His death means there are now no surviving members of the Enola Gay's crew who, by doing their jobs, became an early and integral part in the ongoing narrative over nuclear weapons. military, Van Kirk flew dozens of missions in Europe and North Africa. Yet the history books will largely remember him and others aboard that Nike Air Force 1 High Wheat Womens B 29 for the morning of August 6, 1945.
After the war, Van Kirk left the military, got his master's degree in chemical engineering at Bucknell University, then had a long career working for DuPont. He retired in 1985 a decade after his wife's death and remained active, eventually settling in Georgia near one of his daughters.
that would go on for decades as well as concerns about developing nuclear weaponry that persist in places Air Force One Low All White
Last surviving crewmember of Enola Gay dies
Three days later, another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. land invasion.
On Monday, Van Kirk died of natural causes at the Park Springs retirement community in Stone Mountain, Georgia, according to his eldest daughter Vicki Triplett.
He will be buried in Northumberland the central Pennsylvania city in which he was born alongside his wife, Tom Van Kirk said. Together, the couple had four children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
By then, Van Kirk had flown about 15 missions out of England and about 10 more out of North Africa. He then returned to the United States with new orders, training "primarily to make the rapid turn and running away from the bomb," Van Kirk recalled decades later to CNN.
At the same time, he said "Dutch" Van Kirk's life was much more than that.
A single bomb blast killed some 140,000 people and helped end World War II and pushed the world suddenly into the nuclear era.
like North Korea and Iran to this day.
It also set the stage for what would become known as the Cold War a nuclear arms race between the Soviet Union and United States Air Force Shoes Men
. Number two, the thoughts were, 'This war is over.' And that was good. That was good.'"
Tom Van Kirk told CNN on Tuesday that his father "felt no regrets about" the Hiroshima mission.
His first thought when the bomb fell was "'God, I'm glad it worked Air Force 1 Flyknit Low On Feet
"You didn't see anything except a bright flash and the airplane," Van Kirk recalled. "You saw a white cloud hanging over the city. You saw the underneath the cloud the entire city was just entirely covered with smoke and dust, and it looked like a pot of boiling oil down there."
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