Skip to comments.YES, I'D DROP THE BOMB AGAIN
Posted on 05/25/2010 3:52:48 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th
Theodore Van Kirk is sitting at his desk in a detached bungalow in the gated community outside Atlanta, Georgia, where he lives. The room is cluttered with boxes, trinkets, shelves full of books on wartime history and photographs of planes on the walls...
(Excerpt) Read more at express.co.uk ...
God bless those men, and many thanks for their service.
yeah....so would zer0bambam....on Israel, South Korea...and quite possibly the state house of Arizona.
The problem we have is that we HAVEN’T used the bomb
again. Had we used it in Korea our resolve would not
be in question.
I had a fascinating chat last week with an old sailor. He entered the Navy in ‘43 and served abord a landing ship that participated in the last of the Pacific island-hopping.
When they dropped the bomb, he was engaged in training exercises for the invasion of Japan.
The crew of the Enola Gay very well might have saved his life — and countless hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of other lives — Japanese as well as Americans.
God bless Mr. Van Kirk. And thanks for the post.
Van Kirk is back row, second from left, next to Tibbets.
IMHO we should have used them on the Soviets at the end of WW2.
Hindsight is a bitch.
Great article, thanks for posting it.
BTW, I find myself wondering how many of the crew that flew Bockscar (i.e. the plane that carried out the Nagasaki bomb mission) are still with us?
Brave men, all.
You are spot on, the Bockscar’s crew got less attention than Enola Gay’s.
Yep. After Normandy, my dad and his boat were on the way to the Pacific to prepare for the invasion of Japan, when the war ended.
Even looking back at the casualties, dropping ‘the bomb’ was a no brainer. Us dropping those bombs SAVED LIVES. It probably saved more Japanese lives than American.
We were preparing to invade main land Japan with a force numbering in the millions, and there would have been hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dead on both sides.
Those nuclear bombs brought a swift end to the war. Not to mention how they were truly remarkable feats of technology for the time. It’s still scary to imagine what would have happened had Germany or the Japanese would have gotten the bomb before us. The Germans were still working on it as we defeated them. Luckily, many of their best scientists were Jewish, and fled to America to escape the Nazis. I believe Japan much less so.
I am often puzzled why newspapers in the U.K run more interesting stories about things going on in the U.S.
than our own newspapers do.
How ya’ doin’?
Doing good. Glad to see your project turned out ok.
My Uncle was there, and feels the same way.
What a great story!
Van Kirk had it exactly right when he said: Ive never found a way to fight a war without killing people. If you ever find that out let me know.
He’s right. In Afghanistan right now our strategy is based on the opposite, implausible premise: Fight and WIN a war without killing people. That’s not possible. Civilians will die.
Van Kirk’s story makes me wish I could have been around people like General Curtis LeMay. Instead of LeMay we get Stanley McChrystal and Obama, who are more concerned with protecting Afghans than with winning the war.
The bombs possibly saved all the POWs in the Far East. It is said that Japan knew that it was losing the war and that they planned to make their last stand in Japan. They were willing to pull their troops back from the countries they occupied, but before doing so they were planning to execute all their POWs first.
About the time of Watergate it seems the journalism schools in the US filled up with kids who wanted to change the world (which of course means nailing Republicans and doing Democrat propaganda). They are poorly educated, incurious people who in many cases never learned their craft. Most don't know how to tell a story so as to hold the reader's attention. Sometimes I read a story and actually can't figure out what happened, as if the writer never learned the five "W's."
I have been corresponding for some time with a young Canadian who gets all his news from the MSM. He is ecstatic that Obama wants to unilaterally disarm the US of nuclear weapons. I owe him a reply to this drivel, but I’ve put it off because it’s so daunting.
Put another way, where do you even start with such a person? He has visited Japan, and thinks the dropping of the two bombs is one of the greatest historical wrongs ever done to any people on earth. I don’t want to write a book-length email back to him, and I’m not sure that would do any good. Brevity is the soul of wit, and a short reply is likely to make a stronger impact on him than a very lengthy one.
There are some ideas already on this thread I can use. If anybody has anything to add, I’ll be profoundly appreciative. I’m going to be in and out, so I may not be able to thank Freepers as quickly as I’d like. So thank you in advance!
and what weapons were going to be used to clear the beaches for as far as the eye could see? Both atomic bombs. Thats not a theory either: thats a fact.
The Southern most section of Japan were the Allied ( but not Russian ) landing was to take place was filled with defenders, suicide aircraft, etc. We were going to blast the beaches and then make the landings.
Those weapons were going to be used on Japan on way or the other in order for that war to end.
Unfortunately, the MSM ilk is indoctrinated to serve a certain purpose where they’re not interested in educating and informing the masses on any other subjects than creating the perfect atmosphere for Libs to run amok.
Why do you think Patton died in a "traffic accident" shortly after the end of the war?
That was when Americans were American.....
Great tagline btw
My dad was the Intelligence Officer for the 509th Composite Bomb Group and knew Tibbets and crew of the Enola Gay quite well and also the crew of Bocks Car. He was with them in Nevada when they practiced bomb runs on a target in the desert. He passed in 1986.
Of course he would. Ultimately, the outcome was a favorable one.
But the fact that it was even necessary is sad. Those crazy Japanese tyrants put their people in that position.
My mother-in-law was a nine year old living not far from Hiroshima. She remembers the devastation.
WW2 is one of lowest points in human history.
Take pictures (if allowed) next time you visit the museum and share them with us. The sacrifice done by our Manhattan Project scientists and our military people should never be forgotten.
Because the UK dailies are actually trying to sell papers, not advance and agenda (and suck up so that they can receive a Federal bailout, as are the US rags).
“WW2 is one of lowest points in human history.”
One of them. I agree.
The Atomic bomb was the ultimate weapon ever developed by mankind at that point in time - something only imagined by all the other warring countries - and it took the use of such a weapon twice to get the Japanese to finnally give up? And yet your pal thinks Japan would have surrendered with an Allied invasion.
The American, Brits and everyone other than the Soviets invade from the South, the Russians invading from the North. Does anyone really think anything at all would have remained in Japan? The entire place would have been flattened and most of the country would have been wiped out.
What does your friend think the Allied reaction would have been when the Japanese military started deploying chemical and biological weapons? I’ll bet he hasn’t a clue about that Japanese program. It was the most advanced in the world putting even the German’s to shame. They’d even figured out how to parachute bombs ladden with infected fleas without killing the fleas!
Ask your pal about the Japanese jet fighter program and long range bombers and what affect would they have if they just had more time to finish development?
Remind your friend that discussing or expressing an opinion on a subject one knows nothing about is never a good idea.
I think there’s some good stuff on this thread...
The Hiroshima Rorschach Test
No kidding; IIRC a sniper took out his driver.
I often wonder just how far back the infiltration goes..
I had the happy fortune to interview Gen. Sweeney while doing a journalism internship in DC back in '95.
The Japanese high command, and the Emperor were totally unwilling to surrender after Hiroshima...and ONLY after Nagasaki was hit did they agree to US terms. The strategy was to fool the Japanese into thinking we could do this to every one of their cities...when in actuality, we couldn't have made any more bombs for many months.
Sweeney had a similar attitude as described here, totally convinced he (and we) did the right thing. He looked and acted like Santa Claus without the beard, as I recall.
My father was part of the US forces staging to invade Japan. Might be no him — might be no me — if Truman hadn’t used the bomb to end the war.
I will. Photography is encouraged. I'll be there again in July when the Dayton Air Show is on.
The enola Gay, named by Tibbets after his mother, took off on August 6 at 2.45am. Van Kirk was navigator:
We did things the old-fashioned way, celestial navigation, telling your position by the stars. We had a dome up top of the plane to sit up in and shoot the stars with a bubble sextant. despite basic techniques Van Kirk navigated the enola Gay to its target 1,800 miles away 15 seconds later than scheduled. Fifteen seconds was damn good, thats all I can say.
A couple of lines stick in my mind, but not the books titles dammit.
One was when a U.S. diplomat was talking to his counterpart right after the war. The Jap said they had to surrender before America dropped a third bomb. The U.S. guy said that at the time we had no more. The Jap said “If we’d have known you had only two . . .” and then shut up but the import was clear.
The other was this statement (from a creaky memory) where a Jap General was giving a pep talk to his troops, “Yes, things look bad now but if we resolve to fight on, we will still win.” This was AFTER the second bomb was dropped.
One of my favorite ploys when I run into one of these “we were wrong to drop the bomb” types is to ask them, “Do you honest-to-God believe that Japan would not have used it on us to prevent an invasion?” Deer in the headlights time.
Easily back to the end of WWI, probably back to 1900 or before as the European "intellectuals" started arriving on our shores. History will most likely show that the damage they wreaked was far worse than what we have seen (so far) from Mexican illegals.
But on a personal level, how has Van Kirk coped over the years with the knowledge of the destruction the
bomb yielded? You do that thinking beforehand. You knew that when you were bombing over occupied France, over Africa you always knew that when you were dropping bombs out of aeroplanes a lot of people on the ground would be very seriously hurt. And civilians? Most of the Hiroshima victims were civilians.
The idea at the time was to destroy a nations will to fi ght and you werent dropping bombs in a pickle barrel, for chrissakes. You always recognised there were people on the ground: workers in a factory or civilians who could be killed by the bombs.
How difficult was that for him to deal with? If you could not deal with that you were worth- less as an aviator. You had to separate that in your mind or else you were no good. You couldnt have done the job.
He pauses then adds: Ive never found a way to fight a war without killing people. If you ever find that out let me know.
Forgot to add that when people who suffered under Jap occupation were asked if we should have bomber Hiroshima and Nagasaki, more often than not the reply was “Why did you drop only two?”
We had more in the pipeline. The U.S. expected to have another atomic bomb ready for use in the third week of August, with three more in September and a further three in October. On August 10, Major General Leslie Groves, military director of the Manhattan Project, sent a memorandum to General of the Army George Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, in which he wrote that "the next bomb . . should be ready for delivery on the first suitable weather after 17 or August 18." On the same day, Marshall endorsed the memo with the comment, "It is not to be released over Japan without express authority from the President." There was already discussion in the War Department about conserving the bombs in production until Operation Downfall, the projected invasion of Japan, had begun.
"The problem now [August 13] is whether or not, assuming the Japanese do not capitulate, to continue dropping them every time one is made and shipped out there or whether to hold them . . . and then pour them all on in a reasonably short time. Not all in one day, but over a short period. And that also takes into consideration the target that we are after. In other words, should we not concentrate on targets that will be of the greatest assistance to an invasion rather than industry, morale, psychology, and the like? Nearer the tactical use rather than other use.
My father was on Luzon retraining and refitting for the next invasion when the bombs dropped. The estimate of US casualties for the invasion of Hokkaido alone was one million. The Japanese people were being trained to attack troops with bamboo pikes and satchel charges. The Japanese government wes prepared to deploy war gases. There was a plan to release plague in southern California. The number of lives saved by dropping the atom bombs was IMHO well in excess of 10,000,000.
God bless Mr. Van Kirk. And thanks for the post.
My dad was...
I met a man who...
My Uncle was...
My mother-in-law was...
Well, my dad (RIP) was turned down for military service
due to his bad eyesight, but he did what he could.
He served in the merchant marines for 3 years (1943 - 1945)
in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.
They mostly ferried supplies but also occasionally troops
to the staging areas for upcoming battles.
The biggest fear on the Liberty Ships were submarines
for which they were sitting ducks.
It was just the luck of the draw as to whether you met up with one or not.
He never felt worthy of any honor for what he did.
Any war is a terrible thing, and WWII had many horrid chapters.
To end the war, the bombs were used,
and I believe it was the right thing to do.
The alternatives were even more horrid.