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Winners announced for National Writing Competition award

  • Published
  • By Sarah Swan
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Andy Rice, John Tsatalis and Ellen Riley were announced as the first, second and third place winners, respectively, of the Air Force Heritage and History Writing Competition, sponsored by the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

This was the fifth year for the competition, which was open to public, private school or homeschool students between the ages of 13-18. The research questions for this year's competition were as follows: On Aug. 6, 1945, The "Little Boy" atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, from the B-29 Enola Gay. Three days later, the B-29 Superfortress Bockscar dropped the atomic weapon "Fat Man" on Nagasaki. August 2015 is the 70th anniversary of these events. Provide a brief history of the events and rationale leading to these bombings and speculate as to how history would be different had the U.S. not taken these steps.

Scholarship award money was provided by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. A $1,500 scholarship was awarded to the first place winner, $1,000 to the second place winner and $500 to the third place winner. Approximately 120 students from six states submitted research papers, and Erin Craig, an aerospace educator at the museum, worked with museum volunteers Alice and Paul Pleva to determine the finalists. Those submissions were sent on to James Frank, Deputy Director of the U.S. Air Force Field Heritage Program, to determine the final three winners.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world's largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Swan at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1283.