Living history attends Thunder in the Valley -, GA News Weather & Sports

Living history attends Thunder in the Valley

By Katherine Kington - email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Children took pictures by aircrafts, cheered as planes fell through the sky and gazed in awe of parachute jumpers.

     But the parents of this group had their moment of awe too.

     89 year old Dutch Van Kirk was at Thunder in the Valley.

     He served as a piece of living history....Van Kirk was the Navigator for the famed B-29 Enola Gay that released the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Van Kirk says,  The 1st atomic bomb were the easiest missions I flew in my life. Why? Because everything went exactly according to plan. And when everything goes exactly to plan you don't have any trouble and everything works."

       Van Kirk is out to give two messages.

     One, support the Honor Flight program that flies our war vets to Washington, D.C. so they can see their monument. The other is for people to understand "the atomic bomb was, what it did and that we never see another alone of them exploded in anger again."   

     Military history fans had a field day as World War Two aircrafts and pilots lined the Columbus airport.

Phil Cataldo, a pilot for Tiger Flight, said, ""There's heroes everywhere. If you're a pilot even if you just love aviation you're going to see hero aircrafts that have flown in world war two. My heroes. And the pilots are here unfortunately the fading veterans of ww2. The greatest generation.">

     But Thunder in the Valley isn't just for the history buffs.

     Everyone can find their place and have fun. 

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