Theatre History of Operations Reports or THOR is a United States Air Force historical ordnance database endeavoring to catalog every bomb dropped by the United States Armed Forces since World War I.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947. It is the youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the fourth in order of precedence. The USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control.
Artillery is a class of heavy military weapons built to fire munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry's small arms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls, and fortifications, and led to heavy, fairly immobile siege engines. As technology improved, lighter, more mobile field artillery developed for battlefield use. This development continues today; modern self-propelled artillery vehicles are highly mobile weapons of great versatility providing the largest share of an army's total firepower.
A database is an organized collection of data, generally stored and accessed electronically from a computer system. Where databases are more complex they are often developed using formal design and modeling techniques.
The officer overall responsible for the project is Lieutenant Colonel Jenns Robertson.
Apart from the project's historical value, the database is being used by the U.S. and other countries for practical purposes such as helping to locate possible unexploded ordnance in places like Germany, Vietnam and Iraq although data dating from 1991 onward is still classified for security purposes.
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula. With an estimated 94.6 million inhabitants as of 2016, it is the 15th most populous country in the world. Vietnam is bordered by China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, part of Thailand to the southwest, and the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia across the South China Sea to the east and southeast. Its capital city has been Hanoi since the reunification of North and South Vietnam in 1976, while its most populous city is Ho Chi Minh City.
Iraq, officially known as the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.
"Little Boy" was the code name for the type of atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 during World War II. It was the first nuclear weapon used in warfare. The bomb was dropped by the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., commander of the 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Forces. It exploded with an energy of approximately 15 kilotons of TNT (63 TJ) and caused widespread death and destruction throughout the city. The Hiroshima bombing was the second nuclear explosion in history, after the Trinity test, and the first uranium-based detonation.
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or from a combination of fission and fusion reactions. Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first test of a fission ("atomic") bomb released an amount of energy approximately equal to 20,000 tons of TNT (84 TJ). The first thermonuclear ("hydrogen") bomb test released energy approximately equal to 10 million tons of TNT (42 PJ). A thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds (1,100 kg) can release energy equal to more than 1.2 million tons of TNT (5.0 PJ). A nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast, fire, and radiation. Since they are weapons of mass destruction, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a focus of international relations policy.
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing, which was flown primarily by the United States during World War II and the Korean War. It was one of the largest aircraft operational during World War II and featured state-of-the-art technology. Including design and production, at over $3 billion it was the single most expensive weapons project in World War II, exceeding the $1.9 billion cost of the Manhattan Project—using the value of dollars in 1945. Innovations introduced included a pressurized cabin, dual-wheeled, tricycle landing gear, and an analog computer-controlled fire-control system directing four remote machine gun turrets that could be operated by a single gunner and a fire-control officer. A manned tail gun installation was semi-remote. The name "Superfortress" continued the pattern Boeing started with its well-known predecessor, the B-17 Flying Fortress. Designed for the high-altitude strategic bomber role, the B-29 also excelled in low-altitude nighttime incendiary bombing missions. One of the B-29's final roles during World War II was carrying out the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Bomb disposal is a explosives engineering profession using the process by which hazardous explosive devices are rendered safe. Bomb disposal is an all-encompassing term to describe the separate, but interrelated functions in the military fields of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and improvised explosive device disposal (IEDD), and the public safety roles of public safety bomb disposal (PSBD) and the bomb squad.
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast is a large-yield bomb, developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts, Jr. of the Air Force Research Laboratory. At the time of development, it was said to be the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the American arsenal. The bomb is designed to be delivered by a C-130 Hercules, primarily the MC-130E Combat Talon I or MC-130H Combat Talon II variants.
The Mark 82 is an unguided, low-drag general-purpose bomb, part of the United States Mark 80 series. The explosive filling is usually tritonal, though other compositions have sometimes been used.
Incendiary weapons, incendiary devices, incendiary munitions, or incendiary bombs are weapons designed to start fires or destroy sensitive equipment using fire, that use materials such as napalm, thermite, magnesium powder, chlorine trifluoride, or white phosphorus. Though colloquially often known as bombs, they are not explosives but in fact are designed to slow the process of chemical reactions and use ignition rather than detonation to start and or maintain the reaction. Napalm for example, is petroleum especially thickened with certain chemicals into a 'gel' to slow, but not stop, combustion, releasing energy over a longer time than an explosive device. In the case of napalm, the gel adheres to surfaces and resists suppression.
Unexploded ordnance, unexploded bombs (UXBs), or explosive remnants of war (ERW) are explosive weapons that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, sometimes many decades after they were used or discarded. UXO does not always originate from wars; areas such as military training grounds can also hold significant numbers, even after the area has been abandoned. UXO from World War I continue to be a hazard, with poisonous gas filled munitions still a problem. When unwanted munitions are found, they are sometimes destroyed in controlled explosions, but accidental detonation of even very old explosives also occurs, sometimes with fatal results.
The nuclear arms race was an arms race competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies during the Cold War. During this period, in addition to the American and Soviet nuclear stockpiles, other countries developed nuclear weapons, though none engaged in warhead production on nearly the same scale as the two superpowers.
A blockbuster bomb or cookie was any of several of the largest conventional bombs used in World War II by the Royal Air Force (RAF). The term blockbuster was originally a name coined by the press and referred to a bomb which had enough explosive power to destroy an entire street or large building through the effects of blast in conjunction with incendiary bombs.
AZON, from "azimuthonly", was one of the world's first guided weapons, deployed by the Allies and contemporary with the German Fritz X.
The ASM-N-2 Bat was a United States Navy World War II radar-guided glide bomb which was used in combat beginning in April 1944. It was developed and overseen by a unit within the National Bureau of Standards with assistance from the Navy’s Bureau of Ordnance, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Bell Telephone Laboratories. It is considered the first fully automated and operational guided missile.
The United States Army Ordnance Corps, formerly the United States Army Ordnance Department, is a Sustainment branch of the United States Army, headquartered at Fort Lee, Virginia. The broad mission of the Ordnance Corps is to supply Army combat units with weapons and ammunition, including at times their procurement and maintenance. Along with the Quartermaster Corps and Transportation Corps, it forms a critical component of the U.S. Army logistics system.
Project Alberta, also known as Project A, was a section of the Manhattan Project which assisted in delivering the first nuclear weapons in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.
The 509th Composite Group was a unit of the United States Army Air Forces created during World War II and tasked with the operational deployment of nuclear weapons. It conducted the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945.
Pumpkin bombs were conventional aerial bombs developed by the Manhattan Project and used by the United States Army Air Forces against Japan during World War II. It was a close replication of the Fat Man plutonium bomb with the same ballistic and handling characteristics, but it used non-nuclear conventional high explosives. It was mainly used for testing and training purposes, which included combat missions flown with pumpkin bombs by the 509th Composite Group. The name "pumpkin bomb" was the actual reference term used in official documents from the large, fat ellipsoidal shape of the munition casing instead of the more usual cylindrical shape of other bombs, intended to enclose the Fat Man's spherical "physics package".
The Disney bomb, also known as the Disney Swish, officially the 4500 lb Concrete Piercing/Rocket Assisted bomb was a rocket-assisted bunker buster bomb developed during the Second World War by the British Royal Navy to penetrate hardened concrete targets, such as submarine pens, which could resist conventional free-fall bombs. Devised by Royal Navy Captain Edward Terrell, the bomb was fitted with solid-fuel rockets to accelerate its descent, giving it an impact speed of 990 mph (1,590 km/h) — substantially beyond the 750 mph (1,210 km/h) free-fall impact velocity of the 5 tonne Tallboy "earthquake" bomb for comparable purposes. The Disney could penetrate 16 ft (4.9 m) of solid concrete before detonating. The name is attributed to a propaganda film produced by the Walt Disney Studios, that provided the inspiration for the design.
Northwest Field is a former World War II airfield on Guam in the Mariana Islands. It was closed in 1949 and is unused.
Project Camel was the codename given to work performed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in support of the Manhattan Project during World War II. These activities included the development of detonators and other equipment, testing of bomb shapes dropped from Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers, and the Salt Wells Pilot Plant, where explosive components of nuclear weapons were manufactured.
The 216th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Special) provided base services at Wendover Army Airfield, where the 509th Composite Group was stationed during World War II. As such, it became involved in the Manhattan Project's program of testing bombs and aircraft under the codename Project W-47.
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