Paul Tibbets and “The Family of Man”

When I was a child, my mother had one of the early coffee table books on display in the living room. “The Family of Man” ( was, to a kid in grade school in the mid-50s, a fascinating book. There was little TV in those days, few magazines for kids, and of course, no video games, computers, or cell phones. This book’s 500 or so black and white pictures, taken from many magazines, showed a vast array of people from many nations engaged in a wide variety of activities. I spent hours and hours staring at the pictures, fascinated.

I thought of this book again today at the news that COL Paul Tibbets, pilot of the B-29 “Enola Gay” that helped end World War II by dropping the fission bomb on Hiroshima, had died at the age of 92. Tibbets died at his Columbus home after suffering from diseases of old age for several months. The article noted that Tibbets had requested no funeral and no headstone because of the unavoidable demonstrations and defacing by today’s Left who, in their continuing love of their fellow man, miss no opportunity to act like savages when addressing their political enemies. I thought of “The Family of Man” because of a picture it had published, allegedly of Tibbets, showing a stubble-covered, bleary-eyed, shaking wreck of a man who was clearly insane, staring into the camera. My mother instructed that this was the picture of Paul Tibbets, who had plunged into alcoholic madness from the guilt and shame over his infamous mission. I loved my mom, but politically, she was the ideological mother of Nancy Pelosi.

According to one more reliable report, Tibbets had said, "I'm not proud that I killed 80,000 people, but I'm proud that I was able to start with nothing, plan it and have it work as perfectly as it did… You've got to take stock and assess the situation at that time. We were at war. ... You use anything at your disposal… I sleep clearly every night.''

Rest in peace, Colonel. May the country always benefit from men like you and your fellows, despite the misunderstanding and forthright mendacities from those who live the carefree life of Eloi despite the Morlocks who would, were it not for the world’s Paul Tibbetses, eat them while they sleep.

Tibbets (center) and his crew before their famous mission

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