Paul Tibbets

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Colonel Paul Tibbets Jr.
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Colonel Paul Tibbets Jr.

Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr. (born February 23, 1915 in Quincy, Illinois) was the pilot of the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb.

Tibbets is the son of Paul Warfield Tibbets and Enola Gay Tibbetts (ne Hazard). On February 25, 1937, Paul enlisted as a flying cadet in the Army Air Corps at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. On August 5, 1945 Colonel Paul Tibbets formally named the B-29 Aircraft 44-86292 Enola Gay after his mother (she was named after the heroine, Enola Gay, of a novel her father had liked). On August 6, 1945 the Enola Gay departed with Tibbets at the controls at 2:45 a.m. for Hiroshima, Japan. The atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m. local time.

In the '60s he was posted as military attache in India but this posting was rescinded after all political parties in India protested his presence.

In 1959, Col. Tibbets was promoted to Brigadier General. He retired from the U.S. Air Force on August 31, 1966.

Tibbets' grandson, Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets, IV, as of 2005 is a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, flying a B-2 Spirit for the 509th Bomb Wing, the same unit his grandfather served.

Awards and Decorations

Quotes

"Weve never fought a damn war anywhere in the world where they didnt kill innocent people. If the newspapers would just cut out the shit: 'Youve killed so many civilians.' Thats their tough luck for being there." - Paul Tibbets to Studs Terkel, 2002 [1] (http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,769634,00.html)fr:Paul Tibbets ja:ポール・ティベッツ nl:Paul Tibbets de:Paul Tibbets

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