71 years ago … Bill McGee remembers Bikini (the swimsuit, that is)

ABOARD THE USS Fall River (CA-131), Bikini Atoll, 13 July 1946 — My shipmates and I were sweating it out at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, getting ready for Test Baker, the second postwar atomic bomb test. Baker was scheduled for 25 July and the test bomb would explode from underwater.  The first test, code-named Able, was on 1 July and the bomb was dropped from…

Operation CROSSROADS atomic veterans reconnect 71 years later

  ON THIS DAY 1 July 1946, at 0859 Bikini time, Gunner’s Mates Paul Dowling and Bill McGee knelt on the deck of the heavy cruiser, USS Fall River (CA-131), faced away from the 95 target vessels strategically positioned in the Bikini Lagoon, closed their eyes tightly, covered their eyes with bended arm against their faces, and awaited the explosion of a 23…