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Henry A. "Kicking Bear" White


"A picture of me in regalia that was taken several years ago. The photo of me in regalia represents much of how I look today. Incidently, my Siouan name is Mato Packa. You, of course, know the translation."

Editor's Note: Yes, "Kicking Bear", I do." Henry is Second Chief of the Waccamaw Indian People.


"A picture of my wife, Kathryn, and me, which was taken in December 1943 in Boston, Mass. We celebrated the first year of our marriage during the time the USS Ranger (CV4) was in the Boston Naval Shipyard. The picture of my wife and me closely represents how I looked when I boarded the Euryale."






This picture was taken of Henry at the 2003 reunion at Philadelphia.




Read Henry's letter to the US Atomic Veterans regarding his exposure to radiation while serving aboard Euryale

U.S. Atomic Veterans
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001
RE: Nagasaki, 1945
To: pdxavets@aracnet.com

Keith:

While a radioman first class with Commander Submarine Division 131 on board the USS Euryale (AS22), I entered Sasebo, Japan on September 28, 1945 as part of the occupation forces. At sometime between September 28, 1945 and October 15, 1945, Ensign Stanley Turco and I did shore patrol duty within 2 miles Nagasaki, Japan. From our location atop a mountain west of Nagasaki we could see the devastation left after the A-bomb dropped on that city.

During the day we were on shore partrol, we entered a catholic church, where we me a Japanese Catholic priest who had two kimonas he wanted to sell. Neither Ensign Turco nor I could speak Japanese, but both the priest and Ensign Turco could speak French. Therefore, with the two of them conversing in French, we contracted the deal. Incidently, my wife still has the kimona after all these years.

Upon returning to the Euryale that day, we related our experience to fellows in the radio gang, and some still remember our revelations.

On October 16, 1945, the Euryale set sail for Kure, Japan, which is east of Hiroshima. The ship arrived a couple of days later,. where it dispensed fresh water to Japanese water barges.

As a senior radioman with ComSubDiv 131, under Commander James E. Stevens, I participated in helping disarm Japanese Submarines in Kure, Japan and prepare them for ultimate disposal. This duty compelled me to travel throughout the harbor from boat to boat to disable installed electronic equipment to accomplish this mission. At times, our mission carried us into the Japanese Naval Base at Kure where some of the boats were kept, as well as insuring boats were transported to the USS Euryale (AS22) for work.. My duty called for me to travel with Lieutenant Thomas O. Paine and other officers as I might be assigned. On one occasion, four of us traveled into Hiroshima in an Army Jeep to view the damage caused by the Atom Bomb that was dropped there.

Had I not been disqualified for submarine duty and transferred in ship’s company on board the USS Euryale, as the result of a bursted ear drum, caused by clearing the bridge on a submarine, I would have been assigned to travel back to Pearl Harbor on the I-400.

Because Mr. Paine died from cancer on 4 May 1992 and he and I experienced the same ionizing radiation exposure, it seems likely that our cancers originated from the same exposure.

In 1997 I was diagnosed as having prostate cancer. To treat the prostate cancer, my oncologist implanted gold seeds and followed the procedure with radiation. During the operation to implant the gold seeds, my oncologist and urologist discovered I also had low-grade (non-Hodgkins disease) lymphoma cancer, a slow growing form of lymphoma for which there is no cure.

After talking with my oncologist, I learned that non-Hodgkins lymphoma can result from the carcinogenic effects of radiation exposure. This brought to mind my shore patrol duty near the Nagasaki bomb site, and filed a claim for compensation with the Veterans Administration. After more than a year's time, the VA disapproved my claim, but feeling certain my cancers stemmed from the time I spent in Japan, I appealed the case and received a docket number. Meantime, certain that Ensign Turco could confirm our shore patrol experience, I asked the USS Euryale reunion group for assistance in locating Mr. Turco. Unfortunately, Mr. Turco was not a member of the group, but I remembered he had once told me his family had a funeral home in the Providence, Rhode Island area during World War II. Using that memory, I initiated an internet search, and located Mr. Turco's son. However, I learned that Mr. Turco now has Alzheimer's disease and is unable to render assistance.

Mr James Reisch of the USS Euryale Reunion Group recalls the day Mr. Turco and I related our shore patrol experience. He wrote a letter to that fact and now the VA wants to know if the Euryale was ever within 20 miles of Kure, which is SE of Hiroshima on the island of Honshu. We anchored in Hiro Wan, which is the harbor for Kure. Since I have the ship's log for the time we spent in both Sasebo and Kure, I provided copies of the information. I now await the results, and am seeking information on the carcinogenic radiation fallout for the Kure area.

Thanks again for your assistance.

Henry A. White
Nagasaki, Japan 1945

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