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Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 09:54

Last US crew member of Hiroshima bomber dies

By Reuter
Last US crew member of Hiroshima bomber dies

In this May 21, 2009 file photo, Theodore "Dutch'' VanKirk visits a veteran's group at the Golden Corral in Macon, Ga. The navigator for the Enola Gay spoke about his experience guiding the aircraft that dropped the first atomic bomb. Tom VanKirk says his 93-year-old father died at the retirement home where he lived in Georgia on July 28, 2014. (AP) 

The last surviving crew member aboard the Enola Gay, the US bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan in 1945, died at a retirement community in Georgia at age 93, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk navigated the flight that dropped "Little Boy" on Hiroshima on Aug 6, 1945.

Last US crew member of Hiroshima bomber dies

In this undated handout picture from the U.S. Air Force, the ground crew of the B-29 "Enola Gay" which bombed Hiroshima, Japan on Aug. 6, 1945 with the "Little Boy" nuclear bomb, stands with pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, center, in the Marianas Islands. It was the first use of nuclear weapons in warfare. (AFP) 

The bomb instantly killed about 78,000 people. By the end of 1945, the number of dead had reached about 140,000 out of an estimated population of 350,000.

Three days later, the United States dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" on Nagasaki. Japan surrendered on Aug 15, 1945, bringing World War Two to an end.

Officials at the Park Springs Retirement Community in Stone Mountain, a suburb of Atlanta, confirmed his death, which a friend said occurred after he was hospitalized for several weeks, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Last US crew member of Hiroshima bomber dies
This file photo taken 06 August 1945 shows smoke billowing 20,000 feet above Hiroshima,Japan while smoke from the burst of the first atomic bomb had spread over 10,000 feet on the target at the base of the rising column. Two planes of the 509th Composite group, part of the 313th Wing of the 20th Air Force, partcipated in this mission, one to carry the bomb, the other to act as escort. (AFP) 
Last US crew member of Hiroshima bomber dies
File picture dated 1945 of the devastated city of Hiroshima after the first atomic bomb was dropped by a US Air Force B-29, 06 August 1945. Around 140,000 people, or more than half of Hiroshima's population at the time, died in the first atomic bombing 06 August 1945. Following the bombings, Japan surrendered 02 September 1945 to Allied forces, officially ending World War II, bringing down the curtain on the costliest conflict in history. (AFP) 
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