Obits in Brief


Charles D. Albury

Charles Donald Albury, who died on 23 May aged 88, was the co-pilot of the plane, the Bockscar, that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki on 9 August 1945. Three days earlier he had flown a support plane for the Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

"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," he said of the first mission. "Every colour in the rainbow seemed to be coming out of it." 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.

After the war, he settled in Coral Gables, Florida, with his wife and flew planes for Eastern Airlines.

Lyudmila Zykina

Lyudmila Zykina, who died in Moscow on 1 July aged 80, was one of the Soviet Union's best-loved folk singers, who rose to stardom from the factory floor to charm millions at the height of the Cold War.

Born in Moscow in 1929, Zykina, known as "the Russian Edith Piaf", worked during the Second World War as a turner in a machine tool factory, her singing career taking off after she won a competition in 1947. In a career that spanned Russia's postwar history, she sang to both Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Putin. With her powerful, deep voice, she symbolised the Soviet style, using traditional songs but performed in an almost operatic style with orchestral backing.

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