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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:15 pm 
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While working on the restoration and acquisition of parts for B-29-50-BW 42-24791 "The Big Time Operator" I noticed something odd, the control wheel or yoke center caps are different!
The control wheels have finally been restored and acquisition of the center caps was a priority. No control wheel caps came with the aircraft. The "BTO" was made by Boeing, so the Martin cap will not stay on the wheel, it is only there as a place holder, but I figured I'd show you the variations that I have come across and are in my possession. All three are multi-piece domed WWII variations:
The control wheels, which are finally restored:
Image
Boeing B-29 cap, font style #1:
Image
Boeing B-29 cap, font style #2:
Image
Martin B-29 cap:
Image

If you have any caps, post pictures of them. I didn't realize there were variations. If you have a control wheel cap to sell or trade, drop me a PM. Thanks!

_________________
Thanks,
Van
Kosovo, Afghanistan (x2) and Iraq Campaign Veteran
B-29 42-24791 "Big Time Operator"
C-47A 43-15137 "7H" Normandy/Holland Vet
SNJ-5B S/N 84947
UC-45F 43-35764 Cockpit
PT-26A 42-71104
LNE-1 S/N 31556
CG-15A Cockpit
CG-4A Cockpit (x2) and fuselage
Follow QuestMasters on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/QuestMastersMuseum
Museum collection homepage: http://www.questmasters.us


Last edited by Quest Master on Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:19 pm 
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Here's a short piece I did for Aviation History Magazine that's about to be published:

BRIEFING: ENOLA GAY'S YOKE CAP...OR NOT
for Aviation History magazine
by Stephan Wilkinson


On April 12, the New York Times ran an article by writer and college lecturer Ted Gup, who reported that a young woman in one of his classes let him in on a family secret: her grandfather, Robert Rich, had copped Enola Gay's yoke cap--the horn button-like plastic centerpiece from the pilot's control wheel. Rich, stationed at Davis-Monthan Army Air Field in 1947, was prowling among the 600-odd B-29s then mothballed in the base's boneyard when he came across the unmistakable Enola Gay. Knowing the airplane's provenance and assuming it would soon be scrapped (it was in fact already scheduled to be shipped to the Smithsonian), Rich clambered up into the cockpit and liberated the Boeing-logoed yoke cap. He pocketed what he thought was a piece of history, and though he died in 1975, his family has it to this day.
As a result of the Times article, plans were soon afoot to donate it to the Smithsonian for return to its proper place aboard the NASM's treasured atomic bomber. "It's great when things you think are lost resurface," said NASM Chief Curator Peter Jakob.
But had the lost yoke cap indeed resurfaced? B-29 expert Trevor McIntyre heard about the Times story when somebody posted a link to it on the popular forum WIX--Warbird Information Exchange. "Wrong yoke cap," McIntyre pointed out, and he explained that Enola Gay had been built by Martin, not Boeing, and that its original yoke cap would have borne the Martin Aircraft logo as well as Boeing's. Boeing-built yoke caps read "Boeing" and "B-29." (Yet another set of B-29 yoke caps, aboard B-29s built by Bell, bore the Bell Aircraft identifier.)
Though family lore was doubtless true, what Robert Rich had liberated was an ordinary B-29 yoke cap that had been used as a replacement for the already-gone-missing original. Obviously, many who had access to the airplane were well aware of its historicity, and somebody beat Rich to it. Perhaps a member of the original crew, or a tech sergeant alone in the cockpit replacing a faulty gauge, or Paul Tibbetts himself. Whatever the case, the Martin cap is still out there.
At the urging of Aviation History, on May 3 the New York Times published a correction of the original article, admitting that they had "imprecisely described [the] cap." For more on an upcoming book by Trevor McIntyre, who would never imprecisely describe any part of a B-29, go to www.motherandcountry.com.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:21 pm 
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Oh, and by the way, yolks are part of eggs, yokes are in cockpits. Or on oxen teams.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:24 pm 
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Stephan Wilkinson wrote:
Here's a short piece I did for Aviation History Magazine that's about to be published:

BRIEFING: ENOLA GAY'S YOKE CAP...OR NOT
for Aviation History magazine
by Stephan Wilkinson


On April 12, the New York Times ran an article by writer and college lecturer Ted Gup, who reported that a young woman in one of his classes let him in on a family secret: her grandfather, Robert Rich, had copped Enola Gay's yoke cap--the horn button-like plastic centerpiece from the pilot's control wheel. Rich, stationed at Davis-Monthan Army Air Field in 1947, was prowling among the 600-odd B-29s then mothballed in the base's boneyard when he came across the unmistakable Enola Gay. Knowing the airplane's provenance and assuming it would soon be scrapped (it was in fact already scheduled to be shipped to the Smithsonian), Rich clambered up into the cockpit and liberated the Boeing-logoed yoke cap. He pocketed what he thought was a piece of history, and though he died in 1975, his family has it to this day.
As a result of the Times article, plans were soon afoot to donate it to the Smithsonian for return to its proper place aboard the NASM's treasured atomic bomber. "It's great when things you think are lost resurface," said NASM Chief Curator Peter Jakob.
But had the lost yoke cap indeed resurfaced? B-29 expert Trevor McIntyre heard about the Times story when somebody posted a link to it on the popular forum WIX--Warbird Information Exchange. "Wrong yoke cap," McIntyre pointed out, and he explained that Enola Gay had been built by Martin, not Boeing, and that its original yoke cap would have borne the Martin Aircraft logo as well as Boeing's. Boeing-built yoke caps read "Boeing" and "B-29." (Yet another set of B-29 yoke caps, aboard B-29s built by Bell, bore the Bell Aircraft identifier.)
Though family lore was doubtless true, what Robert Rich had liberated was an ordinary B-29 yoke cap that had been used as a replacement for the already-gone-missing original. Obviously, many who had access to the airplane were well aware of its historicity, and somebody beat Rich to it. Perhaps a member of the original crew, or a tech sergeant alone in the cockpit replacing a faulty gauge, or Paul Tibbetts himself. Whatever the case, the Martin cap is still out there.
At the urging of Aviation History, on May 3 the New York Times published a correction of the original article, admitting that they had "imprecisely described [the] cap." For more on an upcoming book by Trevor McIntyre, who would never imprecisely describe any part of a B-29, go to http://www.motherandcountry.com.

I read that article a while back and came to the same conclusion when I read it prior to the correction by NYT.

_________________
Thanks,
Van
Kosovo, Afghanistan (x2) and Iraq Campaign Veteran
B-29 42-24791 "Big Time Operator"
C-47A 43-15137 "7H" Normandy/Holland Vet
SNJ-5B S/N 84947
UC-45F 43-35764 Cockpit
PT-26A 42-71104
LNE-1 S/N 31556
CG-15A Cockpit
CG-4A Cockpit (x2) and fuselage
Follow QuestMasters on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/QuestMastersMuseum
Museum collection homepage: http://www.questmasters.us


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:27 pm 
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I have the original yoke cap from the Enola Gay which fell off in the cock pit on the Island of Tinian and it is not the Martin cap. The Enola Gay dropped the bombs without the cap. The fellow that advised the Smithsonian and New York Times was incorrect in his conclusion as to what cap was on the Enola Gay.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:33 pm 
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Most likely the cap Rich removed was the other one because it is identical to the one I have.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:07 pm 
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pop1


Last edited by Sasquatch on Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:31 pm 
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Moses wrote:
I have the original yoke cap from the Enola Gay which fell off in the cock pit on the Island of Tinian and it is not the Martin cap. The Enola Gay dropped the bombs without the cap. The fellow that advised the Smithsonian and New York Times was incorrect in his conclusion as to what cap was on the Enola Gay.


Hi Moses, the information Stephan quoted me on in his article is correct. The Enola Gay, along with the other 14 Silverplate B-29s that the 509th operated on Tinian, rolled out of the factory with Martin control yoke caps. This fact was further confirmed by wartime photographs of the cockpits.

To add a nice postscript to Stephan's article, I'm happy to report that I was able to facilitate the donation of an original (and correct) Martin B-29 control yoke cap to the Smithsonian for the Enola Gay. We just need to find one more for her now!

Hey Van, would you have any interest in donating your Martin cap to the Smithsonian?

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~Trevor McIntyre, "For Mother and Country - a B-29er's War"
http://www.motherandcountry.com


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:05 am 
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My father prepared the Enola Gay for flight prior to take off for Hiroshima and the Captains side cap was loose in the cockpit and it had to be removed, so it wouldn't interfere with the pilot during mission. No one new at the time what the effects of the bomb would be other than it would end the War. I have it along with lots of photos and relics. I'm telling you it wasn't a Martin and the one Rich stole off the other steering wheel was also an original because it matches. The important thing here is that one cap should never be put back on that plane because it wasn't there when the bomb was dropped.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:05 am 
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I guess it doesn't really matter if it's a Martin cap or Boeing cap.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:13 am 
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Moses wrote:
My father prepared the Enola Gay for flight prior to take off for Hiroshima and the Captains side cap was loose in the cockpit and it had to be removed, so it wouldn't interfere with the pilot during mission.


Hi Moses, what was your father's name?

_________________
~Trevor McIntyre, "For Mother and Country - a B-29er's War"
http://www.motherandcountry.com


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:49 pm 
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B29Gunner wrote:
Moses wrote:
My father prepared the Enola Gay for flight prior to take off for Hiroshima and the Captains side cap was loose in the cockpit and it had to be removed, so it wouldn't interfere with the pilot during mission.


Hi Moses, what was your father's name?



I suspect we'll never get the answer to that question. I also suspect we won't hear from Moses again.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:01 pm 
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B29Gunner wrote:
Hey Van, would you have any interest in donating your Martin cap to the Smithsonian?

Sure. I'll trade it to them, I'm sure they have something I'd be interested in. Plus, the deal has to include that I'm the one who attaches it to the control wheel in the cockpit. :drink3:

_________________
Thanks,
Van
Kosovo, Afghanistan (x2) and Iraq Campaign Veteran
B-29 42-24791 "Big Time Operator"
C-47A 43-15137 "7H" Normandy/Holland Vet
SNJ-5B S/N 84947
UC-45F 43-35764 Cockpit
PT-26A 42-71104
LNE-1 S/N 31556
CG-15A Cockpit
CG-4A Cockpit (x2) and fuselage
Follow QuestMasters on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/QuestMastersMuseum
Museum collection homepage: http://www.questmasters.us


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:38 pm 
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I have the brackets to attach the button if anyone needs them. PM me or check EBay. P/N BAC 6-14649 .


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:47 pm 
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My great uncle was a B-29 mechanic while stationed in Saipan for in WWII. Came across these in a box of his stuff. Obviously the cap that says B-29 came from a Superfortress, it has 'The Crow's scratched into the back of it, and looking at the site here, the one that says Martin U.S.A. is probably from a B-29, but there is a third one that says Bell Air Craft. Any ideas what that one came off of? Possibly a B-29 also?


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