Sworn to secrecy… Bill McGee’s last letter home before the big Bikini blast

On 29 June 1946,  I was anxiously awaiting the first postwar atomic bomb test code-named Test Able scheduled for 1 July. I was one of the 42,000 military, scientists, and civilian personnel stationed at Bikini in the Marshall Islands for Operation CROSSROADS. The Navy issued my shipmates and me special Operation Crossroads stationery with the suggestion…

From Bikini and Operation Crossroads – Bill McGee recalls his letter home on 29 June 1946

On 29 June 1946,  I was one of 42,000 military, scientists, and civilian personnel stationed in or around the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. We were anxiously awaiting Test Able on 1 July 1946,  the first postwar atomic bomb test. Men doing duty on the support ships were issued special stationery with the not-so-subtle suggestion…

75 Years Ago… The Ill-Fated Voyage of Task Unit 32.4.4

Guadalcanal, June 1943. The U.S. Navy Task Unit 32.4.4 was anchored off Guadalcanal. The convoy was made up of four Liberty ships and three escorts. Gunner Bill McGee, fresh out of Boot Camp and on his first wartime sea voyage, was stationed aboard the Liberty, SS Nathaniel Currier. Suddenly, on 16 June at 1350 (1:50 p.m.), Condition “Very” Red was…

Memorial Day 2018 – Writing Military Memoirs

You don’t have to be a celebrity to write your naval military memoirs. Preserving one’s memories and stories about his or her military service is a wonderful gift to give your family. Bill, a Pacific war veteran of World War II and a postwar atomic veteran of Operation Crossroads in 1946, has researched and written…