Countdown at Crossroads – Independence Day, 4 July 1946, Post 10/20

5. Sub Skate after Able

Crew of the Skate stands at quarters as the submarine passes Vice Admiral W. H. P. Blandy’s flagship. (U.S. Navy)

Bikini Lagoon, 4 July 1946, Independence Day – The submarine Skate was one of the target vessels positioned close to the explosion of the Test Able bomb on 1 July. The blast and the heat turned the sub into a mass of scrap. However, her tough hull refused to succumb and her tough crew was determined to put her back into operation. This they did a few days later, although it was unsafe to submerge.

Perhaps due to the serious nature of these atomic bomb tests, there were no Fourth of July fireworks at Operation Crossroads. However, Captain D. S. Crawford,  Commander M. E. Dennett, and the chaplain held a brief ceremony for all hands on the fantail of the USS Fall River to commemorate Independence Day.

-Bill McGee

(Excerpted from Operation Crossroads – Lest We Forget! by William L. McGee.)

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