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