Roster of Fallen Atomic Cleanup Veterans

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We are but a few of the Survivors of the 1977-1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission in the Marshall Islands.

Our main focus is to help each other with information and moral support during challenging times.

Our secondary focus is to urge Congress to change the current laws and recognize soldiers of the atomic cleanup mission as “veterans who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

Some of the soldiers and civilians and government personnel who participated in the 1977 – 1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission kept in touch with each other after they left Enewetak Atoll.

We know there were soldiers who died during the mission, but we are hearing about many more who died after the Atomic Cleanup Mission.

Please help us create a Roster of Fallen Atomic Cleanup Veterans from the 1977-1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission by adding known Fallen Veterans here:

Roster of Fallen Atomic Cleanup Veterans of the 1977 – 1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission – Updated 2/18/2015 listing 9 Fallen Atomic Cleanup Veterans:

  • Butler, Hugh T. “Motor Mouth” – Navy, 1979, Lojwa Provided 2/18/2015 by Carl Fleenor: “Checked his FB Site & saw he passed away June 6, 2014. SOB, I served with Hugh in ACU-1 & Lojwa / Enewetak. What A Loss.”
  • Forrest, Bill – Army – 84th Engineer Battalion – Died 4/12/2008, St Robert MO – Provided 1/19/2015 by SGM David Breitbach.
  • Jarvis. Timothy Paul – US Army Corps of Engineers, 1977-78, Enewetak Atoll, Reported “deceased” to our family in December, 1978. We were told “he was lost at sea, and his remains were unrecoverable.” However, have always believed he was involved in a radiation accident. 8.) 5′ 10″, blonde hair, blue eyes, his rank was private, promoted to corp at death. He was stationed in HI, just prior to being sent to the Marshall Islands. 9.) I am his younger brother, I was in the 7th grade when he died, now I’m 47. We never received his body. Our family was told by the US Government to stop communication with other families, whose son’s were supposedly lost at sea with my brother. That’s why we never believed his death was the result of a sailing accident. Charles Ikner 11/8/2014
  • Jones, James William “Jim” or “Jimmy” – Army – Combat Engineer – 6/14/1979 – 11/14/1980 – Enewetak Island – Health complications: Liver disease, low platelet count, pulmonary disease, mental health problems, hearing loss. – Died 11/08/07 in Glendale, Arizona due to health complications from the above mentioned. – Provided 12/14/2014 by Rebecca Jones. “He was an amazing father and person taken way too soon.”
  • Masculine, Richard “Brooklyn Ball Buster” – Army – E-4 – 84th Engineer Battalion – Lived on Lojwa Island – Died 11/23/2013 at home in Summitville, New York due to cancer related to exposure to radiation. – Provided 12/14/2014 by Gary Pulis. “He was one of, if not the, first “Short Timer” to take me under his wing. We worked on some of the same islands, breathed some of the same dust and drank from the same “Jungle Juice” barrel.”
  • Millspaw, Bruce – Army – E-2 – 84th Engineer Battalion – Lived on Lojwa Island – Was told he died at an early age of cancer, possible bone related. – Provided 12/15/12014 by Paul Laird. “Was stationed with him at 84th Eng Battalion Schofield Hi. before the project began. Bruce Millstone was a 20 year old Mormon from Utah , never smoked I’d drank that I knew of. I believe his death was a result of his exposure from working on the clean- up project.”
  • Reid, Ivan – Navy – ACU-1 – Ivan Reid was a BM1 in the Navy with ACU-1. He ran the waterfront at Enewetak the first half of his tour in 1979 and was at Lojwa until the end of the cleanup in 1980. Reid passed away February 2015 in Texas. May God find peace for his soul.
  • Watkins – Army – E-5 – 84th Engineer Battalion – Lived and worked on Enewetak and Lojwa – Was told by another that he died of a form of cancer, possible bone involvement. – Provided 12/14/2014 by Paul Laird. “He was my squad leader.”
  • Westerling, Rod “Cowboy” – Army – E-4 – 84th Engineer Battalion – Lived on Lojwa Island – Was told by a family member that he died of heart problems. – Provided 12/15/2014 by Paul Laird. “Was stationed with him at 84th Eng Battalion Schofield Hi.and spent time with him on Enewetak before we went to Lojwa.”

If you knew a participant of the 1977 – 1980 Enewetak Atoll Cleanup Mission who has died please add that Fallen Veteran’s name to our roster now.

Page created by Girard Frank Bolton, III. 1977 – 1979 atomic cleanup participant with HHC S-3 (Operations) of the 84th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy) (Fwd) Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands.

Photograph compliments of “Tank” Joseph Francis Berghof Jr. a 1977 atomic cleanup participant with B Company of the 84th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy) (Fwd) (Fwd) Lojwa Island, Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands.

16 thoughts on “Roster of Fallen Atomic Cleanup Veterans

  1. Regarding the question of Jarvis.
    His death WAS the result of a sailing accident.
    He and the Doc left to go sailing, it was just before a storm or typhoon, and the currents must have carried them out to sea, they dispatched search parties to no avail. Heard a rumor that the sailboat was discovered a month later a thousand miles away, only partial torsos, but assumed it was them.
    I had borrowed his speargun to go diving that day, he never returned to claim ot, and I gave it to John C. Lookabill when I arrived back in Hawaii.
    Mike Westfall

  2. I remember Cataldo, and Chest. Dont remember all their names on the larc crew, but you did teach me how to operate it, as I learned how to drive the LCU’s, and LCM’s. From the NAVY guys, had to do something on those hours long boat rides. I also remember there was a first sgt, and son on lojwa while I Was there.
    John Street, and John Lookabill, I remember well. I saw Lookabill in Washington while I was completing my ROTC senior camp at Ft Lewis in 1980 He was doing well, and working for the post office, since then we lost touch. I pulled a lot of pranks while on Lojwa, false ufo reports, flare attacks at night, and a week on the beach in Enewetak, thanks to my c/o, and a b.s.story. I enjoyed my week, but when it came to light, I made the captains shit list, didnt really want to go for art 15, it would have made him look like a fool, so I had to endure for my last 50 days, lol. There is more, but will not elaborate at this time. I do not see Bernie Chrisman on either list, he was a crane operator. They called me PACO. I was young, stupid, and very full of shit, but always up for fun.
    Mike Westfall

  3. I was there Feb. – July ‘ 79 as a surveyor, worked with SSG Bowyer and many others on Runit Dome and grid work of islands. Still above ground having had TWO lung volume reduction surgeries , 2006 and 2012. Of course doctors all said it was due to smoking , refusing to entertain the thought of internal contamination from the islands or my work at DOE plants later on. We are the forgotten ones, the expendable ones.

  4. I was in enewetakatoll from Dec 78 to Jan 79. I lost my left leg below the knee from the typhoon that hit January 5 1979. I was there with the Corp of engineers taking soil samples. We stayed on Lojwa. When the storm hit we were evacuated to enewetak the main island. I have always wanted to thank the Army hand that picked me up and carried me several hundred yards to the medics hooch. The only thing I know is his name was Joe and he was from California and in the Army. He was a big guy with a thick mustache. If anyone knows who this is please contact me on fb. William Maxime. Over there I was known as Willie Nelson from Alabama. Thanks

    • That would probably been big Joe Morgan, he was from Pacifica, near San Francisco.

  5. I was the survey party chief. My team corrected S-3s blunder, closed the key-wall and laid out the cap on Runit. Part of my team also laid out the grids on the contaminated islands for the USAF radiological survey teams. I tried to sign up for the survivor roster but it didn’t take. The picture on your site of a skinny guy standing with a T-16 Theodolite on a wooden pedestal in the center of the crater on Runit is probably me. I’ve been having vision and hearing problems and growing brain tumors; but for now, I’m still a survivor.

    • Sorry you are experiencing health challenges Jack. Hope your medical team can help resolve your brain tumor situation quickly. When were you at Enewetak? We may have been there at the same time. I remember getting some on-hands experience on how to use a transit from a couple of the surveyors on (I think) Medren. The survey team was laying out grid lines for radiation sampling. Things were slow in S-3 so I got to use a transit for the first time. Normally my job was preparing construction drawings for the rest of the battalion to build. I drew the structures built on Lojwa and for the containment structure on Runit. I heard about the non-circular key-wall blunder that had to be torn out and replaced. I don’t think the guys laying out the key-wall had surveying experience. Operations should have sent your team to Runit in the first place. Sorry your attempts to sign our Survivors Roster didn’t work. Try this link instead:

    • Jack – Was Kevin McCarn there when you were there? He was a surveyor also.

  6. I was a squad leader B Co.84th 1st platoon 1979 1981 never went over but worked with many upon returning to Schoefield. Remember watching them on 60 Minutes. I just got off phone with two N.H. Senate staff about this topic as both are on Veteran Commities. They seemed aware of this situation, but I will make sure they stay aware. Ross H.Houghton Charlestown N.H.

  7. Hello all, I am new to this site. I was on Lojwa from late 1977 – April or May of 1978. I really could use some help, have tried since 1987 to get my records from there but they can’t seem to find them. I was attached to the 84th from the 17th Engineer Bn out of FT Hood.

  8. I remember; CW2 Thomas Baldwin-309th Trans Det. LARC, SP4 Joseph Cataldo-309th LARC, WO1 Ray Hama-309th LARC, SGT Norris-309th, CW2 Ervin Deaton-84th Motor Officer at Lojwa, SSG Bradley Olson-309th Trans LARC, SSG Warren-309th Trans LARCWO1 Phillip Jackson 309th LARC, SGT Chest-309th LARC,SP5 Hewitt-309th LARC all were on Lojwa

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