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Atmospheric Nuclear Testing and The US Navy

Related Resources and Websites:

The U.S. Department of Energy maintains a Human Radiation Experiments homepage containing thousands of reports and declassified documents, including information on specific atmospheric nuclear tests in which Navy and Marine Corps, as well as civilian employees participated.

National Association of Atomic Veterans, Portland Oregon Atomic Veterans. [See "Atomic Veteran, Atomic Test Series and Dates" for photographs and eyewitness accounts, including Navy veterans, of participation in nuclear tests, including Operation Crossroads. Also see "What's New" for a miscellany of information including maps of radioactive cloud tracks for Operation Plumbbob detonations.]

Nevada Test Site homepage. Historical information includes photographs of nuclear weapons detonations and a Special Souvenir Edition of NTS News and Views. Included is a link to the Department of Energy's Coordination and Information Center, whose collection includes 270,000 documents dealing with the U.S. nuclear testing program.

Operation Crossroads: Fact Sheet

Bibliography:

Between 1945 and 1962, during the atmospheric test series, the U.S. Government conducted 235 nuclear weapons tests, principally in Nevada and the Pacific. Approximately 106,942 Navy and 11,500 Marine Corps personnel participated in the tests.



Amato, Ivan. Pushing the Horizon: Seventy-Five Years of High Stakes Science and Technology at the Naval Research Laboratory. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1998. [See ch.6 "NRL Goes to War: The Navy's Secret Little Manhattan Project," pp. 139-51; and ch.9, "NRL, Nuclear Fallout, and the Coled War," pp, 215-73.]

Caufield, Catherine. Multiple Exposures: Chronicles of the Radiation Age. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, 1989.

Christman, Albert B. Target Hiroshima: Deak Parsons and the Creation of the Atomic Bomb. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1998. [Parsons was a U.S. Navy weapons specialist and representative to the Manhattan Project. He witnessed seven of the first eight nuclear bomb explosions; and served as the bomb commander and weaponeer during the Enola Gay's mission to bomb Hiroshima, when he performed the final assembly of the "Little Boy" nuclear weapon in the aircraft's bomb bay. He was the task force deputy commander during Operation Crossroads in 1946.]

Delgado, James P. The Archeology of the Atomic Bomb: A Submerged Cultural Resources Assessment of the Sunken Fleet of Operation Crossroads at Bikini and Kwajalein Atoll Lagoons, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Santa Fe, NM: Submerged Cultural Resources Unit, National Maritime Initiative, US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1991.

Dingman, Roger. "Alliance in Crisis: The Lucky Dragon Incident and Japanese-American Relations" in Warren I. Cohen and Akira Iriye eds. The Great Powers in East Asia 1953 1960. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990. [Accidental exposure of the Japanese fishing boat Fukuryu Maru No.5 to fallout during Operation Castle.]

DOD Report on Search for Human Radiation Experiments Records, 1944-1994. 2 vols. Washington, DC: Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs, Department of Defense, 1997. Volume 1, NTIS# PB97-199616INF; Volume 2, NTIS# PB97-199624INF. [Includes Naval facilities, dates, and brief descriptions of experiments].

Glasstone, Samuel and Philip J. Dolan eds. The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. 3d ed. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1977.

Hacker, Barton C. Elements of Controversy: The Atomic Energy Commission and Radiation Safety in Nuclear Weapons Testing, 1947-1974. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1994.

Hansen, Chuck. US Nuclear Weapons: The Secret History. New York: Orion Books, 1988.

Ijarns, C.C. ed. Operation Crossroads: Bikini 1946. New York: Georgian Press, 1946. [Photo essay "cruise book" for USS Avery Island and the Electronics Coordinating Office].

Johnson, J. Christopher et al. Mortality of Veteran Participants in the Crossroads Nuclear Test. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1996. [91% of personnel participatin in Operation Crossroads were U.S. Navy personnel. " These finding do not support a hypothesis that exposure to ionizing radiation was the cause of increased mortality among CROSSROADS participants."].

"Known Nuclear Tests Worldwide, 1945-1994." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 51, no.3 (May/Jun. 1995): 70- 71.

"Listing of 204 Previously Unannounced Nuclear Tests." NTS News and Views 5, no.l (Jan. 1994): 4-6.

May, John. The Greenpeace Book of the Nuclear Age: The Hidden History, the Human Cost. New York: Pantheon Books, 1989.

Maydew, Randall C. America's Lost H-Bomb: Palomares, Spain. Yuma, KS: Sunflower University Press, 1997.

"Nevada test Site: A Historical Perspective." NTS News and Views Special Edition (April 1993): 1-32.

Rosenberg, Howard L. Atomic Soldiers: American Victims of Nuclear Experiments. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1980.

Rothstein, Linda. "No Matter What, Says NAS, Atomic Vets are O.K." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 48, no.10 (Dec. 1992): 3-4.

Scharnberg, Ken. "St. George Is Expendable." American Legion 139, no.4 (Oct. 1995): 20-27, 60, 62. [Survey of US nuclear testing program and federal handling of related health and legal issues pertaining to civilian and military personnel.].

Shurliff, W.A. Bombs at Bikini: The Official Report of Operation Crossroads. New York: W.H. Wise, 1947.

Taylor, Lauriston Sale. Radiation Protection Standards. Cleveland, OH: CRC Press, 1971.

Uhl, Michael. GI Guinea Pigs. New York: Playboy Press, 1980.

United Nations. Department of Disarmament Affairs. Nuclear Weapons: A Comprehensive Study. New York: United Nations, 1991.

United States. Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute. Medical Effects of Nuclear Weapons. Bethesda, MD: The Institute, 1979.

United States. Armed Forces Special Weapons Project. Radiological Defense. Washington, DC, 1948. .

United States. Atomic Energy Commission. Health Aspects of Nuclear Weapons Testing Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1964.

United States Congress. Senate. Radioactive Fallout from Nuclear Testing at Nevada Test Site, 1950-60. 105th Cong., 1st sess. S. Hrg 105-180.

United States. Defense Atomic Support Agency, Field Command, Atomic Weapons Training Group. Basic Nuclear and Radiation Physics. Sandia Base, NM, 1960.

United States. Defense Nuclear Agency. Radiological Cleanup of Enewetak Atoll. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1981.

United States. Joint Task Force One. Operation Crossroads, the Official Pictorial Record. New York: W.H Wise & Co., 1946.

United States Navy. Bureau of Naval Personnel. ABC Warfare Defense. Washington, DC: Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1963. [Includes nature of atomic warfare, personnel protection, protective equipment and decontamination.].

United States Navy. Bureau of Naval Personnel. Atomic Warfare Defense. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1955. [Includes effects of atomic weapons, defense against atomic attack, radiation detection and decontamination.].

United States Navy. Bureau of Naval Personnel. Principles of Guided Missiles and Nuclear Weapons. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1959.

United States Navy. Bureau of Yards and Docks. ABC Warfare Defense Ashore. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1960. [Includes nature of nuclear weapons, characteristics and effects, casualties, damage, warning, detection, protection and decontamination.].

Weisgall, Jonathan M. Operation Crossroads: The Atomic Tests at Bikini Atoll. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994.

White, Clarence H. ed. Operation Sandstone; the Story of Joint Task Force Seven. Washington, DC: Infantry Journal Press, 1949. [Photo essay].

The following Defense Nuclear Agency (currently the Defense Threat Reduction Agency) publications, each covering a specific series of tests, contain operational details, units participating, radiation exposure data, and bibliographies. Other books in the 41-volume series focus on one or more atmospheric or underground detonations within a particular operation conducted at the Nevada Test Site. The volumes are available for examination in many US Government Depository libraries, and can be purchased from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield,VA 22161. The telephone number is (703) 487-4780.

Johnson, Abby A., Jerald L. Goetz and William K. McRaney. For the Record: A History of the Nuclear Test PersonnelReview Program, 1978-1986. Washington: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1986. NTIS# ADA190410. [Discusses personnel participation in US atmospheric tests and the postwar U.S. occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Contains useful bibliography, and information on research at the Coordination and Information Center (CIC) in Las Vegas Nevada, where 125,000+ documents on nuclear testing are located.].

Robinette, C. Dennis. Studies of Participants in Nuclear Tests: Final Report, I September 1978- 31 October 1984. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1985. NTIS# ADAl 55245. [Also known as Mortality of Nuclear Weapons Test Participants].

United States. Defense Nuclear Agency. Radiac Instruments and Film Badges Used at Atmospheric Nuclear Tests. Washington: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1985. NTIS# ADA163137. [Discusses accuracy of radial instruments, pocket dosimeters and film badges; where documentation is located; and which instruments were used at each test.].

_____, Reference Manual: Background Materials for the CONUS Volumes. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1983. NTIS# ADA136818. [Basic reference book covering characteristics of nuclear detonations; radiation physics; radiation measurement, instrumentation, and protection; development of radiation protection standards; biological effects of ionizing radiation; and lists of US and foreign nuclear tests. Contains useful bibliography.].

Chronological List of Nuclear Tests

_____ Project Trinity, 1945-1946. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1982. NTIS# ADA128035. detonation of the world's first nuclear device during July 1945, in New Mexico. [Approximately 1,000 individuals including some naval personnel visited the site between the detonation and the end of 1946.].

_____ Operation Crossroads, 1946. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1984. NTIS# ADAl46562. [2 detonations conducted by JTF-l during June-July 1946, at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, Pacific Ocean. At least 36,262 Navy and 550 Marine Corps personnel, as well as 251 ships, participated.].

_____ Operation Sandstone, 1948. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1983. NTIS# ADAl39151. [3 detonations conducted by JTF-7 during April-May 1948, Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands. At least 7,759 Navy and 182 Marine Corps personnel participated.].

_____ Operation Ranger: Shots Able, Baker, Easy, Baker-2, Fox, 25 January-6 February 1951. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1982. NTIS# ADA118684. [5 detonations conducted at the Nevada Proving Ground, involving at least 6 Navy and 1 Marine Corps personnel.].

_____ Operation Greenhouse, 1951. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1983. NTIS# ADA134735. [4 detonations conducted by JTF-7 during April-May 1951, at Enewetak. At least 2,900 Navy and 80 Marine Corps personnel were involved.].

_____ Operation Buster-Jangle, 1951. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1982. NTIS# ADA123441. [7 detonations conducted from October-November 1951 at Nevada Proving Ground, involving at least 319 Navy and 188 Marine Corps personnel.].

_____ Operation Tumbler-Snapper, 1952. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1982. NTIS# ADA122242. [8 detonations conducted during April-June 1952 at Nevada Proving Ground. At least 556 Navy and 2,042 Marine Corps personnel participated.].

_____ Operation Ivy, 1952. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency Agency, 1982. NTIS# ADA128082. [2 detonations conducted by JTF-132 during October-November 1952, at Enewetak. One of the events, designated Mike, was the first thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb. At least 5,258 Navy and 178 Marine Corps personnel participated.].

_____ Operation Upshot-Knothole, 1953. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1982. NTIS# ADA121624. [11 detonations conducted during March-June 1953 at Nevada Proving Ground. At least 773 Navy and 2,275 Marine Corps personnel participated.].

_____ Castle Series, 1954. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1982. NTIS# ADA117574. [6 detonations conducted by Joint Task Force (JTF) 7 during March-May 1954, at Enewetak. At least 8,633 Navy and 303 Marine Corps personnel were involved.].

_____ Operation Teapot, 1955. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1981. NTIS# ADA113537. [14 detonations conducted during February-May 1955 at Nevada Test Site. At least 541 Navy and 2,305 Marine Corps personnel participated.].

_____ Operation Wigwam. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1981. NTIS# ADA105685. [a single deep underwater detonation conducted by JTF-7 during May 1955, in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 500 miles southwest of San Diego CA. At least 6,567 Navy and 110 Marine Corps personnel as well as 30 ships participated.].

_____ Operation Redwing 1956. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1982. NTIS# ADA134795. [17 detonations conducted by JTF-7 during May-July 1956, at Bikini and Enewetak. At least 5,654 Navy and 253 Marine Corps personnel were involved.].

_____ Plumbbob Series, 1957. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1981. NTIS# ADA107317. [24 detonations conducted during April-October 1957 at Nevada Test Site. At least 574 Navy and 2,148 Marine Corps personnel participated. Naval aircraft included 4 model ZSG-3 airships, an HSS-1 helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft].

_____ Operation Hardtack I, 1958. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1982. NTIS# ADA136819. [35 detonations conducted by JTF-7 during April-August 1958, at Bikini and Enewetak. At least 9,736 Navy and 219 Marine Corps personnel were involved.].

_____ Operation Argus, 1958. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1982. NTIS# ADA122341. [3 high-altitude detonations conducted by TF (Task Force) 88 during AugustSeptember 1958. over South Atlantic Ocean.].

_____ Operation Hardtack II, 1958. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1982. NTIS# ADA130929. [19 detonations conducted during September-October 1958 at Nevada Test Site. At least 33 Navy and 2 Marine Corps personnel were involved.].

_____ Projects Gnome and Sedan: The Plowshare Program. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1983. NTIS# ADA130165. [27 nuclear detonations conducted between 1961 and 1973 at Nevada Test Site, Colorado, and New Mexico. At least 82 Navy and 1 Marine Corps personnel participated.].

_____ Operation Dominic I, 1962. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1983. NTIS# ADA136820. [36 detonations inc. Polaris and ASROC tests conducted by JTF- 8 during April-November 1962, in Johnson and Christian Island areas, and a single detonation 371 nautical miles southwest of San Diego CA. At least 18,163 Navy and 659 Marine Corps personnel participated.].

_____ Operation Dominic II. Shots Little Feller II, Johnie Boy, Small Boy, Little Feller I, 7 July17 July 1962. Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1983. NTIS# ADA128367. [4 detonations during July 1962, at Nevada Test Site. At least 81 Navy and 89 Marine Corps personnel participated.].


13 July 2005