Atom Bomb Testing

Able atomic bomb test, Bikini Atoll, 1 July 1946.

Able atomic bomb test, Bikini Atoll, 1 July 1946.

Baker atomic bomb test, Bikini Atoll, 25 July 1946.

Baker atomic bomb test, Bikini Atoll, 25 July 1946.

Someone commented about the AV-17 being involved in the Able/Baker atomic tests performed at the Bikini Atoll. She was not a “target” but played an important role in collecting data from the various tests because, unlike most ships, her seaplane deck was made of wood, not steel. Five years after leaving the Cuke, I joined the civilian staff of the U.S.Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. One of the aims of the tests was to collect data closer to the tests than humans could manage. Test equipment was secured to the wooden deck by bolts. Live data was collected and telemetered to scientists stationed at a safer distance from the explosions. Later, the ship and equipment was “washed down” to remove excess radiation.

Paul “J” Dunn, former ETM 1/c

© Stephen Clay McGehee 2011 – 2017
Unless otherwise noted, this work is copyrighted by Stephen Clay McGehee.
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Welcome to the U.S.S. Cumberland Sound

4 Responses to Atom Bomb Testing

  1. Barry Mauntel says:

    My father, Stanley Mauntel, served on Cumberland Sound during WWII. I wanted to contact someone who may have known him. Barry Mauntel

  2. Floyd Holcom says:

    My Father, Ed Holcom was on the AV17 during the testing. He told me stories of him raising and leaning into the blasts, doing an about face and leaning i to the vacuum wind. Then Soaping the entire ship washing it down, and doing it again! He died of cancer and the government would not accept his cancer was due to his service on the Cumberland Sound at Bikini.

  3. Brian Bell says:

    I eat breakfast every Saturday with Thomas Taylor who served on the ship at Bikini. He is 90 now and is still golfing. Thank you for this site. I was able to learn more about my friend.

  4. Stephen Clay McGehee says:

    Very cool! If he related any stories about his time on the Cumberland Sound, I hope you’ll share them here. If he has any stories or photos that he would like to add, I’d love to include them on the web site. Thank you.

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