Navy veteran triggering federal probe into leaking McMurdo nuclear plant at navy base dies of cancer

Death comes weeks before exposure report due

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A Navy veteran who helped trigger a federal probe into a leaking nuclear plant at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, has died of cancer just weeks before a government report on radiation exposure is due to be released.

Senior Chief Petty Officer James G. Landy was buried Wednesday at the Barrancas National Military Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida, with a military honor guard and 3-volley salute.

Landy appeared in an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation into years of radiation leaks at a portable nuclear plant at McMurdo in the 1960s and 70s.

Our investigation led to government hearings last March into the link between radiation exposure and cancer among veterans across the country.

Landy never sought the spotlight and reluctantly agreed to be interview solely to help fellow veterans whose complaints were ignored by the government for years.

In an interview in January 2011, Landy described coping with his own cancer diagnosis and the depression that followed,

"I woke up one morning on the fifth day, ready to go to work and I just said hey, knock this off, snap out of it -- and I did., I got good with myself and I got good with God," said Landy.

Landy's optimism and courage sustained him throughout a five year battle with cancer that ravaged his body.

"I drew up a pros and cons list of having cancer," said Landy. "I wound up with more good than I did bad."

Landy died on Thanksgiving Day, a few weeks before a full report is due to be released on radiation exposure and cancer among navy veterans who served at McMurdo.

He was 64 years old.

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