Co-pilot in Nagasaki bombing dies at 88

June 5, 2009 at 3:17 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., June 5 (UPI) -- Charles Donald Albury, co-pilot for the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, has died in Florida at the age of 88.

Albury suffered from congestive heart failure, The Miami Herald reported. He died May 23 in Orlando, where he and his wife had lived for the past decade.

In 1943, Albury, a Miami native, joined the 509th Composite Unit, a top-secret aviation group at White Sands, N.M., headed by Col. Paul Tibbetts Jr. On Aug. 6, 1945, Albury flew a support plane when Tibbetts and his crew bombed Hiroshima.

On Aug. 9, Major Charles Sweeney, Albury, then a first lieutenant in the Army Air Force, and an eight-man crew flew to Nagasaki with the bomb nicknamed Fat Man. Three days later, Albury and Tibbetts flew medical supplies into Nagasaki.

"There was almost complete destruction, but people were walking around," he told the Herald in an interview.

Like Tibbetts, Albury believed using the bomb saved lives by ending the war. But he told an interviewer he hoped the weapon would never be used again.

After the war, Albury was a pilot for Eastern Airlines for many years.

Albury is survived by his wife of 65 years, Roberta, and a son.

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