With the recent release of the movie Oppenheimer there has been renewed interest in the many aspects that came together to make the atomic bombing of Japan a reality. This artifact spotlight will discuss some of the back story of the development of the atomic bomb, and highlight artifacts we have on display here at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. Much has been written about the reasons for, and decision by, President Harry Truman to use nuclear weapons against Japan; an act that ultimately led to the end of World War II with the unconditional surrender by the Empire of Japan.
Recently, the San Diego Air & Space Museum received a donation of Louis James Hector’s service trunk. This unique artifact contains WWII related memorabilia including his flight log, silk maps, photographs, medals, his caps and uniform pieces, aircraft manuals and correspondence.