How The Last Surviving Member Of The Enola Gay Justified Dropping The World’s First Atomic Bomb On Japan

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Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk, the last living crew member of the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the atomic bomb Hiroshima, Japan at the end of World II, died Monday at Georgia home at the age of 93, The New York Times.

After the , Van Kirk maintained belief in the necessity of the and said he’d do it again given the same circumstances. In view, America was fighting an enemy known for never surrendering.

one, there is morality in warfare — forget it,” he told The New York Times in 1995. “ two, when you’re fighting a to win, you use every means at your disposal to do it.” [eap_ad_1] He elaborated his view of the importance of the during a 2005 :

You fight a war to win. There were over 100 numbered targets within the city of Hiroshima. It wasn’t a matter of going there and dropping it the city and killing people. It was destroying targets in the city of Hiroshima — the most important of which was the army headquarters charged the defense of Japan in event of invasion. That had to be destroyed.

The Hiroshima bombing and its lingering effects approximately 140,000 people by the end of 1945, including 20,000 , according to the Hiroshima Day . Of around 76,000 buildings in the city, 92% were destroyed by the explosion and subsequent .

“It’s too bad that there were so many casualties, but if you tell me how to fight a war without killing people then I’m going to be the happiest man in the world,” Van Kirk told the Witness to War Foundation in another video .

“In war you do fight, you kill people, and that’s the way you win a war. And that’s what we did.”