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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

ANSWER: Greetings
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 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
Thank you

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

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),[2] 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),[34][35] 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.  

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Paul Sutton


I can answer questions on World War Two weapons, tactics, and strategy. I can answer questions on Weapons systems and their development. I can answer guestions on Space exploration history. I am a World War 2 expert. I study Military Weapons Systems and the usage of those systems.


I work for Saint Petersburg College as a TRS or Technology resources specialist. I read 10 to 15 books a year on World War 2 and weapon systems. I also have a BA in History from USF.

I have a BA in history from USF.

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