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Still no regrets for frail Enola Gay pilot (Col. Paul Tibbets)
Columbus Dispatch ^ | August 6, 2005 | Mike Harden

Posted on 08/06/2005 4:18:39 AM PDT by Columbus Dawg

The mind of the pilot whose B-29 dropped the first atomic bomb often seems more prisoner than resident of his bantamweight body wracked by injury, ailments and 90 years of living.

In the months before today’s 60 th anniversary of his mission to Hiroshima, Paul Tibbets was hobbled by a pair of spills that fractured two vertebrae. For a while, his appetite disappeared, his weight dropped alarmingly, and he railed against the fates torturing him in his waning years.

"I’ve never been incapacitated a damned day of my life," he groused two months ago, daily downing enough OxyContin to make it out of bed and to an easy chair from which he stared at a television he could barely hear.

Yet by August’s first days, the fractures had mended, an orthopedic brace was gone, and his hallmark feistiness had returned.

"He is still the general, and I am the Pfc.," said Andrea, the old pilot’s wife of 51 years. "He went up in rank over the years, but I have stayed a Pfc."

The traits that sometimes have made him a difficult mate — his single-mindedness, drive, tenacity and intolerance for mediocrity — endeared him to the military leadership that chose him to command the first atomic-bomb mission.

"Paul’s mind works like a com- puter," said Gerry Newhouse, Tibbets’ former business manager and friend. "Eisenhower told (historian) Stephen Ambrose that Tibbets was the best bomber pilot in World War II.

"His crews respected him. Psychologically, he could handle the aftereffects of such a mission. For the last 60 years, he has had to deal with the controversy."

"I knew when I got the assignment it was going to be an emotional thing," Tibbets acknowledged Wednesday, noting of his crew, "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."

On Aug. 3, 1945, he was told to proceed with "Special Bombing Mission No. 13."

Less than three hours before takeoff, the 30-year-old colonel and his crew sat down to a midnight breakfast at a Tinian Island mess hall nicknamed the "Dogpatch Inn."

When the Enola Gay, named for Tibbets’ mother, roared down the runway in the predawn of Aug. 6, Tibbets was carrying his favorite smoking pipe, a few cigars and a small cardboard pillbox holding a dozen cyanide capsules, in case the crew had to bail out over enemy territory.

Mission from childhood

The seed of Tibbets’ ultimate rendezvous with history likely was planted before he was a teenager.

He was born in Quincy, Ill., and lived briefly in Iowa before his father moved the family to Miami. Tibbets, then 12, was hanging out at his father’s business, Tibbets & Smith Wholesale Confectioners, when a barnstorming pilot entered the offices and announced that he needed an assistant for a bombing mission. While he piloted the plane over Miami’s large public venues, an assistant would drop paper-parachuted samples of Baby Ruth candy bars to the crowd below.

Tibbets volunteered against the wishes of his father, who already had determined that his son was going to be a doctor.

The young man later recalled the week he spent dropping sweets from the back seat of a biplane, "No Arabian prince ever rode a magic carpet with a greater delight or sense of superiority to the rest of the human race."

He was sent to military school and then entered the University of Florida, often spending more time at the Gainesville airstrip than in class.

After his sophomore year, he was pressed by his father to transfer to the University of Cincinnati, where a family friend and physician could help cultivate his interest in medical school.

It had the opposite effect. After a brief stint as an aide at the physician’s two venereal-disease clinics, Tibbets — though deft with a syringe and needle — decided that there had to be something better in life than administering arsenic treatments to syphilitics. He applied to become an aviation cadet in the Army Air Corps.

By late 1941, Tibbets had earned his commission and wings and, on Dec. 7, was flying his A-10 attack bomber to Savannah, Ga., after participating in a war-games mock surprise attack on ground troops at Fort Bragg. Homing in on the signal of a radio station’s broadcast tower, he listened as a somber voice interrupted the music to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor.

"I thought, ‘Boy, Orson Welles is at it again,’ " he recalled, referring to the Welles broadcast of War of the Worlds.

When the U.S. entered the war, Tibbets flew B-17 sorties in the North Africa campaign, later leading the first daylight B-17 raid across the English Channel. He was on a B-17 mission in late 1942 when enemy flak exploded part of his instrument panel and peppered him with shrapnel.

Tibbets says today that his missions over occupied Europe in his beloved Red Gremlin, though fraught with peril, were the most gratifying of all his military flying.

A few months after he was wounded, Tibbets was ordered back to the States to begin testing the new Boeing B-29. By 1944, he knew the plane’s capabilities as well or better than the company that built it, but some of the young pilots who would form his 509 th Composite Bomb Group thought the craft dangerous and unwieldy.

To show the younger fliers that their fears were unfounded, Tibbets recruited two Women’s Air Service Pilots to train on the B-29. To the embarrassment of the male pilots, they maneuvered the B-29 superbly, even with two of the four engines shut off.

Visit from the feds

In 1944, Tibbets learned that the FBI was nosing around his old neighborhood regarding his fitness for a top-secret clearance.

They unearthed his lone arrest, at 19, after a Surfside, Fla., police officer had caught Tibbets and his date in the back seat of a car on a remote stretch of beach.

When Gen. Uzal Ent informed Tibbets that he had been selected for the atomic-bomb mission, the general cautioned, "If this is a success, you’ll be a hero. If not, it’s possible that you could wind up in prison."

Tibbets didn’t know which it would be when, 10 miles from Hiroshima, his bombardier, Maj. Thomas Ferebee, broke in on the intercom: "OK, I’ve got the bridge."

A T-shaped span over the Ota River was the target.

"As we approached the aiming point," Tibbets remembered, "I watched for the first signs of anti-aircraft fire or fighter planes."

There were none.

When the bomb christened "Little Boy" tumbled from the belly of the Enola Gay, the plane’s nose, unburdened of 8,900 pounds in an instant, jerked upward. Tibbets swung the craft into a 155-degree diving turn to put as much distance as possible between the impending blast and his bomber. Forty-three seconds later, the sky lit up with a terrible flash.

"If Dante had been on the plane with us, he would have been terrified," Tibbets later said.

"My God," co-pilot Capt. Robert Lewis scribbled in his flight log.

Death estimates have varied widely. Some say 80,000 is a reliable figure, while noting that tens of thousands of others perished by year’s end from the effects of radiation. The dead included 20,000 Koreans the Japanese had enslaved for war work.

No escape from war

Tibbets remained in the Air Force until 1966, leaving the service as a brigadier general.

Not long after, he went to work for Executive Jet Aviation, a global all-jet, air-taxi company based in Columbus. His first assignment was in Geneva, Switzerland. He spent two years there before moving to Columbus and, in 1976, becoming the company’s president.

Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, Tibbets endured urban legends suggesting, among other falsehoods, that he was in prison or had died at his own hand.

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

Tibbets retired from Executive Jet in 1987 and, since then, has been both hot and cold about his notoriety. He was active behind the scenes in the protest of the National Air and Space Museum’s 1995 exhibit of part of the Enola Gay’s fuselage, where the initial presentation suggested that the atomic bomb crews were agents of a vengeful nation. The script ultimately was changed.

In late 2003, a fully restored Enola Gay went on display in a companion facility to the air and space museum in Chantilly, Va.

"I wanted to climb in and fly it," Tibbets said.

The exhibit opening was his last major public hurrah.

This past spring, he gave up driving after his falls and what doctors think to have been two minor strokes. He convalesces in a home guarded by a yammering chihuahua named Lolita and looks out on a front yard whose chief adornment is a weeping Japanese cherry.

At the 60 th anniversary, Tibbets said of his notoriety, "It’s kind of getting old, but then so am I."

He waved off other requests to be interviewed, in part because of his health and for weariness of suffering a new crop of reporters thinking they are the first to ask, "Any regrets?"

His answer always has been a resounding "Hell, no," lately modified to lament, "The guys who appreciated that I saved their asses are mostly dead now."

He is, today, a man untroubled with the certainty of joining their ranks.

"I don’t fear a goddamn thing," he said. "I’m not afraid of dying.

"As soon as the death certificate is signed, I want to be cremated. I don’t want a funeral. I don’t want to be eulogized. I don’t want any monuments or plaques.

"I want my ashes scattered over water where I loved to fly."

The English Channel.

Tibbets’ eyes brimmed for a moment when he pondered the absent friends who formed the unshakeable brotherhood that become the only religion some men ever know.

"That’s the first time I’ve seen that kind of emotion in 51 years," a clearly stunned Andrea said.

"He doesn’t want to have a tombstone or monument in a cemetery, because that would create a controversy," friend Gerry Newhouse said.

One of the candidates for the eventual task of spreading Tibbets’ ashes likely might be his grandson and namesake, Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets IV, a B-2 mission command pilot.

His Air Force nickname is "Nuke."

mharden@dispatch.com


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: abomb; atomicbomb; cary; enolagay; hiroshima; ohio; paultibbets; pilot; tibbets; veteran; worldwarii
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From this morning's Columbus Dispatch about Columbus native Paul Tibbets.
1 posted on 08/06/2005 4:18:41 AM PDT by Columbus Dawg
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To: Columbus Dawg

Just by chance, I got to have lunch with Col. Tibbets and his wife in Portugal a few years back. One of the most fascinating hours of my life.


2 posted on 08/06/2005 4:23:01 AM PDT by NavVet (“Benedict Arnold was wounded in battle fighting for America, but no one remembers him for that.”)
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To: Columbus Dawg

Great read. Thanks for posting.


3 posted on 08/06/2005 4:23:30 AM PDT by andyandval (Try flushing a book down the toilet....get back to me on how you did)
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To: Columbus Dawg
A great article!


A "tip-o-the hat" to Mike Harden for writing it and you, CD, for posting it.



4 posted on 08/06/2005 4:30:40 AM PDT by G.Mason
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To: NavVet

I was a child when this happened and consider him a great hero.


5 posted on 08/06/2005 4:33:36 AM PDT by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Columbus Dawg

He should be commended for his service to this country. I know he is here on
FR.


6 posted on 08/06/2005 4:37:15 AM PDT by BunnySlippers (Be a Good Mullah Now ...)
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To: Columbus Dawg

Brigadier General Paul Tibbets is a true American Hero. Reading the title of the post, it seems to me like the Columbus Dispatch hack is disappointed to see General Tibbets without a regret for doing his job.


7 posted on 08/06/2005 4:41:19 AM PDT by JRios1968 (Will work for a tagline.)
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To: Columbus Dawg
Tibbets is an inspiration to us all. What a story of dedication, intelligence, and competence.
8 posted on 08/06/2005 5:07:44 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: Columbus Dawg

God Bless and Happy H-Day!


9 posted on 08/06/2005 5:16:03 AM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: Columbus Dawg

I believe the pilot should still be held in high regard - he did a job that had to be done - and the "new history" revisionists would like to make him out to be a mass murderer.

It was still a dangerous job - and it saved more lives than it took by accellerating the end of the war.

I would like to shake his hand and thank him for his service to our country.


10 posted on 08/06/2005 5:31:18 AM PDT by TheBattman (Islam (and liberalism)- the cult of Satan)
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To: Columbus Dawg
Great article. Well done sir. His actions saved thousands of lives and and shortened the war.

To show the younger fliers that their fears were unfounded, Tibbets recruited two Women’s Air Service Pilots to train on the B-29. To the embarrassment of the male pilots, they maneuvered the B-29 superbly, even with two of the four engines shut off.

What are you guys, men or mice?

He convalesces in a home guarded by a yammering chihuahua named Lolita and looks out on a front yard whose chief adornment is a weeping Japanese cherry.

Hah, as a owner of chihuahuas, I can attest to their yammering.

11 posted on 08/06/2005 5:45:25 AM PDT by csvset
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To: Columbus Dawg

There was a great show on the history channel last night on this topic. Looks for reruns this week. Great stuff.


12 posted on 08/06/2005 5:47:01 AM PDT by quantim (I'm at the point now where I refer to all liberals as "insurgents.")
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To: Columbus Dawg

good story. but this bugged me...
"By late 1941, Tibbets had earned his commission and wings and, on Dec. 7, was flying his A-10 attack bomber to Savannah, Ga..."

err, the A-10 wasn't developed until late 60's. first flight in 72' I think.
must be a typo, probably meant P-47 thunderbolt. tho I didn't think it was availible until later in WWII.


13 posted on 08/06/2005 5:57:07 AM PDT by gdc61
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To: Columbus Dawg

What an interesting and great man!


14 posted on 08/06/2005 5:59:58 AM PDT by jaydubya2
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To: Columbus Dawg
who formed the unshakeable brotherhood that become the only religion some men ever know.

Good line.

15 posted on 08/06/2005 6:01:17 AM PDT by Glenn (What I've dared, I've willed; and what I've willed, I'll do!)
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To: Columbus Dawg

This is a man we will all miss when he is gone.


16 posted on 08/06/2005 6:06:23 AM PDT by Gritty ("A narrowly drawn law-enforcement approach to war will simply order up a new rubber stamp-Mark Steyn)
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To: Columbus Dawg
there had to be something better in life than administering arsenic treatments to syphilitics

You know, I'm thinking this didn't take a whole lot of thought.

17 posted on 08/06/2005 6:11:28 AM PDT by vikzilla
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To: JRios1968
Reading the title of the post, it seems to me like the Columbus Dispatch hack is disappointed to see General Tibbets without a regret for doing his job.

Mike Harden is a great reporter. I doubt that he wrote that headline.

Most newspaper headlines are written by copy editors who don't have a clue about the article's content, or they are trying to create some controversy where there is none.

18 posted on 08/06/2005 6:11:34 AM PDT by vox humana
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To: Columbus Dawg

also could have meant B-10, which was a post WWI bomber. first single wing bomber I believe. uglier than a A-10 too!


19 posted on 08/06/2005 6:15:48 AM PDT by gdc61
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To: Columbus Dawg
Last September at a local air show (Lunken Field, Cincinnati Ohio) Paul Tibbets was signing his newly updated book 'ENOLA GAY'. The line at his desk was fairly long but I waited patiently (not a attribute of mine) knowing this was an opportunity not to be missed. Spoke briefly with Paul Tibbetts as he signed my book (you have to speak into a small amplifier as Tibbetts, like all old bomber pilots, is hard of hearing). He signature, dated 9-11-04, and my brief conversation with a legend was well worth the wait.
20 posted on 08/06/2005 6:18:03 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: Columbus Dawg

Dropping the atomic bombs was necessary to win the war and save much more lives. If it hadn't been done, much more people would have died.


21 posted on 08/06/2005 6:19:08 AM PDT by Reader of news
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To: Columbus Dawg

Thanks for posting that great article about one of our great American heroes.

My Father served in the Pacific theatre on board an attack troop transport ship. I learned as a child 20 years after the war that what we did over there was the right thing to do to end that war.
Unfortunately, as I grow older, I read more and more from fellow Americans that what we did over there was murder.

My Father is still alive and I know it troubles him to hear that garbage from his countrymen.


Thank you, Paul Tibbets and to your crew.


22 posted on 08/06/2005 6:26:27 AM PDT by texianyankee
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To: Columbus Dawg
I saw a televised interview of Paul Tibbets and am honored to have even watched him on TV.

The man understands WAR and what it took to achieve peace.

Truly an American hero.

23 posted on 08/06/2005 6:30:45 AM PDT by OldFriend (MERCY TO THE GUILTY IS CRUELTY TO THE INNOCENT ~ Adam Smith)
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To: gdc61
err, the A-10 wasn't developed until late 60's. first flight in 72' I think. must be a typo, probably meant P-47 thunderbolt. tho I didn't think it was availible until later in WWII.

Were they still flying the B-10 in 1941? Maybe that is what the author meant?

24 posted on 08/06/2005 6:34:27 AM PDT by Tallguy
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To: Columbus Dawg
Eisenhower told (historian) Stephen Ambrose that "Tibbets was the best bomber pilot in World War II".

Paul Tibbets knew Eisenhower before "Ike" became Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. He flew Eisenhower from England down to Gibraltar in the fall of 1942. Eisenhower insisted on a front row seat in the bomber so they fabricated a seat so, for at least part of the trip, "Ike" could sit up front between the pilot and co-pilot. In addition to knowing "Ike" Tibbets also became well acquainted with General Patton. He first met Patton at Fort Bragg, NC just prior to WWII. They both were skeet shooters and established a relationship when they met for skeet shooting on Sunday mornings at the local range. This led to Patton asking Tibbets to pilot his (Patton's) light aircraft so he could better observe his tanks in action ... which led directly to Patton revamping tank tactics, which served him so well later on in WWII. Suggest anyone interested in more details to Paul Tibbet's life read his book 'Enola Gay'.

25 posted on 08/06/2005 6:53:08 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: Columbus Dawg
Why is it so hard for the lefties to understand this.

On the one hand, about 200,000 dead Japanese.

On the other hand, if we invaded, 1 million US military casualties and probably 5-10 million Japanese casualties.

Or if we blockaded, probably tens of thousands of Allied casualties due to continuing Japanese military activity, tens of thousands of Allied POW deaths, and hundreds of thousands of starved Japanese and military casualties, if not millions.
26 posted on 08/06/2005 7:01:27 AM PDT by ml1954
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To: Columbus Dawg
Hero bump.

5.56mm

27 posted on 08/06/2005 7:10:22 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: Columbus Dawg
God Bless Gen. Tibbets and his family. He was in a difficult position and performed as I hope I would.
28 posted on 08/06/2005 7:13:38 AM PDT by devane617
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To: Columbus Dawg

I have two Uncles who fought island to island. No telling how many men were saved by this action. Gen. Tibbets is a Hero.

A little trivia, everyone knows the Enola Gay, what was the name of the bomber of Nagasaki?


29 posted on 08/06/2005 7:25:03 AM PDT by gate2wire (We Honor Those Who Serve---WE REMEMBER--Thank you)
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To: vox humana
Mike Harden is a great reporter. I doubt that he wrote that headline.

Great point...you are absolutely correct, and my apologies to Mike Harden for implying that he tried to put words on General Tibbets' mouth.

30 posted on 08/06/2005 7:28:22 AM PDT by JRios1968 (Will work for a tagline.)
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To: Columbus Dawg
Great article. Thanks for the post. Happy VJ Day!


Click on link below for large version of this photo:

http://www.tangischools.org/schools/phs/think/man/tibbets.jpg

31 posted on 08/06/2005 7:32:04 AM PDT by bwteim (Begin With The End In Mind)
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To: Columbus Dawg
"Any regrets?" His answer always has been a resounding "Hell, no,"

War is a tough, dirty business where difficult decisions are made to ensure victory. If more people had his attitude, we'd find ourselves with fewer difficulties in the world these days.

32 posted on 08/06/2005 7:36:26 AM PDT by edpc
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To: ml1954
On the other hand, if we invaded, 1 million US military casualties and probably 5-10 million Japanese casualties.

Oh, but the lefties say that Japan was done for in August of 1945, and we should have just sailed back home and left them alone. We should never have insisted on unconditional surrender.

Excuse me while I spit.

33 posted on 08/06/2005 7:39:40 AM PDT by Max in Utah (By their works you shall know them.)
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To: gate2wire
...what was the name of the bomber of Nagasaki?

Bock's Car.

34 posted on 08/06/2005 7:40:37 AM PDT by Max in Utah (By their works you shall know them.)
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To: Columbus Dawg

A few key points to remember about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

1. We did it on purpose.
2. We meant what we did.
3. We would do the same thing again under identical circumstances.

Literally millions of Allied and Japanese lives were saved by bringing WWII to a speedy end, and avoiding the invasion of the Kanto Plain, scheduled for September of 1945.


35 posted on 08/06/2005 7:40:39 AM PDT by Bean Counter
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To: gate2wire
A little trivia, everyone knows the Enola Gay, what was the name of the bomber of Nagasaki?

Command pilot of 'Bock's Car' the B-29 that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki was Charles Sweeney.

36 posted on 08/06/2005 7:40:51 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: Columbus Dawg
One of the candidates for the eventual task of spreading Tibbets’ ashes likely might be his grandson and namesake, Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets IV, a B-2 mission command pilot.

His Air Force nickname is "Nuke."

How good is this!

37 posted on 08/06/2005 7:42:17 AM PDT by 11Bush (No outstanding felonies, but my life has been one long misdemeanor.)
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To: Max in Utah

You got it.


38 posted on 08/06/2005 7:42:29 AM PDT by gate2wire (We Honor Those Who Serve---WE REMEMBER--Thank you)
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To: BluH2o

Correct.


39 posted on 08/06/2005 7:44:02 AM PDT by gate2wire (We Honor Those Who Serve---WE REMEMBER--Thank you)
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To: TheBattman
I believe the pilot should still be held in high regard - he did a job that had to be done - and the "new history" revisionists would like to make him out to be a mass murderer.

Even if you believe that dropping the A-bomb was unjustified or unnecessary -- which I don't, and I know few FReepers do -- that has no bearing on how we should regard Gen. Tibbets.

He did not make policy. He carried out and issued orders, did a hard job well, and put his life on the line in service of his country. That deserves our eternal respect and gratitude, full stop.

40 posted on 08/06/2005 7:49:24 AM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: Columbus Dawg
By late 1941, Tibbets had earned his commission and wings ...

Actually he had his commission and wings in the U.S. Army Air Corps bestowed upon him some two years earlier.

41 posted on 08/06/2005 7:58:06 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: Columbus Dawg
My Dad was a veteran of the Army Air Force in WW II, and he believed that it was necessary to drop the bomb, to avoid a million additional American casualties. He said that he could have been one of them, if the bomb hadn't been dropped.

So I'll believe in what my Dad believed, and not the revisionist historians.

By the way, my Dad applied to be an aviation cadet (this was after Pearl Harbor, when Penn State put him and other young men on an accelerated educational program combined with ROTC training. He went into the service but didn't pass the aviation cadet training. (Not everybody passed, of course. At least he tried.) He served out the war stateside, but he was scheduled to be sent overseas...and then the bomb was dropped.)

42 posted on 08/06/2005 7:59:21 AM PDT by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: BluH2o
He first met Patton at Fort Bragg, NC just prior to WWII.

Correction ... not Fort Bragg ... Fort Benning.

43 posted on 08/06/2005 7:59:56 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: Columbus Dawg
"As soon as the death certificate is signed, I want to be cremated. I don't want a funeral. I don't want to be eulogized. I don't want any monuments or plaques.

"I want my ashes scattered over water where I loved to fly"

I pray his wishes are honored.

sw

44 posted on 08/06/2005 8:06:41 AM PDT by spectre (Spectre's wife (Remember to dance with the one who brought ya)
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To: Columbus Dawg

I was priveleged to meet Tom Ferebee, the bombardier, shortly before he passed away. I made it a point to shake his hand and thank him for a job well done.

World War II was full of heroes. You can't storm a beach while facing enemy machine-gun fire, or drop into a war zone by parachute or glider and not be considered a hero.

I met one old fellow whose job was to carry a disassembled anti-aircraft gun on mules in the mountains in Burma. They had to use mules because no vehicle could've navigated the terrain.

When they arrived at their assigned site, they unloaded and assembled the gun, then took it back apart and loaded up and took off again, before the enemy could locate and kill them.

I said thanks to him, too.


45 posted on 08/06/2005 8:14:06 AM PDT by Marauder (You can't stop sheep-killing predators by putting more restrictions on the sheep.)
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To: Columbus Dawg
Thanks to him, millions of Americans lived who would have died, had the bomb not been dropped. He brought the war in the Paficic to a close. Thank God, for men like Tibbets, the liberal press has tried to ruin him for years, but true Americans know what he did for this country.

We lasted sixty years as Americans - alas the next sixty will be run by Mexicans. The greatest generation will all be dead and gone, and the traitorous generation of today will life in infamy.

46 posted on 08/06/2005 8:15:04 AM PDT by swampfox98 (How American became a nation of traitors: Greed, corrupt politicians and religious leaders.)
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To: Columbus Dawg

I have had the honor to meet General Tibbets and count an autographed copy of his book as one of my prized possessions. May God bless him and all our heroes.


47 posted on 08/06/2005 8:16:47 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Skol Vikings.)
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To: Columbus Dawg
My family and I had the honor of meeting Gen. Tibbets (and Tom Ferebee-Bombadier and Dutch Van Kirk-Navigator)in 1995. I have an autographed picture of the Enola Gay hanging in my home office along with several photos of our family and the crew. It's one of my prized possessions.

My kids were awestruck to meet these men in person. I just pity my poor wife, who after I die, will have to referring between the two kids who will be at each other's throats fighting over which one gets to inherit the "Enola Gay".
48 posted on 08/06/2005 8:18:40 AM PDT by Towed_Jumper
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To: Columbus Dawg
As merely a philosophical point here, it will be interesting to see God's take on all of this, when we are all dead and gone and passed on into the next life and the world is no more. By then, the back and forth debate will have long ended and the final word will be in, and the most important personal opinion about it is known to all mankind.

Happy Victory over Japan Day (15 August) everyone.

49 posted on 08/06/2005 8:21:01 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (**AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS NOT SO MUCH "WHO" WE STAND FOR, BUT RATHER "WHAT" WE STAND FOR**)
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To: Colonel_Flagg

I shared a podium once with General Jimmy Doolittle. Photo to prove it, too! :-)


50 posted on 08/06/2005 8:22:49 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (**AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS NOT SO MUCH "WHO" WE STAND FOR, BUT RATHER "WHAT" WE STAND FOR**)
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