Blandy, William Henry Purnel, ADM

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Admiral
Primary Unit
1947-1950, Commander, US Fleet Forces Command (COMUSFLTFORCOM)
Service Years
1913 - 1950
Admiral
Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

34 kb

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
1890
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Kent Weekly (SS/DSV) (DBF), EMCS to remember Blandy, William Henry Purnel (Spike), ADM USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
St Albans, NY

Date of Passing
Jan 12, 1954
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Not Specified
   
Other Comments:

Admiral Blandy was Commander Joint Task Force 1 for the Operations Crossroads test at Bikini atoll

   
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Operation Crossroads (Bikini Atoll)
Start Year
1946
End Year
1946

Description
Operation Crossroads was a pair of nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in mid-1946. They were the first nuclear weapon tests since Trinity in July 1945, and the first detonations of nuclear devices since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The purpose of the tests was to investigate the effect of nuclear weapons on warships.

The Crossroads tests were the first of many nuclear tests held in the Marshall Islands, and the first to be publicly announced beforehand and observed by an invited audience, including a large press corps. They were conducted by Joint Army/Navy Task Force One, headed by Vice Admiral William H. P. Blandy rather than by the Manhattan Project, which had developed nuclear weapons during World War II. A fleet of 95 target ships was assembled in Bikini Lagoon and hit with two detonations of Fat Man plutonium implosion-type nuclear weapons of the kind dropped on Nagasaki, each with a yield of 23 kilotons of TNT (96 TJ).

The first test was Able. The bomb was named Gilda after Rita Hayworth's character in the 1946 film Gilda, and was dropped from the B-29 Superfortress Dave's Dream of the 509th Bombardment Group on July 1, 1946. It detonated 520 feet (158 m) above the target fleet and caused less than the expected amount of ship damage because it missed its aim point by 2,130 feet (649 m). The second test was Baker. The bomb was known as Helen of Bikini and was detonated 90 feet (27 m) underwater on July 25, 1946. Radioactive sea spray caused extensive contamination. A third deep-water test named Charlie was planned for 1947 but was canceled primarily because of the United States Navy's inability to decontaminate the target ships after the Baker test. Ultimately, only nine target ships were able to be scrapped rather than scuttled. Charlie was rescheduled as Operation Wigwam, a deep-water shot conducted in 1955 off the California coast.

Bikini's native residents agreed to evacuate the island, and were evacuated on board the LST-861, with most moving to the Rongerik Atoll. In the 1950s, a series of large thermonuclear tests rendered Bikini unfit for subsistence farming and fishing because of radioactive contamination. Bikini remains uninhabited as of 2015, though it is occasionally visited by sport divers. Planners attempted to protect participants in the Operation Crossroads tests against radiation sickness, but one study showed that the life expectancy of participants was reduced by an average of three months. The Baker test's radioactive contamination of all the target ships was the first case of immediate, concentrated radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion. Chemist Glenn T. Seaborg, the longest-serving chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, called Baker "the world's first nuclear disaster."
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1946
To Year
1946
 
Last Updated:
Apr 27, 2009
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
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Operation Crossroads 1946 - Able and Baker
Operation Crossroads 1946 - Able and Baker
Operation Crossroads 1946 - Able and Baker
Operation Crossroads 1946 - Able and Baker

  27 Also There at This Battle:
 
  • Anderson, Carl J, PO2, (1944-1946)
  • Barnes, William, S1c, (1946-1948)
  • Donaldson, Lyle, MCPO, (1940-1975)
  • Garrett, Earl, PO2, (1941-1953)
  • Kropf, Walter, PO2, (1945-1946)
  • McElwee, Robert, HA2c, (1945-1947)
  • Meek, James Ross, PO2, (1943-1947)
  • Spore, Burns Walling, CAPT, (1937-1970)
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