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Theodore Van Kirk, last surviving
member of Enola Gay crew, dead at 93

Los Angeles Times, by James Queally

Original Article

Posted By:Ribicon, 7/29/2014 8:11:36 PM

Theodore Van Kirk, the last surviving member of the Enola Gay flight crew that bombed Hiroshima in the final stages of World War II, died Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. He was 93. Van Kirk, who went by the nickname "Dutch" and was the crew´s navigator, died at the retirement home where he lived in Georgia, according to the report. When Van Kirk spoke to a Times reporter in April 2010, he was 89 and had just become the final survivor of the famed crew. “It’s a very lonely feeling,” he said. The Enola Gay dropped the first atomic payload

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Reply 1 - Posted by: stevendm, 7/29/2014 8:20:31 PM     (No. 9945383)

A real hero. RIP.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: 4Justice, 7/29/2014 8:51:44 PM     (No. 9945406)

It is so strange how time goes so fast. It is almost like when you heard about the last Civil War veteran passing away.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 7/29/2014 8:57:49 PM     (No. 9945414)

These men were so brave. The flight was very long and they had no idea if the bomb would detonate as expected. They could have been wiped out if it exploded too soon.
I once saw some member of the Enola Gay at a military airshow. I don´t know if Mr Van Kirk was there but the pilot Paul Tibbets was. I regret not waiting in line to greet him.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Noj15, 7/29/2014 9:26:08 PM     (No. 9945451)

Thank your sir.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: harper, 7/29/2014 9:35:59 PM     (No. 9945463)

The entire B-29 effort over Japan was one of raw courage. Development of the B-29 and it´s engines continued as the campaign continued, with all the breakdowns and failures that entails. Then there were the men that flew P-51s in support.

Hours over pitiless shark infested waters and then over a pitiless Japan. Then return. Repeat tomorrow...their efforts saved countless lives, both Allied and Japanese.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: thelmalou, 7/29/2014 9:46:53 PM     (No. 9945482)

Soon the Greatest Generation will be no more. A sad day that will be. God bless those who fought in WWII...every one.


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Reply 7 - Posted by: Thos Weatherby, 7/29/2014 10:04:44 PM     (No. 9945502)

Looks like the crew is finally back together again. Almost made the Aug 6th anniversary.


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Reply 8 - Posted by: JimBob, 7/29/2014 10:43:24 PM     (No. 9945542)

Note to the author. ´in the final stages of World War II´ should read ´which brought about the end of World War II´.

Had the war not ended, my Dad would have likely been among the Marines invading Japan. A good chance that he would have been killed.

Thank You and Godspeed, Mr. Van Kirk!


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Reply 9 - Posted by: Shells, 7/29/2014 11:20:24 PM     (No. 9945584)

What they did was without question the right thing.

Still, the BURDEN he must have lived with.

If anyone deserves to rest in peace...

Sir.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: FunOne, 7/30/2014 6:15:19 AM     (No. 9945765)

He was a representative of the US Military at a time when we ended wars with the "unconditional surrender" of our foes.

May he rest in peace. He earned that right.

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