Sep 042013

Wendover is a remote town that evolved from a 1920’s gas station, with a single light bulb on a pole, to a Utah/Nevada border town with six king-sized casinos.
Wendover Will
Wendover tower
The 63 foot tall cowboy stood in front of the Stateline Hotel and Casino from 1952 until 2005, when Stateline became the Wendover Nugget Hotel and Casino.  The Nugget gave Will to the City of West Wendover and he traveled to what is now considered the center of town.

Wendover Will was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the “World’s Largest Mechanical Cowboy.”

Another historical site located in this remote area is the airfield where World War II bomber pilots and crews trained in their B-19s and B-24s.  Wendover was chosen for a top secret mission, because of it’s remote location.  After a year of training for this historical mission, Colonel Paul Tibbets and his crew lifted off a B-29 named Enola Gay from this airfield.  His flight brought him to Hiroshima, Japan where an atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” was released and destroyed the city.
wendover airplane hanger Wendover buildings
This event marked the beginning of the end of World War II.
The plane was named for Colonel Tibbet’s mother.  It was never documented as to how she felt about her name being attached to a plane associated with such a massive weapon of death.

Several flying scenes for the movie Con Air were created, using this tower as a backdrop.

Note the white cutout section above the doors of the Enola Gay’s hanger, to accommodate the tail of the B-29.

After the base’s closing in 1969,  The Historic Wendover Air Field Foundation was formed to preserve and restore the frame buildings.  They could be best described as having the patina of rusted gold.

As history buffs, we enjoyed viewing the displays and photos at the airfield’s museum.  More information on what some visitors consider an eerily and ghostly remote area, is available at this site:  Please share some of your travels to remote areas.
 (This is part of Travel Photo Mondays #2 on Travel Photo Discovery.)

  11 Responses to “Secret travels of Wendover Will & Enola Gay”

  1. This is such an awesome post! I did know some of the history of Enola Gay that you mentioned but didn’t really know much about Wendover. What an interesting place to visit.

    • Thanks so much for your kind comment. It’s so much fun visiting a place and then digging into it’s history. Glad you enjoyed the Wendover history.

  2. It’s really interesting hearing snippets of history and seeing pictures of parts of the world that I may never get to see. You make it all come alive, Neva.

    • Thanks so much Johanna. Yes, Wendover and Promontory (Golden Spike site) are remote places that most people never will visit. I’m glad you could enjoy it from my perspective and pictures.

  3. Oh I just love that big cowboy sign! And I’m so glad to hear they preserved the old base. Too much history gets lost. Take care – Dawn @ We Call It

    • Thanks for your comment. Since we were there, they’ve been able to restore even more of the base. I agree, too much history gets lost and neglected. It’s more difficult for places that are remote. Another remote place that’s struggling is Promontory, the golden spike state park – I think you’ll enjoy that post too.

  4. The more I see of Nevada the more I think I need to plan a visit.

  5. That cowboy sign is so unique. Thanks for sharing the history of this area, and also for visiting my blog and commenting on my Columbia Gorge pictures!

    • I’m thrilled to have joined the travel bloggers group. Your blog has many interesting pictures and I’m going to enjoy following your visits to places I may never have a chance of seeing on my own. Thanks for you comment.

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