November 28, 2014

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.

 

 

 

Excellent, Affordable Genealogy Webinars by Michael John Neill

Genealogy Webinars – by Michael John Neill

There is nothing closer to my heart than telling my friends about excellent genealogy resources.  Even better, these webinars were created by my friend Michael John Neill! You may know Michael from Casefile Clues and now I’m happy to say he has released his Genealogy Webinars to the public.

I hope you’ll take a moment to click the link above and discover some new genealogical information you might never have thought of before.

If you’re in a hurry, I’ll be adding a link to my sidebar so you can return and sign up later.

Affiliate

That Headstone Might Not Be Stolen

 

John Whitmore’s Headstone: The First One Was Broken In Shipment

We researchers probably hear about headstone desecration more in genealogy circles than the average person, but I’d like to caution my readers to always check to see if there is another facet to the story if you should find a headstone somewhere other than in a cemetery.

It’s entirely possible to find a lone headstone just laying out in a field (sometimes with cattle in attendance).  If it’s an old patch of family land, there could even be others nearby that you wouldn’t even see because they’ve deteriorated in the weather.

You Have A Headstone In Your Yard?

But what about those stones that are broken and used for steps or something in someone’s yard? No doubt at first you would be appalled that someone could use them in such a way.  There could be some simple explanations though:

  • They were not used or approved by the family because there was a mistake.
  • In the process of setting the stone it broke and the mortuary discarded it.
  • A new one was set in place (such as the Medal of Honor one above) and so one of the family members took home the old one and used it in his/her yard.
  • A new owner of a home might not know that the other side of that nice piece of granite in the yard has an inscription on the other side.

Years ago I found a DAR cemetery marker in an antique store in Iowa.  It had no identifying marks on it, and since I’m in the DAR I bought it and brought it home.  Truthfully, I have no idea what to do with it, so it’s just stored away in a safe place.

My final thoughts on all of this is that before you contact any authorities and report anyone, try to find out the facts first.

How To Clean A Headstone – Advice From The Artist

W. D. Breedlove – Bredlow headstone

 

[easyazon-image-link asin=”0393731693″ alt=”Cemeteries (Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks)” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51raGJMDU0L._SL160_.jpg” align=”center” width=”121″ height=”160″]

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.

© 2007-2014 iPentimento|Genealogy and History All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright