The 393rd Bombardment
Squadron (B-29) moved to Wendover in September and the 509th Composite
Group was activated in December with a strength of l,767 officers and
men, including the First Technical Detachment, a team of civilian and
A special ordinance
Test Unit assembled inert bombs or "shapes" which were dropped by B-29s
to furnish information on ballistics, electrical fusing and detonators,
release mechanisms, and flying characteristics of the aircraft. Pits
were constructed with hydraulic lifts to hoist the huge bombs into the
bomb bay and between October 194 and August 1945, 155 test units were
dropped. "Fat Man" tests were performed at Salton Sea Naval Air Station
Range, California, and the "Little Boy" was tested on Wendover Range.
A high explosive (HE) filled "Fat Man" was tested at Wendover on 4 August
1945 completing the tests.
In January 1945
the 393 left for Cuba, where they flew simulated combat, high altitude,
overwater radar bombing and navigation missions. They returned to Wendover
and in May received new B-29s which featured lighter engines with fuel
injection, reversible electric propellers, pneumatic bomb doors, and
a modified tunnel to hold the atomic weapon.