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Hiroshima Nagasaki pilot name ?
#1
A couple of months back, I heard on the radio, the story of this pilot (or someone) who after seeing the a-bomb explosion was consumed by a sense of guilt etc etc. Had to be hospitalized, and died tragically or something.

I looked up and found one name but the facts didn't match.
As usual am in the "vague memories" territory.
Was there ever such a person ?

It was the fag end of the radio-program and so I couldn't get many details even back then. It was a regular program in my local radio station where the RJs chose mushy/inspiring/etc stories and enlighten us.

Idea
Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long -- Ogden Nash
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#2
these are the crews of both planes which carried the bombs, although... each bombing consisted of several different planes working together, each conducting a different aspect of the operation.

hiroshima - enola gay - flight crew
colonel paul w. tibbets - pilot (509th commander)
captain robert a. lewis - co-pilot
major thomas w. ferebee - bombardier
captain theodore j. van kirk - navigator
staff sergeant. wyatt e. duzenbury - flight engineer
sergeant robert h. shumard - assistant flight engineer
private first class richard h. nelson - radio operator
staff sergeant george r. caron - tail gunner
sergeant joseph s. stiborik - radar operator
captain (naval) william parsons - weaponeer and ordnance officer
lieutenant jacob beser, radar countermeasures officer
lieutenant morris r. jeppson, assistant weaponeer

nagasaki - bock's car - flight crew
major charles Sweeney - pilot
first lieutenant charles albury - co-pilot
captain james van pelt jr. - navigator
captain kermit beahan - bombardier
first lieutenant jacob beser - electronic countermeasures
staff sergeant ed buckly - radar Operator
sergeant abe spitzer - radio Operator
master sergeant john kuharek - flight Engineer
sergeant raymond gallagher - assistant flight engineer
staff sergeant albert dehart - tail gunner
commander frederick ashworth - weaponeer
second lieutenant fred olivi - third pilot
"Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.
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#3
Thanks for the list. ferebee and albury ring a bell. Read their bios and no one seems to have officially expressed regret. Wonder if it was some ground crew. Vaguely recall the guy cut his wrists wanting to die or something of that sort and of a book having been written. I hope the RJ here, didn't feed us wrong facts. Wish I could remember the name. Maybe he was a Japanese (doing some lateral thinking here !)

Came by this "thesis" which is a good read. Font and background is eye-aching though.
http://users.dickinson.edu/~history/prod...thesis.htm
Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long -- Ogden Nash
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#4
some people might have feel regret once they found out the war was over and done with before or within days those bombs were dropped,they were merely dropped to see if they worked,not to end the war quicker


http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_...d_Nagasaki
consistency is the hobdob
of small minds[
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#5
I disagree.
It took a major shakeup, such as what the dropping of the two atomic bombs caused, to get the Japanese militarists to surrender.
Invading and conquering Japan town by town, one street at the time, as was done in Germany, would have resulted in a horrendous death toll, with millions of deaths on both sides.
Each atom bomb resulted in fewer casualties than the conventional fire bombings done to Hamburg and Tokyo.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
- Robert A. Heinlein
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#6
(06-02-2014, 07:37 AM)radiobox Wrote: Read their bios and no one seems to have officially expressed regret. Wonder if it was some ground crew.

In a way that's good. it cuts down on the PTSD and sorrow. It was none of these guys fault, as they were following orders. I'd have to think that way in order to carry out such a mission. Kind of like how the guys charged to electrify the electric chair or administer the drugs when someone is on death row. It's not you as a person who does these things, your just the tool implemented in carrying out the task.
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#7
Quote:
The bombing of Nagasaki

Nagasaki suffered the same fate as Hiroshima in August 1945. The bombing of Nagasaki on August 9th was the last major act of World War Two and within days the Japanese had surrendered.

Two senior American military figures - General Groves and Admiral Purnell - were convinced that two atomic bombs dropped within days of the other would have such an overwhelming impact on the Japanese government that it would surrender. Scientists at Los Alamos were also intrigued as to which type of bomb was the better - a uranium or plutonium based bomb. 'Little Boy' showed its effectiveness at Hiroshima but another bombing mission was needed to see what damage a uranium bomb could do.

Nagasaki was not America's primary target. This was Kokura. The three potential targets for a second bomb were Kokura, Kyoto and Niigata. Nagasaki was only added to a list of potential targets when Kyoto was withdrawn (it had been the secondary target for a second bomb) because of its religious associations. The third potential target was Niigata - but this was withdrawn from the list as the distance to it was considered to be too great. Therefore, the Americans were left with just two targets - Kokura and Nagasaki.

Nagasaki was a major shipbuilding city and a large military port. But it was not a favoured target as it had been bombed five times in the previous twelve months and any damage caused by an atomic bomb would have been difficult to assess. Also, the way Nagasaki had grown as a port meant that the impact of a powerful bomb might be dissipated as the city had grown across hills and valleys. The city was also broken up with stretches of water. However, fate and the weather was to be Nagasaki's undoing.

Whereas the 'Enola Gay' had had a relatively uneventful journey to her target at Hiroshima, the same was not true for the plane picked to drop the next atomic bomb - 'Bockscar'. Both 'Bockscar' and 'Enola Gay' were B29 Superfortress bombers. The crew of 'Bockscar' gathered for their takeoff at 03.40 hours, August 9th, at Tinian Island. The flight commander, Major Sweeney, found that one of the fuel pumps on the B29 was not working. 800 gallons of aviation fuel had to sit in its fuel tank - it could not be used for the engines but the plane had to carry its weight and get nothing in return from the fuel.

'Bockscar' carried an atomic bomb that differed from 'Little Boy' carried by 'Enola Gay' for the Hiroshima bombing. 'Fat Man' was not a gun-type bomb but used the implosion method; it had a circle of 64 detonators that would drive pieces of plutonium together into a supercritical mass. 'Little Boy' had used Uranium 235. 'Fat Man' weighed about 10,000 lbs and was 10 feet 8 inches long. It had the explosive capacity of about 20,000 tons of high explosives.

[Image: nagasa1.jpg]

By the time 'Bockscar' got near to its primary target, Kokura, it became clear that the weather had saved the city. The city was covered by cloud. Sweeney made three runs over the city but could find not break. With lack of fuel an issue, he decided to move to his only other target - Nagasaki. Sweeney only had enough fuel for one run over the city and not enough to fly back to Tinian. He would have to land at Okinawa.

The weapons expert on 'Bockscar' was Commander Ashworth. Sweeney had been ordered that only a visual run was allowed - not a run guided by radar. Ashworth told Sweeney that radar would have to be used if Nagasaki was covered in cloud - it was. Most of Sweeney's bombing run was done using radar but at the last minute a break in the cloud was found by the bomb aimer. He targeted a race track and at 28,900 feet, 'Fat Man' was dropped.

As Nagasaki had been targeted in the past, people in the city had become blasé when the air raid siren sounded. The same was true on August 9th. The irony was that Nagasaki was well served with good bomb shelters and far fewer people would have been killed or injured if the air raid sirens had been listened to. The surrounding hills had tunnels dug into them which would have been very effective for the people who could have reached them.

'Fat Man' was a very effective bomb. Its blast was bigger than 'Little Boy's' but its impact was reduced by the natural topography of the city. Where the bomb blast hit at its peak, massive damage was done. An area about 2.3 miles by 1.9 miles was destroyed but other parts of the city were saved from the blast. Curiously, the city's train service was not interrupted and the fire damage that followed Hiroshima did not occur in Nagasaki as many parts of the city were broken up by water. The fires simply could not cross these gaps and they burned out.

However, considerable damage was done to the city. The horrific injuries suffered at Hiroshima were also witnessed at Nagasaki. The city's medical facilities were not totally destroyed by 'Fat Man' as at Hiroshima - but nobody was capable of coping with those who were injured in the blast.

One survivor, Sadako Moriyama, had gone to a bomb shelter when the sirens sounded. After the bomb had gone off, she saw what she thought were two large lizards crawling into the shelter she was in, only to realise that they were human beings whose bodies had been shredded of their skin because of the bomb blast.

Death and injury in Nagasaki and the surrounding areas, depended on where people lived. Those who lived on the Koba hillside, just three and a half miles from ground zero, were protected from the blast by a mountain. People caught up in the blast came to Koba for help and Fujie Urata, who lived in Koba and had seen a large flash, could not believe what she was seeing. She described people with great sheets of skin hanging off of their bodies; grotesque swollen faces; torsos covered with large blisters.

As in Hiroshima, many in Nagasaki died after the immediate impact of the bomb had gone away from mysterious ailments which we now associate with radiation poisoning. No-one, understandably, knew what to do to help the victims of this newest of illnesses.

In 1953, a report by the US Strategic Bombing Survey put the number of deaths at 35,000, wounded at 60,000 and 5,000 missing. In 1960, the Japanese put the number of dead at Nagasaki at 20,000 and the number of wounded at 50,000. Later, the Nagasaki Prefectural Office put the figure for deaths alone at 87,000 with 70% of the city's industrial zone destroyed.

source



Following the attack, Bock's Car was so low on fuel that Sweeney began "flying the steps", carefully trading altitude for speed to stretch the fuel supply. One engine stopped from fuel starvation as the aircraft made its landing approach, a second stopped on the runway, and a third stopped just as the aircraft came to a halt. The aircraft had seven gallons of gasoline left, not counting the 800 gallons trapped in the tank with the defective pump.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
- Robert A. Heinlein
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#8
(06-02-2014, 12:10 PM)LZA Wrote:
(06-02-2014, 07:37 AM)radiobox Wrote: Read their bios and no one seems to have officially expressed regret. Wonder if it was some ground crew.

In a way that's good. it cuts down on the PTSD and sorrow. It was none of these guys fault, as they were following orders. I'd have to think that way in order to carry out such a mission. Kind of like how the guys charged to electrify the electric chair or administer the drugs when someone is on death row. It's not you as a person who does these things, your just the tool implemented in carrying out the task.
that's what the guards in the nazi death camps said,we just followed orders
consistency is the hobdob
of small minds[
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#9
"I was just following orders" is always the primary defense of the morally bankrupt.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
- Robert A. Heinlein
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#10
(06-02-2014, 08:52 PM)srijantje Wrote: that's what the guards in the nazi death camps said,we just followed orders

you can call it what you like. the fact of the matter is that even though the Japanese were beaten all the way back to their own shores and their military mostly at the bottom of the pacific... it still took two atomic weapons to make japan surrender.

people like rainmondo would have you believe that we started the war with sanctions; others would like to point out that japan was allied with the nazis and were steadily conquering asia and the pacific... indiscriminately killing civilians and the sanctions were the only way to slow them down.
"Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.
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