Nelson, Richard “Dick” H, born 26-04-1925 in Moscow, Idaho, was a United States Army World War II Veteran. His plans to become a pilot ended at the Santa Ana Army Air Base because of poor eyesight. Transferring to radio school in Iowa, he graduated near the top of his class. He was assigned to the 509th Composite Group , a secret, hand-picked group training for an undisclosed mission. The crew was taken to Tinian, a small island in the Marianas chain, where they practiced missions over Japan. He was the Radio Operator aboard the Enola Gay the plane that dropped the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima on 06-08-1945. The crew members were Colonel Paul Warfield Tibbets the pilot and Aircraft commander, Captain Robert A. Lewis, Co-pilot, Major Thomas Ferebee Bombardier, Captain Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk, Navigator, U.S. Navy Captain William S. “Deak” Parsons, Weapaneer and bomb commander, Lieutenant Jacob Beser, Radar countermeasures, also the only man to fly on both of the nuclear bombing aircraft, Second Lieutenant Morris R. Jeppson, Assistant weaponeer, Technical Sergeant Georg R. “Bob” Caron, Tail gunner, Technical Sergeant Wyatt E. Duzenberry
Flight engineer, Sergeant Joe S. Stiborik, Radar operator, Sergeant Robert H. Shumard, Assistant flight engineer, Private First Class Richard H. Nelson, VHF radio operator. Enola Gay
is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named after Enola Gay Tibbets, mother of pilot Paul Tibbets. On 06-08-1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb as a weapon of war. The bomb, code-named “Little Boy”, was targeted at the city of Hiroshima, Japan, and caused extensive destruction. When the bomb detonated, about 1,900 feet above the city,
Death and burial ground of Nelson, Richard “Dick” H.
Richard Nelson, the youngest of the crew, sent a coded message that was forwarded to President Harry Ship Truman. It read, ”Results excellent.” Richard Nelson died age 77 of a heart attack on 01-02-2003, as complications of emphysema, his family said. and is buried on the cemetery of Riverside National, California.
Richard H. Nelson died on February 1, 2003 at 3:00 a.m., which was three hours before the astronauts on the Space Shuttle Columbia were killed on reentry to the Earth’s atmosphere. In her interview, Nancy remembered that at Dick’s memorial service, Forrest Haggerty, a friend and author of the book on 43 Seconds to Hiroshima, said that the astronauts “wanted some very nice man to greet them at the Pearly Gates, and that was Dick Nelson.”