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R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: November 01, 2007 03:20PM
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.

Though many have faulted him, he did his job; nothing more, nothing less.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias

The German word for contraceptive is “Schwangerschaftsverhütungsmittel”. By the time you finished saying that, it’s too late
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: Racer X
Date: November 01, 2007 03:25PM
he had the honor a few years back of visiting his grandson Col Paul Tibbits IV, also of the 509th, at his bomber wing, and touring his grandson's B-2.
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: jdc
Date: November 01, 2007 03:35PM
without google, name the second B 29 that dropped the bomb on nagasaki =)

those 2 bombs saved thousands and thousands of lives in the long run in WWII





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: November 01, 2007 03:36PM
Met him a couple times, have his book autographed to me. RIP. sad smiley



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: Racer X
Date: November 01, 2007 03:36PM
something boxcar wasn't it?
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: November 01, 2007 03:38PM
Bock's Car
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: November 01, 2007 03:43PM
No one ever stops to think how many Japanese civilians would have died in human wave attacks (for which they were training all over Japan), had Col. TIbbets NOT dropped the bomb, and a full scale allied invasion had been undertaken.

Estimates are as many as one million... and more than 300,000-500,000 allied troops.

And yes, no matter WHAT...
Col. TIbbets and his crew did their duties as they were ordered.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: incognegro
Date: November 01, 2007 03:45PM
try this link:
[umidi.tripod.com]



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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: vision63
Date: November 01, 2007 03:47PM
As my Uncle used to say, "If "if" was a fifth, we'd all be drunk."
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: billb
Date: November 01, 2007 04:04PM
That bomb (those bombs) probably saved lots of Japanese lives, too.

Our napalm bombs and bombing were devastating, too.
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: $tevie
Date: November 01, 2007 04:29PM
Wasn't the firebombing of Tokyo even worse? Many more months of firebombing raids would have been even more horrific than the atomic bomb, I would think.

My father was floating around in a ship off the coast of Japan, waiting to invade their mainland. He always had mixed feelings of sadness and gratefulness about the atomic bombs because he surely would have died had they not been used.



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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: DavidS
Date: November 01, 2007 04:31PM
Another of the the Greatest Generation. I've seen several interviews with him over the years. He was very well-spoken about the role he played.

The restored Enola Gay was at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum several years ago. Very interesting exhibit.
[www.nasm.si.edu]
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Racer Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: slbett
Date: November 01, 2007 04:41PM
Bockscar, sometimes called Bock's Car or Bocks Car, is the name of the United States Army Air Forces B-29 bomber that dropped the "Fat Man" nuclear weapon over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, the second atomic weapon used against Japan.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/01/2007 04:43PM by slbett.
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: November 01, 2007 05:01PM
Pic I took at the Air Force Museum (GO - JUST GO - IT'S FANTASTIC) in Dayton, Ohio.


Whole batch from that trip
[jamie.macsales.com]



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 01, 2007 05:01PM
Quote
DavidS
The restored Enola Gay was at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum several years ago. Very interesting exhibit.
[www.nasm.si.edu]

It's now been moved to the Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport - saw it this past Spring - well worth the trip!
[www.nasm.si.edu]
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: sunfalcon
Date: November 01, 2007 05:37PM
A guy that we just rededicated a park to here in Mansfield, Ohio, was Paul Tibbet's roommate at flight school. Small world.
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: davester
Date: November 01, 2007 05:40PM
Quote
jdc
those 2 bombs saved thousands and thousands of lives in the long run in WWII

That may be, but the statement is not as clear cut as you make it out to be and the issues surrounding the decision to drop the bombs were quite complex. It may be second guessing, but many historians believe that some viable diplomatic pathways to a Japan surrender were not pursued for political reasons, and that at least part of the rationale for dropping the bombs was as a demonstration of american power to intimidate the soviets, who were perceived as a significant post-war threat.

That said, it should take nothing away from Tibbets career. He did his job and did it well (and became part of history in the process).



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/01/2007 05:42PM by davester.
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: November 01, 2007 05:46PM
There has been plenty of discussion of this topic since 1980 in Foreign Affairs - including in the 1985 edition.

Fact is, the Japanese had been trying to surrender for ~3 months through third parties, and Roosevelt and Truman ignored the idea because they wanted the Emperor tried as a war criminal. Just as it began, Roosevelt was dead. The big three meeting was as much about spheres of influence in the Pacific, where the Russians had borders and the UK had colonies, as it was about Europe.

When MacArthur, who had virtually lived in the far east since earning an officer's commission, pressed hard to provide the people with what would make for a face saving surrender and a valued institution that could be formed to our favor, only then was there some retroactive thinking.

The Sec of War's own son-in-law, an historian, mentioned one day that the first thing he wanted to do was to visit Kyoto to obtain all the records of past days as well as find the decision making authority of the war, by the Emperor, in order to catalog it.

Stimson, in his own ignorance, not knowing that is where the documents were kept, quietly removed Kyoto permanently from the list.

The second bomb, was dropped when we demanded a response.

The response we received, instead of "We Surrender" - was "No Comment."

How convenient, some say -- for we needed one more demo to keep the Russians out of there who had already massed on the border of China and Kamchatka, and we didn't want them there AT ALL. VE day was done, and they had extra uniforms to go around.

"NO COMMENT" was interpretted to official channels as a snub. Later translation was revealed to few to be "We are speechless."

The bombadier on BocksCar and the pilot nearly put on the gloves. He was lower in rank but was given command of the aircraft. In the pilots view he had plenty of opportunity to drop the second bomb dead center into the city.

Instead, he insisted he couldn't see his target through the scope, despite the pilot being able to with the naked eye. Instead, he chose a secondary industrial target down within a valley - a Mitsubishi plant, and the bomb was detonated there, well away from the original target, where casualties were lowered substantially. (edit - the suggestion has long been held that this officer was given a direct order from the president to do exactly what he had done, and/or from Stimson.)

In a single night the firestorms of Tokyo, like Dresden before it, were over 100,000. Surpassing the count of both bombs combined. Like Germany, command of the skies was complete, there was neither oil from the East Indies to be had, much like the Cacausus was denied Hitler, and he had no ability to continue to prosecute the war on a gross basis, despite the continued innovation of Farben in syn fuels and lubricants.

Even Nixon, a personal hero of mine, contends the above scenario about saved lives, invasion forces, blah blah blah.

It's all a bunch of shhiiit.

They'd been trying to give up to ANYONE who would allow them to keep the Emperor as a means of "religion" and population control via leadership. In the end, that is how MacArthur saw it and sold it.

Yet those bombs were dropped for a very good reason ----- so that our Russian Allies, could see their power and OURS, and a few months later, obtain, through Dr. Fuchs, key work and deliver it to Andrei Sakaroff. Hence 1949 comes around, and the REAL cold war begins in earnest.



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 11/01/2007 05:55PM by Jimmypoo.
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: November 01, 2007 05:56PM
True. Let's face it, Japan was on the verge of surrender as it was. It was just a matter of time. No invasion would've been necessary.
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: November 01, 2007 06:06PM
I will not go into excruciating detail...
But Japan was NOT "on the verge of surrender" or "trying to surrender"...

In fact, The very DAY of the first atomic bomb mission, a coup de etat was underway to remove power from the Emperor (who DID want to end the war) in favor of a modern "Shogunate" under Tojo... who's stated position was that he would order every last man, woman, and child to the beaches with bamboo spears to meet the Marines.

Reputable historians do not debate the necessity of the first atomic bomb. Only the second.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: Numo
Date: November 01, 2007 07:44PM
I have often wondered if there could have been a way to demonstrate the terrible power of the atomic bombs to a representative of the Japanese government without having to drop them on a city.
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: November 02, 2007 08:17AM
Japan had no navy and no airforce to speak of. We had decimated both, and were destroying civilians by air with incendiaries, as Tokyo proved.

They WERE seeking a surrender - perhaps you could name some historians who dispute that vs. the ones I have read who cite communiques, etc.?

I don't argue that it was necessary to drop the bomb - but it certainly wasn't necessary to secure the surrender of Japan - EXCEPT to secure it immediately, with respect to the Russians and their DESIRE to enter that theater - and our desire to make sure they didn't interfere with our sphere of influence, post WWII.

As for demonstrations -- they were long discussed and proposed, in many shapes and forms -- including having a siren attached for a 10k ft explosion; getting leaders on board a ship to see a water explosion, etc.

And if THOSE were serious considerations near the time "the baby was born" - within the Joint Chiefs and the White House, that tells you how serious the "need" was to use it to destroy assets.

It was primarily a civilian tool, as was the incendiaries, and that's because there wasn't any industry REMAINING to use it on.

A bunch of people starving, with swords in their hands, is best wait until they are too hungry to carry their swords. And that wouldn't take too long as of August 1, 1945.

Whatever the coup would have accomplished, bamboo spears that are attacked from the air makes for serious demoralization of such "untrained" troops.
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: michaelb
Date: November 02, 2007 10:41AM
I was at the peace park in Hiroshima last summer and it was very moving and powerful; possibly one of the most emotional museums on earth. The history provided, including lots of US documents and records, was all very interesting.

I am ok with the majority view that there was some military justification for dropping the bomb, and the morality of war in the context of that time, the holocaust, japanese atrocities in China, US wholesale killing of civilians, seems so wrong now but I think we have to understand how different the choices were back then.

From the information presented there, it sure seemed like Japan was trying to surrender conditionally for months, the condition being they want to preserve the emperor, and the US was insisting on unconditional surrender. I don't remember seeing anything that suggested that they tried to surrender unconditionally before the bomb.
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Re: R.I.P Paul Tibbits, pilot of the Enola Gay
Posted by: mjgkramer
Date: November 03, 2007 09:18PM
In years past I watched him fly Fifi, the Confederate Air Force B-29, at their annual air show that was at that time held in Harlingen, Texas. At those same air shows, Greg "Pappy" Boyington, sold autographed copies of his book "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and shook hands with anyone who came to his booth. At that time there was a TV series by the same name starring Robert Conrad. My son, now 39 but a little guy at the time, loved the program so I thought it would be a treat for him to meet Boyington. As soon as son saw him, he refused to shake Boyington's hand because he was expecting to meet Robert Conrad, not some wrinkled old man.
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