How Tooele County helped end World War II is on display inside a small museum on the western edge of the Great Salt Lake Desert.Inside the operations building and main terminal at Historic Wendover Airbase, the Wendover Airbase Museum reveals how the B-29 flight crews of the Enola Gay and Box Car trained there to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan on Aug. 6, 1945.
The museum is also filled with fascinating artifacts, detailed photographs and interpretive displays. Each tells the story about how the flight and bomb crews used Tooele County’s landscape to prepare for the top-secret mission that led to Japan’s surrender.
In addition to the museum, visitors can see the gunnery range in the hills north of the airfield, and the remains of a V-1 rocket site. The V-1 was an advanced World War II rocket tested and perfected at Wendover. The V-1 was used as a cover-up so atomic bomb tests and preparations could proceed without detection.
Although the hangar that housed the Enola Gay is in disrepair, work is under way for its eventual restoration. Other key buildings and facilities have already been restored and can be toured. Historic Wendover Airbase also hosts an air show every September. The museum is open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 7 days a week. For museum visits please arrive at least one hour before closing time. For more information call (435) 665-2308 or go on line to www.wendoverairbase.com.