Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Thanks again, Gen. Tibbetts


Sixty-eight years ago today, the guy on the right flew the B-29 Enola Gay from the Pacific island of Tinian to Japan in the world’s first atomic bomb attack.

I count it a singular honor to have been able to meet Gen. Paul Tibbetts, shake his hand and thank him for what he did on Aug. 6, 1945.

My first wife and our two sons owe their lives to him because Capt. Phil Kroon, who was awaiting reassignment from Europe to the Pacific Theater of Operations, almost certainly would have been involved in the planned invasion of Japan. The Navy Department estimated that the invasion would have resulted in between 1.7 and 4 million U.S. casualties with 400,000 to 800,000 deaths. The Los Angeles Times guessed the American death toll would be closer to 1 million.


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