ATLANTA – The last surviving member of the U.S. crew that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, hastening the end of World War II and moving the world into the atomic age, has died.
Theodore VanKirk died Monday of natural causes at the retirement home where he lived in Georgia, his son Tom VanKirk said. He was 93.
VanKirk flew nearly 60 bombing missions, but it was a single mission in the Pacific that secured him a place in history. He was 24 years old when he served as navigator on the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the first atomic bomb deployed in wartime over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.
He was teamed with pilot Paul Tibbets and bombardier Tom Ferebee for Special Mission No. 13.
The mission went perfectly, VanKirk told The Associated Press in a 2005 interview. He guided the bomber through…
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