October 8, 1986, 36 items; Papers (1934-1957, 1981-1985) of U.S. Navy machinist, including correspondence, service file, photographs, photo albums, and miscellaneous materials of Mr. John D. Riggs, Greenville, N.C. Gift of Mr. John Riggs, Greenville, N.C.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
John D. Riggs Papers (#516), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
John D. Riggs served in the United States Navy from 1937-1957, seeing action in two wars (World War II and Korean) aboard numerous vessels. He participated in the atomic testing of 1948. A governmental investigation (1978-1986) of the testing program determined that exposure proved to be nonlethal to participants.
Correspondence in the collection includes two letters sent to Mr. Riggs (1983 and 1985) from the Nuclear Test Personnel Review and Defense Nuclear Agency. The first details research efforts by the Department of Defense to determine effects of atomic testing on involved personnel. The second explains results of subsequent testing and availability of VA benefits for those involved.
The service record lists every place that Riggs served. Tours of duty include ships such as USS HANNIBAL (August 1937-February 1938), ARKANSAS (June-August 1938, June-July 1942), ORION (June 1944-September 1945), CURTIS (January 1948), ALBEMARLE (June 1949-January 1950), KEARSARGE (January-May 1950), ANDROMEDA (June 1950-August 1951), and LOGAN (December 1951-June 1952). He also had tours at various training and receiving stations in Norfolk, VA, Raleigh, NC, Portsmouth, VA, San Francisco, CA, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Photographs include shots of Guantanamo Bay (1940) and a freshwater fishing expedition there, a "King Neptune Ceremony" aboard USS ORION (1943), Honolulu, Hawaii (1943), and the USS LOGAN. Two photo albums depict Riggs's experiences aboard USS KEARSARGE and USS LOGAN. The KEARSARGE album (1950) contains pictures of commanders, crew, and the ship in transit through the Panama Canal, while the LOGAN scrapbook (1952) reflects shipboard life and ceremonial events.