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Theodore Van Kirk

Army Air Corps

Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk was born in Pennsylvania in 1921. He had a "Huckleberry Finn" type of childhood, rowing flats of coal up and down river for his father. As an adult, however, he would serve as a major in the Army Air Corps, eventually becoming the navigator for the Enola Gay from which he witnessed the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mr. Van Kirk remembers transporting General Eisenhower and his staff to Gibraltar and volunteering to bomb Bizerte even though he didn't know where it was (it's in Tunisia). Mr. Van Kirk also describes in great detail the dropping of the Atomic Bomb, the devastation he witnessed in Nagasaki, and the thanks he still gets for helping to end the war.

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