Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Smith, Scott M. Papers

Dates: 1945-1951

Collection Number: AR/421 (Formerly COLL/225)

Finding Aid (PDF, 15KB)

Scope and Content Note

Ms. Jane M. Protzman donated this collection of papers to the Center's Operational Archives Branch on 26 March 1999. Letters comprise the bulk of the collection and document ET1 Smith's eighteen month assignment (from January 1948 through July 1949) in the Marshall·Islands with the Kwajalein Ship Security Detail. In addition to his letters to "Mom and Dad," the collection includes biographical information, clippings, photographs, and miscellany.

The collection is arranged into five series: Biographical Data; Letters; Clippings; Photographs; and Miscellany.

The biographical information on ET1 Smith includes his statement of service and his discharge certificates.

The letters "home" are an excellent source of information on Navy life on Kwajalein and his duties as an electronics technician from January 1948 to June 1949. The topics discussed in his letters include: day to day life on the island; n1onitoring of radiation exposure; sinking of target ship, USS PENNSYLVANIA, because the ship was taking on water; towing of target ships out to sea where cruisers, destroyers, and submarines held gunnery practice on them; his duties repairing out of order electronics equipment; his July 1948 trip to Bikini to measure the radioactivity of the islands in the atoll and to make repairs to instruments used to measure radioactivity; effect of Berlin Airlift on mail service to the Pacific; his assignment to the Naval Station repair force; and his plans after the Navy.

The clippings relate to the quest of the inhabitants of Bikini to find a suitable home to replace the one from which they were uprooted in 1946 when the Navy chose their atoll for the atomic-bomb tests. There is also an article on the sinking of PENNSYLVANIA off Kwajalein and cites ET1 Smith's letter to his parents describing the event. The last clipping announces ET1 Smith's discharge from the U.S. Navy.

The eight undated photographs in the collection show ET1 Smith with his parents and depict scenes of ships off Kwajalein.

The miscellaneous items include a chart of Kwajalein Island Fire Zones (with ET1 Smith's annotations identifying sites of interest around the lagoon). There is also an annotated postcard of San Francisco and the Bay.

Note: For additional information on the Bikini Atomic-Bomb Tests see official Navy records held in the Post 1946 Command File and Post 1946 Report File.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Papers of Scott M. Smith, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Published: Thu Apr 29 10:31:38 EDT 2021