Correspondence and memos concern duties aboard the
CACHE and safety procedures regarding the atomic bomb tests in 1946. In one letter (July 6, 1946) to his sister, Lechowicz describes his experience during an atom bomb test conducted on July 1, the affects of radioactivity on ship targets such as his own
PRINZ EUGEN and the USS
INDEPENDENCE (CV-22), and comments that married seamen were worried about sterility. Other correspondence includes letters from the Defense Nuclear Agency of the Department of Defense, and the Department of the Navy (1981, 1984, 1989). These letters concern the effects of radiation received during the atomic tests, the risk to personnel, and the Radiation-Exposed Veterans Compensation Act of 1988. Thislegislation lists the forms of radiogenic disease likely caused by these tests that qualify a veteran for compensation. Attached newsletters outline the project's goals and include a report that estimated Lechowicz's radiation exposure during the 1946 tests. Finally, a letter from recently widowed Jennie Lechowicz to the
New York Times Magazine editor comments on their recent story about the commercial exploitation of Bikini Atoll (May 7, 1994).
Of particular interest are photographs that Lechowicz apparently found on board the
PRINZ EUGEN in 1946. Likely collected or taken by a German seaman, these photographs depict the German battleship
BISMARCK firing on the British battleship HMS
HOOD (May 24, 1941) in the North Atlantic; the
PRINZ EUGEN, BISMARCK, and German heavy cruiser
ADMIRAL HIPPER in battle with a torpedo boat in the North Sea; the
PRINZ EUGEN near Norway and in the Kiel, Germany, shipyard; the
PRINZ EUGEN'S catapult and seaplane; and the release of captured British pilots in Norway. Other photographs include scenes on board the
CACHE; the Panama Canal (1946); the battleship USS
NEW JERSEY (BB-62), the aircraft carrier USS
NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148), and the light cruiser USS
SPRINGFIELD (CL-66); sight-seeing in Washington, DC, and Rome, including an audience with Pope Pius XII (1951); three atomic bomb blasts; a flying boat; shots of Lechowicz with his fellow crewmen; and a post card of the
RICHARD B. ANDERSON.
Other records include a transcript of duty (1942-1947), enlistment form, awards, crossing-the-line (equator) certificates, and various Navy identification cards. Publications include a
Seaman's Navy Training Course book; several
CACHE newsletters that contain such information as a crossing-the-line script (July 1943); the Potsdam Conference and the cease fire (August 15, 1945); the occupation of Japan and a list of the ships involved; and histories of the
SABINE. An oversized 1943 "Stream Drift Chart of the World" and a copy of the
New York Times Magazine concerning Bikini Atoll (May 1, 1994) complete the collection.