Skip to comments.Pilot of Plane That Dropped A-Bomb Dies
Posted on 11/01/2007 9:23:40 AM PDT by NCDragon
COLUMBUS, Ohio Paul Tibbets, who piloted the B-29 bomber Enola Gay that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Thursday. He was 92 and insisted almost to his dying day that he had no regrets about the mission and slept just fine at night. Tibbets died at his Columbus home, said Gerry Newhouse, a longtime friend. He suffered from a variety of health problems and had been in decline for two months. Tibbets had requested no funeral and no headstone, fearing it would provide his detractors with a place to protest, Newhouse said. Tibbets' historic mission in the plane named for his mother marked the beginning of the end of World War II and eliminated the need for what military planners feared would have been an extraordinarily bloody invasion of Japan. It was the first use of a nuclear weapon in wartime.
(Excerpt) Read more at wral.com ...
Rest in Peace, Captain. You did G-d’s work and saved lives...SSZ
I just saw a documentary on Discovery last month with him in it. A true American hero, IMO.
God Speed, Tibbs!
Interesting article. Thanks for posting it.
Advocates often cite casualty avoidance for dropping the atomic bombs on Japan. People extrapolate from 48,000 American and 230,000 Japanese losses at Okinawa to 500,000 American and millions of Japanese casualties for mainland invasions. Those estimates could have vastly understated causalities. Japan at 374,000 mountainous square miles mathematically enables over 500 defensive redoubts comparable to General Ushijimas construction inflicting most Okinawa losses. The War Faction adopted the motto of 100 million Japanese deaths for planning final mainland battles. Besides kamikazes, redeployed Kwantung divisions, and bamboo spears for civilians, the allies faced biological warfare. Occupation searchers uncovered large stockpiles of viruses, spirochetes, and fungus spores throughout rural Japan. One delivery plan directed Japanese to infect themselves and then surrender. The Greatest Generation and their parents would have been enraged to discover a cabal satisfied their moral orthodoxy by condemning over 500,000 Americans who might otherwise have been saved.
I have not seen mentioned the critical role Kokutai played in surrender. Any prominent Japanese lived out this spiritual combination of Emperor, citizen, land, ancestral spirits, government, and Shinto religion. Hirohito appointed a Peace Faction in January 1944, but he and advisors debated through twenty months of continuous defeats and 1.3 million additional Japanese deaths before atomic bombs removed the Final Battle argument, allowing the War Faction to relent, Hirohito to assume his unprecedented roll, and no one to lose face. They remained within the fabric of Japanese from all eras who had sacrificed themselves for Emperor and Empire.
It seems he will continue to pay the price for having made his sacrifice to end WWII.
God bless you Paul, we owe you a lot.
“He was 92 and insisted almost to his dying day”
He was 92 and insisted to his dying day. (fixed it)
RIP Paul Tibbetts, American Hero!
That says something!
That’s embarrassing! He’s an American hero, and the fact that some perverts would use this as an opportunity to protest or desecrate his headstone says something about where we as a nation have gone.
I met him at an Akron air show - got an autographed copy of that piture with the Enola Gay - great man!
But you’ll find none of what you note reported in Japan; to this day they refuse to accept responsibility for their own atrocities during the war, and for what befell them as a result.
Their kids don’t even learn of it in school.
The AP just had to slip something sneaky in there.
The sad truth of the matter is this: that at the time, Little Boy abd Fat Man were probably the least of all possible evils.
RIP Captain Tibbets. Job well done, life well lived.
The man did what had to be done, and probably very few others had the guts to do. Without him, a lot more people would have died. The “horror” of the atomic bomb was perhaps the main reason that not ONLY did WWII end, but WWIII hasn’t started in earnest yet.
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
“He was 92 and insisted almost to his dying day that he had no regrets about the mission and slept just fine at night”....Why should he have regrets?....What a joke! He was an American pilot doing his job in time of war defending his country....He’s a hero.
My grandfather was with 7th Marines as a forward air controller. They were enroute to Japan for the invasion when the bombs were dropped. They new that Japan had surrendered when in the middle of the night, all of the lights came on in the convoy. Thank God for those brave men.
Since this is not the oldest thread, it might be mentioned here that Washoe has died at 40.
Feeble illusions persist Japan negotiation initiatives made dropping atomic bombs unnecessary. In fact the Japanese Cabinet debated Final Battle arguments into utter physical and mental exhaustion for eleven hours following the second atomic bomb on August 9. At impasse Hirohito, the god-king, entered the 30 by 18 sweltering, underground bunker to speak the Voice of the Crane. He would bear the unbearable and bring war to an end. Only then did they contact Swiss and Swedish foreign offices to begin negotiations with allied belligerents.
Supposed negotiations refer to proposals Foreign Minister Togo and Ambassador Sato made to Russian counterparts. The Japanese intended to bribe Russia into neutrality and have it mediate a settlement for peace with honor. The first June 29 contact ignored surrender, with proposals the Russians considered too vague for an answer. The August 2 proposals accepted the Potsdam Declaration as one basis for further study regarding terms. When Ambassador Sato finally saw Molotov on August 8, two days after Hiroshima, he received war declaration instead of an answer to proposals. In the final meeting of Hirohito and Cabinet, Barron Hiranuma reproved Foreign Minister Togo for never making concrete Russian proposals. The Foreign Minister had no answer.
The Japanese accepted Emperors and governments authority would be subject to the Supreme Allied Commander. The Japanese peoples free expression would determine ultimate government. The only approximate Western historical disruption would be displaying the bones of Jesus at Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Wall.
You're exactly right. However, there will always be those, even those who weren't alive then, that see everything wrong with the bombs and nothing right.
Rest in Peace General,bravely doing your duty brought my three brothers and future husband all serving in the Pacific theater safely home.
The fact that he had to make that decision is a sad commentary on our country.
“Rest in Peace, Captain. You did G-ds work and saved lives...”
What a shame - no funeral or headstone for a hero.
He IS a HERO.
What was he like?
I admire people who do the RIGHT thing. He did the right thing here.
Some are determined to be stupid.
They’ve been brainwashed with LIBERALISM.
"I was glad to do it."
He saved many American and Japanese lives.
Cannot wait to see his piece tonight on the evening news with Brian Williams/sarc
I consider it no sacrifice to die for my country. In my mind, we came here to thank God that men like these have lived rather than to regret that they have died.
General George S. Patton
You did the right thing. You know the Japanese attitude at that time, how fanatic they were, theyd die for the Emperor...Every man, woman, and child would have resisted that invasion with sticks and stones if necessary...Can you imagine what a slaughter it would be to invade Japan? It would have been terrible. The Japanese people know more about it than the American public will ever know.
Japanese pilot Mitsuo Fuchida in a conversation with Paul Tibbets.
Taken from Flyboys by James Bradley
Rest in Peace, Paul. The job you did to end WWII brought decades of peace to the world.
You served your country and the world well by performing a job well done!!
My newspaper reporter daughter interviewed Gen. Tibbets. My business partner was his neighbor for a time when they both lived in Washington D.C.
They both speak of the man using the highest terms of praise.
He was an outstanding person of honor and integrity.
We will miss this patriot.
Damn. I was so happy to read a couple of months ago that he was still alive and giving speeches.
God bless you for your service during and after the war, Sir.
Hopefully, that's no longer true. In the 90s, the Japanese government finally ended its silence on the issue and acknowledged their role in Pearl Harbor and ordered that the school text books be changed to reflect Japan's role in starting WWII with the sneak attack on Pearl.
But, you are correct. Prior to that time, they disavowed any knowledge of the origins of WWI or the attack on PH. It used to be a source of very . . . . er, "spirited" debates during Japanese English classes.
Every thanksgiving, my wife and I remember to offer explicit thanks to the efforts of the military, civilians, and scientists involved in WWII, in particular those involved in the noted atomic strikes (most have borne the memory of the experience with prolonged mental anguish and self-doubt).
Thank you again, Paul Tibbets. RIP
There’s a movie about Tibbets starring Robert Taylor. It may appear on one of the movie channels soon.
Was at the air and space museum yesterday. Saw the plane there. They had a large plexiglass shield on the walkway over the plane. Not sure what that shield is for but its sad they needed it.
It was humbling to stand next to it and realize how much it changed the world.
How many Americans would have been saved in Iraq had we not taken a harder line... finish Fallujah on the 1st go, etc.
Tibbets was a hero who did a job that need to be done but certainly wouldn't be easy.
Requiescat In Pace, General Tibbets.
I agree, but what most people don’t emphasise enough, IMHO, is that our methods of bombardment and invasion preparation would have killed so many more Japanese than invaders, the A-Bombs saved Japan.
“He was 92 and insisted almost to his dying day that he had no regrets about the mission and slept just fine at night.”
My kind of guy. He saved countless lives in the long run.
My Grandpa, a Machinist from Milwaukee, WI worked on building those bombs. :)
Is there any doubt that the final bombings of Japan saved many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American and Japanese lives. People who were there seemed to have realized this. Current day critics don’t know what they are talking about.
I have often noticed that modern Germans seem to carry unnecessary guilt for their country’s roll in WW2. I also notice that modern Japanese seem to carry little or no guilt. What is the reason for this? It may be cultural and it may be partly racsist in the sense that America is largely built on the European culture and Americans are not reluctant to blame others from the same culture. While many Japanese descendants are Americans, the European descendants among us are not willing to blame or judge actions of a different culture. Seems to me that Germans should lighten up on their burden a little, and Japanese should be more willing to own up to their responsibility in WW2 and to denounce it. Then we all move forward.
There was huge, huge hospital built in Fort Clayton, Canal Zone, known as Building 519. It was in preparation to receive the wounded as we went island hopping in the Pacific to finish the war against Japan.
But then, a wonderful thing happened. We dropped a bomb on Hiroshima and few days later on Nagasaki.
Building 519 never had to be used as a hospital. There was a little outpatient clinic at one end, and the rest was used as an office building.
Thank goodness for the atomic bomb.
It's a long read but a good look at Operation Downfall and its components, Olympic and Coronet. It's a damn good thing we never had to follow through...