Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Paul Tibbets Day!

My father was in San Francisco in the late summer of 1945. He's told me that there was a popular saying amongst servicemen at the time: "The Golden Gate by '48"- some people figured that the war might drag on for another three years. I recently learned a fuller version was:

"Home alive in '45
Back in the sticks by '46
It'll be heaven in '47
The Golden Gate by '48"
(to which some pessimists added, "Bread line by '49")

I've been to the island of Saipan, and seen Marpi Point, so I figure I have a better idea than most people what was scheduled to start on November 1, 1945. My father was slated to flying in a B-29; my uncle was due to be in the follow-on echelon in Operation CORONET- the invasion on Honshu in March of '46.

Some people condemn Colonel (later Brigadier General) Tibbets for carrying out President Truman's orders 64 years ago today- try finding *one* veteran of the war who is not thankful for the way the war ended.

Paul Tibbets spent most of his life in Columbus, Ohio- he died Nov. 1, 2007, at the age of 92. (I will *not* speculate as to hether that was a sign of Divine Favor)

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