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Enola Gay nose framed photograph signed by Navigator Dutch Van Kirk 

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Century Concepts CC1176
Enola Gay nose framed photograph signed by Navigator Dutch Van Kirk

Historical Note:

Century Concepts

Enola Gay is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named after Enola Gay Tibbets, mother of pilot Paul Tibbets. On August 6, 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb as a weapon of war. The bomb, code-named "Little Boy", was targeted at the city of Hiroshima, Japan, and caused extensive destruction. Print is personally signed by Enola Gay Navigator Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk. Print is matted to include a piece of B29 metal skin relic. Certificate of Authenticity included.

Theodore Van Kirk (February 27, 1921 – July 28, 2014) was a navigator of the United States Army Air Forces, best known as the navigator of the Enola Gay when it dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. With the death of fellow crewman Morris Jeppson (who died on March 30, 2010), Van Kirk was the last surviving member of the Enola Gay crew. He died four years later on July 28, 2014.

Van Kirk returned to the States in June 1943 after flying a total of 58 missions overseas. He served as an instructor navigator until reuniting with Tibbets and Ferebee in the 509th Composite Group atWendover Field, Utah, in late 1944. The group flew the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, with Tibbets as commander and Van Kirk as the group navigator. From November 1944 to June 1945 they trained continually for the first atomic bomb drop, which occurred 6 August 1945.

The thirteen-hour mission to Hiroshima began at 02.45 hrs in the morning Tinian time. By the time they rendezvoused with their accompanying B-29s at 0607 hrs over Iwo Jima, the group was three hours from the target area. As they approached the target Van Kirk worked closely with the bombardier, Tom Ferebee, to confirm the winds and aimpoint. The bomb fell away from the aircraft at 09:15:17 Tinian time. Van Kirk later participated in Operation Crossroads, the first Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests. According to the 1995 New York Times interview by Gustav Niebuhr Mr. Van Kirk told he was often asked, "given a choice about his role in the Hiroshima bombing, would he do it again?":

"Under the same circumstances -- and the key words are 'the same circumstances' -- yes, I would do it again. We were in a war for five years. We were fighting an enemy that had a reputation for never surrendering, never accepting defeat. It's really hard to talk about morality and war in the same sentence. In a war, there are so many questionable things done. Where was the morality in thebombing of Coventry, or the bombing of Dresden, or the Bataan death march, or the Rape of Nanking, or the bombing of Pearl Harbor? I believe that when you're in a war, a nation must have the courage to do what it must to win the war with a minimum loss of lives."

In October 2007, Van Kirk auctioned off the flight log he kept on board the Enola Gay during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima for $US358,500 in a public auction. Van Kirk stated he decided to sell the log because he wants it to be kept at a museum. The auction house did not reveal the name of the successful bidder, although admitted it was a U.S. citizen.

Info: Enola Gay nose framed photograph signed by Navigator Dutch Van Kirk - matted to include B-29 "skin"

Product Videos

Dropping The Atomic Bomb On Hiroshima: Interview With Dutch Van Kirk Of The Enola Gay B-29 (15:03)
RALEIGH - In this exclusive video, back in November of 2007, The Raleigh Telegram interviewed Dutch Van Kirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay B-29 which dropped the first atomic bomb used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan to end World War II and begin the Atomic Age. Van Kirk is the last surviving member of the historic flight.
  • Dropping The A...
    RALEIGH - In this exclusive video, back in November of 2007, T...
  • Last Enola Gay...
    "Dutch" Van Kirk, the last surviving crew member of the plane ...

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