I was reminded by your “Atomic Cleanup Vets” cover story that time is running out to compensate the “greatest generation” veterans and their surviving widows for radiation contamination. My late dad, Thomas R. Daniel Sr., was an atomic vet who served as a U.S. Navy ship’s cook aboard USS LST-1073 which moored in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 shortly after “Fat Man” was dropped. This mission was classified as “secret” until the 1970s. Consequently my dad took his secret to the grave in 1964 when we lost him to leukemia at the age of 39. It was only years later in 1991 while serving in the Pentagon that I was able to obtain the declassified records of USS LST-1077 from the National Archives and learn about the previously classified mission that included U.S. Marine occupational forces, survey teams, photographers, etc. Subsequently I was able to help my mother obtain a widow’s pension from the Veterans Administration because we were able to prove his cancer was caused by his radiation exposure in Nagasaki.
I applaud the efforts of Frank Bolton and please let him know I am willing to volunteer to help him help our vets.
Tom Daniel Jr.
Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired)