Thomas Wilson Ferebee - Mocksville, NC
N 36° 01.361 W 080° 34.703
17S E 537988 N 3986546
Quick Description: Colonel Thomas Ferebee served as the bombardier on the Enola Gay.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 12/14/2009 12:03:46 PM
Waymark Code: WM7WQE
Colonel Thomas Ferebee was a native of Mocksville, North Carolina. During World War II he served as a member of the 509th Composite Group stationed in the Mariana Islands. On August 6, 1945, then Major Ferebee served as bombardier on the B-29 Superfortress named the Enola Gay which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. At 8:15 a.m. Major Ferebee opened the Enola Gay’s bomb bay doors sending the 9,000 pound atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” toward the Aioi Bridge near Hiroshima, Japan. Forty-three seconds later the atomic bomb struck its target killing 80,000 Japanese. Three days later another crew dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki, Japan killing another 140,000. Five days later the Japanese surrendered, ending World War II. Colonel Ferebee retired from the military in 1970 and moved to Florida where he sold real estate. On March 16, 2000, Colonel Thomas Wilson Ferebee passed away at his home; he was 81-years old. Colonel Ferebee is resting in the Wesley Chapel.
Thomas Wilson Ferebee was born in Mocksville, North Carolina on November 9, 1918. He joined the army but a knee injury kept him from serving in the infantry and he was eventually accepted into the Air Force. He was assigned as a bombardier in the European Theater of operations during World War II. In the summer of 1944 he was recruited by Colonel Paul Tibbets to be part of the 509th Composite Group. On August 6, 1945, the crew of the B-29 Superfortress name the Enola Gay flew over Hiroshima, Japan. At 8:15 a.m. then Major Thomas Ferebee opened the Enola Gay’s bomb bay doors sending the 9,000 pound atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” toward the Aioi Bridge, a target that Major Ferebee had personally selected based on aerial photographs. The first atomic bomb fell from an altitude of 31,000-feet and 43-seconds later created an explosion that eventually killed 80,000 Japanese. The crew of the Enola Gay returned to their base in the Mariana Island where they were greeted by several generals and admirals. Three days later on the morning of August 9, 1945, another B-29 Superfortress named “Bockscar” out of the 393rd Squadron under the command of Major Charles Sweeney dropped a second nuclear bomb nicknamed “Fat Man,” on Nagasaki, Japan killing more than 140,000. Five days later the Japanese surrendered ending World War II.
After the war Colonel Ferebee remained in the Air Force assigned to the Strategic Air Command. In 1970 Colonel Ferebee retired from military service, moving to Windermere, Florida where he sold real estate. On March 16, 2000, Colonel Thomas Wilson Ferebee passed away at his home; he was 81-years old. Colonel Ferebee is resting in the Wesley Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery in Mocksville, North Carolina.
Date of birth: 11/9/1918
Date of death: 3/16/2000
Area of notoriety: Military
Marker Type: Headstone
Visiting Hours/Restrictions: Daily - Dawn to Dusk
Fee required?: No
Web site: [Web Link]
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