This photograph of the mushroom cloud over the city of Hiroshima was taken Aug. 6, 1945 by the crew of the B-29 the Enola Gay, which dropped the bomb. This photo is famous, and is in the public domain. The photos linked below are from the LIFE Archives, and have never before been published.
On Aug. 6, 1945, an American B-29 named the Enola Gay dropped the 8,900-pound atomic bomb nicknamed Little Boy on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The bombing was the first of only two uses ever of atomic weapons during war, the other being the American bombing of the Japanese city Nagasaki on Aug. 9.
The bombing of Hiroshima unleashed a power the world had never seen, and helped bring about the end of World War II. It also killed nearly 140,000 people within the first two months after the bombing. Today we honor the American servicemen of World War II, and remember the Japanese dead.
These never-published photographs from LIFE illustrate the destruction the bombs left behind.