Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Photographer of atomic bomb destruction dies at 96
ap on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 12/18/05 | AP

Posted on 12/18/2005 9:12:21 AM PST by NormsRevenge

LAGUNA WOODS, Calif. (AP) - Air Force Lt. Col. Daniel A. McGovern, a combat photographer who filmed the aftermath of the atomic bomb detonations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, has died. He was 96.

McGovern died of cancer Wednesday at his home in Laguna Woods.

Weeks after the bombs were dropped in August 1945, McGovern began taking photographs that have since appeared in history books, newspapers, television shows and movies. Earlier during the war, McGovern photographed President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House.

In 1943, McGovern flew missions as a cameraman while stationed in Chelveston, England. He survived two crashes and shot footage used in William Wyler's 1944 wartime documentary, "The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress."

McGovern talked about his war experiences with the Los Angeles Times when Steven Spielberg's World War II film, "Saving Private Ryan," was released in 1998.

"Combat men don't like to talk about what they did," he said. "Airplanes crashing, headless bodies with helmets still on. Limbs here, limbs there. You say, 'There but for the grace of God,' but you don't talk about it. You relive it in your sleep. You go through recollections of pulling bodies out of airplanes - an experience you never forget."

He said he spoke about what he witnessed because of encouragement from his children and grandchildren.

McGovern and several colleagues founded the International Combat Cameramen Association to recognize photographers who risked their lives shooting combat footage.

After World War II, McGovern wrote, directed and produced classified films about nuclear weapons at Lookout Mountain, a secret Cold War-era government film lab and studio in the Hollywood Hills.

He is survived by his sister, four children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Japan; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: atomicbomb; danielmcgovern; destruction; dies; hiroshima; memphisbelle; nagasaki; obituary; photographer; photography; veteran; wwii
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-67 next last

Cameraman Daniel McGovern prepares to begin documenting the destruction after the drop of the Atomic Bomb.

http://www.icommag.com/may-2002/production-news.html

1 posted on 12/18/2005 9:12:21 AM PST by NormsRevenge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

R.I.P. I assume the radiation didn't kill him.


2 posted on 12/18/2005 9:14:38 AM PST by peyton randolph (Warning! It is illegal to fatwah a camel in all 50 states)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: peyton randolph

Note that AP threw in cancer to imply exactly that.


3 posted on 12/18/2005 9:18:39 AM PST by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
I remembering hearing that the generals insisted on cameramen - the troops felt safer, if the idiot with the camera was filming...

can't place the quote, though. oh, well.

4 posted on 12/18/2005 9:18:39 AM PST by patton ("Hard Drive Cemetary" - forthcoming best seller)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge; SandRat; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; Neil E. Wright
R.I.P
Bump
5 posted on 12/18/2005 9:22:22 AM PST by Fiddlstix (Tagline Repair Service. Let us fix those broken Taglines. Inquire within(Presented by TagLines R US))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ncountylee
Note that AP threw in cancer to imply exactly that.

Go figure. The guy lives to be 96 and radiation killed him. Amazing.

6 posted on 12/18/2005 9:27:22 AM PST by peyton randolph (Warning! It is illegal to fatwah a camel in all 50 states)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ncountylee

The ray's probably zapped the bad bugs out. 96 good for him.


7 posted on 12/18/2005 9:27:28 AM PST by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: peyton randolph

Well, the mineral waters with higher radiation levels were used for medicinal baths. So who knows - radiation might be even good, if applied judiciously and taken in moderation.


8 posted on 12/18/2005 9:35:58 AM PST by GSlob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

To me, this image is what comes to mind every time the President or one of the Mullahs speak from Iran. The bomb can never be a "toy" for Islamists.

9 posted on 12/18/2005 9:36:08 AM PST by JimSEA (America cannot have an exit strategy from the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ncountylee

Without all that radiation giving him cancer, the poor guy might have lived to 97.


10 posted on 12/18/2005 9:58:49 AM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Right Wing Assault
Without all that radiation giving him cancer, the poor guy might have lived to 97.

Even at the epicenter of political correctness called UCLA...
the Radiaion Safety office would admit in their lectures that
exposure to low-levels of radiation appears to actually increase
life-span in lab animals.
11 posted on 12/18/2005 10:01:31 AM PST by VOA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Right Wing Assault
"Without all that radiation giving him cancer, the poor guy might have lived to 97."
Nah. Were he not irradiated, he'd be 120 long ago.
12 posted on 12/18/2005 10:05:23 AM PST by GSlob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: peyton randolph

When I was in graduate school, a number of the older professors
(some educated on the GI Bill post WWII and Korea) had done
stints
at places like Rocky Mountain Arsenal, slinging radio-isotopes in
amounts that would send any sane person running for a very deep cave.

BUT...it was their fellow professors from depts. of Art or PoliSci that would
drop by to say "Well, I'm dying of cancer".

From what I could tell, it was far more dangerous to have a life of
wine, women, song and cigarettes...than pipetting radio-isotopes.


13 posted on 12/18/2005 10:05:46 AM PST by VOA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: peyton randolph

The radiation took a couple of months off. He surely would have lived to 96 1/2.


14 posted on 12/18/2005 10:08:24 AM PST by glorgau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: VOA

I heard that recently about home radon.
More lung cancer maybe, but less other stuff.


15 posted on 12/18/2005 10:08:51 AM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - IT'S ISLAM, STUPID! - Islam Delenda Est! - Rumble thee forth)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: ncountylee

If the cause of death had not been reported, we'd be wallowing in speculation. It's basic reporting to give the "Why". I just wish the AP and other MSM would be consistent with it.


16 posted on 12/18/2005 10:11:19 AM PST by SlowBoat407 (The best stuff happens just before the thread snaps.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: VOA
From what I could tell, it was far more dangerous to have a life of wine, women, song and cigarettes.

I went to the wrong poli sci school for undergrad. A few profs smoked, but wine, women and song were nonexistent. Some of the Peace Studies womyn would bare their breasts in protest every once in a while. /shudder/

17 posted on 12/18/2005 10:12:14 AM PST by peyton randolph (Warning! It is illegal to fatwah a camel in all 50 states)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ncountylee
Note that AP threw in cancer to imply exactly that.

I disagree. Most stories about the dead will almost always name the cause of death. Besides, it's no secret that atomic bombs put out lots of contamination in the form of radiation. The fact is, no one will probably ever know if being in that area after the fact, was the cause of his death, many years later.

18 posted on 12/18/2005 10:12:36 AM PST by Jigsaw John
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ncountylee
Image hosted by Photobucket.com they must of been torn between radiation and smoking since the picture in #1 sure looks to me like he's holding a cigarette in his hand... but the LSM isn't bias though. 8^)
19 posted on 12/18/2005 10:13:25 AM PST by Chode (American Hedonist )
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: glorgau
The radiation took a couple of months off. He surely would have lived to 96 1/2.

Heard the same thing about George Burns (January 20, 1896 – March 9, 1996) and his cigars.

20 posted on 12/18/2005 10:14:00 AM PST by peyton randolph (Warning! It is illegal to fatwah a camel in all 50 states)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: ncountylee
he was 96.... unfortunately ya gotta die of something... if not heart disease or lung disease or kidney disease ....then what.

It's all BS... there was only one guy that's gotten out alive, and he had to be stuck on a cross for a couple of hours.

21 posted on 12/18/2005 10:16:19 AM PST by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Jigsaw John; peyton randolph
The fact is, no one will probably ever know if being in that area after the fact, was the cause of his death, many years later.

Highly unlikely that the radiation contributed to his death in any way. The highest levels of radiation produced by atomic bombs tend to dissipate fairly quickly (short half life or are simply dispersed by win and rain) after detonation. Being near the detonation or around ground zero very shortly thereafter can cause serious radiation exposure. However, weeks or months later the radiation has already started to dissipate.

In December 1961, the United States detonated an atomic bomb in a salt dome about 40km south of Carlsbad, New Mexico. Six months later, crews drilled down and entered the cavity created by the detonation. While radiation still existed, the intense radiation created by the blast had long dissipated.

22 posted on 12/18/2005 10:19:34 AM PST by COEXERJ145 (Those Who Want to Impeach President Bush Are the Party of Treason.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: COEXERJ145
Highly unlikely that the radiation contributed to his death in any way.

If you read my other posts, you'd realize that I was making that point. He died at 96. It is like blaming George Burns' death on cigars when he died at age 100.

23 posted on 12/18/2005 10:23:13 AM PST by peyton randolph (Warning! It is illegal to fatwah a camel in all 50 states)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: ncountylee


Cancer or not, I'd take 96 years over anything.....how long does someone with HIV or AIDs have on their 'playlist'?


24 posted on 12/18/2005 10:26:36 AM PST by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ncountylee

"Note that AP threw in cancer to imply exactly that."

If you live long enough you will die of cancer if something doesn't get you first, radiation or no radiation.


25 posted on 12/18/2005 10:44:28 AM PST by dalereed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: COEXERJ145

Here's a site and some links put together with the help of atomic test veterans. Are you referring to the Nougat test in 1961 by chance, not sure if that was the Carlsbad one..

Quite a few blasts were set off over the years here in the homeland.

Atmospheric Atomic Weapons Tests
http://www.aracnet.com/~pdxavets/a_tests.htm

Atomic Veterans History Project
http://www.aracnet.com/~pdxavets/index.shtml


26 posted on 12/18/2005 10:45:34 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Jigsaw John
Besides, it's no secret that atomic bombs put out lots of contamination in the form of radiation.

"It's no secret", huh? Well, FYI, the nuclear detonations at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were air bursts above 5,000 Ft, AGL. There was very little nuclear contamination in the debris at these sites. The initial Gamma Ray exposure is what killed many people after a few days or weeks. The destruction that you see in these photos of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are from the blast of the explosion, not anything related to "atomic" other than that was the process used to create a destructive pressure wave. The same way that conventional explosives "kill people and break things".

Unless McGovern was at Hiroshima on the day the bomb was dropped, his exposure to nuclear radiation was next to nil.

When McGovern photographed the destruction on the ground, there was very little nuclear contamination. It's the "Dirty Bombs" that one needs to worry about. And anthrax scares me more.

27 posted on 12/18/2005 10:47:08 AM PST by elbucko
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
McGovern died of cancer

I was kinda hoping the common cold got him at his age, or that he just went gentle into that good night.

Instictively I knew that the cause was gonna be cancer. I'm glad he lived as long as he did.

28 posted on 12/18/2005 10:50:19 AM PST by Bear_Slayer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

29 posted on 12/18/2005 10:50:27 AM PST by BJungNan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

30 posted on 12/18/2005 10:52:08 AM PST by BJungNan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
Today


31 posted on 12/18/2005 10:52:52 AM PST by BJungNan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

There is a link to a movie (Quicktime viewer) at this web address:

http://www.idbsu.edu/history/ncasner/hy210/hirosima.htm


32 posted on 12/18/2005 10:55:02 AM PST by BJungNan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Westlander
His alias name was Peter Parker, while photographing the nuclear damage, a radioactive wood tick bit him, and he lived as a super hero, until arthritis made him give up his peculiar night life. It all fits.
33 posted on 12/18/2005 11:00:54 AM PST by Nathan Zachary
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: BJungNan

Thanks


34 posted on 12/18/2005 11:03:23 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Dick Vomer

Jesus actually died on the cross. He rose from the dead.
Elijah(sp, the prophet, was taken in a flaming chariot. He may not have died.


35 posted on 12/18/2005 11:03:46 AM PST by brooklin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: elbucko

Right on. That 'radioactive' myth was generated by these anti- nuke nutz, and silly Hollywood movies like 'black rain'.

Those were baby bombs, we have some better ones now that are far more efficient, and 100's of times more powerfull. We need to flash a few off over Iran.


36 posted on 12/18/2005 11:07:33 AM PST by Nathan Zachary
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: peyton randolph
Some of the Peace Studies womyn would bare their breasts in protest every once in a while. /shudder/

There's an "e" and maybe also a hyphen missing in there somewhere.

37 posted on 12/18/2005 11:11:36 AM PST by Erasmus (Getting captivated by modern music leads to Stockhausen Syndrome.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Right Wing Assault
In the late forties, the medical community did some really weird stuff with radiation.

My little bro was born in 1949 and shortly thereafter developed pneumonia*. At the age of forty, he developed a fibrous chest tumor, which necessitated the removal of a perfectly good lung.

*Thinking back, my mother recalled that the "treatment" for his pneumonia was to put him on a table and zap his torso with an unknown dose from something like an X-Ray machine.

Who knows if there was any tie-in...

38 posted on 12/18/2005 11:15:34 AM PST by ErnBatavia (I post in slang..live with it or ignore it - reader's choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ncountylee
Note that AP threw in cancer to imply exactly that.

Ummm... maybe, just maybe, the AP "threw in cancer" because he died of cancer. Sheesh, people can be so paranoid.

39 posted on 12/18/2005 11:19:07 AM PST by ecurbh ()()A Festivus for the rest of us!()()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: brooklin
I thought died meant not being alive.... if you die and you come back to life..you're not dead...just like a kid that drowns in icy water and dies...but comes back....

Now as far as Elijah....don't know what that means... riding up in a flaming chariot. Is it that he got on a chariot and rose up into the sky...I guess. I don't know. But there's a lot of stuff in the Bible that makes me scratch my head. Especially in the Old Testament

40 posted on 12/18/2005 11:21:57 AM PST by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: COEXERJ145
Highly unlikely

Like I said, we'll never know.

41 posted on 12/18/2005 11:22:28 AM PST by Jigsaw John
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Dick Vomer
there was only one guy that's gotten out alive, and he had to be stuck on a cross for a couple of hours.

Not so!! There are two others God called out early, Rumor is since the bible says it's appointed unto each man a time to die, that they will be the prophets at the wailing wall during the tribulation whom the anti-christ will strike down and they will lay in the open for three days then rise again!!!

42 posted on 12/18/2005 11:22:46 AM PST by logic ("All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing......")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: COEXERJ145
here is a previous post that I left when discussing how bad atomic weapons are. I think Atomic Weapons are GREAT!!!Have you all seen Nagasaki recently?^

http://www1.city.nagasaki.nagasaki.jp/kokusai/index-e.html

Looks like atomic weapons are good for business.

Clears out the dead wood.

Brings about peace.

Encourages people to live in peace as opposed to opening their yaps about ruling the world or wiping this or that country off the face of the earth.

I say, "Peace through superior firepower".


43 posted on 12/18/2005 11:26:33 AM PST by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: elbucko
"It's no secret", huh? Well, FYI, the nuclear detonations at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were air bursts above 5,000 Ft, AGL. There was very little nuclear contamination in the debris at these sites.

The sites were still contaminated with radiation. You may want to read a little more carefully. I never said to what degree. There is nothing to argue about here

But thanks for all those details.

44 posted on 12/18/2005 11:28:34 AM PST by Jigsaw John
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Nathan Zachary
Right on. That 'radioactive' myth was generated by these anti- nuke nutz, and silly Hollywood movies like 'black rain'.

Agreed. I've had more than cursory military training regarding tactical nuclear weapons. That said, I would rather have a 5kt. warhead as a coffee table support in my living room, than an attorney over for dinner. I know the warhead is safe.

45 posted on 12/18/2005 11:30:29 AM PST by elbucko
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: brooklin
Elijah(sp, the prophet, was taken in a flaming chariot. He may not have died.

Yes, Elijah was one, can't remember the other's name (I remembered Elijah's name but not how to spell it so I left him un-named...)

46 posted on 12/18/2005 11:31:12 AM PST by logic ("All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing......")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: ncountylee
"Note that AP threw in cancer to imply exactly that."

I think you may be too quick to ascribe an ulterior motive to that line of the article. You generally have a cause of death in an obit. He died of cancer. What are they supposed to do, make something up?
47 posted on 12/18/2005 11:31:47 AM PST by SmoothTalker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: logic; brooklin

Lazarus got an awakening from the dead as well or so I heard.


48 posted on 12/18/2005 11:39:33 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Jigsaw John
The sites were still contaminated with radiation. You may want to read a little more carefully

OK, I will.

Q. Is there still radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Answer: "Atomic bombs differ from conventional bombs in emitting explosive energy on an entirely different order of magnitude and radiation. Of the emitted energy, 5% was initial radiation and 10% was residual radiation."

"The initial radiation emitted at the moment of detonation inflicted great damage to human bodies. Most of those exposed to direct radiation within a one-kilometer radius died. Residual radiation was emitted later. Roughly 80% of all residual radiation was emitted within 24 hours. Research has indicated that 24 hours after the bombing the quantity of residual radiation a person would receive at the hypocenter would be 1/1000th of the quantity received immediately following the explosion. A week later, it would be 1/1,000,000th. Thus, residual radiation declined rapidly."

The radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki today is on a par with the extremely low levels of background radiation (natural radioactivity) present anywhere on Earth. It has no effect on human bodies."

Text in quotation marks are from:

http://www.city.hiroshima.jp/shimin/heiwa/q4e.html.

I reckon that this site is about as well read on the subject as one can get!

49 posted on 12/18/2005 11:45:42 AM PST by elbucko
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: elbucko
Q. Is there still radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

This wasn't my question, but thanks for the info.

50 posted on 12/18/2005 11:48:13 AM PST by Jigsaw John
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-67 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson