The grandson of the pilot whose historic World War II mission helped end that conflict set a milestone of his own Thursday.Col. Paul Tibbets IV, Air Force Global Strike Command deputy director of operations, was certified to fly the B-52 Stratofortress bomber, making him one of a handful of fliers qualified to fly all three of the U.S. Air Force’s bomber platforms. He flew the B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers during previous assignments.
The website of the United States Air Force Global Strike Command reported that as a tribute to the Tibbets family, the “Red Gremlin II” nose art has been placed on the B-52 that Col. Tibbets will land Thursday to mark his family’s legacy.
Lt. Col. James Morriss., commander 93rd Bomb Squadron B-52 Formal Training Unit commander said “This is not an accomplishment many achieve ,the bomber pilot community is small and most stay with one bomber platform.”
Col. Tibbets is also the grandson of Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets Jr., who was best known for his atomic mission in a B-29, the “Enola Gay”, during World War II. Gen. Tibbets also flew 25 combat missions in the B-17, to include the first American Flying Fortress raid against occupied Europe. His B-17 Flying Fortress was decorated with the nose art “Red Gremlin.”
As a tribute to the Tibbets family, the “Red Gremlin II” nose art has been placed on the B-52 that Col. Tibbets will land Thursday to mark his family’s legacy.
“Col. Tibbets’ heritage is the heritage of the Air Force and the long range strike mission,” said Col. Jonathan Ellis, 307th Bomb Wing commander. “This is an opportunity to honor the legacy of our deterrence mission, past and present.”
“My grandfather had a passion for aviation and most specifically, bombers,” Col. Tibbets said. “It is a privilege to follow in the footsteps of my hero and to fly the nose art that my grandfather flew in 1942. I am honored to play a small part in keeping his legacy alive today!”
Source by Master Sgt. Greg Steele 3rd Bomb Squadron.