ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Charles Donald Albury, co-pilot of the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, died on May 23. He was 88.

His death, after years of congestive heart failure, was confirmed by Family Funeral Care in Orlando.

Mr. Albury helped fly the B-29 plane, named the Bockscar, that dropped the bomb on Aug. 9, 1945. Three days earlier, Mr. Albury, then a first lieutenant, had witnessed the deployment of the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, as a pilot for a support plane for the Enola Gay, piloted by Col. Paul Tibbets Jr. Mr. Albury’s plane dropped instruments to measure the magnitude of that blast and levels of radioactivity.

“When Tibbets dropped the bomb, we dropped our instruments and made our left turn,” Mr. Albury told Time magazine four years ago. “Then this bright light hit us and the top of that mushroom cloud was the most terrifying but also the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your life. Every color in the rainbow seemed to be coming out of it.”

As Mr. Albury co-piloted the mission over Nagasaki, cloud cover caused problems until the bombardier found a hole in the clouds. The 10,200-pound device instantly killed an estimated 40,000 people; 35,000 died of injuries and radiation sickness. Japan surrendered on Aug. 14.

Mr. Albury said he felt no remorse, since the attacks prevented what was certain to be a devastating loss of life in an invasion of Japan. He told The Miami Herald in 1982 that he deplored war but would do what he did again if someone attacked the United States.

Mr. Albury was born in 1920 in Miami. He enlisted in the Army before graduating from the University of Miami’s engineering school. In 1943, Mr. Albury joined Colonel Tibbets’s unit, the elite 509th Composite Group. They trained at White Sands, N.M., not knowing the scope of what they were training to do.

After the war, he settled in Coral Gables, Fla., with his wife, Roberta, and flew planes for Eastern Airlines. He became co-manager of Eastern’s Airbus A-300 training program.

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