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Enola Gay Pilot Dies at 92

Posted on Nov 1, 2007

Paul Warfield Tibbits Jr., the man who flew the Enola Gay to drop the “Little Boy” A-bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, has died at 92 in Columbus, Ohio.  Tibbits, who named his B-29 after his mother, requested that his grave be unmarked to thwart potential protesters.


The five-ton “Little Boy” bomb was dropped on the morning of 6 August 1945, killing about 140,000 Japanese, with many of them dying later.

On the 60th anniversary of the bombing, the three surviving crew members of the Enola Gay - named after Tibbet’s mother - said they had “no regrets”.

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By Grant Cook, November 12, 2007 at 11:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its unfortunate that those that criticize the bombinb of Hiroshima and Nagasaki so rarely have actually studied the issue.  Tibbets never believe in the need for forgiveness for his act; he always stated that he rested in peace.  I do feel jealous that you have the clarity of vision, however, common to most zealots.

Did those bombings kill tens upon tens of thousands of people? Yes, they did.  A whole lot more would have died, on both sides, if they hadn’t occurred..

* Japan was being starved to death by a pretty effective naval blockade - literally, as Japan even in good times couldn’t grow enough to support its populace.  Those bombs were dropped in August.  Anyone care to wonder how many people would have starved to death in the winter of that year without the U.S. coming in to help rebuild?

* Japan was planning for an invasion of Kyushu - the same spot were were intending to land.  This wasn’t like D-Day where there was a tad of an element of surprise.  It had manpower and resources (food, ammunition) enough to fight for months.  There were hundreds of planes ready for kamikaze missions, flying out of mountains toward a U.S. landing fleet that wouldn’t see them until too late.  If the army and populace had fought a scorched earth war in the mountains, it would have been a bloodbath.  The U.S. was operating with the constant memory of what had happened on Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

* Japan had stated that it would ignore the Potsdam declaration.  Although some government reps on their own had put out feelers on surrender, nothing had been discussed or sanctioned at the highest levels, nor had the emperor authorized any negotiation.  He was concerned with saving his Chrysanthemum throne.  Whether it be by fireboming, naval shelling, land invasion, or the as-of-yet-unrevelead A-Bomb, Japan knew that it was facing destruction by its refusal - they just were rather surprised by how it came about.  Could the U.S. have put out a more forgiving request for surrender?  Perhaps - but after what Japan had done in China, what it had done to U.S., British, and Australian POW’s, after Pearl Harbor, Bataan, we’re the ones at fault for not cutting them some slack? 

And for those taking about the worst mass-murder even, read some books… the Holocaust, the Holomodor, the Armenian Genocide, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, the Rape of Nanking (carried out by the Japanese, of course)....mankind has topped Hiroshima and Nagasaki almost on a regular occurence.  Otherwise, silence is the best course when ignorant of an issue.

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 5, 2007 at 12:20 am Link to this comment

#111679 by Robert D Kürner on 11/04 at 8:16 pm: “...Tibbits destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives…”

Something in the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant mind of Americans that thinks they have the right to murder 100,000’s of human beings or even to invade their country, uhh.

The war was effectively already over and fire-bombing Dresden and Tokio were already acts of mass murder by the uSA which had then become as evil as the enemy they were fighting as a result.

That takes us to where we are today and the USA thinks it has a right to invade other peoples’ countries and to bomb them for any perceived reason - even though they are not at war!

If your grandfather and half a million more had died on the shores of Kyushu, you might have something to complain about, Robert D Kürner. As it is, you are now one of the children of the gratuitous mass-murderers who will destroy this planet.

Nothing has been “saved” as a result and no human being is safe as a result, either. It is interesting, though, that you have pointed to the Democrats as the political culprits in 1945. I hope the same won’t apply in 2009 - or before.

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By Robert D Kürner, November 4, 2007 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My grandfather would not have lived past November 1st 1945 if not for Tibbits. He an half a million more would have died on the shores of Kyushu.

Tibbits destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives, however he saved millions by eliminating the need for invading Japan.

And lest we forget, his act was the catalyst for the End Of World War Two.

And let us all not forget that the only man to ever authorize the use of Atomic weaponry on a sovereign nation was President Harry S. Truman a fellow democrat.

“Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being.”
-Kahlil Gibran.

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By W. Richards, November 3, 2007 at 11:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tibbits did not bomb Pearl Harbor,
He did not start the war,
But his mission was to end it…and so it did.

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By rodney, November 2, 2007 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It would have been nice if his ass got sucked up in that nuclear cloud he created.

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By driving bear, November 2, 2007 at 2:09 am Link to this comment

Col. Tibbets is a true American hero and its a shame that because of a few far left crazies that his grave can’t have a proper marker. Col Tibbets actions in 1945 saved the lives of countless Americans and Japanese that would have died if the USA had been forced to invade Japan.

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 2, 2007 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

“...dropped on the morning of 6 August 1945, killing about 140,000 Japanese, with many of them dying later….”

“We did it to stop the killing”, he had said not long ago, uhh! What vicious self-justification…....

I can feel the rapture of spiritual love
thank you, forces of good
thank you, positivity
thank you, joy
thank you, life
as a result of my study in markets and economics I applied…
I applied my predictive techniques to the subject of war.
I formulated a US war clock.
The probabilities are 78% that the US will be involved
in a major military confrontation between 1988 and 1992.
Thank you god
metaphysical love
the day was clear when we dropped that bomb
Military strategist recalling the bombing of Hiroshima…...

Single Gun Theory

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By RAE, November 1, 2007 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

When I was a boy I was given a .22 rifle. I, with glee, shot anything I thought I could get away with shooting… birds, squirrels, gophers, groundhogs, tin cans. I thought it was great sport. I had “no regrets.”

Then I grew up. I learned that I had no right to kill ANYTHING that wasn’t about to kill me. When I look back on my wayward youthful immorality I am horrified and embarrassed and ashamed. Back then I RATIONALIZED my behavior until it was an OK thing to do. Today I realize I was acting from immaturity and ignorance.

Tibbits clearly rationalized his participation in the greatest mass murder this planet has ever known (to date). I heard him state on radio that “war is war” and that it is immoral. To which I add, and to participate in it, by definition, is an IMMORAL ACT - an act born from “immaturity and ignorance.”

To consign the body of a participant to such a horrendously immoral act to an anonymous grave seems, to me, fully justified. Tibbits was no hero in my eyes.

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 1, 2007 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

#111029 by QuyTran on 11/01 at 6:19 pm: “...Could he rest in peace when looking back to what did he do the innocent people in Hiroshima…?”?

“no regrets” must be the ultimate racist statement but denouncing a planned 50th anniversary exhibition of the Enola Gay at the Smithsonian Institution that put the bombing in context of the suffering it caused as a “damn big insult” goes close.

Perhaps lack of humanity never mind lack of humility is what attracts people into the military and especially as career officers after all, uhh?

“The use of the atomic weapon was a necessary moment in history. We have no regrets” is a statement which tends to prove that the military is as much susceptible to the fantasies of politicians as the rest of us - at least as far as justifying their most abominable actions and atrocities.

Mass murder (2 nuclear WMD’s and the fire-bombing of Tokio) of a domestic population of a defeated country is NOT “a necessary moment”. It is amazing how Americans in particular continue to justify this despite the Chinese and the rest of East Asia and S.E.Asia having far more reason to do so.

It can only be said, thus, that white Americans really did push their bigotry and hatred of Asian races to the ultimate limits then in 1945. The fact that they then would have gone on to do far worse against China in the 1950’s with H-bombs merely because the Chinese were defending their own border and neighbour, Korea, shows what level of evil the uSA had fallen to as the world’s new imperialist aggressor nation.

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By QuyTran, November 1, 2007 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

Could he rest in peace when looking back to what did he do the innocent people in Hiroshima ?

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By Watchdog, November 1, 2007 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You forgot one key point……”for eternity” ……No can I get an “Amen” from
The congregation …… shout it out for me!

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By j.jones, November 1, 2007 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He had a good long time here to think about what he did, now he’s got to answer to the man upstairs for it.

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