University Archives


Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Postal Cover Signed by 3 "Bockscar" Crew Members, PSA/DNA Slabbed & Graded Mint 9

A postal cover signed by three crew members of "Bockscar," the U.S. Air Force B-29 bomber which dropped an atomic bomb over Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945. The envelope showing a photograph of the mushroom cloud at left is headlined: "War ends with Atomic Bomb / Japan - 1945." The envelope is also pre-printed with one crew member's name at lower left. PSA/DNA encapsulated and graded Mint 9. The envelope measures 6.375" x 3.625" while the slab measures 9.5" x 4.5" overall.

The signers include:

- Captain Charles Donald "Don" Albury (1920-2009), co-pilot, signed and inscribed as "Capt. CD Albury - Co-Pilot / 'The Great Artiste' / Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945 / 'Bockscar' / Nagasaki Aug. 9, 1945" in blue felt tip pen at upper right

- Master Sergeant John D. Kuharek (1914-2001), flight engineer, signed as "John D Kuharek" in blue pen near bottom right

- Staff Sergeant Raymond C. Gallagher (died 1999), gunner and assistant flight engineer, signed as "Sgt. Ray Gallagher" in black pen along center bottom

Just three days after "Enola Gay" crew members dropped the atomic bomb "Little Boy" over Hiroshima, Albury, Kuharek, Gallagher, and ten other "Bockscar" crew members dropped the atomic bomb "Fat Man" over Nagasaki. The crew had abandoned their original target of Kokura, a Japanese manufacturing center, because of weather conditions and concerns over fuel, and settled instead on Nagasaki. It's estimated that 40,000 Japanese, mostly workers, were killed outright in the explosion. The Empire of Japan announced its surrender six days later, on August 15, 1945.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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