Tuesday, July 29, 2014

And then there were none. Last Enola Gay crewman passes away.

Last surviving member of crew that dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima dies in Georgia at age 93

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 was the navigator of the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress aircraft that dropped 'Little Boy' — the world's first atomic bomb — over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. The bomb killed 140,000 in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki three days later.
VanKirk was 24 years old at the time.

Time to make another trip to the Smithsonian Museum's Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Annex.


  1. Sad to hear but unlike most of that generation his story is pretty well known.

    With every member of the greatest generation that passes we lose a part of our history and the untold stories that are attached to them.

    How much could we learn if we knew them all?

  2. And yet another page of history gone. It's sad to see these folks and others as well, die and take with them a piece of my own history.

  3. We are once more diminished. How long until we begin to hear stories from the current crop of warriors? I know there is valor a-plenty, but most of them are still serving, and can't write about it until later.

    We need heroes, and Dutch will be missed.

  4. Anonymous11:29 AM

    How sad to have had to participate in an act which killed thousands, that millions ultimately were saved? RIP, Sir!
    I, for one, am thankful such men existed.
    I don't think the government thinks they do, anymore.


  5. Yep, the last of the breed... And a truly nice gent too!

  6. Thank you for honoring his memory. I still gently pry such stories from my Dad who was in the 8th air force. I know, too well, he will be gone as well.

  7. Anonymous1:24 AM

    R.I.P. Theodore VanKirk Gods Speed

  8. Have you toured the WWII Museum in NOLA? It's worth a trip.

    Thanks for posting this.