Operation CROSSROADS – Lest We Forget! An Eyewitness Account, Bikini Atomic Bomb Tests 1946

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An Eyewitness Account of the 1946 Bikini Atomic Bomb Tests

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA, July 1, 2016–Seventy years ago in July 1946, millions of people around the world waited anxiously by their radios for the results of the first postwar atomic bomb tests code-named Operation CROSSROADS.

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Crossroads, William L. McGee has recounted his personal story in Operation Crossroads – Lest We Forget! An Eyewitness Account, Bikini Atomic Bomb Tests 1946 (BMC Publications, June 2016, 132 pp, 59 photographs and illustrations. Paperback $19.95, Kindle Edition $9.99.)


Bill McGee, USN, was one of 42,000 military, scientists, and civilian personnel assembled at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands for two postwar atomic bomb tests on an array of ships and animals. McGee witnessed Crossroads from the deck of the heavy cruiser USS Fall River (CA-131), the Flagship for the Target Fleet of Vice Admiral W. H. P. Blandy’s Joint Task Force One.

Listen to the live radio broadcast from Bikini on Baker Day, 25 July 1946

In the Foreword, Dr. F. Lincoln Grahlfs, a Crossroads participant and currently the Vice Commander of the National Association of Atomic Veterans,  writes, “I commend Bill McGee on his skillful effort at keeping the story alive … Lest We Forget!”

Watch footage from the Baker blast, 25 July 1946

McGee, a prolific World War II military historian known for his spare and straightforward writing style, gives an eyewitness account of his participation in what scientists considered the most significant event of the twentieth century – from the plan that was comparable to a major wartime battle plan, to the build-up, the rehearsals, the tests, and the all-important later lessons learned about the devastating effects of radiation on man, animal, and ships – that no one saw coming.

“I wrote this book to help preserve a part of history few know about today,” says McGee. “If your time is limited, I recommend reading the Foreword by Dr. F. Lincoln Grahlfs, a Crossroads participant and Vice Commander of the National Association of Atomic Veterans (NAAV). Also Chapter 11, ‘Later Lessons Learned.’ In this chapter, Dr. Oscar Rosen, also a Crossroads participant and a longtime advocate for atomic veterans, suggests a possible cover-up by certain members of the military who may – or may not – have known about the dangers of radiation inherent in nuclear weapons – facts which remained classified for more than 50 years.”

“The subject is timely,” says McGee. “As I was writing the Preface in April 2016, the Nuclear Security Summit was wrapping up in Washington, D.C. proving that the threat of nuclear warfare is very much in the news today and threatens Western civilization. We have to learn from history – lest we forget.”

Bill and his co-author/wife Sandra live in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. They may be reached at mcgeebmc@aol.com or on their website at www.WilliamMcGeeBooks.com.

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