Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

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
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-58 next last
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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

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!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

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!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

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!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

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!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

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!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Tallguy

Ashworth armed the bomb after takeoff.


39 posted on 12/06/2005 2:43:11 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-58 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson