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Sun, Apr 11, 2010

Gone West: Enola Gay Crewman Morris Jeppson

Jeppson Was A Weapons Test Officer On The Historic Flight

Morris Jeppson, one of the crewmembers on board the Enola Gay during her historic mission which helped bring the war in Japan to a close, has passed away. The Weapons Test Officer was 87.

Jeppson died March 30th at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas. The Associated Press reports that he had been taken to the hospital several days earlier with a "violent headache."

Jeppson wound up on the flight by chance. A coin toss gave him the spot on the mission which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan. In a 2003 interview, Jeppson said the bombings "probably saved hundreds of thousands of American lives, and many more Japanese lives," though he said it was a "devastating thing."

Jeppson's passing means that the only remaining crewman from Enola Gay is navigator Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk.

FMI: www.nasm.si.edu/exhibitions/gal103/enolagay/

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