Military History/Bockscar&Enola Gay crew
QUESTION: I came across your answer about Enora Gay and Bockscar crew. According to the answer, Mr. Van Kirk is the only surviving crew of both a-bomb attack airplane. This might be impolite, but I dare to ask how you got the information? Is that based on official record such as Department of Veterans Affaires or something like that? I'm a Japanese news agency reporter. Please help me confirm its authenticity. Thanks a lot in advance, best
Van Kirk is the last survivor of the attack on Hiroshima. I found an article about him in Wikipedia and in two online newspapers the Japanprobe.com and the Charlotte Observer. I have included the links below. I have not found that any of Bockscar crew is still alive.
I hope this helps and enjoy the links
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QUESTION: Mr. Sutton, Thank you so much for your answers and links. Please allow me to ask a bit more, what I was interested in was how you collected information about Bockscar crew. You put dates on which they passed away, these are so specified, most probably they are correct. I'd like to mention that there's no Bockscar crew alive, I just need to know the souces in order to do so. Thank you again,
Below is your answer before.
The second bomber was Bockscar its crew
Maj Charles W. Sweeney (1919 – 2004), Aircraft Commander, N. Quincy, MA
• Capt Charles Donald "Don" Albury (1920 – 2009), Co-pilot (pilot of Crew C-15), Miami, FL
• 2nd Lt Frederick "Fred" J. Olivi (1922 – 2004), Regular Co-pilot
• Capt James F. Van Pelt, Jr. (1918 – 1994), Navigator, Oak Hill, WV
• Capt Kermit K. Beahan (1918 – 1989), Bombardier, Houston, TX
• MSgt John D. Kuharek (1914 – 2001), Flight Engineer, Columbus, NE
• SSgt Raymond C. Gallagher, (1921 – 1999), Gunner, assistant flight engineer, Chicago, IL
• SSgt Edward K. Buckley, (1913 – 1981), Radar Operator, Lisbon, OH
• Sgt Abe M. Spitzer, (1912 – 1984), Radio Operator, Bronx, NY
• Sgt Albert T. "Pappy" DeHart, (1915 – 1976), Tail Gunner, Plainview, TX
• CDR Frederick "Dick" Lincoln Ashworth (1912 – 2005,) (USN), Weaponeer
• 1st Lt Philip Michael Barnes, (1917 – 1998), (USN), Assistant Weaponeer
• 2nd Lt Jacob Beser, (1921 – 1992), Radar Countermeasures, Baltimore, MD (Lt. Beser flew on both atomic missions, serving as the radar countermeasures crewman on the Enola Gay, August 6, 1945 and Bockscar, August 9, 1945).
When I was doing the research I used Wikipedia and several online newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, the Guardian, and the New York Times. I have included links dealing with several of the death announcements of much of the crew.
I hope this helps and thank you.