaponeer during the first mission August 6, when Hiroshima had been bombed ... Prior to his being named to Project Alberta, Ashworth had been commander of Torpedo Squadron Eleven (VT-11), a Grumman TBF Avenger unit based on Guadalcanal and the USS Hornet ...
Project Alberta - Sources
... Project Alberta The Preparation of Atomic Bombs For Use in World War II (1990), Hoddision, Lillian, and Henricksen, Paul W ... National Archives, Instructions to CG XXI Bomber Command, 29 May 45, regarding 'Project A' ...

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