Flags to be lowered in Pa. in memory of VanKirk

Monday, August 4, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Tom Corbett has ordered U.S. and state flags to fly at half-staff at state facilities in Harrisburg and Northumberland County in honor of a Pennsylvania native who was the last surviving crew member of the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Flags are to be lowered Tuesday until sundown in memory of Capt. Theodore "Dutch" VanKirk, whose funeral is scheduled that day in his hometown of Northumberland.

VanKirk was the navigator on the B-29 bomber called the Enola Gay. He once said he thought the catastrophic bombing of the Japanese city in 1945 was necessary because it shortened the war, but that he would like to see all of the world's atomic bombs abolished.

VanKirk was 93 when he died July 28 at a Georgia retirement home.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Click image to enlarge.