Thank you for visiting this site. This is a collection of documents I found in my
attic. The previous owner of the home, John Newman, was an Ensign during
Operation Crossroads. Not only that, he was a "J-2" as I read from his records.
This job required him to be the assistant to the top brass, being a courier
carrying sensitive documents, as well as escorting VIP's and members of the
press through the Operation. Aside from these souvenirs of OpCR, I found his
full service record, which in 1946 was a giant leather bound folder, detailing all
his assignments through his service. This also includes the World War 2 Victory
Citation, signed by Secretary Forrestal. Although our neighbors knew he was in
the service, they had no idea he was ever a part of all this; he never spoke of it.
We have finally tracked down Ensign John Newman! Through the
grapevine, his daughter e-mailed me this past weekend. She said that her dad
had been distraught because he had no idea where he had put these documents,
and the family is so glad I found them! I decided to put this type of info in a
separate update. To read more about finding John Newman, click the Directory
link below. Also subscribe to the RSS feed and stay on top of any new additions
to the story!
ADMIRAL WILLIAM HENRY PURNELL BLANDY: The officer in charge of Joint
Task Force 1. He is the man who authored the publications we see here; the
pamphlet with the bomb blast on front, as well as an instruction manual 2 items
below on this page. His nick-name was Spike, and he also has the dubious
distinction/nickname "Atomic Playboy". Here's a quote of his from July 25, 1946:
The bomb will not start a chain-reaction in the water converting it all to gas and
letting the ships on all the oceans drop down to the bottom. It will not blow out
the bottom of the sea and let all the water run down the hole. It will not destroy
gravity. I am not an atomic playboy, as one of my critics labeled me, exploding
these bombs to satisfy my personal whim.
Plenty of post-modern bloggers (i.e. wannabees who live in their parents'
basement, my impression of all know-it-all bloggers NB*) they use the "Atomic
Playboy" term to cast aspersions on Admiral Blandy. But if you know the
history of Crossroads, the first shot, "Able" an air drop, was somewhat a fizzle,
even when you factor in the bomb lost a tail fin and missed the target a bit.
The press wasn't impressed with what was the first post-war atomic bomb
blast. So if any social "experts" fancy they might be able to run the numbers
and come up with results without actually testing a nuke, well, let them try.
In one of those coincidences of history, last Sunday, (6/15/08) we were touring
Arlington Cemetery. At one point, we were walking past a group of stones with
a lot of top brass. For a moment, the Admiral's name slipped my mind. When I
remembered "WHP Blandy", well, as if on cue, I laid my eyes on his tombstone.
It's on Roosevelt Drive, west of Grant Drive, right near where Admiral Richard
Byrd, the polar explorer is buried. Click his picture to see the Wikipedia link for
Admiral Blandy. And that page also has a link to his gravesite as well.
Along with the pamphlets in the attic, truly the motherlode was the collection of
communiques leading up to the date of the Operation. I scanned half of these
into PDF files, which you can see by clicking the dispatch above. Half of these
were basic messages saying "General So and So just left this afternoon and is
flying there today". I set these off to the side since they weren't that
remarkable. However, the ones I did scan have something interesting with
information people might not have known. Apparently Ensign John Newman was
a liason of sorts, and was part of a team that had to set up accommodations for
people arriving or coming through Kwajelein. One of the messages discusses
how VIP's heading to the War Crimes Tribunal in Tokyo were passing through.
Or the wife of the Finance Minister of China was arriving. Or how one of the
captains forgot his glasses, and someone had to make sure they were put on the
next plane out. The PDF files were scanned in groups of 5 pages to make for
more manageable viewing.
|Staff Instructions from the Commander of
Joint Task Force ONE, Vice Admiral
William H.P. Blandy.
This book details the chain of command.
Essentially an outline of all officers and
staff, as well as duties and watches.
Below is a copy of the Navy World War 2
Victory Citation. The white version you
see is a printer's copy with a gold foil
embossed emblem. But mouse-over, and
you will see a negative. (Big file, may
take a few seconds; hold that mouse!)
This appears to be an acetate. I guess if
John wanted copies, he would send it to
a photo studio, and they would make a
print in the darkroom. To see a larger
version of these 2 pictures on another