Bikini Lagoon, 4 July 1946, Independence Day. The submarine Skate was one of the target vessels 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, which they did a few days later, although it was unsafe to submerge.
Perhaps due to the serious nature of these atomic bomb tests, I don’t recall any Fourth of July fireworks at Operation Crossroads. However, I do remember Captain D. S. Crawford, Commander M. E. Dennett, and the chaplain holding a brief ceremony for all hands on the fantail of the USS Fall River to commemorate Independence Day.
(Excerpted from Operation Crossroads – Lest We Forget! by William L. McGee.)