(Reuters) - The last surviving crew member aboard the Enola Gay, the U.S. bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan in 1945, died at a retirement community in Georgia at age 93, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk navigated the flight that dropped “Little Boy” on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.
The bomb instantly killed about 78,000 people. By the end of 1945, the number of dead had reached about 140,000 out of an estimated population of 350,000.
Three days later, the United States dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed “Fat Man” on Nagasaki. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, 1945, bringing World War Two to an end.
Officials at the Park Springs Retirement Community in Stone Mountain, a suburb of Atlanta, confirmed his death, which a friend said occurred after he was hospitalized for several weeks, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by Peter Cooney