Countdown at Crossroads – Sworn to secrecy…a letter home, Post 1, 29 June 1946, Post 5/20

Aboard the USS Fall River, (CA-131), Bikini Atoll, 29 June 1946 – Today the Navy issued all military personnel aboard support ships special stationery designed for Operation Crossroads. It was suggested we write a letter home before tomorrow’s Test Able on 1 July 1946, the first postwar atomic bomb test. I wrote to my mother and oldest sister, Doris.

The artwork on my envelope shows the Fall River in black and a bomb blast in red. After Test Able on 1 July, if we all survived, a special cancellation would be applied to 200,000 pieces of mail, with the killer bars reading “ATOMIC BOMB TEST/BIKINI ATOLL”. (The word “TEST” was cut off of my envelope, probably when it was opened.)

-Bill McGee

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

 

3 thoughts on “Countdown at Crossroads – Sworn to secrecy…a letter home, Post 1, 29 June 1946, Post 5/20

  1. So enjoyed your book Operation Crossroads and thank you for recent post about letter you sent home.

  2. I wrote an historical fiction about this moment in history.

    https://www.amazon.com/JEMO-Stephen-Robertson-ebook/dp/B00ETISKV0

    I’d love to read yours.

    I also learned not to publish in the middle of a breakup…I got trashed.

    It’s a tough place to be writing today.

    Do you know Jonathan Weisgall? I dedicated my book to him.

    Stephen P. Robertson

    On Fri, Jun 28, 2019, 16:01 William L. McGee & Sandra V. McGee, Authors wrote:

    > William L. McGee and Sandra V. McGee posted: “On 29 June 1946, I was one > of 42,000 military, scientists, and civilian personnel stationed in or > around the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. We were anxiously > awaiting Test Able on 1 July 1946, the first postwar atomic bomb test. Men > doing duty o” >

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