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operation ivy (1952) "a vet's story"

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posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 08:18 AM
this is j. c. ritter's story of operation ivy - i have pictures of SuperIvy “ Mike “ Sausage Device; Ivy “ Mike “ control roomhousing thermo-nuclearweapon device; and Ivy “ Mike “ -10-31-52 -10.4 Megatons -EnewetakAtollviewed from a Navy vessel 31 miles from ground zero but i am unable to copy the images simply because i am a computer moron -

On November 1, 1952 Operation “Ivy“introduced the world to the thermo-nuclear age of “Super”weapons of mass destruction, at EnewetakAtoll. The scientific name assigned to the first ( Ivy) test was “Mike” ( for Megaton. ) According to the D.N.A.fact sheet, JointTask Force132was comprsedof a total of 11,650personnel, that was a mix of 9,350military and 2,300civilian technicians, with an assortment of U.S. Navy vessels. The U.S. Air Force per-sonnelwere based at KwajaleinIsland, approximately 360miles southeast of theEnewetakAtolltest site.

1952During the operation a single-place aircraft, assigned to air sampling duties, was lost at sea. This led to the radiation exposure of 10rto 17rfor the 7man aircrew who flew out in an attempt to find the plane, and assist the downed pilot. This crew crossed a zone of heavy radiation fallout in order to reach the area of the downed aircraft. The crew of 12men, in a second aircraft, were also over-exposed when caught in the fallout cloud, while on a photographic mission during the “Mike”test. All Joint Task Forceships, and the entire chain of islands, comprising the EnewetakAtoll group,received substantial radiation fallout from the detonation of the “Mike”test, and again after the detonation of the “King”test. Of the 11,650personnel who participated in “Ivy”, the Department of Defense( D.o.D.) maintains that only 408were said to have received no radiation during the ( two test ) operation.On January 31, 1950 President Harry S. Trumanpublicly declared the United States of America’s intention to develop the Hydrogen bomb. “ It is part of my responsibility, as Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. Armed forces, to see to it that our country is able to defend itself against any possible aggressor. Accordingly, I have directed the Atomic Energy Commission ( A.E.C.) to continue its work on all forms of atomic weapons, including the so-called Hydrogenor Super-Bomb”, said Truman.

There were two primary moti-vationsfor Truman’sdeclaration. The most pressing was the Soviet Union’s successful det-onationof their first fission core ( lenstype ) bomb during the fall of 1949. The second driving force was the discovery of Klaus Fuchs' espionage activity at the Los Alamos WeaponsLabora-tory, which was accidentally uncovered just a few days earlier. These combined shocking de-velopments, added to the rapidly growing Cold-Wartensions, be-tweenthe United States and Russia, and created grave con-cernat the highest levels in deviceWashington about the UnitedStatesbeing overtaken in a nuclear arms race by the SovietUnion.From that time onward, the highest priority was placed on developing new and more potent strategic nuclear weapons, especially thermo-nuclear ( hydrogen) weapons. At that time though, no one had many workable ideas about how a practical thermo-nuclear “ Super Bomb” could be made, thus rendering Truman'sdeclaration somewhat hollow. This raised new fears that Truman'spronouncement may have spurred Sovietthermo-nuclear efforts onward even faster, and that they might have hit upon concepts not yet known to the United StatesScientific community. Con-sequently, a fallback strategy was pursued, to speed up the development of the highest yield fission bomb possible.

This effort was under the direct management of Dr. Theodore Taylor, at the Los Alamos Weapons Facility. It was the following January, that the conceptual design and theoretical progress of StanslawUlamand Edward Teller, provided the needed building block insights to produce a practical and workable thermo-nuclear device. These two parallel efforts to develop high yield nuclear weapons focused on the Pacific Proving Grounds. And so, in 1951, the basic thermo-nuclear design prototypes were successfully tested during Operation “Greenhouse”. These successes produced the “Super-Bomb”weapons that would be tested during Operation “Ivy“.Thus, Operation ”Ivy”demonstrated the explosive might of the two largest nuclear bombs ever tested up to that time. It inaugurated the thermo-nuclear age with the first "true" thermo-nuclear test, which was considerably more powerful than the total tonnage of all the high explosives used in two World Wars. Operation “Ivy”also tested the highest yield pure fission weapon ever successfully detonated. The device used in the “Mike”test, was called the Sausage, and was the first "true" H-Bomb ever tested, and the first thermo-nuclear device built upon the Teller-Ulamprinciples of staged radiation implosion. The Sausagedevice was de-signed by the Panda Committee, directed by J. CarsonMark, at the Los Alamos Weapons Facility. ( Teller declined to play a role in its development ).

The 10.4megaton bomb was a two-stage device using a TX-5fission bomb as the primary stage, and a secondary stage consisting of liquid Deuteriumfusion fuel stored in a cylindrical Dewar( thermos ) flask.

Running down the center of the Dewarwas a Plutonium"spark plug" rod that was used to ignite the fusion reaction. The Dewarwas surrounded by a natural Uraniumpusher-tamper weighing more than 5 metric tons. The entire assembly was housed in an enormous steel casing, 80 inches wide and 244 inches long, with walls 12 inches thick, which was the largest single bomb forging made up to that time. The inside surface of the casing was lined with sheets oflead and polyethylene to form the radiation channel that conducted heat from the primary to the secondary. The finished device weighed a massive 82tons. Elugelab( code named Flora ) was the Enewetakisland selected for the device installation. The resulting crater was6,240ft. across and 164ft. deep, and the island was completely obliterated. High levels of radiation blanketed much of the entire EnewetakAtoll island chain following the “Mike”test.

was certainly pushing close to the practical limit.This device was a prototype of the Mk-18, designated as a Super-Oralloy-Bomb( "S.O.B."). It consisted mostly of stan-dardstockpiled components, and was based on the stockpiled Mk-6Dbomb technology, but utilized the 92point ( lens) implosion system developed for the Mk-13nuclear device. The bomb pit incorporated a modified version of the standard reflector and base core assembly.

itThe normal Uranium-Plutoniumcomposite core was replaced by a new design that was made up of approximately 60kilo-grams of highly enriched Uranium( Oralloy) encased within a natural Uraniumtamper. The complete bomb weighed 8,600 lb. The Mk-18 bomb was developed under the direction of TedTaylorat the Los Alamos Weapons Facility. A major aspect of the development was the design of safety mechanisms. With such a large amount of enriched Uranium, more than 4critical masses, the bomb was skirting the edge of acceptable safety criticality.Chains, made of Aluminumand Boron, filled the central por-tionof the bomb to absorb stray Neutronsand prevent collapse if, for example, the high explosives were detonated in an accident. The chains were then pulled out just before the bomb was released from the high altitude delivery bomber. It iseasy to understand why the flight crew was slightly nervous about this particular bomb run.

i'll post more

posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 09:01 AM
r. j. ritter also tells his personal involvment in megatons operation “Castle" 1954 - operation "upshot-knothole" 1953 and a good many others if you are interested in first hand information -

i would love to load some of his personal pictures in each of these operations but i am not smart enough.......right now......i'm having a mental health moment from old age!

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 07:22 PM
Thank you for sharing this. I bet it would be interesting to have a chat with some of those guys. One thing though, the spacing is quite a disaster in this thread. I completely understand the old age thing, (I don't even know how to post photos, either!) and would be more than happy to proofread for you. Just send me a private message if you're interested. Thanks again for the story.

posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 02:58 AM

Originally posted by 3n19m470
Thank you for sharing this. I bet it would be interesting to have a chat with some of those guys. One thing though, the spacing is quite a disaster in this thread. I completely understand the old age thing, (I don't even know how to post photos, either!) and would be more than happy to proofread for you. Just send me a private message if you're interested. Thanks again for the story.
thank you so much for your interest - i found a part of the newsletters online complete with the pictures - i'm searching for the others -

there is a fellow who lives in the town where i live and was part of one of the operations - this is so very sad!
edit on 20-11-2012 by musselwhite because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 03:18 AM

the sky just hours after operation mike

the sausage

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