Joseph Fuoco Controversy

A well known polymath whose published works range far and wide, including (but not limited to) Archaeology, Paleontology, Astronomy, Space Propulsion systems, and Science Fiction.

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Mr. Titanic
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Joseph Fuoco Controversy

Post by Mr. Titanic »

Please read only:
Charlie Pellegrino wrote:Dear John: I've just received a call from Bill Broad of the New York Times, backed by what appears to be overwhelming evidence that Joseph Fuoco, though he flew on Hiroshima recon. missions before and after the Hirosima mission, did not fly on the atomic mission itself.

Though he had hundreds of photos of all missions (including the atomic mission) and papers listing his flights, it seems that today's evidence from the squadron, etc, is very clear. I know that there was much contemporary (1945) chaos in record-keeping with regard to missions because crews were constantly changing planes - - which is why the Great Artiste (and not Bock's Car) was listed erroniously, in the New York Times in 1945 and then for more than three decades in the history books, as the plane that dropped the atomic bomb. But this does not appear to be a result of the usual chaos. The navigator who sat next to the flight engineer on the plane, Necessary Evil, is still alive, as is the flight engineer's wife, who has a letter from President Truman. The navigator is certain that Joseph Fuoco was not there.

I am trying to reach out now to these families and get the rest of the story, and will begin at once to rewrite the few chapters that have Joseph Fuoco in them, replacing them with the story of the man who actually sat in the seat claimed by Joe Fuoco.

The bottom line is that I cannot have wrong history going out there - repeatedly, in future editions. These pages will be corrected, at once.

We may want to talk about this tonight. Get it out in the open right away.

As for Joe Fuoco, I got to know him and his family very well, and I find it hard to believe that there was a mean or intentionally deceptive bone in him. I don't want to be trashing a WWII veteran. As Bill Broad has suggested, Joe might actually have convinced himself over the years that he was on the atomic bombing mission. We must figure out how to talk about him. Most of the blame is mine. As a scientist, I forgot the first rule - which is to doubt virtually everything. I thought I questioned deep, but clearly not deep enough.

Now, my job is to make corrections, and make sure that the right history goes down to future generations.

See you later,
- - Charlie P.
(Letter to John Batchelor, Fox News Radio, where the story alerting the public to an error in the book was broken that very night, on the John Batchelor Show.)
Charlie Pellegrino wrote:To judge from the mountain of evidence pouring in today, it appears (see above) that we will be able to talk about Charles Sweeney's account, and about some of the other people on the bombing missions; but until we know precisely which missions Joe Fuoco was, or was not on, I do not want to be mentioning him in the film. Following the new documentation sent today, it appears that we can say with reasonable certainty that he was not aboard Necessary Evil for the Hiroshima mission. I will be discussing this on the John Bachelor show tomorrow night. (We are recording tonight.)

Fuoco was also a key puzzle piece for the exact nature of the uranium bomb's problems; but if his recollections of the Hiroshima mission are wrong, I cannot trust as fact anything he said about "Little Boy," even if tiny bits of the puzzle came from Alvarez and Sweeney. Fuoco presented the biggest missing piece of that jigsaw; but I've decided to entirely discard it.

I especially want to get in contact with the families of the people who were aboard Necessary Evil (the navigator is still alive) and get their stories (instead of Fuoco's) for the paperback edition.

As an archaeologist, I've learned that above all else I have to keep a faith with the dead. I have a responsibility to put the man who really was in Joe Fuoco's seat in his rightful place in history. Joe Fuoco is not alive and cannot defend himself, so I'll not speak badly of him.

See you later,
- - Charlie P.
(Letter to National Geographic.)

This topic is locked until further notice. I will reserve my own replies for that time, as well.
Charlie P.
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:03 pm


Post by Charlie P. »

UPDATE, February 20, 2010

This letter to John Bachelor follows the above letter (referring to a film) to a National Geographic producer:

Dear John: Joe Fuoco's son (a police officer) tells me that his family, too, has a letter from President Truman. Just as I had observed, his son affirms that his father never spoke about the mission or his time on Tinian Island with any inconsistency. [Joe's wife has said she knew this story from the time he returned from the war, and that he had all the relevant photos and papers from that time. She also says that Joe never lied to her a day in his life.] One of the letters sent from a representative of the squadron yesterday indicated that Joe Fuoco was never with the plane "Bad Penny," either, or even on Tinian Island. I've just brought the N.Y. Times photos of Joe Fuoco on Tinian, with a B-29 momber crew, under the nose art of "Bad Penny."

This is going to take some time to sort out.

Still... when we have the verified navigator from "Necessary Evil" saying Joe Fuoco would have been in the engineer's seat next to him and definitely was not, and when the wife of the man he names in that seat comes forth to Bill Broad with stacks of corroborative documents [which appear to have been removed from the squadron files and in Bill Broad's words, "squirreled away" for decades - including the detailed fuel and equipment specifications, signed at the bottom by Mr. Corliss] - then even if other people are going overboard with exaggeration and removing Joe Fuoco completely from the squadron, the evidence that he was not "Necessary Evil's" flight engineer during the Hiroshima mission is compelling [and cannot be ignored]. And the fact is that this is also coming from science reporter (NYT) Bill Broad. I've sailed with him (during George Tulloch's 1996 Titanic expedition): he's sharp and trustworthy and follows the evidence, wherever it may lead.

I'm preparing rewrites of the Fuoco pages - and if the navigator and Corliss documents hold up, I will replace the relevant [pages] of the story at once. If somehow their story falls apart over the next few weeks, then the original pages can simply remain unchanged. The real harm will be caused if their story is true and the changes are not in hand before foreign editions and the paperback are ready to roll out.

A key to resolving this will be discussions with the still-living tail photographer and navigator.

- - Charles Pellegrino

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