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
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
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
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