Aboard the USS Fall River (CA-131), Bikini Atoll, 24 Jul 1946, Test Baker Minus 1 – One day to go to Test Baker, the first underwater explosion of an atomic bomb. The 23 kiloton Baker bomb, nicknamed “Bikini Helen” and “Helen of Bikini” would be submerged 90 feet below the target vessel, LSM-60 (Landing Ship, Medium). The underwater explosion was expected to be a bigger blast and cause more damage than the aerial bomb explosion of Test Able on 1 July.
By the end of the day, the Fall River had the target vessels moored into position and the Bikini Lagoon was evacuated. Sleep was hard to come by that night.
Excerpted from Operation Crossroads, Lest We Forget! An Eyewitness Account, Bikini Atomic Bomb Tests 1946 by William L. McGee with Sandra V. McGee.
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