Historical Center #NH 104266.
Cropped by author.
"Spike" Blandy was born in New York and graduated
first in the Naval Academy class of 1913. He participated in the Vera
Cruz campaign of 1914 as an officer
on battleship Florida. He subsequently served
with the U.S. forces assigned to the British Grand Fleet in the
First World War. He was a gunnery
expert, contributing to several
technical advances. He also served with Asiatic Fleet, assisting
relief operations for the great Tokyo
earthquake of 1923.
Blandy was a rear admiral and chief of the Bureau
of Ordnance when war broke out. During his tenure he was pressured by King to check reports that the
Mark XIV torpedo was running too
deep. The Bureau had previously dug in its heels, insisting that the
reports were not scientifically reliable, but on 1 August 1942 the
Newport torpedo station was compelled to admit that the torpedo ran ten
feet deeper than set. Blandy also played an important role in the
adoption of the 20mm
Oerlikon and 40mm
Bofors antiaircraft guns.
He continued to lead Bureau of Ordnance until 1944, when he shipped out to the Pacific, commanding an amphibious group at Kwajalein and reserve forces at Saipan and Peleliu. He was in command of the advance bombardment force for the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns. However, he was criticized after the Iwo Jima campaign for not requesting the extra day of bombardment permitted as a contingency in the original operational plan.
Following the war, Blandy became the Navy's expert on nuclear weapons and commanded the Crossroads tests at Bikini. He subsequently commanded 8 Fleet and Atlantic Fleet before retiring in 1950.
Morison (1959) describes Blandy as an optimist of intelligence and energy with a good sense of humor.
||Born in New York City
||Graduates first in his Naval
Academy class of 59
||Chief, Bureau of Ordnance
||Commander, Amphibious Forces,
||Commander, Operation Crossroads
||Commander, Atlantic Fleet
||Dies at St. Albans Hospital, New
Dupuy et.al. (1992)
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