J. Bankston Papers, 1950-1985 MS 447

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J. Bankston Papers, 1950-1985 MS 447

Collection Number: MS 447

Creator: Bankston, J.
Title: J. Bankston Papers (bulk 1980-1985)
Inclusive Dates: 1950-1985
Bulk Dates:
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet
Abstract:Documents from Court Case No. C79-0515 “Irene Allen, et. al. plaintiffs vs. United States of America” related to nuclear testing by the United States government in the 1950s in Nevada that affected people in Arizona, Nevada and Utah. The bulk of the material consists of the court case, personal digests, technical reports and articles used by Jay Bankston to aid him in his application to the Veterans Administration for compensation for cancer he believed was the result of exposure to radiation during his military service in the Marshall Islands.
Identification: Collection Number: MS 447
Language: English.
Repository: University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections
University of Arizona
PO Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721-0055
Phone: 520-621-6423
Fax: 520-621-9733
URL: http://speccoll.library.arizona.edu/

Biographical Note

J. Bankston was born December 23, 1926 in El Dorado, Arkansas, died April 22, 1997 in Bisbee, Arizona. Marine Sgt. Jarrell M. “J” Banskton served on active duty with the United States Navy from July 1944 to October 1947, and then with the United States Marines from July 1950 to May 1951. He served aboard the USS Albemarle, a seaplane base in the Marshall Islands in July 1946 where he worked on the assembly and handling of test units for nuclear detonations. The collection covers a court case and other documentation about radioactive fallout and its effects. Bankston used the material to submit a case for compensation to the Veterans Administration for a cancerous tumor he believed was caused by exposure to radiation during the “Operation Crossroads” detonation in July of 1946 in the Marshall Islands.

Scope and Content

Correspondence, Court Case documents, Newspaper Articles and Technical Reports. The bulk of the collection relates to the federal trial brought against the United States by Irene Allen and about 1200 other plaintiffs for radiation poisoning caused by nuclear testing by the United States in Nevada in the 1950s. Stewart L. Udall is listed as an attorney for Irene Allen, et. al. or the “Downwinders” as they were known. The “Downwinders” were plaintiffs from the states of Arizona, Nevada and Utah in the 1982 federal trial that was unsuccessful in getting compensation for the plaintiffs. This trial eventually led to the passing of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990 that provides monetary compensation for people who develop cancer as a result of exposure to atmospheric nuclear testing. The digests and technical reports are research material used by Bankston in his attempt to receive compensation for cancer he believed he got as a result of his assignment to duty aboard the USS Albemarle while in the Marine Corps. He believed he was exposed to radiation when he worked on the preparations aboard the ship for “Operation Crossroads”, a major nuclear detonation in the Marshall Islands in July of 1946. The ship was within a 155 mile distance from the air and undersea tests conducted by the US Navy. Correspondence is directly related to his unsuccessful application for compensation with the Veterans Administration and with other veterans in various stages of applying for compensation. Bankston also corresponded with Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater to get support on his behalf with the Veterans Administration. In 1980 he became regional coordinator with the National Association of Atomic Veterans for the state of Arizona in order to represent atomic veterans and their widows.


This collection is organized into 4 series.


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents for the University of Arizona, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright

Controlled Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Bankston, Jay
Goldwater, Barry M. (Barry Morris), 1909-1998 -- Correspondence.
Udall, Stewart L.

Corporate Name(s)
Albemarle (Seaplane base AV-5)
National Association of Atomic Veterans.
United States. Board of Veteran's Appeals.
United States. Marine Corps.
United States. Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.
United States. Veteran's Administration.

Geographic Name(s)
Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands) -- Environmental conditions.
Kwajalein Island (Marshall Islands) -- Environmental conditions.
Marshall Islands -- Environmental conditions.

Atmospheric radiation -- Marshall Islands.
Atomic bomb -- Marshall Islands -- Testing.
Liability for nuclear damages -- Arizona.
Nuclear explosions -- Marshall Islands.
Nuclear weapons -- Marshall Island.
Nuclear weapons testing victims -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Arizona.
Operation Crossroads, Marshall Islands, 1946.
Radiation -- Health aspects.
Radiation -- Testing.
Radiation carcinogenesis.
Radiation victims -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Arizona.
Radioactive fallout -- Arizona.
Radioactive fallout -- Nevada.
Radioactive fallout -- Utah.
Veterans -- Diseases -- Government policy -- United States.
Veterans -- Health aspects -- Arizona.
Veterans -- Medical care.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

J. Bankston papers (MS 447).Special Collections, University of Arizona Libraries.

Container List

Series I: Correspondence, 1980-1982
11 Goldwater, Barry M., Senator 1981
12 Haralson, Dale 1981-1982
13 Karasti, Frank 1981
14 Kelly, Wanda S., National Association of Atomic Veterans 1981
15 King, Eugene P., 1980
16 Mehas, Thomas C. 1982
17 Shuman, Sydney J., Veteran's Administration 1981
18 Unidentified 1982
Series II: Court Case, 1979-1980
19 Case No. C79-0515 "Irene Allen, et. al. plaintiffs vs. United States of America" - Memorandum Opinion 1979
110 Case No. C79-0515 "Irene Allen, et. al. plaintiffs vs. United States of America" - Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law 1979
111 Case No. C79-0515 "Irene Allen, et. al. plaintiffs vs. United States of America" - Plaintiff's Amended Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law 1979
112 Case No. C79-0515 "Irene Allen, et. al. plaintiffs vs. United States of America" - Exhibits 1979
113 Case No. C79-0515 "Irene Allen, et. al. plaintiffs vs. United States of America" - Trail Memorandum Exhibits Relating to Cedar City Sheep Exposure 1979
114 List of Defendants Exhibits not furnished to the Plaintiff circa 1979
115 Plaintiffs' Opening Statement circa 1979
116 Testimony by Dorothy B. Jones before House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Subcommittee on Health and the Environment circa 1980
Series III: Digests, circa 1982
117 Digests: Author Index circa 1982
118 Digests I
119 Digests II
120 Digests III circa 1982
21 Digests: Notes circa 1982
22 Digests: Reel Digest-Microfilm circa 1982
23 Digests: Subject Index circa 1982
Series IV: Newspaper articles and technical reports, 1948-1980
24 Newspaper Articles: Arizona Daily Star &Tucson Citizen 1980
25 Reports 1948
26 Reports 1951-1958
27 Reports I 1953-1962
28 Reports II 1953-1962
29 Reports 1954-1983
210 Reports 1957
211 Symposium on Sol-Gel Processes &Reactor Fuel Cycles 1970