|Birthname||Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr.|
|born on||23 February 1915|
|Place||Quincy, Illinois, 39n56, 91w25|
|Timezone||CST h6w (is standard time)|
American military piilot who became known in WWII for commanding and piloting the Enola Gay, the plane which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945.
Tibbets wrote his memoir, "The Tibbets Story" where he told of the event.
The plane was named after his mother Enola Gay Haggard. Tibbets spent his early years on his parents' farm in Iowa until the family moved to Miami. When he was 12 years old, Tibbets had an awe-inspiring ride in a plane with a barnstorming pilot who, in a promotional stunt, dropped Baby Ruth candy bars on Hialeah racetrack. Although his father wanted him to be a doctor, his mother encouraged him to follow his heart. After attending the University of Florida and the University of Cincinnati, Tibbets joined the Army Air Corps in 1937.
He had an illustrious record flying B-17s during WWII. He was told about the atomic bomb in Spetember 1944 when he was testing B-29s. The Enola Gay lifted off the island of Tinian on August 6, 1945 and at 8:15 AM local time, from the skies over Hiroshima, the bomb known as "Little Boy" ejected from the B-29. Tibbets managed to pilot the plane immediately out of harm's way. It is estimated that 60-70 thousand people were killed by the bomb, 50,000 more injured and the city was in ruins. Three days later, another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki by another pilot.
Even into old age, Tibbets said that he did not regret his actions on that day, as the war with Japan ended with Japan's surrender on August 15, 1945. Tibbets pointed out that dropping the bomb saved many more lives than it took by preventing an invasion of Japan.
Tibbets lived to 92 years of age, passing away on November 1, 2007 in Columbus, OH.
- Social : Joined group 1937 (Army Air Corps)
PT quotes his obituary in the NY Times November 2, 2007 for date and place, no time
- Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs
- Vocation : Military : Combat (WWII)
- Vocation : Military : Military service (WWII)
- Notable : Famous : Historic figure (Pilot of Enola Gay, which dropped first Atomic Bomb)