30 Jul '14, 1am

Last crew member of Enola Gay dies

Last crew member of Enola Gay dies

ATLANTA — The last surviving member of the crew that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, hastening the end of World War II and forcing the world into the atomic age, has died in Georgia. Theodore VanKirk, also known as “Dutch,” died Monday of natural causes at the retirement home where he lived in Stone Mountain, Georgia, his son Tom VanKirk said. He was 93. VanKirk flew nearly 60 bombing missions, but it was a single mission in the Pacific that secured him a place in history. He was 24 years old when he served as navigator on the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the first atomic bomb deployed in wartime over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. He was teamed with pilot Paul Tibbets and bombardier Tom Ferebee in Tibbets’ fledgling 509th Composite Bomb Group for Special Mission No. 13. The mission went perfectly, VanKirk told The Associated Press i...

Full article: http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140729/NEWS/307290085

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