first Navy Veterans' Organization created on, and for, the World Wide Web."
Edward C. Reese, NCCS, USN, Retired
serving as a
York Naval Guard
Member in good standing
Nicknames: Diesel, Wheels, Jimbo
Bootcamp: Great Lakes
Training in Damage Control: Philadelphia
Duty Station: Groton C Naval Submarine
USS BARBEY, San Diego, CA
UPDATE September 2006/RE:
James M. Wheeler, PO/HT2/US
In May 2006, a 16
year journey through the VA system ended; benefits were granted to Jim's
widow. I was able to PROVE to the government with evidence submitted over
the years and our last statement/evidence dated March 2006 that his death
was military connected due to his duty in Groton CT for 15 months in 1982/1983.
Repairing and maintaining nuclear submarines both on the submarines and
in the repair shop exposed him to low level ionizing radiation and radioactive
materials which caused his fatal illness: acute lymphocytic leukemia. He
was 27 when he passed away in 1989. There is not a day goes by that I,
his Mom, do not think of him. The love stays and memories of the heart
and my prior post (below), a retired Naval HT Chief contacted me with some
information which I could submit as additional evidence with our last statement
to the Board of Veterans Appeals. Thank you, Ed, for your help and this
website. Jim's Mom
Jim passed away in November
1989 at the age of 27 from acute lymphocytic leukemia. In the last
three weeks of his life, he told us he had been exposed to ionizing radiation
while he was stationed at the nuclear submarine base in Groton CT.
I am looking for anyone who would have been stationed and worked with him
at Groton (2/82-5/83) or the USS BARBEY: IN GROTON, He worked ot
the Naval Submarine Support Facility (NSSF), lower base (a restricted
area) as a shipfitter/welder on nuclear submarines and related components.
Industrial Radiography would have been used to make sure there were
good welds. His work areas were in Building 478, R-1, X11A, Section
2. Sub Section 2 included the following nuclear subs at that time:
1) USS SCAMP (SSN588); 2) USS SNOOK (SSN592); 3) USS
SHARK (SSN591; 4) USS TULLIBEE (SSN597); 5) NR-1; AND 6) several
precommissioning units under > construction at Electric Boat Corp.
From Groton, he was transferred to the USS BARBEY's Engineering Spaces.
If anyone worked with
Jim at either duty station, please contact me. It would be
greatly appreciated. I have been dealing with the government for
15 years due to the cause of his death. Thank you in advance for
any support you can give.
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