MILTON, Mass. (AP) - Charles Sweeney, a retired U.S. air force general who piloted the plane that dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, in the final days of the Second World War, has died at age 84.
Sweeney died Thursday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, hospital spokeswoman Christine Johanson said. She did not disclose the cause of death.
Sweeney was 25 when he piloted the B-29 bomber that attacked Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, three days after the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and six days before Japan surrendered.
About 70,000 people were killed in the explosion of the bomb, dubbed Fat Man. It was the first bomb Sweeney ever dropped on an enemy target.
Sweeney was an outspoken defender of the bombings, appearing on CNN and speaking at colleges and universities.