Blandy, William Henry Purnell “Spike”, born on 28-06-1890 in New York City, graduated first in his class from the United States Naval Academy
in 1913. He participated in the occupation of Veracruz, Mexico in 1914 and served on board the battleship Florida (BB-30) with the British Grand Fleet during World War I. During World War II he was Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance from 1941 to 1943. Here he had a controversial role in the infamous torpedo scandal involving the initially practically useless Mark 14 torpedo, and the long delays incurred on the work testing and launching the electric Mark 18 torpedo In December 1943 he became Commander, Group 1, Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, and commanded the pre-invasion bombardment group during the campaign for Iwo Jima.known to friends as ” Spike .Blandy was most known for overseeing the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Island in the Pacific Ocean. One of Blandy’s pronouncements is : I am not an atomic playboy, as one of my critics labeled me, exploding these bombs to satisfy my personal whim. As said after the war he commanded Joint Task Force 1, during the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll, Operation Crossroads.Vice Admiral Blandy and his wife cut the cake celebrating Operation Crossroads as Rear Admiral Frank Jacob Lowry looks on. After the war, Lowry served on the General Board from 1945 to 1947, and then in the office of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. He served in this capacity until he retired in March 1950, at which point he received a tombstone promotion to vice admiral due to his combat decorations. Lowry died on 26-03-1955, age 67..In 1956, the destroyer USS Blandy (DD-943) was named in his honor.
Death and burial ground of Blandy, William Henry Purnell “Spike”.