Pilot of plane that bombed Hiroshima dies

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Pilot of Hiroshima bomber dies - Military Affairs - MSNBC.com

    Pilot of plane that bombed Hiroshima dies
    Paul Tibbets, WWII commander of infamous B-29, requested no headstone

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - Paul Tibbets, the pilot and commander of the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, died Thursday, a spokesman said. He was 92.

    Tibbets died at his Columbus home after a two month decline from a variety of health problems, said Gerry Newhouse, a longtime friend. Tibbets had requested no funeral and no headstone, fearing it would provide his detractors with a place to protest, Newhouse said.

    Tibbets’ historic mission in the plane Enola Gay, named for his mother, marked the beginning of the end of World War II. It was the first time man had used nuclear weaponry against his fellow man.

    “It’s an end of an era,” said Newhouse, who served as Tibbets’ manager for a decade. “A lot of those guys are gone now.”

    It was the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, when the plane and its crew of 14 dropped the five-ton “Little Boy” bomb over Hiroshima. The blast killed 70,000 to 100,000 people and injured countless others.

    Three days later, the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, killing an estimated 40,000 people. Tibbets did not fly in that mission. The Japanese surrendered a few days later, ending the war.

    “I knew when I got the assignment it was going to be an emotional thing,” Tibbets told The Columbus Dispatch for a story on Aug. 6, 2005, the 60th anniversary of the bomb. “We had feelings, but we had to put them in the background. We knew it was going to kill people right and left. But my one driving interest was to do the best job I could so that we could end the killing as quickly as possible.”

    Tibbets, then a 30-year-old colonel, never expressed regret over his role. It was, he said, his patriotic duty—the right thing to do.

    “I’m not proud that I killed 80,000 people, but I’m proud that I was able to start with nothing, plan it and have it work as perfectly as it did,” he said in a 1975 interview.

    “You’ve got to take stock and assess the situation at that time. We were at war. ... You use anything at your disposal. There are no Marquess of Queensberry rules in war.

    “I sleep clearly every night.”



    Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr. was born Feb. 23, 1915, in Quincy, Ill., and spent most of his boyhood in Miami.

    He was a student at the University of Cincinnati's medical school when he decided to withdraw in 1937 to enlist in the Army Air Corps.

    After the war, Tibbets said in 2005, he was dogged by rumors claiming he was in prison or had committed suicide.

    "They said I was crazy, said I was a drunkard, in and out of institutions," he said. "At the time, I was running the National Crisis Center at the Pentagon."

    Tibbets retired from the Air Force as a brigadier general in 1966. He later moved to Columbus, where he ran an air taxi service until he retired in 1985.

    But his role in the bombing brought him fame — and infamy — throughout his life.

    In 1976, he was criticized for re-enacting the bombing during an appearance at a Harlingen, Texas, air show. As he flew a B-29 Superfortress over the show, a bomb set off on the runway below created a mushroom cloud.

    He said the display "was not intended to insult anybody," but the Japanese were outraged. The U.S. government later issued a formal apology.

    Tibbets again defended the bombing in 1995, when an outcry erupted over a planned 50th anniversary exhibit of the Enola Gay at the Smithsonian Institution.

    The museum had planned to mount an exhibit that would have examined the context of the bombing, including the discussion within the Truman administration of whether to use the bomb, the rejection of a demonstration bombing and the selection of the target.

    Veterans groups objected, saying the proposed display paid too much attention to Japan's suffering and too little to Japan's brutality during and before World War II, and that it underestimated the number of Americans who would have perished in an invasion.

    They said the bombing of Japan was an unmitigated blessing for the United States and the exhibit should say so.

    Tibbets denounced it as "a damn big insult."

    The museum changed its plan and agreed to display the fuselage of the Enola Gay without commentary, context or analysis.

    He told the Dispatch in 2005 that he wanted his ashes scattered over the English Channel, where he loved to fly during the war.

    Newhouse, Tibbets' longtime friend, confirmed that Tibbets wanted to be cremated, but he said relatives had not yet determined how he would be laid to rest.
     
  2. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    12,669
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    R E T I R E D !!
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, Va.
  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,672
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Video and multi-media communications expert
    Location:
    FL
    :salute:

    Thanks for a job well done Paul.

    My father was in the ETO and on his way to Japan when they surrendered. If it wasn't for the Manhattan project, hundreds of thousands or millions more Japanese and Allied troops would certainly have died. My father may had been one of them and I wouldn't be pecking at this keyboard.

    .
     
  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    7,909
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    IT Nerd
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx Jubail, Saudi Arabia
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,203
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Well said.....

    Rest in Peace Colonel...

    :salute:
     
  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,770
    Likes Received:
    518
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
  7. model299

    model299 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Mechanical Designer
    Location:
    Minnysoder
    When I volunteered at the now-closed Planes of Fame museum in Minnesota, I had a chance to talk to and get to know many veterans of the Pacific war. One in particular was there and went through the Japanese islands after the war. After talking to Japanese military people and civilians, there was no doubt in his mind that if the allies had been forced to physically invade the island, it would have been a monumental blood bath on both sides.

    He was there. He was not a man to tell lies or exaggerations.

    I believe him.

    RIP Col Tibbets.
    :salute:
     
  8. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Messages:
    4,182
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Retired from Verizon Communications - Now Working for Point Lobster Company, Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ
    Location:
    Jersey Shore, USA
    RIP Paul Tibbets :salute:

    TO
     

    Attached Files:

  9. k9kiwi

    k9kiwi Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    850
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Self Employed
    Location:
    Kiwi Land
    Ake Ake Kia Kaha Paul Tibbets.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Haztoys

    Haztoys Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Prescott Arizona USA
    We all know this ..Now if we could just get the Japanese to see it ...:| ...
     
  11. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,672
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Video and multi-media communications expert
    Location:
    FL
    I don't give a rats ass what the Japanese think however, i care what's being taught in schools...

    Years ago, I had a English teacher go off about the barbarity of the US and its use of nukes. I was the only student that offered a counterpoint and backed it up with facts. Too many of our teachers spew guilt/self hate and adle-minded students eat it up.

    .
     
  12. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    7,716
    Likes Received:
    424
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    Manufacture Tech
    Location:
    Wisconsin
  13. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Messages:
    4,182
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Retired from Verizon Communications - Now Working for Point Lobster Company, Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ
    Location:
    Jersey Shore, USA
    Amen brother :!:

    And unfortunately, you hear a lot of lefties say that we (the USA) have "no right to tell Iran they can't have nukes since we are the only country ever to use them".

    The revisionist history that exists today over our use of the A-bombs to end WW II is disgraceful.

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved countless American and Japanese lives. End of story.

    TO
     
  14. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    12,669
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    R E T I R E D !!
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, Va.
    TO:

    Your last phrase needs an exclamation point: END OF STORY !!

    Charles
     
  15. seesul

    seesul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,519
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Zlin, Czech Republic
    Home Page:
  16. Downwind.Maddl-Land

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Sales and Marketing
    Location:
    York, England
    RIP Col Tibbets - You did your duty and saved countless Allied lives.
    :salute:
     
  17. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    to read and receive
    Location:
    East end
    Its still a VERY SENSITIVE subject in our modern history which had not been taught in detail in the schools. This is from my own experience.

    But I understand it was his duty and Col. Tibbets did his wartime job. :angel1: The dropping of the bombs were too much blow to the Japanese citiznes and in regard of that I would protest against the decisions made by the Allies.
    To my best knowledge accrding to the most of Japanese (war) history book, the effect of the bombs were even not enough to convince the government, which finally succeeded in gaining the control over the military just a few month ago, to promptly decide to surrender.
    In my opinion it was possible for the government to control the information if not the rumors about the bombs for to carry on if it wished so. That was what happened after Tokyo was heavily hit in March 1945 in which my mother neary lost her life.

    Another factor appearently affected the government's decision making was the coming of the Soviets which the Japanese army had been most scare of. What happened if Japan was invaded both by the Americans and the Russians? I am scared to think of that.
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,203
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA

    Appreciate the very honest and sincere post...
     
  19. Haztoys

    Haztoys Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Prescott Arizona USA

    And the rape of China that the Japanese did was not "too much of a blow to the China's... :rolleyes: ..
     
  20. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,203
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    My next point...;)
     
Loading...

Share This Page