Memorial Day is upon us once again, and I started thinking last night about my Grandfather. During World War II, Lonnie Leslie Anthony was a young nuclear physicist from Texas working on the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. His younger (and only other sibling) brother Carroll was a fighter pilot serving in Japan.
My Grandfather was a real Patriot. He loved his country. He had a beautiful young wife who was pregnant with their first child at home. His job security lay in the fact that he was not to disclose ANY information concerning the Manhattan Project with ANYONE. Lie detector tests were given on a regular basis and those who could not pass them were fired.
I can only imagine what my Grandfather went through when he learned that the atom bomb he was working so diligently on was to be dropped in the same region that his brother was flying in.
Lonnie knew that death would certainly come to his precious brother if he did not disclose to him the secrets he knew. And he knew his own wife and unborn child would suffer if he lost his job at home. He agonized internally and then made up his mind… he would tell his brother no matter the cost to himself.
When he informed his brother, Carroll put in for a transfer and was moved to a safer region outside of Japan.
The bomb was dropped… and Carroll survived.
Upon taking the next lie detector test, it was discovered that Lonnie had told his brother about the atom bomb. Instead of firing him, he was demoted and had other consequences as well. But his brother was alive!
When the war was over, Carroll was called in after his final mission. As he successfully landed on the aircraft carrier with great relief that World War II was finally over, the brakes to his beloved plane failed and he with his aircraft went tumbling into the ocean. Though rescued from the wreckage, Carroll passed away several hours later.
All of us are affected by war. Some more than others. Families sacrifice for our country. Let us not forget that.
Thank you to all those families and soldiers who fight for our country!
If you have the time, please watch this six minute video on the World War II planes and their pilots.