Publisher’s note: They are dying off by the gross and we lost another yesterday. Theodore VanKirk, also known as "Dutch," the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay,’ the bomber that dropped the first of two Atomic Bombs on Japan has passed away at 93.
Historians will probably never cease to argue the need or value of the decision to use 'The Bomb,’ however it is certain in this columnist’s mind that it was necessary and that it saved countless lives that would have otherwise been lost in a protracted war in the Pacific.
In any case, The Patriots Press salutes an American Hero, Theodore 'Dutch’ VanKirk. Thank you for your service sir. Rest in Eternal Peace.
Fox News: 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.