Last crew member of Enola Gay dies in Georgia

Theodore Van Kirk a repeat guest of World War II Weekend in Berks County

Last surviving crew member of Enola Gay dies

ATLANTA - The last surviving member of the crew that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima has died in Georgia.

Tom Van Kirk said his father, 93-year-old Theodore Van Kirk, died Monday in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Van Kirk, also known as "Dutch," was the navigator of the Enola Gay. The B-29 Superfortress aircraft dropped "Little Boy," the world's first atomic bomb, over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.

The bomb killed 140,000 in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki three days later.

Van Kirk, a native of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, was 24-years-old at the time.

"We could not see anything in the city of Hiroshima," Van Kirk recalled in a 2009 interview with 69 News at the World War II Weekend in Berks County. "It was all smoke and dust and that sort of thing."

Van Kirk was a frequent guest at World War II Weekend, having appeared at the event more than a dozen times.

In a 2005 interview with The Associated Press, Van Kirk said his World War II experience showed that wars and atomic bombs don't settle anything, and he'd like to see the weapons abolished.

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Allentown, PA 18102


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