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Darrtown Native, Dale Bufler Observed World's First H-Bomb Blast

The 1954 headline, shown at the right, announced that Darrtown native, Dale Bufler, was on Military Police duty with the U.S. Army, when the first H-Bomb was exploded by the U.S. Government. The accompanying article appears below.

"Dale Bufler, of Oxford Stewart’s Faculty, Pictured in Films Showing 1952 Explosions;

‘Awesomely Angry,’ Local Man’s Description

 

One look at an H-bomb explosion is “enough for always,’ even from a safe distance on a test, according to a young Butler County teacher who is pictured in recently-released films on the 1952 Elugelab Island blast.

 

Dale Bufler, 24, Hamilton-Richmond Pk., Darrtown, teacher of industrial arts and drafting at Stewart School in Oxford, is one of two military policemen shown in the film with Col. Richard T. Lunger in a sequence outlining security measures and various final preparations for the blast at the island. Mr. Bufler, who entered the army shortly after graduating from Miami University in 1951, was a private in the 516th Military Police Company at the time. He was released as a corporal last summer and started teaching at Stewart the day after he arrived home.

 

Awesomely Angry

 

‘Even the films we’ve seen on television and the still pictures in the newspapers, with all their graphs and comparisons,’ he added, ‘can’t convey the entire impression. I think color movies, if they are released, will get the idea across even more. There’s something awesomely angry about the colors that flash through the explosion, but originally we were warned not to even discuss the colors that we saw, for security reasons.’

 

‘I had a funny feeling inside, you can be sure. They told us they didn’t know what to expect, but it more than filled my expectations. I don’t care about seeing another. Once is enough for always.’ "

For a historical perspective of the first hydrogen bomb explosion and to provide a better understanding of what Mr. Bufler experienced, consider the following article which was excerpted from the BBC website, February 22, 2008:

 

"H-Bomb Blast Remembered

 

By Richard Black

BBC science correspondent

 

Fifty years ago on Friday, one of the more significant events in the era of mushroom clouds, megaton yields and mutually assured destruction took place. It was the detonation of the world's first hydrogen bomb, set off at a United States test site in the Pacific Ocean. The blast, timed at 1915 GMT, produced a light brighter than a 1,000 suns and a heat wave felt 50 kilometres away. Although successive international treaties have sought to reduce the nuclear stockpile, there are still enough hydrogen bombs in the world to destroy humanity many times over.

 

Arms race

It was just after dawn on 1 November, 1952, that US Government scientists in the Marshall Islands pressed the button which would usher in a new age of human history. The 10.4-megaton blast on the far away Enewetak Atoll was hundreds of times more powerful than the A-bomb explosion at Hiroshima. Unlike that device which tapped energy by splitting atomic nuclei, the Enewetak weapon forced together nuclei of hydrogen to unleash an even greater destructive force. Internationally, the test restored at a stroke the US lead in the race for weapons of mass destruction.

 

No choice

The US had taken the lead during World War Two with its first successful atom bomb test, but in 1949 the Soviet Union caught up, detonating its first A-bomb. Edward Teller, the scientist often labelled "the father of the H-bomb", recalled the political imperative he felt to keep the USA ahead: "Stalin had explicitly said, in response to Hiroshima, 'we are going to have the atomic bomb, and we are going to have more'. I then believed that the possibility of the hydrogen bomb was already there on the Soviet side, and not to work on it would be dangerous." The first H-bomb, nicknamed "Mike", was a singularly impractical device.

 

Too costly

It weighed around 70 tonnes and was as big as a house - but it worked. The US lead in the arms race was short-lived, however. Less than a year later, the Soviet Union too had a working hydrogen bomb. Each side went on testing and building bigger and more sophisticated H-bombs over the next few decades, as did other global powers - France, China and the UK. But according to military historian David Holloway, the race would in the end help bring about the demise of the Soviet empire.

 

Fallout cost

"You can, I think, go back and look at the early nuclear decisions made by Stalin after Hiroshima - although it was not discussed at all in the Soviet leadership, it was an absolutely automatic decision," he told the BBC. "But it was a very fateful one because it committed the Soviet Union to an arms race with a country which was economically far superior to it." Many of the subsequent American H-bomb tests were also performed in the South Pacific. They left a number of islands uninhabitable, and local people counting the impact of vast radiation doses on their health."

 

H-Bomb on TV

 

The unscheduled release of the hydrogen bomb film early Thursday caught Cincinnati’s television stations by surprise.

 

The film was shown by WKRC-TV at 7 and 8 a.m., since it carries CBS network, which broke it first. WLW-T, which carries NBC, showed it at 8 a.m. and WCPO-TV, with Mutual and Dumont networks, had it at 10 a.m.

 

Later, five additional TV showings were scheduled as follows: WCPO-TV, 6 and 8 p.m.; WLW-T, 7:45 p.m. and 11:15 p.m., and WKRC-TV, 7:15 and 11 p.m.

 

The Civil Defense Administration released the films a week ahead of time; because, Drew Pearson, syndicated columnist, broke the release date on a review of the picture.

World War II Rationing Program

 

Like the rest of the country, during the Second World War, Darrtown residents felt the impact of that difficult time. An important part of the war effort was the rationing program.

The two images that appear at the right, show the front and back of a "Mileage Ration" coupon.

 

 

 

Issued to Darrtown resident, Raymond Wiley, the coupon is dated as being valid from December 4, 1944 through March 4, 1945.

 

 

 

Ray Wiley's younger son, Ron Wiley, contributed these documents to Darrtown.com.

The image at the left shows that Ray Wiley purchased one tire from the Marsh-Schneider Tire Co. of 114 North St., Hamilton, Ohio - on August 13, 1943.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image below shows a coupon for the purchase of one tire from Luther McVicker to Raymond Wiley (dated August 7, 1943). Like the "milage coupon" shown above, this coupon was authorized by the "United States of America Office of Price Administration."

World War II

Draft Notice;

Order to Report

 

The image at the right displays the infamous World War II "Greetings" letter from the President of the United States that directed the recipients to report for a "preinduction" physical examination.

 

This letter to Ray Kenneth Wiley is dated February 25, 1944 and informs Ray that he is to report to the main lobby of the Hamilton, Ohio Y.M.C.A. at 7:30 A.M., on March 4, 1944.

World War II

Honor Roll

 

RIGHT: This photo of the WWII Honor Roll, which once stood in the town square, was contributed by Dale Bufler.

 

Seen in the photo are Mrs. Lorraine Uhl and her daughter, Myrna Uhl.

 

Unfortunately, the original image is not focused and it is difficult to discern all the names listed on the Honor Roll.

 

The names that appear below were identified from the photo, while it was magnified in Photoshop.

 

If you see errors, or if you can provide names that are missing, in the following lists, please contact the Darrtown.com webmaster.

 

The following column numerals refer to the columns shown on the Honor Roll board.

COLUMN 1

 

Clarence Wright

W. Moulton MIller

John F. Mee

Harold Baecker

Harry Summers ?

Robert Schlabach ?

Paul Weiss

M. Beecher Clark

Arthur Fulmer

Harry Pharis

Paul Krebs

Ralph Miller

Dwight Miller

? ____ Harris

Melvin Petri

COLUMN 2

 

Dorothy Harris

Keith Dynes

Donald McVicker

Thomas Popst

Fred Popst

Andrew Popst

Howard Cox

Charles Witherby

Eugene Wagonfield

Edward Fowler

Jack Fowler

Charles Uhl

Glen ___? (the last name appears to have two "b's" in it)

Fred Hunkler

COLUMN 3

 

Harold Schriver

William Falk

Earl Keiser

Leonard Schwab

? Theo___ Schwab

Alvin Alford

Virgil Alston

Eldon Wyckoff

George M. Nichol

Paul Schlabach

John Schlabach

Lawrence Schlabach

Lawrence Baumann

Gordon Thomas

Edward W. ___?

COLUMN 4

 

Eldon Lee Wiley

P___? J. B____?

Wilber Pierson

Warren Hansel

Loren Sewell

William Uhl

Harold Witherby

1956 Dedication of

Veterans' Memorial

 

The two images at the right, taken by Paul Weiss, were dated as "July 8, 1956." We assume that these images were taken during the dedication of the Veterans Memorial in Darrtown. Later, the Fire Department building was constructed just beyond (east) of the Memorial location.

WILLIAM “BILL” MILLER AWARDED PURPLE HEART

 

Bill Miller was a life-long Darrtown resident, except for the time that he served in the U. S. Army. The photo of Bill Miller at the left (circa mid-1940's) accompanied the following story that appeared in a Hamilton Journal news clipping.

 

"Private Miller is the husband of Mrs. Olive Henry Miller, R.R. 8 of Hamilton, Ohio and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Miller, R.R. 2, Oxford, Ohio.

 

He is a graduate of Darrtown High School and the Hamilton Business College. Prior to his enlistment, Mr. Miller was employed at the Mosler Safe Company of Hamilton."

 

Webmaster Notation: The "R.R. 2, Oxford, Ohio " residential address that is listed in the news clipping (above) applies to all Darrtown addresses - ever since the Darrtown Post Office closed in 1907 (date confirmed in "Early History - Page 3"). The news clipping referred to as the source of the info on Bill Miller was found among the many newspaper clippings maintained by Mrs. Albert (Bernice Weiss) Lindley during her lifetime.

 

 

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