Blandy, William H. P.


War-dated good content TLS on role of amphibious forces while commanding Pacific Fleet 5th Amphibious Force!


Type: Letter
Description: (1890-1954) US Navy Admiral in WW II.

USNA 1913 (1st in Class), as Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance 1941-43 had controversial role in scandal involving initially near useless Mark 14 torpedo and long delays in testing and launching electric Mark 18 torpedo. In Dec. 1943 he became Commander, Group 1, Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, commanded pre-invasion bombardment group during Iwo Jima campaign. Post-War, commanded Joint Task Force 1 during the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests (“Operation Crossroads”). RADM Blandy was Commander, Destroyers, Pacific Fleet (ComDesPac) mid-late 1945, led 2nd Task Force,  Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet 1947-50. Destroyer USS Blandy (DD-943)  named for him 1956.

TLS “W. H. P. Blandy” as RADM, 1-1/2pp (two 10 1/2 x 8 sheets), “Office of the Commander, Group One/Fifth Amphibious Force” letterhead, May 15 1944, to Captain W. R. Van Auken, USN (Ret.), Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Dept., Washington. Blandy is glad to know Ordnance Bureau officer personnel issues are going well, credits Van Auken for building numbers and quality of officers, credits him with seeing “big”. Blandy likes Van Auken’s idea of rotating younger officers between shore and sea or advanced base duty. Blandy is very much enjoying his sea duty, glad to be with amphibious forces “which are now and for some time to come will continue to be the central activity of the Pacific war.” He praises work of submarines, aviators and surface naval forces “…but at least in this war it is necessary to take and hold in order to obtain the final decision.” He calls the Infantry the “Queen of Battles” “and amphibious forces play the important role in placing the Infantry (Marine or Army) ashore with minimum losses, and supporting and supplying them after they get there.” More good content! With envelope.

Wilbur R. Van Auken (1882-1953), USNA 1903, authored books on naval training and gunnery, naval aviation pioneer. He helped plan the 1925 ill-fated 1st San Francisco-Hawaii flight, led operation to rescue pilots 9 days after they crashed at sea. A stamp collector, he traded stamps with President Roosevelt. He was captain of the battleship USS Oklahoma 1934-35, retired 1939 and joined Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Beane. He took leave in 1941, returned to active duty with the Navy’s Bureau of Ordnance, retiring again in 1945 and returned to Merrill Lynch.

Condition: Very good, 2 file holes at top center, staple hole remnants top left

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