Countdown at Crossroads – The Dress Rehearsal, 25 June 1946, Post 2/20

5. QueenDay Rehearsal

Officers and men assembled on the flight deck of the carrier Saidor to rehearse the safety procedure to protect their eyes from the blinding light emitted by the explosion of an atomic bomb. The most intense portion of the flash, many times the brilliance of the sun, lasts a few millionths of a second. (Photo U.S. Navy)


Aboard the USS Fall River (CA-131), Bikini Atoll, 25 June 1946 – Scuttlebutt was that all went well on Queen Day, the code name for the 24 June rehearsal for Test Able on 1 July.

Commander M.E. Dennett, USN, issued these instructions to all hands: (1) Face away from Bikini, (2) Sit on Deck, (3) Close eyes tightly, (4) Cover eyes with bended arm against the face. (5) When the order “Carry on” is announced, all hands may safely observe the beautiful display of colors in the incandescent column of cloud and the gigantic clouds, which follow the explosion.

-Bill McGee

(Excerpted from Operation Crossroads, Lest We Forget! An Eyewitness Account, Bikini Atomic Bomb Tests 1946 by William L. McGee)






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