August 1, 2015

1955 Operation Wigwam Participant : John E. Wilkerson

David and John Wilkerson

David and John Wilkerson

We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to get military records for some of our older family members like Jim’s dad Loren, my dad Wm G Yates, and Jim’s uncle John Wilkerson. The fathers were both participants in World War II, and John (as well as his younger brother David Wilkerson) were in the military during the time of the Korean War. Loren, my dad and John were all in the Navy, while uncle David was in the Marines.

Operation Wigwam

My focus in this article is about John E Wilkerson though because we have documentation from his military records that he was on the Navy ship USS McKean during Operation Wigwam in 1955. In May of that year the ship and crew were one of 30 vessels and 6,800 personnel present when the underwater nuclear test took place.  The purpose of the test was to see if it would be effective for use against enemy submarines. No protection was provided for anyone.  In later years Uncle John told Jim the only thing that was done was to wash down the ship afterwards.

After Effects of Radiation Exposure

The USS McKean (DD 784) was in service for many years (In Commission 1945 to 1981) after Operation Wigwam, during which time it was probably brought into shipyards like ours in Bremerton. There, the civil service workers were also exposed to the radiation and most likely somewhat lesser contaminants as they worked on the ship during routine repairs and refurbishment. Ponder that for a moment and digest just how far-reaching the health effects might have been. [As a non-medical person I cannot say whether or not John’s health might have been affected by his exposure to the radiation during Operation Wigwam.] John is still living and his personal information is private.

Sources and Additional Documentation

For more information about Operation Wigwam, please visit this article by Thomas D. Segal The Wigwam That Kept Nobody Safe.

 

 

 

War Of 1812 Veterans KY – John Hurt and Josiah Beckett

Beckett 1812

These two veterans of the War of 1812 are listed in my new book Cumberland County, Kentucky yesterday and today. The citation is on page 112 in the Veterans section of the publication. While this book is new to me, it was first published in 1992.

The images were taken with my iPod camera, and if they are hard to read please let me know and I can try to do a scan. Clicking on the images will make it larger and you can also pin it to Pinterest if you like.

Google Alert Yielded These Osgatharp Burial Results

In our family line, we have some unusual surnames, one of which is Osgatharp.  In my research I’ve found that the original name was likely Osgathorp/e with the immigrant Richard Osgathorp as our ancestor who fought in the American Revolution.  I’ve written about him and this line before.  I believe this surname is unique to the USA through Richard and his progeny.  Of course, there could have been others who came later.  Listed below are some that settled in Indiana.

Herbert Osgatharp (1901 – 1980) – Find A Grave Memorial

Birth: May 3, 1901. Death: Jan. 15, 1980. Burial: Vincent Cemetery Pike County Indiana, USA. Created by: Genealogy Girl Record added: Dec 26, 2011
www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSlh…

Leona Osgatharp (1896 – 1979) – Find A Grave Memorial

Birth: Mar. 24, 1896. Death: Feb., 1979. Burial: Vincent Cemetery Pike County Indiana, USA. Created by: Genealogy Girl Record added: Dec 26, 2011
www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSlh…

Clarence Osgatharp (1898 – 1976) – Find A Grave Memorial

Birth: Jul. 9, 1898. Death: Aug. 6, 1976. Burial: Vincent Cemetery Pike County Indiana, USA. Created by: Genealogy Girl Record added: Dec 26, 2011
www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSlh…

Marie L. Nussmann Osgatharp (1917 – 2009) – Find A Grave Memorial

Birth: Jun. 20, 1917. Death: Jul. 17, 2009. Family links: Spouse: Dean A. Osgatharp (1918 – 1996)* *Calculated relationship. Burial: Vincent Cemetery
www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSlh…

L. Shirley Osgatharp (1892 – 1984) – Find A Grave Memorial

Birth: 1892. Death: May 20, 1984. Indiana, USA. Burial: Bethany Cemetery Washington Daviess County Indiana, USA. Created by: Genealogy Girl
www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSlh…

John Osgatharp In Rev War Record At Footnote

 

Surname Roundup Submission From iPentimento

 

Honoring Their Sacrifices In World War II

SonsDaughtersWWIIVets

The Sons and Daughters of WWII Veterans

An email I received today brought to my attention this site named Sons & Daughters of World War II Veterans Genealogy Society created in 2010.  Here is a snippet explaining their purpose and intent.

The Sons and Daughters of World War II Veterans is a program of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation and the Nimitz Education and Research Center.

The Admiral Nimitz Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation whose mission is to preserve, interpret and teach the great history of World War II in the Pacific, that we may honor all those who, through leadership, exemplified by the character and service of Fleet Admiral Nimitz, courage, skill and sacrifice, won through to victory; and that future generations of Americans may be enlightened and inspired by their story. The Admiral Nimitz Foundation supports and manages the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas.

As there were over 16 million men and women who served during WWII, there’s little doubt this will be a popular site.  It’s purpose is to allow individuals to prove their lineal connection to veterans; to preserve the history of their sacrifices, and to create a public database of those records.
There is a one-time $125.00 Primary Applicant certification fee, with a reduced fee of $25 for individuals related to the Primary Applicant.
For more information regarding your application to join this site, please visit their home page using the link provided at the beginning of this article.  The Society can also be found on Facebook using this link.

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