1992 marked the last nuclear bomb test in the USA, although the nuclear club of the USSR, the USA, UK, France, India, Israel, and Pakistan have conducted nearly 2000 explosions since the first blast in Los Alamos, NM. Only two were on populated targets.
For years my Uncle Russ told his nieces and nephews that he had been about to parachute into Japan, when a flash appeared over a city. The assault troops watched the mushroom cloud consume Hiroshima and the pilot returned to base.
We believed the story until my uncle admitted that his tale was a fabrication based on a real event.
"I was stationed to Nagasaki after the Armistice. One day a B-29 bomber caught fire in flight. Nine parachutes appeared in the sky. The bomber lost altitude and crashed into a nearby mountain. We searched for the four officers left on the plane. The aluminum fuselage had been melted by the fire. The only human remains we found was a half a skull. One of the sergeants said that the B-29 normally carried a crew of 11. Two more survivors should have floated to safety. No one ever heard anymore of that story."
Uncle Russ went to Japan immediately after the Armistice. He said these words about his time in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"I was 19."
Uncle Russ never spoke more about those wasted cities.
People from wars rarely tell stories.
At least ones that are true.