- Kermit Beahan
Infobox Military Person
name= Lt. Col. Kermit BeahanUnited States Air Force
died= death date and age|1989|03|10|1918|07|09
Clear Lake, Texas
nickname=the Great Artiste
allegiance=flag|United States of America
branch= air force|United States
rank= Lieutenant Colonel
509th Bomb Wing
World War II
Silver StarDistinguished Flying Cross with 2 Clusters Air Medalwith 7 clusters Purple Hearts(2)
Kermit K. Beahan
July 09, 1918– March 10, 1989was the bombardier on the American B-29 Superfortress" Bockscar", and was the one who, on August 9, 1945, visually targeted Nagasaki, Japan, in order to drop an atomic bomb onto it. It was his twenty-seventh birthday on the same day. He flew on the Hiroshima mission in " The Great Artiste" which was named after him, purportedly because he could hit a pickle barrel with a bomb from 30,000 feet, or he was "good with the fairer sex". He was part of the famous 97th and took part in the 1st including the first B-17 raids in Europe. He flew 12 missions over Europe and 19 missions over North Africa. He was shot down and crash landed twice in Europe and twice in North Africa. He returned to the United States as a bombing instructor in Midland Texas. In the summer of 1944, he was recruited by Colonel Paul Tibbets to be part of the 509th Composite Group which was formed to deliver the atomic bomb. After the war, he remained in the Air Force until the 1964. After he retired from the Air Force, he worked as as techncal writer for Brown and Root through 1986. In 1985, on the 40th anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing, Mr. Beahan said he would never apologize for the bombing. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE1D81439F932A25750C0A96F948260M New York Times ] ] Mr. Beahan attended Rice Universityon a football scholarship during the 1930's.
* " I suppose it was when the clouds opened up over the target at Nagasaki. The target was there, pretty as a picture. I made the run, let the bomb go. That was my greatest thrill." His reply when asked "What was your most outstanding experience on this historic flight?"
"I hope to keep the dubious distinction of being the last man to use an atomic bomb"
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