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Weaponeer on Nagasaki A-Bomb Dies at 94
Yahoo -AP ^ | 12/6/05

Posted on 12/06/2005 12:59:00 PM PST by Borges

SANTA FE, N.M. - Frederick L. "Dick" Ashworth, the weaponeer aboard the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, has died at 94.

He died Saturday while undergoing heart surgery in Phoenix, family friend Glen Smith said.

Ashworth, who retired in 1968 as a Navy vice admiral, was assigned to the Los Alamos-based Manhattan Project that built the A-bomb.

Three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, he was aboard the bomber that dropped a weapon nicknamed Little Boy on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. Ashworth was assigned as the weaponeer, responsible for arming the bomb during the flight. Estimates of the death toll in Nagasaki range from 60,000 to 80,000.

Ashworth, in an August talk to a Los Alamos historical group, said the mission was "fraught with problems," including clouds that hid the city of Kokura, which was the primary target, the potential for a crash landing with the bomb aboard and low fuel after the weapon exploded.

The weather over Kokura was so bad that B-29 — named Bock's Car after its usual commander, Frederick Bock — flew on to Nagasaki.

Ashworth said that during the return flight, the crew heard a radio report that the Japanese had approached the Swiss about surrender. "That gave us a pretty good inkling that maybe, by golly, the war might be over," he recalled.

Japan surrendered unconditionally on Aug. 15.

Ashworth was born in Beverly, Mass., and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1933. After the war, he did military liaison work with the Atomic Energy Commission and commanded the Navy's Sixth Fleet, then based in France.

He is survived by his wife, Ercie Bell Ashworth; three sons; three grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Services are set for Thursday at Santa Fe National Cemetery.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: nagasaki; obituary; veteran; wwii
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1 posted on 12/06/2005 12:59:01 PM PST by Borges
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To: Borges

He saved millions of lives! God Bless him! True Hero!


2 posted on 12/06/2005 1:00:02 PM PST by The_Republican
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To: Borges

Bocks Car still resides at the Wright-Patterson AFB museum.

Thousands of WWII veterans visit it every day. They run their hands along the plane, (that is still 100% intact and probably flyable) and cry.


3 posted on 12/06/2005 1:03:01 PM PST by Al Gator (Remember to pillage BEFORE you burn!)
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To: Borges

Thank you, it had to be done. May his family remember him with pride.


4 posted on 12/06/2005 1:03:29 PM PST by vimto (Life isn't a dry run)
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To: Borges

Thank you, it had to be done. May his family remember him with pride.


5 posted on 12/06/2005 1:03:33 PM PST by vimto (Life isn't a dry run)
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To: Borges

Another of our World War II airman gone. Very sad. My father, who piloted B-17s is now 81. He's doing OK, but I know I won't have him with me forever. We are losing that generation at an accellerating pace.


6 posted on 12/06/2005 1:03:34 PM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: Borges
Three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, he was aboard the bomber that dropped a weapon nicknamed Little Boy on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945.

As usual the AP proves they're a bunch of morons.

"Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima. "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki.

7 posted on 12/06/2005 1:04:13 PM PST by COEXERJ145 (Those Who Want to Impeach President Bush Are the Party of Treason.)
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To: Al Gator

Correction to post 3

Thousands visit it every year, not day.


8 posted on 12/06/2005 1:06:05 PM PST by Al Gator (Remember to pillage BEFORE you burn!)
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To: Borges

I wonder how quickly the "insurgents" would stop if we nuked one the "sunni trianle cities"?

Dart board approach to which city works for me!


9 posted on 12/06/2005 1:06:18 PM PST by Prost1 (I get my news at Free Republic!)
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To: Prost1

Mecca works just fine.

During the Haj is even better.


10 posted on 12/06/2005 1:07:07 PM PST by Al Gator (Remember to pillage BEFORE you burn!)
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To: COEXERJ145

11 posted on 12/06/2005 1:07:54 PM PST by Petronski (I love Cyborg!)
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To: MineralMan

I know a geologist in town who is in his eighties and was a B-17 pilot whose plane went down and was a POW in Germany.


12 posted on 12/06/2005 1:08:40 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Hey hey ho ho Andy Heyward's got to go!)
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To: Borges

May God bless and keep him.


13 posted on 12/06/2005 1:08:51 PM PST by bmwcyle (Evolution is a myth -- Libertarians just won't evolve into Conservatives.)
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To: Borges
He most likely saved my Dad's life, and by extension, mine.

God bless him.
14 posted on 12/06/2005 1:09:17 PM PST by reagan_fanatic (Darwinism is a belief in the meaninglessness of existence - R. Kirk)
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To: COEXERJ145
Ignorant poltroon. The Editor should be hogtied to a Pumpkin Bomb, loaded aboard Enola Gay or another SILVERPLATE B-29 and dropped, Slim Pickens style, over Hiroshima or Nagasaki to atone for the error. This is sheer ignorance.

Ashworth had a flying career in Europe prior to his stint at Los Alamos. Basically, he became an atomic ballistics guy like Deak Parsons. Ashworth's job was much easier than Parson's. Ashworth, iirc, only had to switch the arming plugs on Fat Man from Green (Safe) to Red (Live). Parsons had to actually go into the bomb bay and arm the rifle in Little Boy's ass end.

Brave men, all.

BTW, Bock's Car is in flyable condition, with some restoration at the Boeing facility in Wichita. Enola Gay has been restored to such condition that it, too, could be brought into airworthy condition after reworking and rewiring at Boeing.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

15 posted on 12/06/2005 1:12:40 PM PST by section9 (Major Motoko Kusanagi says, "Jesus is Coming. Everybody look busy...")
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To: The_Republican

The aiming point on that Sunday morning was the Nagasaki cathedral. In less than a minute, these American Christians did what Japanese shintos had been unable to do in three centuries: they obliterated the worshipping Christian community in that city.


16 posted on 12/06/2005 1:12:43 PM PST by TomSmedley (Calvinist, optimist, home schooling dad, exuberant husband, technical writer)
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To: Borges

If the japanese were talking to the Swiss they wee wasting their time. Switzerland didnt have any A bombs in the air.

They certainly knew who to call after Nagasaki.


17 posted on 12/06/2005 1:14:37 PM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: Borges

I hate AP. Bockscar dropped "Fat Man" on Nagasaki. "Little Boy" was the Hiroshima bomb.


18 posted on 12/06/2005 1:14:47 PM PST by katana
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To: TomSmedley

How many Christians died at Pearl Harbor or the Bataan Death March, or in the Rape of Nanking. And how many would have been slaughtered by the Japanese had we not dropped Fat Man and Little Boy?


19 posted on 12/06/2005 1:14:53 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Borges

I would like to personaly thank him and his family for keeping my father from going back to the Pacific theater for a Japan, main island, invasion (after resting state side in a military hospital) and for making ME possible.


20 posted on 12/06/2005 1:16:18 PM PST by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" R. A. Heinlein)
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To: TomSmedley
The aiming point on that Sunday morning was the Nagasaki cathedral. In less than a minute, these American Christians did what Japanese shintos had been unable to do in three centuries: they obliterated the worshipping Christian community in that city.

Actually the assigned aiming point was missed by miles as Nagasaki was covered in clouds. Bock's Car had enough fuel for only one pass before heading for Okinawa. If they couldn't drop visually (as required by their orders) they were going to drop by radar. However, the bombardier found a hole in the clouds and released the weapon. It actually landed in the industrial area of the city which was in a valley. Because of this, the number of dead was much lower than at Hiroshima even though Little Boy had a yield of 12.5 Kilotons while Fat Man had a yield of ~21 Kilotons.

21 posted on 12/06/2005 1:17:14 PM PST by COEXERJ145 (Those Who Want to Impeach President Bush Are the Party of Treason.)
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To: section9

When was Bocks Car moved from Wright Patterson? I saw it there in the nuke display 3 years ago.


22 posted on 12/06/2005 1:18:20 PM PST by Al Gator (Remember to pillage BEFORE you burn!)
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To: TomSmedley

Interesting comment. The nuns who taught me something they called "history" when I was a kid always harped on that point as proof that the Protestant leaders in the US deliberately chose Hiroshima and Nagasaki as targets for the atomic bombs in order to wipe out Catholicism in Japan. I didn't buy it then either.


23 posted on 12/06/2005 1:18:27 PM PST by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: Paleo Conservative

"I know a geologist in town who is in his eighties and was a B-17 pilot whose plane went down and was a POW in Germany."




Next time you see him, please shake his hand for me, and tell him it's from the son of a fellow B-17 pilot.


24 posted on 12/06/2005 1:18:31 PM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: Al Gator

Bock's Car is still at Wright Patterson.


25 posted on 12/06/2005 1:19:29 PM PST by COEXERJ145 (Those Who Want to Impeach President Bush Are the Party of Treason.)
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To: section9

From Wikipedia:

"Bockscar is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio."

That's Wright Patterson.


26 posted on 12/06/2005 1:22:02 PM PST by Al Gator (Remember to pillage BEFORE you burn!)
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To: section9

Chris,

My apologies.

I re-read your post and applied english grammar from Sister Ann Marie.

Sorry.


27 posted on 12/06/2005 1:24:16 PM PST by Al Gator (Remember to pillage BEFORE you burn!)
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To: TomSmedley

Oh please.

What about the Germans? Do you regret their loss too?

Would it be OK if Only Shintos were obliterated?


28 posted on 12/06/2005 1:25:46 PM PST by The_Republican
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To: Borges

God bless this true hero who saved millions of Americans!


29 posted on 12/06/2005 1:26:41 PM PST by WKUHilltopper
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To: Borges

"Three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, he was aboard the bomber that dropped a weapon nicknamed Little Boy on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945"

Hey! Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki! Not Little Boy--that was Hiroshima! What idiots write this crap?? Funny this jerks don't have an email address to point out their stupidity! If ya can't get it right, then don't even do it!


30 posted on 12/06/2005 1:32:55 PM PST by WKUHilltopper
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To: Borges

Well, this cautionary tale should be told to all the school children: atomic power is bad. Due to the radiation he recieved from being so close to an atomic blast, his life was cut short.


31 posted on 12/06/2005 1:43:44 PM PST by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: sgtbono2002
In less than a minute, these American Christians did what Japanese shintos had been unable to do in three centuries: they obliterated the worshipping Christian community in that city.

Yep. And did a damned fine job of it!

32 posted on 12/06/2005 1:51:30 PM PST by IronJack
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To: COEXERJ145
"Little Boy had a yield of 12.5 Kilotons while Fat Man had a yield of ~21 Kilotons."

Actually the Little Boy was in the 18-19Kt range, Fat Man was larger, estimated as mentioned at about 21Kt.
33 posted on 12/06/2005 1:55:12 PM PST by zencat (The universe is not what it appears, nor is it something else.)
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To: Borges

My Dads ship had been hit and almost sunk twice by Kamakazie raids. He was back near Japan dreading the ivasion of the country. He had three brothers in the service that were Army and would have got to be in the invasion. I know they and their mates are thrilled about not having to go in. We are blessed that our Heavenly Father gave us the pride of our power to end this debackle. We have all but lost that pride today by not stomping islime like the satanic cockroach that it is.


34 posted on 12/06/2005 1:58:27 PM PST by Lewite (Praise YAHWEH and Proclaim His Wonderful Name, His Son Yahshua Messiah is coming soon!)
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To: TomSmedley
The aiming point on that Sunday morning was the Nagasaki cathedral.

Urban legend. By the way, 9 August 1945 was a Thursday, not a Sunday. To think that Charles Sweeney, the Roman Catholic pilot of Bocks Car, made three passes over the primary target, Kokura, instructed Beahan not to drop the bomb because of cloud cover, then flew to Nagasaki, placing himself, his crew and the airplane at additional extreme risk, and then had the bombardier pick out the Catholic Cathedral through the overcast just so the relatively few number of Catholics living in Nagasaki prefecture could be "obliterated" is absurd. Your tin-foil hat is too tight.

Incidentally, the name of the Catholic Cathedral in Nagasaki was and still is Urakami Cathedral.


35 posted on 12/06/2005 2:16:41 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: WKUHilltopper
"Hey! Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki! Not Little Boy--that was Hiroshima! What idiots write this crap?? Funny this jerks don't have an email address to point out their stupidity! If ya can't get it right, then don't even do it!"

The sad (almost funny) thing is: Here we are dealing with two momentous events in history, at the end of the greatest battle that has ever taken place amongst humanity.

The AP has a 50%/50% chance of getting Little Boy/Fat Man right... and they still screw it up. Unreal.
36 posted on 12/06/2005 2:17:07 PM PST by zencat (The universe is not what it appears, nor is it something else.)
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To: Borges

May he see the face of God, and may God bless him and keep him forever. My prayers are with hs family, and he was a great patriot and warrior. We need more like him today.


37 posted on 12/06/2005 2:17:36 PM PST by geezerwheezer (get up boys, we're burnin' daylight!!!)
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To: section9
OK, help me here Section...I thought I remembered USAF General Sweeney -- recently deceased and the commander of "Bock's Car" that day -- say that "Fat Man" was essentially armed before takeoff. Is that true? Maybe I remember it wrong, or perhaps Gen. Sweeney was alluding to the uncertainty of the bombs "safe mode". Either way the Island of Tinian and all of it's inhabitants could have been vaporized if "Bock's Car" had failed to get off the ground.
38 posted on 12/06/2005 2:18:09 PM PST by Tallguy (When it's a bet between reality and delusion, bet on reality -- Mark Steyn)
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To: Tallguy

Ashworth armed the bomb after takeoff.


39 posted on 12/06/2005 2:43:11 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: Borges
...that dropped a weapon nicknamed Little Boy on Nagasaki...

Ohboy...here it comes...swine reporter.

40 posted on 12/06/2005 2:45:24 PM PST by Cyber Liberty ( 2005, Ravin' Lunatic since 4/98)
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To: section9

Yer busted. Bock's Car is at Wright. I saw it on line. My wife and I were going to visit her, but Katrina was blowing through Ohio when we were there....


41 posted on 12/06/2005 2:47:46 PM PST by Cyber Liberty ( 2005, Ravin' Lunatic since 4/98)
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To: zencat

Little Boy was tough to measure. I think it was the only U-235 bomb built. I could be wrong. I've been called an imbecile before....


42 posted on 12/06/2005 2:51:01 PM PST by Cyber Liberty ( 2005, Ravin' Lunatic since 4/98)
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To: MineralMan; Paleo Conservative
http://www.cloudnet.com/~jfb/

(Briol was wifey's uncle)

43 posted on 12/06/2005 2:58:48 PM PST by ErnBatavia (403-3)
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To: ErnBatavia

http://www.cloudnet.com/~jfb/


44 posted on 12/06/2005 3:04:03 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Hey hey ho ho Andy Heyward's got to go!)
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To: Paleo Conservative

Thank you!


45 posted on 12/06/2005 3:11:10 PM PST by ErnBatavia (403-3)
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To: zencat
According to the official papers of the Manhattan Project, Little Boy was between 12.5 and 15 kilotons. More recent calculations have put it at closer to 12.5 kilotons than to 15.
46 posted on 12/06/2005 4:10:53 PM PST by COEXERJ145 (Those Who Want to Impeach President Bush Are the Party of Treason.)
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To: Al Gator
Mecca works just fine. During the Haj is even better.

Thats what I call carpet bombing...... ;-)
47 posted on 12/06/2005 5:35:40 PM PST by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: Borges
Rest in peace, shipmate......


48 posted on 12/07/2005 10:17:01 AM PST by stm
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To: A Jovial Cad

Thought you may be interested.


49 posted on 12/07/2005 11:59:48 AM PST by Borges
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To: Cyber Liberty

One of a few. There were some uranium-only weapons tested in the various programs following the war. Operation Ivy, for example, had the Ivy King test, a 500 kt uranium bomb, that was part of the program that produced the first thermonuclear explosion (Ivy Mike).


50 posted on 12/07/2005 12:09:09 PM PST by chimera
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