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DEATHS : Nagasaki Bombardier Dies at 70

March 10, 1989| From Times wire service s

HOUSTON — Kermit Beahan, who dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and said he wanted the distinction of being the last man ever to use the device on humans, died after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 70.

Beahan died Thursday, a day after he underwent prostate surgery in a hospital in nearby Nassau Bay.

Beahan was the bombardier on the plane that dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city on Aug. 9, 1945, killing an estimated 70,000 people. Three days earlier, a bomb dropped from the plane Enola Gay had fallen on Hiroshima.

In 1985, on the 40th anniversary of the bombing, he said he would never apologize for it, adding that 25 Japanese sought him out a few years ago and told him the bombing was the "best way out of a hell of a mess."

But he said he hoped to be the last man ever to drop such a bomb on people.

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