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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, July 01, 1946, Image 5

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Three Ships Are Sunk,
Eight Badly Damaged
In A-Bomb Test
(Continued From First Page.)
within three hours after the bomb
burst, to study radio-activity and
combat the fires.
A close binocular inspection of
the target ships from the Panamint
showed that probably no vessel es
caped damage, Associated Press
Correspondent Paul K. Lee re
ported. He said in most cases, how
ever, damage appeared small, con
sisting mainly of bent masts and
wiecked superstructure.
No attempt was being made late
this afternoon to fight the fire
steadily eating away the carrier
Independence, but fireboats poured
heavy streams on the smoking bat
tleship Pennsylvania, which evi
dently had been considered sal
The carrier Saratoga no longer
burned. Planes could be seen lashed
to her decks.
Fires may have been kindled
aboard other ships by the unearthly
heat of nuclear fission and not yet
eaten their way into view.
A new fire suddenly flared out
• board the transport Cortland in
instruments Endangered.
The blazes endanger scientific in
struments in the hulls of the ves
sels and materiel placed aboard for
study of the effect of the explo
Elton C. Fay, Associated Press
correspondent, reported Admiral
Blandy, task force commander, had
said "impressions” were that the
fqurth atomic bomb was “somewhat
lighter” in explosive efficiency than
the missile dropped on Nagasaki.
It was estimated officially that the
mushrooming cloud did not rise
above 35,000 feet. This compared
with an estimated 40,000 to 60.000
feet for the Nagasaki burst.
Since radioactivity was not too
great, advance units of the non-^
target fleet, including Admiral
Blandy’s flagship, started back into
the lagoon within five hours.
Strangely, the bullseye ship Ne
vada appeared not badly hurt al
though the bomb was aimed to burst
directly above it. Its bright orange
and white dress was blackened and
burnt, however, apparently by the
incredible heat.
The north side of the ship showed
the greatest loss of paint, indicat- j
ing that the bomb burst just north
of it, toward Bikini island. Ob
servers watching the television]
screen aboard the U. S. S. Pana-1
mint said the bomb appeared to
burst about 1,000 feet in the air,
slightly to the starboard of the
Axis Ships Damaged.
Ships which once were part of
enemy fleets did not do so well. The
Japanese battleship Nagato and
light cruiser Sakawa and the Ger
man heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen
were listed among the heavily dam
aged. Reported damage to the
Prinz Eugen caused surprise be
cause it wras on the fringe of the
target fleet.
Tw'o of the three vessels sunk
were transports—the Gilliam and
the Carlisle. The third was the
destroyer Lamson.
Other ships listed as heavily dam
aged included the Independence,
It was a virtual hulk, its entire lofty]
superstructure leveled off by fires
and explosions.
The flight deck was buckled, and
there was no evidence, from close
range operation of the planes and
other material left on the deck for
test purposes. She was list ng 20 de
Badly damaged also was the
cruiser Pensacola and the subma
rine Skate.
Saratoga On Fire.
Fires were reported aboard the
famed old carrier Saratoga, battle
ships Nevada and New York, de
stroyer Wilson and transports Bris
coe, Niagara, Bladen, Banner, Butte
and Cortland.
Mr. Blakeslee saw the blazing ball
of fire and smoke roll up from the
horizon minutes after the bomb was
dropped from the B-29 “Dave's
Dream.” The heart of the hot cloud
was pink—a pink that turned to
gold as the cloud surged upward.
The cloud broke into three mush
rooms, with the great cap thousands
of feet over the lagoon within 10
Pilotless "drone” planes roared
Into the clouds at once, gathering
radio-active substance for study.
The thousands of watchers—mili
tary men, scientists, newsmen and
observers—snatched off their black
ened goggles to watch the billowing
reported mat opinions
on the exhibition and its final
results varied. All agreed that they
had expected more than they saw.
There was no lack of enthusiasm
among the crew of ‘ Dave's Dream."
From Kwajalein, Charles McMurtry,
Associated Press correspondent, re
ported that the atom bomber pilot,
Maj. Woodrotv P. Swancutt, buzzed
the field exuberantly before land
ing the craft.
Some one called ‘‘Nice pitchin'
Woody!” to Bombardier Ma.i. Charles
H. Wood as he climbed from the
Admiral Bland.y praised the work
of the Army, Navy and air arm as
"probably the most remarkable air
manship in history,” referring to
the intricate synchronization of the
various planes and ships involved.
Admiral Blandy later told news
men the operation "went so much
the way we planned it that it really
is not newsworthy.”
The bomb burst as seen from this
press ship was somewhat like a
fairly unusual sunset.
There was little noise, a slight
heat wave and no heavier sea as
a result.
Correspondents had been provided
with darkened goggles, and warned
against looking directly into the
"terrific glare.” They were cautioned
not to perch on a precarious posi
tion because they “might be knocked
off by the blast.”
After it wTas over the newsmen
looked at each other with bewildered
The mountain had labored and
brought forth a moderate sized
mouse. The mouse might grow into
a monster when everything is tab
ulated, but at this juncture it re
mained very much a mouse.
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ward over Bikini a few seconds after the atomic bomb exploded. This photo was made by
Associated Press Photographer Jack Rice, still-picture pool representative, from the sky bridge
of the flagship U. S. S. Mount McKinley.
Atomic Bomb Fails
To Register Here
The atomic bomb vlast yesterday
disturbed Washington’s only au
thoritative seismograph not-a whit. ;
The Rev. Frederick W. Sohon, di
rector of the seismological observa
tory of Georgetown University, said
today the recording machine in the
observatory failed to show any shock
waves transmitted through the earth, '
and added, moreover, he personally
didn't expect any reaction. He
checked the seismograph about 30
minutes after the blast.
“There was a good cushion of air
and water between Bikini and the
nearest continents,” he said. “The
detonation would have had to be
pretty deep under the ocean surface
to have been recorded on any seis
Father Sohon said seismographic
reaction was negative at the time
of the New Mexico, Hiroshima and
Nagasaki blasts as well.
Comdr. E. B Roberts, chief of
the geomagnetism and seismology
division of the Coast and Geodetic
Survey, said he had received no
reports as yet from seismological
stations in the Nation. He admitted
concussion waves from the blast
"could” have traveled to other
parts of the world, but added his
division had no preconceived opin
ion of seismograph reaction to the
“After all, the above-water test
was unprecedented.” he said.
OPA Employes
^Continued From First Page!
considerable confusion among the
employes regarding their future in
government service, since most of
them are war service appointees.
Miss Virginia Allen of 1325 Orren
street N.E., a receptionist in the
consumer’s durable price section, is
a typical OPA employe.
Miss Allen came here from South
Carolina year and a half ago to
accept a war service job with OPA.
Asked what she would do if OPA
were not revived, Miss Allen said.
"I'll try to look for another job
here, but if I don’t get what I like
I'm going home.”
Another employe. Miss Margaret
Rhodes of 2333 ’Jwenty-eighth street
; S.E., a secretary, said she would
! not accept another job in the Gov
! ernment service if the OPA re
mains dead. “I’m kind of tired anv
| way of working for the Government
! and will try to enter private indus
, try,” she said. Miss Rhodes, how
ever. showed her loyalty to OPA
|when she said that she would re
main with the agency should Con
gress give it a new lease on life.
Probably the least unconcerned of
all OPA employes was Mrs. Irma
Sorvari of 1417 N street N.W. A
! recent bride, Mrs. Sorvari said she
j is going to quit her job in August
! anyway.
During his press conference, Mr.
Porter said that he would not give
OPA employes the customary 30-day
dismissal notice until he finds out
what action Congress takes. The
House already has passed the
agency's appropriation bill and fu
ture paydays for OPA employes de
pends on what action the Senate
will take on the appropriation meas
Task Force Loses Track
Of Lethal Bomb Cloud
By the Associated Press ,
AT BIKINI, July 1.—The atomic
task force lost track today of the
lethal cloud which rose 35,000 feet
above the target after the explosion
of the atomic bomb in Bikini Atoll.
The cloud wr s drifting somewhere
over the ocean tonight.
Scientist Believes Blast Damage
Greater Than First Indicated
By th* Associated Press
KWAJALEIN. July 1.—The
atomic bomb dropped over Bikini
lagoon today probably caused
considerably more damage than
his first quick inspection from
the air indicated, Dr. Karl T.
Compton told a press conference
Dr. Compton, president of Massa
chusetts Institute of Technology and
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff Evaluation Board, said his
first impression when the mushroom
lifted to reveal the lagoon was that
the ships appeared virtually intact.
"Later it was my impression that
a good many ships were displaced,’’
Dr. Compton said. "I don’t know
whether it was because small ships
were sunk or whether the ships
pulled loose from their anchors.
Later. I saw that four large ships in
the center of the target had swung
Bradley Dewey, president of the
American Chemical Society, said, "I
predicted in advance the Nevada
would be afloat, but would be a
wreck never again worth anything.
I bet I'm still right. I think the
blast wave bounced off the water.
We may find many hulls damaged."
Both Dr. Compton and Mr. Dewey
reported seeing five to seven ships
Dr. Rogers Warner, jr., head of
the Las Alamos scientists, was re
ported "convinced from descriptions
that it was a high order explosion
and I am satisfied.’’
Dr. Compton said he believed he
saw a series of three waves striking
Bikini reef at angles but there was
no way of telling how high. A little
later, a wave washed over the reef,
he declared.
Dr. Compton carried quartz erys
One Volunteer Out of Five |
Is Colored, Army Reports
By the Associated Press
The War Department disclosed
without comment today that colored
volunteers were being signed up in
the Regular Army's intensive re-;
cruiting campaign on a ratio of one
to five with white soldiers.
Under an official policy announced
in March the “accepted ratio for
creating a troop basis in the postwar
Army” was to be the one-to-ten pro
portion of colored to whites in the
civilian population.
In disclosing the current recruit
ing trend officials said merely that
"all comers” were being accepted;
for the time being on the basis of
individual qualifications, but sug
gested that a statement might be
forthcoming later.
Thus far, of 808,790 recruits en
rolled through the week ended June
14, colored recruits numbered 133,-;
111, or 16.46 per cent; whites. 672,-;
359, or 83.19 per cent, and Filipinos,
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tal radio-activity Indicators, which
he said registered only two and one
half points at 7,500 feet altitude
23 miles from the explosion. Forty
seven points is considered danger
Senator Saltonstall. Republican,
of Massachusetts, told reporters, “I
saw the cloud and saw the flash, al
though it w-as not a large flash. I
looked at the sun through my dark
glasses and then at the flash. My
estimation of the flash is that it
was not as large or as bright as
the sun. I saw a few fires.”
“There certainly was no tidal
wave, the small craft along the
beaches appeared undisturbed. The
cloud was very beautiful. The top
was white, the middle grey and
pink in spots. I'll go to Bikini as
soon as possible to see the damage.”
Gen. Joseph Stilwell said simply,
“if was just like the pictures, it
came up to mv expectations. But
I am not talking. I've learned to
keep my mouth shut.”
Senator Saltonstall and Senator
Hatch, Democrat, of New Mexico,
another member of the Presidential
Evaluation Board, said they would
remain to see the damage. Senator
Tydings, Democrat, of Maryland
and others sped to Manila to at
tend the Philippine independence
celebration Thursday.
Representative Rooney, Demo
crat. of New York, aboard the
U. S. S. Panamint, told Paul K. Lee.
Associated Press correspondent, he
felt an appreciable heat wave.
Other observers agreed, while others
were unsure of this point. Lee said
his own opinion was that there
definitely was a heat wave, but that
it was moderate.
Mr. Rooney looked directly at. the
flash through dark goggles and de
scribed it as unspectacular, as did
others aboard the Panamint.
2,820, or 0.35 per cent. The latter
excluded members of a force of 50,
000 Philippine scouts restricted to
service in the islands.
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The light aircraft carrier Independence burns in Bikini lagoon hours after the atom bomb
loosed its lethal load. This photo was made from the deck of the salvage ship Reclaimer and
transmitted by radio from the McKinley.
(Continued From First Page.)
craft, Including the Army Flying
Fortress, returned safely to base.
Nevada Appears Scorched.
As I write I glance across the rail
toward where the battleship Nevada
rides in the center of the target
fleet whose masts rise against the
sunset clouds. In this light she
appears to have been scorched a
dark purplish hue. but her fighting
top and superstructure seem all
The Nevada has added another
first to her combat record in two
wars—the first battleship to survive
an atomic bomb.
At dawn this morning the Appa
lachian was circling to bring her
upwind and broadside to Bikini at
9 a m. and about 18 miles distant.
As the hour approached correspond
ents with typewriters lined the rails
of the boat deck, the bridges and
the radar and searchlight plat-j
forms. But for their dress and:
the fantastic black goggles they
might have made up the press at!
some great sports event.
PowderpufI clouds drifted across j
a bright sky and Bikini lay beyond j
; the clear horizon. The correspond-:
i ents saw neither the target nor the
i plane that dropped the bomb, but
. took the announcer's word for it
when, sharply at 9, he shouted.
! "Bomb away.”
Like Small Sun.
We donned goggles so dense that
only the sun's brightness could cut
through, and nervously counted sec
onds—some 30 of them The flash
cutting through the black plastic
was like the explosion of a small
sun out on the horizon, a sun that
mushroomed upward in the frac
tion of a second, a sun burning on a
glowing stem.
A moment later I discarded the
goggles to watch the oft-renewed
column put out head after head.
Cumulous clouds cut oft the view
momentarily. But soon the atomic
geyser rose above them, putting out
new growths.
It was like a vivid sunset. It was
a cloud wierdlv out of place in the|
midmorning sky. yet different from
a cloud because it was apparent
this had no reflected light, but
something boiling in its heart.
The thing glowed deep with old
rose, with rust red, with dull red
containing a bluish cast, a lavender
quality, and then shifted to orange
and yellowish pink. All were in
subdued pastel shades.
Stuff Has Depth.
The stuff had depth and sub
stance, looked solid as marble and
volatile as quicksilver.
About a minute and a half later
a dull explosion, like thunder far
beyond the horizon, rolled across
the ocean.
It took the cloud almost 10 min
utes to complete its towering struc
ture, one that soon began to dis
sipate and string out across the high
Yet. in a sense, the spectacle was
an anticlimax. We had been taught
to expect too much and the dis
tance was too great.
A few' ships were posted no more
than 10 miles away and observers
on them had a more spectacular
view', unobscured by clouds. For
some reason, our ship was held on
an outside circle while others were
allowed to draw much nearer.
One newsman called the show a
Flash Seen as Bright, Red Ball
By Sailor Who Left Off Goggles
By th» Associated Press
OFF BIKINI, July 1.—The mast
beautiful sight of the atomic blast
was that seen on the Appalachin by
seamen 1/c Kenneth Thorn, who
kept his uncovered eyes looking di
rectly at the flash all the time, de
spite warnings all aboard should
wear special dark goggles.
Thorn, who lives in the Bronx.
New York, unwittingly contributed
a new scientific chapter to the A
bomb explosion. He saw the first
flash as a bright red ball. Even'
one who kept his glasses on saw this
flash as white.
What happened to Thorn was
that in the first few millionths of a
second, the flash caused slight blind
spots in the center of his eyes. Be
cause of these spots he saw the red
color for a few seconds.
‘Bov!’’ he excla.med. ‘‘It was
the most beautiful thing I ever saw.
I can’t describe the brilliance of the
red ball I saw. It was a lighter
color than a red stop light. It was
alive. It spread in a flash to a
big red ball and the color turned
red-yellow. I never dreamed any
thing could be so brilliant.”
After that in a few seconds
Thorn's color vision returned to
normal and he saw the spectacle
the same as other observers.
cosmic fizzle and another said
Hollywood's latest atomic bomb hadj
this one beat a mile for noise, color j
and action.
Alarm Is Felt.
Considerable alarm was felt on
the Appalachian that the fire started
by the bomb on Bikini might have
destroyed headquarters of the Wed
nesday Night Chowder and March
ing Society, along with the bar.
where beer is dispensed to charter
As we approached Bikini this
afternoon we could see the flight
deck of the Independence, anchored
fairly near the target ship, had!
been swept clear of planes as if j
with a giant broom, although the!
more distant Saratoga still carried1
her planes. It seems likely that the!
bomb, which appeared to observers
aloft to have covered the Nevada'
with a ball of fire, exploded some
what west of the target.
The Independence was cast adrift j
and swung down on the Jap battle-!
ship Nagato, which was reported j
to have sustained considerable!
damage, along with the Jap cruiser
Sakawa and the battleships Penn
sylvania and New York, where fires
started. As we came in to anchor;
rescue tugs were hosing water into!
the latter two battlewagons.
Salvage Crews Enter.
Rescue and salvage crews entered
the lagoon a few hours after the
blast when yellow drone boats ra
dioed back that it was safe from
radioactivity. Meanwhile. Army Ply
ing Fortresses and Navy Hellcat
drones flew through the atomic
cloud at high and low levels.
Three transports earning techni
cians to read the thousands of com-,
plex instruments were next in the
lagoon, followed by Vice Admiral
W. H. P. Blandy's flagship and our
three observation vessels.
Instruments can tell much, but
what seems even more important is
to know if personnel can survive
such a blast.
But the large steel ships, cush
ioned by water and able to roll
with the shock, proved far less vul
nerable than land targets.
(■Continued Prom First Page !
lights and brighter than the sun
shine coming through the opposite
side port holes.
The first notable fact was that
none of the target ships visibly
careened, none visibly were pushed
down in the water. There might
have been small motions of this or
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Dther sorts that could not be seen
Decause the television images were
lancing ail the time. But the danc
ng movement was small.
After that first flash the ships
were obliterated. This curtain was
temporary, lasting only a few sec
Dnds. The screen might have been
Dartlv smoke and vapor but appar
ently it was a rain of water, splashed
jp by the atomic blast hitting the
surface. Similar water spouts, not
solid but made of spray, were kicked
jp by “Little Bikini" tests in Mary
land with TNT bombs exploded in
In the wardroom were only two
other correspondents and a handful
of sailors and officers.
As the screen came clear momen
tarily a yell went up from the Navv
men—"They're all there—they're all
there! Not a ship w:as sunk!"
This was overoptimistic. but cor
rect for all the brave little silhou
ettes that were visible on the screen
And all the major ships were there
still on an even keel.
(Continued From First Page.1
gress a substantial bloc—made up
largely of friends of the farmer—
who are convinced more liberal OPA
rules are needed to get the produc
tion necessary to get back to normal.
These members are not likely to
change their minds.
In fact, some observers on Capitol
Hill view the OPA battle as essen
tially one between the rural areas!
and the big cities. They point out
that the consumers in the cities have
their attention centered on the re
tail price level, while the chief con
cern of the agricultural States is
how much the producer is going to
receive at the beginning of the price
Even if the House votes today or
tomorrow on the issue, the more lib
eral Senate rules may stave off a
decision in that body all week, or
A definite move was developing to
revive rent control outside of Wash
ington. and let the rest of the price
control machinery rust on the scrap
Test at Bikini Spurs
Action in Congress
On Atomic Control
By the Associated Press
A fresh drive for domestic atomic
controls gained momentum today a*
the world learned anew from Bikini
the terrific potency of nuclear
It remained to be seen, however,
whether the pressure for action
could overcome the opposition of
those who want the Army to remain
supreme over atomic development!!
until international safeguards are
The House set aside an earlier
agreement to meet tomorrow at in
a.m. and decided to convene at 11
o’clock instead to give its Military
Affairs Committee an extra hour
on the control legislation, already
passed by the Senate.
Chairman May declared he would
read the "riot act" to the committee
if tomorrow's session fails to break
what he called "a filibuster to keep
this bill off the House floor."
Roll Calls Block Action.
Mr. May told reporters a group
of committee members has been
blocking action by demanding time
consuming roll calls on e\ery issue
and preventing meetings while the
House was in session.
Irked by the committee's slow
ness—it has been considering the
bill for weeks—another member,
Representative Clare Boothe Luce,
Republican, of Connecticut, added
that unless action comes quickly
she will file a petition aimed at
forcing a control bill onto the floor
for a House vote.
While this maneuver would be
aimed at the original May-Johnson
bill which the military committee
approved months ago but which is
not acceptable to the administra
tion, Mrs. Luce said the Senate
measure or a revision of it, could
be offered as a substitute.
Senate Proposal Revised.
The military committee already
has sharply revised the Senate pro
posal which calls for a five-man
civilian control commission. The
committee has voted to require that
at least one member be a military
It was this dispute over civilian
vs. military authority that led to
shelving of the May-Johnson bill.
One member of May's committee
who acknowledged privately that ho
has been in the delaying group said
he was "not too anxious to get this
bill acted on.’’
"As things stand now,-’ he said,
‘the military has control of the
atom bomb and until such time a*
we are convinced that a group of
professors won’t get control of it
and share it with the world we
would just as soon see it stay this
way. The Senate committee ap
parently yielded to the professors.
In times like these we must be
realistic, not idealistic:”
The Army's Manhattan Project,
he added, still is producing atom
bombs and can continue to produce
them "unless and until Congress
says the Army must get out of the
None Hurt in Bikini Test;
One 'Drone' Plane Lost
By the Associated Press
Admiral W. H. P. Blandv, com
mander of the Bikini atom bomb
fleet, said today not a single person
was killed or injured in the atom
bomb test, but he disclosed that one
pilotless drone plane plunged into
the sea.
In a broadcast from his flagship,
the U. S. S. Mount McKinley, heard
here, Blandv said all other drones
were successfully flown through the
clouds created by the atomic bomb
and returned to their bases for in
spection. The missing drone crashed
before the bomb was dropped, he
The novelist Somerset Maugham
became a physician at his family
insistence, but never practiced
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