4.15.2004
ENLARGE THE PHOTO
Pilotless Trio

U.S. Army Air Corps photograph, dated August 6, 1946

These three Douglas-built B-17 bombers were radio-controlled drones used during two of the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests to take photographs of the explosions. Their tail numbers are 485819, 483588, and 483603. Note their distinctive colors and tail markings, as well as the atom bomb logo on each plane's nose. This photo was taken on August 6, 1946, exactly one year after the first A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, leading to the surrender of the Japanese and the end of World War II.

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