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 8/10/2017 listing 31 known Fallen Atomic Cleanup Veterans. [Red highlighted listings indicate they died during the mission.]
- Bauchspies, Robert W. – Defense Nuclear Agency Commander – Died 12/22/2006 – Bob retired from the service in 1984 with the rank of Colonel after having served as Chief, Systems Analysis and Evaluation Directorate, Ballistic Missile Defense Program Office with the Army General Staff, the Pentagon. His last overseas assignment, ‘78-’79, was as Commander, Joint Task Force, Defense Nuclear Agency, Enewetak Atoll, in the Marshall Islands. The atoll had been used as an experimental site for the expenditure of 43 atomic weapons and the first H-Bomb in the 1950’s.
- Boice, Edward Jr. – Army – First Sergeant, Enewetak Island 5/19/77-5/8/1980, died June 2010 of bladder cancer. – Provided 8/8/16 by Eric Boice (son)
- Brown, Kenneth Lee – Army – “Kenneth Lee Brown passed away on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at the age of 68. He was a native of Sulphur, Louisiana and a resident of Baton Rouge. Ken was an active member of First United Methodist Church. He graduated from LSU with a degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1971, and received a M.S. in Contract and Acquisition Management in 1979. Kenneth was an avid supporter of LSU football and loved his motorcycles. Ken is survived by his wife of 45 years, Carole Anne Brown; three daughters: Mary-Margaret Zabalaoui and her husband James Zabalaoui of Huntsville, AL; Rebecca Valadie and her husband Toby Valadie of Baton Rouge; and Catherine Collins and her husband Michael Collins of Slidell. He has 7 grandchildren; Ashleigh Zabalaoui, Justin Zabalaoui, Helen Valadie, William Valadie, Elise Valadie, Julia Valadie, and Kenneth Collins. Kenneth is also survived by his two sisters: Evelyn Brown Vincent and her husband James Vincent; Susan Brown LeLeaux and her husband Mark LeLeaux. He was preceded in death by his parents Lee and Inola Brown of Sulphur, and his sister Joyce Brown of Sulphur. Ken served more than 22 years in the US Army, from which he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1988. He began as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Then, he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. During his Army career, he was responsible for building a Naval Air Facility in Sigonella, Italy, remediation of nuclear waste at the nation’s Pacific bomb test area at Enewetak, assistant chief of a project in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Affairs at Army Headquarters in Washington, DC, and the final design and construction of the Red River Water Way as the Deputy District Engineer of the Vicksburg District. Ken earned the respect of everyone with whom he served, especially for his ability to apply a common sense decision making process to every situation. His military service was recognized by the receipt of numerous awards and decorations that include the Legion of Merit Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star, the Humanitarian Service Award, the Army Commendation Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and twenty-two Air Medals as well as others. Ken was President of BCG Engineering and Consulting of Metairie. Under his leadership, his firm made substantial contributions to the improvement of flood and hurricane protection in South Louisiana, particularly in Jefferson and Orleans Parishes. He was an influential voice in the call for coastal protection and restoration initiative as he directed efforts to address the beneficial use of Mississippi River sediment. Ken led the effort to obtain the Congressional authorization necessary to establish the Southeast Louisiana Project (SELA), a project that has resulted in significant improvement to the canals and pumping stations in Jefferson and Orleans Parishes and will continue to result in improvement to these and other Parishes. Kenneth will be remembered as a loving husband, father, brother and grandfather to his family. To all who knew him throughout his life he will be remembered as a friend, mentor and, to some, a competitor who possessed those traits of character, honesty and integrity we would hope to see in all. He will be fondly remembered and missed. Visitation will be held Friday, August 10, 2012 from 1pm-3pm at First United Methodist Church with memorial service at 3:00pm, 930 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge.”
- Butler, Hugh Troy, Sr. “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.”
- Clouatre, Robert Ray – US Air Force – Staff Sergeant (E-5) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) FRST 3/1/1977 – 9/1/1977 lived on Lojwa Island and worked on the Northern islands Radiological Support/ordnance identification. Died of Cancer of the mouth/tongue 19 July 2017 in Seattle, WA. “I really didn’t know Ray that well. When I arrived at Clark AB in June 1977 he was already at Enewetak on the initial crew. When he got back he helped convince me I should volunteer for a tour and that’s part of the reason I ended up at Enewetak in April of 1978. By the time I got back from my tour, I believe he had already moved on to a new assignment back in CONUS. Ray and I were stationed together at Clark Air Base, Philippines in 1977.” – Michael M “Spanky” Sanford.
- Corrigan, William Patrick, III – Died 10/23/2006 of colon cancer. – Provided 5/30/16 by Daniel Corrigan (son).
- Davidson, Daniel Martin – Navy – “Daniel Martin Davidson, 65, passed away on May 19, 2017 at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, CA after a 5 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Dan was born on March 14, 1952 in Hardin, Montana to Dean Carl and Gladys Vining (Smart) Davidson. Dan spent his early childhood years in Sidney and Billings, Montana before moving to Bozeman, Montana where he graduated from Bozeman Senior High School in 1970. After high school Dan served in the Navy during the Vietnam era from 1971 to 1975 when he was honorably discharged. While in the Navy, Dan participated in a two-month atomic survey of Enewetak Atoll in preparation for an atomic debris cleanup conducted by the Defense Nuclear Agency. Dan was stationed in Coronado, CA where he met his wife Georgia Ann Prine and they married in 1973 in San Diego, CA. Dan attended college at San Diego State University, CA where he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1984. Dan was a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. Upon graduation he began work for ITT Gilfillan in Van Nuys, CA as a Design and Manufacturing Engineer where he worked until 1992. Following, he held various engineering positions within the aerospace and telecommunication industries. In 1987 Dan moved his family to Simi Valley, CA. He loved his wife of 43 years with all his heart and strength and they raised five children with unceasing dedication and spirited energy. Dan coached soccer, cross-country running, and wrestling for many years and this allowed him to not only mentor his own children but many other young people. He called his grandchildren his crown and enjoyed spending time and playing with them. Some of his favorite hobbies included fishing, hiking, running, gardening and camping. He enjoyed teaching others all he had learned and was experiencing through Christ Jesus. He also enjoyed worshiping and playing guitar with his church family. He taught at One-in-Christ Christian Fellowship, in Simi Valley, CA for many years. He frequently helped the homeless and opened his home to those in need. He was strong and courageous to the end. His admirable passion and faith will always be remembered. Dan was preceded in death by his parents Dean and Gladys, and his brother Dale. Dan is survived by his wife Georgia Davidson; sons, Ben Davidson and wife Kylie, and Andrew Davidson; daughters, Jody Bancroft and husband Matt, Naomi Breithaupt and husband Brian, and Hannah Mobeck and husband Ken, all of Simi Valley, CA; sisters, Donna Lewis and husband Rick of Superior, MT, and Carla Kelly and husband Ross of Fredericksburg, VA. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren Trevor, Amber, Ethan, Dana, Logan, Savannah, Ella, Dean and Tucker as well as many nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, 2864 Sycamore Dr. Simi Valley, CA 93065 at 11:00 a.m., June 3, 2017. A reception will be held immediately following at 840 Irvine Rd. Simi Valley, CA 93065.”
- Flores, Jon R. – USAF – On 29 December 1978, two men stationed at Lojwa Camp, Captain Jon R. Flores, USAF, (the camp doctor) and Private First Class Timothy P. Jarvis, USA, were lost while sailboating in the lagoon for recreation and became the fourth and fifth fatalities of the project. They had been sailing near the three-island complex of Aomon-Bijire-Lojwa. When they failed to return, a massive search and rescue effort was initiated, covering the lagoon, all the islands of the atoll, and the downwind ocean areas to the southwest. The search employed all available local boats and helicopters, as well as U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force search and rescue aircraft from Pacific bases. The search continued without result until 3 January 1979, when it had to be discontinued because of worsening weather conditions from Typhoon Alice.
- Forrest, Bill – Army – 84th Engineer Battalion – Died 4/12/2008, St Robert MO – Provided 1/19/2015 by SGM David Breitbach.
- Fosdick, Walter – Army – 84th – SP5 – 3/1/1977-6/1/1977 Enewetak Island He was a heavy equipment operator. Heavy equipment operator. Heart failure, date unknown, but at least 15 years ago (somewhere near 2000) An old and dear friend. – Provided 1/25/2015 by Paul Riley.
- Hahn, Lawrence Martin – Navy – Electrician on USS Thomaston, 6/1/76-11/2/76 & 11/15/78-5/1/79. Died on August 31, 1984 after losing his battle with testicular cancer. – Provided 9/17/16 by Linda Hahn (wife)
- Halleran, Kenneth E. – Army – Col. Kenneth E. Halleran, (Ret), formerly of Newington, lost his long battle with cancer on Thursday (July 31, 1997) in Locust Grove, VA. He was the son of the late Helen and Kenneth Halleran. He had a long 32 year Army career serving in Korea, German, France, Lebanon, Vietnam, Thailand and the Marshall Islands. He served on the Army general staff at the Pentagon. He commanded the final radiological clean-up of the U.S. Nuclear Test Range in the Marshall Islands.
- 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.”
- Paul Bowman ‘Buddy’ LeVan, III – Army – Sierra Sentinel 5/1/2015 Obituary states “Paul Bowman LeVan III, 58, of Copperopolis in Calaveras County, entered into eternal rest due to unexpected myocardial infarction on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 5:58 PM along Pool Station Road. Paul was born on January 18, 1957 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was the oldest son of Audrey Jean Wolf of Pennsylvania and the late Paul Bowman LeVan Jr.”
- Masculine, Richard “Brooklyn Ball Buster” – Army – E-4 – 84th Engineer Battalion – Lived on Lojwa Island – Died 11/25/2013 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.”
- McCarn, Kevin O’Brien “Eagle Eye” “AWOL” – Army – Surveyed the crater for construction of the dome on Runit. Died 12/14/14. – Provided 5/16/17 by Kevin Riley
- Michaud, Richard Leo – Navy – Worked on Lojwa & Enewetak. Died 8/25/2000 from lymphoma. Provided 5/6/15 by Mary Michaud (wife)
- 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.”
- Moody, Donald E. – Army – SGT – 84th Engineer Battalion – Lived on Lojwa Island – Sgt Donald E. Moody died 14 August 1978 while jump starting a vehicle on Aomon Island at Enewetak Atoll. His body was crushed between a bulldozer and a dump truck. Sgt Moody was well liked by all who knew him.
- Paiste, Jaime Carbajal – Army – 5/1/77-10/1/77, Carpenter who built 500 man base camp on Lojwa. Died 9/24/13. Provided 4/19/16 by Rodolfo Maldonado (Squad Leader at Enewetak)
- Parrish, Joseph Jackson – Navy – 5/7/1977-10/7/1977 – Died 1/18/2017 – Mr. Joseph Jackson Parrish, age 67, of Vernon, Florida passed away January 18, 2017 at his home. He was born May 3, 1949 in Bonifay, Florida. Joe served his Nation as a member of the U.S.Navy, who enlisted October 1968, serving during the Vietnam era. He assisted with the nuclear cleanup of the Marshall Islands and later retired with the rank of Chief Engineman, (E7) He further served with the Merchant Marines as a contracted Engineer. FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS, my Brother.
- Preciado, Richard F, Sr. “Sgt P” – Army – 11/29/78-6/29/79, SFC, in charge of Lojwa Motor Pool. Died 10/23/05 from heart problems. Provided 7/11/16 by Richard F. Preciado Jr. (Son)
- Priest, Victor J. – Navy – “On Enewetak Island, the first fatality of the cleanup project occurred on 19 August 1977. Hull Technician Vlctor J. Priest, USN, was welding on the bow ramp of a landing craft when preservative in the void area inside the ramp exploded, ripping a 6-foot hole in the ramp and killing him. The accident was investigated by Commander, Amphibious Group Eastern Pacific. Memorial services at the base chapel the following Sunday were attended by over 200 military and civilian personnel, including Iroij Johannes Peter and many of the dri-Enewetak.”
- Ray, Roger – Army – Col. Roger Ray, USA., Ret., 84, of Middletown, died late Wednesday afternoon, January 31, 2007, at Homewood at Crumland Farms, Frederick. He was the husband of Mrs. Dorothy M. Ray, his wife of 23 years.
Born February 26, 1922, in Yonkers, N.Y., he was a son of the late Col. Martin Hassett Ray, USAF, Ret., and Josephine West Ray. He was a 1943 graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., and entered the U.S. Army during World War II. In addition to his education at West Point, he graduated in 1946 from the U.S. Army Command and Staff College, attained his masters degree from New York University in 1948, and graduated in 1965 from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C. Col. Ray’s distinguished career as an Army Officer and Civilian was focused largely on research dealing with our national defense. In addition to serving as a deputy assistant to the Secretary of Defense, he was involved with experimentation at NASA and the University of California, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. A highlight in his career was serving as project manager of the Enewetak Radiological Support Project, where he provided scientific advice, radiological support and technical direction for the cleanup and rehabilitation of Enewetak Atoll, the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Col. Ray was highly regarded and recognized throughout his long career. He was decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal by the U.S. Army and the Exceptional Civilian Service Award from the Defense Nuclear Agency. In addition, he was appointed by the president of the United States as a charter member of the U.S. Senior Executive Service and recipient of the Distinguished Career Service Award for the U.S. Department of Energy. Surviving, besides his wife, are four daughters, Kaaren Ray, Mary Hoyt and husband Mark, all of California, and Robin Ray and Vivian Bratton and husband Randolph, all of Nevada; stepchildren, Carey Mongeon and husband Leonard, Mark Boettcher and wife Terri and Jack Boettcher, all of Middletown, and Jamie Boettcher of Rockville; 13 grandchildren, Lauren, Christena, Leigh, Tara, Jediah, Camille, Marcia, Lenny, Michael, Jacqueline, Erik, Natalie and Eva; and five great-grandchildren, Jamey, Kelcey, Kaegan, Chad and Taylor; as well as brothers, Col. John Ray and wife Julia, USA, Ret., and Cpt. Alan Ray, USN, Ret., and wife Mary, all of Massachusetts; former spouse, Marilyn Ray of Nevada; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Col. Ray was preceded in death by siblings, Lt. Martin Ray, USN, and Margery Ray Ormond. The Keeney and Basford Funeral Home, Frederick, is handling the arrangements. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, at the Old Fort Myer Chapel, Va. Inurnment will follow in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Army Emergency Relief, Attn. Donations, 200 Stovall St., Rm. 5-N-13, Alexandria, VA 22332.
- 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.
- Volk, Robert H. Jr. “Mickey” – Army – Medic – Stationed at Enewetak Atoll. Died on March 27th, 2011. Was told by Bev Androl that he died of cancer.
- Vollbrecht, Stephen Dean “Doc” – USAF – 11/1/78-4/1/79, served on all islands as an independent duty medical technician. Died 3/1/02 from lung cancer. Provided 5/21/17 by Doreen Vollbrecht (wife)
- 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.”
- Wilson, David L. – Defense Nuclear Agency – David L. Wilson (Carey) Beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, David L. Wilson, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 23, 2014. He was preceded in death by his son, Randall D. Wilson. He leaves behind his wife of 66 years, Mary Jane; 3 daughters, Kathleen Owsley and husband Randy, Barbara Van Bibber and husband David, and Cynthia Glos and husband George; 11 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Neil Wilson and wife Sharon and Steven Carey and wife Anne; sister Carole Myers; and many more family members and friends. The son of Rita Gray and Jerome Carey, David was born July 18, 1927 in Springfield, MO. When his mother remarried, he was assigned his stepfather’s last name, Wilson, but later used his original name as an author and speaker on Near Death Experiences and the Afterlife. His early childhood was spent trouping the Southwest with his grandparents’ tent show, the Musical Grays, and drifting around oil boom camps with his stepfather. In 1943, the family moved to Albuquerque where David worked as a waiter in the Fred Harvey dining room at the famous old Alvarado Hotel while attending high school. In 1944, he spent the summer fighting forest fires in Idaho for the U.S. Forest Service. Upon returning to Albuquerque, he graduated from Albuquerque High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was scheduled for landing craft duty in the invasion of Japan when the war was ended by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He served as a warehouse foreman at Naval Aviation Supply Depot 3149 in the Philippines during demobilization and shipment of material to Bikini Atoll to support Operation Crossroads nuclear weapons tests. After his discharge from the Navy, he attended the University of New Mexico briefly and married his high school sweetheart, Mary Jan Tatom. In 1947, he went to work for what then was known as the Manhattan Project and was later renamed the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project (AFSWP), the Defense Atomic Support Agency (DASA) in 1961, and the Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA) in 1971. He rose through civil service ranks to become the agency’s chief logistician, responsible for staff management of logistics at seven storage depots, Nevada Test Site, Johnston Atoll Test Site, and Enewetak Atoll Test Site. Much of his work was on Top Secret missions and projects, including storage, shipment, and demilitarization of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and logistics support of nuclear weapons tests and nuclear weapons effects tests. His favorite project was unclassified. He was the command project officer for planning and accomplishing the radiological cleanup for Enewetak Atoll Nuclear Test Site in the Marshall Islands so that the Enewetak People could return safely to their home islands after a 33 year absence. For his work on the project, he earned the peoples’ affection and the Defense Department’s highest civilian medal. The report he compiled on the radiological cleanup project was later used by the Russian government in its radiological cleanup of its nuclear weapons test site in the republic of Kazakhastan. In 1983, after 36 years with the agency during which he earned 26 Sustained Superior and Outstanding Performance awards, he retired to devote more time to genealogy and private studies, including Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and the Afterlife. In 1990, David completed writing and privately publishing a book, The Oneness, in an endeavor to provide a semblance of the Near Death Experience of reality and the Afterlife based on his own experiences and years of research. The family expresses their sincere gratitude to the caring doctors and staff of UNM Neurological ICU. Private family services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Humane Association, 615 Virginia St. SE, 87108.
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.