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    Bikini Atoll (Pikinni Atoll)  Marshall Islands

Location
Bikini Atoll consists of 23 islands surrounding a 229.4-square-mile Bikini Lagoon. Also known as Pikinni Atoll.

Postwar
Bikini Atoll was designated part of the Pacific Proving Grounds for use twenty nuclear weapons tests between 1946 and 1958. The first nuclear testes were conducted during July 1946 code named "Operation Crossroads".

The first test was code named test "Able" was an air drop test at 9:00 dropped by B-29 "Dave's Dream" 44-27354 against a target array of ships 3.5 miles southwest of Bikini Island. The aim point was USS Nevada BB-36, but the bomb missed exploding 710 yards to the west. Only five ships were sunk (two sank immediately, two destroyers within hours and a cruiser the following day) plus eighteen others damaged.

The second test code named test "Baker" on July 25, 1946 was an underwater test at 8:35am with the bomb suspended below LSM-60 at a depth of 90', halfway to the 180' bottom.

A third test code named test "Charlie" another underwater test was scheduled for March 1, 1947 but canceled.

Today
Scientists used Bikini Atoll as a case study in ways to clean up radiation. Today, the shipwrecks sunk in the atomic and hydrogen bomb tests are safe for SCUBA divers.

USS Anderson DD-411
Sunk July 1, 1946 during atomic bomb test "Able", anchored 600 yards from the aiming point.

USS Lamson DD-367
Sunk July 1, 1946 during atomic bomb test "Able", anchored 760 yards from the aiming point.

LSM-60
Sunk July 25, 1946 during atomic bomb test "Baker"

USS Apogon SS-308
Sunk July 25, 1946 during atomic bomb test "Baker"

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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