Theodore Van Kirk
American Air Force navigator; recipient of the Silver Star
Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk (27 February 1921 – 28 July 2014) was a navigator in the United States Army Air Forces, best known as the navigator of the Enola Gay when it dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Upon the death of fellow crewman Morris Jeppson in 2010, Van Kirk became the last surviving member of the Enola Gay crew.
- 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 the bombing 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.
- As quoted in "HIROSHIMA - Enola Gay's Crew Recalls The Flight Into a New Era" (1995), The New York Times
- Encyclopedic article on Theodore Van Kirk on Wikipedia