Program to feature Enola Gay pilot#039;s son

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Gene Tibbets, the son of Brigadier General Paul W. Tibbets (USAF Retired), will be one of the featured speakers at Greenville High School's Veterans' Day program this Thursday morning in the school auditorium.

Gen. Tibbets was the pilot of B-29 Enola Gay, the aircraft that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima during World War II. The Enola Gay was named after Gen. Tibbets' mother. Gen. Tibbets has been recognized in the National Aviation Hall of Fame and has received several medals of honor. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, and is 92 years old. He has stopped his traveling and speaking tours, and his son, Gene Tibbets, travels and tells his father's story.

Gene Tibbets, a pilot who flies at the corporate level, will give the presentation in honor of his father's achievements.

Also speaking during the Veterans' Day program is Retired U.S. Army Col. Eric O. Cates of Greenville. Col. Cates served in World War II and in the Korean War. He helped to establish the Junior ROTC program at Greenville High School.

&#8220We've had many veterans to respond and say that they will be in attendance this Thursday,” GHS assistant principal Mike Gunter said. &#8220We will also have representatives from all four branches of the military present.”

The GHS Marching Tiger Band will be playing and the ROTC will be presenting the flags. ROTC cadets will act as guides for visitors.

&#8220It's very important that our students don't forget the people in our community who have fought for our freedoms,” GHS principal Dr. Kathy Murphy said. &#8220We want to give a place of honor for these veterans.”

The program will begin at 9 a.m. this Thursday, Nov. 10, in the school auditorium. A reception will be hold following the program to honor those veterans present. All veterans are invited to attend the program and the reception. Those veterans wishing to attend are asked to call 382-2608 or 382-0416.