About the Authors
Jacob Beser was a decorated World War II veteran and a 1st Lt. in the US Air Corps 509th Composite Group. He had worked with Drs. Doll and Ramsey on the Manhattan Project and contributed to the design and testing of the atomic bomb radar proximity fusing mechanism. Because of his technical expertise, he was chosen to fly as a crew member on both the Enola Gay and the Bocks Car, the strike airplanes that delivered the atomic bombs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and thus became a unique man in history.
In recognition of the role he played in these historical events, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
Beser retired from Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1985 after 28 years of service. In 1985, he published his first book Hiroshima Nagasaki Revisited. In this book he related some of his experiences during the development testing and delivery of the bombs, as well as his experiences during a trip to Japan in 1985 for the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He also, in this book, bluntly responded to revisionist historians aided by the liberal media who were attempting to rewrite history.
The use of the atomic bombs to effectively bring an end to World War II has been a fertile ground for peace activists, propagandist and left-wing liberals ever since the bombs were used. As a result, there are lots of stories circulating; some true, some myths and some misconceptions. Since Beser had participated in the design of the weapon, the selection of targets and the deployment of both bombs, he had first hand knowledge of the events that took place during that time in history.
In 1990, Beser started a second book. In this book, he planned to set straight the record of the Nagasaki mission and refute the guilt, remorse and insanity myths and erroneous stories of the bomber's crew members that were being advanced by anti-nuclear activists. In this book he planned to disclose the facts and provide supporting documentation, as well as provide some insight into the reasoning behind the decision to use the bombs. To support his positions, he collected and stored in his private office at home a vast archive of related material. Unfortunately, cancer intervened in 1992 and he was unable to complete his ambitious undertaking. The book The Rising Sun Sets The Complete Story of the Bombing of Nagasaki is the result of the combined effort of Jacob Beser, his son Jerome and a personal friend Jack Spangler.
Jerome Beser is Jacob Beser's youngest son.
In 2004, the Jacob Beser family home was sold. In the process of relocating, his family discovered a vast archive of historical documents. These documents included hundreds of unpublished lecture notes, private correspondence, interview recordings, eyewitness debriefing transcripts, as well as a number of private photos and films from crewmembers and government sources. All of these were related to the Enola Gay and Bocks Car atomic bomb missions.
In an interview, Jerome said: Reviewing my father's document collection revived my memories of our many conversations about his wartime experiences, and I took on the challenge to complete his book. However my journey to complete his work has not been easy. In 2005, I was diagnosed with a large cell tumor mass that, due to its late discovery and pain, caused me to come very close to ending my quest to finish his work. But, when my health failed, friends like Jack Spangler and Robbie Jacobson stepped forward to pick up the torch, working by my side as my health deteriorated, and taking over when it all became too painful for me.
During the process of compiling this book using Dads archives and other sources as reference material, I became deeply involved in other projects including the search for and return of soldiers and sailors still missing in action from World War II and Korea. It was then that I decided to continue and expand my efforts by bringing together a team of highly skilled individuals to create The Beser Foundation for Archival Research and Preservation. The mission of the Beser Foundation is to encourage others to become more engaged in locating, cataloging and preserving the records of the past. It is hoped that with my efforts and the efforts of the others with similar interests, we will be able to obtain and preserve materials that accurately validate historical events from the past up to the current times. Simply stated, the Foundation mission is to preserve the past for the benefit of the future.
Jack Spangler and Jacob Beser were friends and business colleagues at Westinghouse for over 25 years.
During an interview, Mr. Spangler said: In August of 2005, there appeared in a local newspaper a column and number of letters to the editor from antiwar activists. In some of these letters, the writers expressed their opinion that the use of the atomic bombs in 1945 was not justified and a criminal act on the part of those that participated. I responded with a letter to the newspaper editor taking issue with the column and the letters. Shortly thereafter, Jerome called Mr. Spangler and said that they should get together and talk as soon as possible and discuss a book project his father had started. In a couple of days, they met and discussed his project to complete his father's book. At this point, Jerome was seriously ill and felt that he would be unable to finish the task alone.
Mr. Spangler continues: Jacob had been my Subcontracts Manager at Westinghouse. He and I did a lot of traveling together and we spent lots of time on airplanes, in hotel lobbies and at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Our conversations were often related to his wartime experiences, and I had heard his stories many times. So I offered to help Jerome finish the work his father started.
Jerome immediately provided me with many of his fathers papers and a few days later he was put in an extended medical coma. At this point, I continued with the book project. In particular, it was my objective to take Jacob's writings and conversational information from his radio, TV and private interviews, etc. and stitch them together as if we were sitting in a hotel lobby and talking about the events of 1945. Of course, I had to generate the connectivity required to make the subject matter flow together with some semblance of order. The material I had to work with was generated at various points in Jacob's career, some as early as 1945. The ground rule I set up was to include his writing and words (as well as the words of others from interview recordings and transcripts) as far as possible in an unedited form, following the outline that he had made before his death. This book is the result of our combined efforts.
Don Farrell, a noted historical writer, was born in Redmond, Oregon in 1947. He attended High School in Salt Lake City, Utah.
From 1969 to 1971 he served in the United States Air Force.
In 1973, he received a BA in Biology from Cal State University of Fullerton California and in 1974 Secondary Teaching Credentials for Cal State at San Bernardino, California.
From 1975 to 1979 he taught at various High Schools in California and in Guam.
From 1980 to the present, he held various Public Relations positions in the Guam Legislature and served on the Governor of Guam's Senior Management Staff, where he was the Chief of Staff Speaker. Other positions included the Public Information Officer for the Tinian Municipal Government and a private publications consultant.
Mr. Farrell is married to Carmen Dela Cruz (Farrell), a Tinian native, and has three children.