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Interview with G. Nicholas Stuparich, Jr., October 18, 2006


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Narrator affiliation: Atomic Veteran, Pacific Proving Ground; Curtiss Atomic Marines
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Stuparich, G. Nicholas, Jr. Interview, 2006 October 18. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with G. Nicholas Stuparich October 18, 2006 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Mary Palevsky © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with G. Nicholas Stuparich October 18, 2006 Conducted by Mary Palevsky Table of Contents Introduction: birth ( Oakland, CA, 1935), education, military service ( USMC) and assignment to USS Curtiss ( 1954) 1 Security clearance and duties as nuclear security on board USS Curtiss 2 Participation in Operations Surfboard, Wigwam ( 1955), and Redwing ( 1956), observation of atmospheric tests, exposure to radiation and concerns 5 Psychological effects of observing atmospheric tests 8 Incident with USS Curtiss and Russian submarine 9 Family background, university education, career after leaving the USMC 12 Use of aircraft for radiation sampling on Operation Redwing 14 Importance of decontamination of ship and personnel after shots, and systematic concern about radiation exposure to personnel 15 Chronology of work on Operations Wigwam and Redwing 17 Details of guard duty requirements on board USS Curtiss ( Redwing, 1956) 18 Belief that radiation exposure records from Operation Redwing were incorrect or were altered, and health consequences as a result 20 Relationships with scientists and military personnel on board ship 22 Duties required of USMC detachment to protect devices from intrusion 23 Memories of tests during Operations Redwing and Wigwam 25 Speaks again of injustice done to atomic veterans, and effects of radiation dosages on children and other health issues, sound during an thermonuclear atmospheric test 26 Talking about the job and tests with fellow Marines, and reactions to testing 27 Anger at protests during the opening of the Atomic Testing Museum, and thoughts on necessity of weapons and testing 28 Criticism of the way testing was carried out and how it affected personnel involved, and view of military service as equivalent to combat or of similar importance 30 USMC career after duty in the Pacific: training aids NCO, First Marine Detachment 32 Life after discharge from the USMC: education ( UC Berkeley, industrial engineering), government contract work, career with Harrah’s Hotel Casinos, return to government contract work, work for FedEx in Alaska and Asia, retirement from FedEx, current employment as substitute schoolteacher ( Valdez, AK) 34 Reestablishes contact with fellow USS Curtiss Marines ( 2004), and discusses feelings about the opening of the Atomic Testing Museum and being involved with Curtiss group 42 Talks again about health issues related to testing in the Pacific 45 Describes special assignment to the NTS ( 1950s) 46 Conclusion: Remarks on bitterness of Atomic Veterans 48 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with G. Nicholas Stuparich October 18, 2006 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Mary Palevsky [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Mary Palevsky: Nick Stuparich, thank you so much for meeting with me this morning. If you can start just by giving me your full name, date birth and place of birth, and some kind of sense of your early life and how you ended up then as a Curtiss Marine. G. Nicholas Stuparich: My name has been legally changed. At the time I entered the Marine Corps it was George Nicholas Stuparich, Jr. I was born August 29, 1935 in Oakland, California. Went to school in Piedmont, California and then went to Army- Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California. I had one year of college before I went into the Marine Corps. I was having some difficulties with my parents and juvenile issues, and so I chose to go into the Marine Corps, which I did. Fortunately I went through MCRD [ Marine Corps Recruit Depot] in San Diego, Camp Pendleton and Camp Matthews [ both in California] for my marksmanship training, and then for some reason I was chosen to go to Sea School. At that time, our group was chosen to go aboard the Curtiss. And what year was this, approximately? I believe it was in ’ 54; I’m not good with dates. Then we proceeded with our training for going aboard ship. Went aboard the Curtiss, and of course at that time we went through all of the clearance procedures. Matter of fact, I think they started the procedures while we were in Sea School. Tell me a little bit about what was involved, as you remember. Well, just going through the— I don’t think it was called national agency check then. National security check, I believe it was. They did the background check and then they informed us that UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 we were signing our security under the Rosenberg Act. It’s interesting because the Rosenbergs [ Julius and Ethel] actually lived in Montclair, California, which is the area that I lived in: Mr. and Mrs. Rosenberg, lived up on the hill there above Montclair, California. So, I remember signing the clearance papers and they didn’t tell us what we were going to do or where we were going. We went aboard ship as supposedly just a Marine detachment, but then it ended up being as nuclear security. We were well briefed and well trained on what our jobs were aboard ship. I did security with the devices, once they were delivered to the vessel. We did perimeter security when the devices were being delivered, which meant we were out on the pier and out in the area when the trucks arrived, delivering units. Once the canisters were brought aboard, then we were assigned to security aboard the ship, which meant working in the hole. In other words, the devices were put in a particular compartment. We were responsible for the security of that department, the corridor that led to it, and I can’t remember if we were reading the temperature. We had to take a reading, I believe, once an hour and record it. I do not remember whether it was temperature or radiation, but it had to be recorded; I remember that if there was something wrong, and I don’t know the standard, but if it went over that standard or under that standard, we had to notify the science officer, who was also the engineering officer. That was Commander Hart, I believe. Now, let me back up just a tiny bit with the security piece. So there’s a point at which you’re informed, I assume after you’re cleared, of what your mission actually is? Correct. Give me a sense of how much detail they give you there, and how much that is connected to what you already might know about nuclear weapons. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 That’s a little bit confusing because I know so much more now than I did then. I do not believe they gave us that much information. They definitely didn’t give us a detailed description of our duties, other than that what we were doing was actually guarding a nuclear device, and [ 00: 05: 00] that’s all they would say. We and I think about a half- a- dozen sailors were the only ones that actually saw the canisters being brought aboard. There were not very many people. That was secured. The whole aft deck was secured when that occurred. And how many of there were you, when you say “ we”? There were probably six Marines on the dock, one or two on the trucks, then I think there were a couple in the different corridors— what they did was they dogged the hatches so people couldn’t come in when we were loading this particular material. Then it went down into the hole and then there was a special rack because the canisters had to be triced up in these racks. I can’t remember whether there was— I think there were six to a rack. And they were triced up like you would trice up nitroglycerine, you know, with like Bungee cords but I think they were springs. Say that word again. I don’t know that word “ trice.” Tricing means to tie, and what it does is it keeps something in balance so that if it’s hanging, it’s free- hanging, but it’s in a rack, and this keeps the canister in line, and it’s called trice, you trice it up. “ Trice it up.” I see. We didn’t do that. That was done by their people. And where were you when this was happening? What port were you in? We were in the Bay Area and I believe we were over at Port Chicago [ California]. We were in Port Chicago or— UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 Port Chicago? Port Chicago. That’s correct. That’s what I was wondering. Yes, we had to go up to Port Chicago. That’s not in the bay. That’s up a river, I believe. OK, that’s where we were, in Port Chicago. That’s right. OK. And where had you embarked? We embarked out of San Diego, went up to San Francisco. That’s it. We went to San Francisco, went to Hunters Point for something, some sort of refurbishing. Then from Hunters Point we went over to Port Chicago, picked up our merchandise, if you will, and then when we were through with that, when we pulled out, we went down and then into the bay. At that time we picked up some escorts, and then we went under the Golden Gate Bridge, at which time the Secret Service or FBI, whoever they were, had the bridge closed, and they were waving at us as we went underneath. Wow, they closed the bridge. They closed the Golden Gate Bridge. It was kind of cool because being from the Bay Area I kind of remembered that. I think I was aft at the time and I was looking up and yeah, sure enough, they did. And that was kind of interesting. So then we headed out to the Pacific. I think we refueled and resupplied once or twice, a ship came alongside, I think they came out of Hawaii. They used the high line and brought the stuff across, and then they brought the refueler up and then they refueled us. And that’s why they call us the Ghost Ship, because almost everything that we did, the replenishing and the refueling, was all done at sea. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 So you’re a young guy and you just gave me this sense that there were only a few— well, I want to pose this as a question. Was there a limit to how many people knew where the device actually was, where the weapon actually was? Yes. There was more than one. We were carrying multiple units for the different operations. I cannot tell you the nomenclature, you know, of the body. I can tell you that the arming devices were in canisters, well marked and well inventoried. We had to take it very, very seriously, what we did. Then we would go to the PPG [ Pacific Proving Ground] and this equipment would be unloaded, and depending on what the shot was, it would either go to the island or it would go to the barge. And I was on both [ Operation] Redwing and [ Operation] Wigwam and there were a multitude of operations there. [ 00: 10: 00] Were you on [ Operation] Castle as well? No. I started out with a non- nuclear test. I think they were just testing triggering devices at that time, and that was in the Pacific just off California someplace. Operation Surfboard It was Surfboard, Wigwam, Redwing, and then I think it was [ Operation] Deep Freeze after that. Well, it doesn’t matter. Anyway, I was on for those three. We were exposed to a great deal of radiation during that period of time. As a matter of fact, those of us who have discussed the issues of not being covered by the government, I guess we’re now beginning to uncover paperwork that’s stating that the government wanted us rotated out because we had already been exposed to more than what was required as far as radiation was concerned. They had a limit. And so somebody in Washington [ D. C.] just decided that since they can’t just replace us, it takes almost, what, six months for a clearance, that they would just double the amount of the dosage. And I believe Ms. [ Kari] Chipman has that record now. We UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 have just uncovered it, or I believe one of your students uncovered it. It was just a paragraph someplace in some paperwork that they found. That paragraph actually refers to something else. I did find a paragraph, but I think it’s a different issue, so there may be something else. Oh, is it? There may be something else that the attorney, apparently they have hired an attorney, and apparently he has it. You’d have to ask Ms. Chipman about this but— I don’t know about that document. I showed her a paragraph about who was actually considered an atomic vet. There had been some confusion about what that nomenclature meant, and I found a correction to an original summary, a legislative history that clarified that. I gave that to her a couple of weeks ago. But this, she hadn’t told me about, so I’ll have to ask her about that. Well, we talked about it last night. Now I may be incorrect. This is third- hand. I know. That’s all right. Anyway, we went through the shots, did all of the— which you’ve probably already heard we were all exposed. We all either turned our backs to the detonation and covered our eyes. Even though we had high- density goggles on, you could still see through your arm and see your bones. It’s pretty bright. And then once that was done, then you could lift your head up and look and watch the mushroom forming. Very amazing, very concerning, and I think that really affected some people psychologically. When you think that you really don’t have control over something like that, it’s just, you know. It has bothered me. Let me ask you a little bit about the background, and then we can talk about the impact. But can you give me a sense of the kind of preparation you had for what you would actually see? Was there a discussion of that? None. No, you’re shaking your head no. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 No, they just told us what we were to do and what we weren’t to do, and that we could look up after the blast. That’s all. Matter of fact, I don’t think they really knew what they were going to be experiencing. Your commanding officers, you mean? Right. And at that time, it was my understanding that what the scientists had measured, their calculations were not correct. We had some charges where the detonations were much more powerful than what they had anticipated. Yeah, that was certainly true, I know, of the Bravo shot, which was on Castle, but you’re saying that you weren’t involved in Bravo? No, I was not, but we were, like I said, with Redwing and Wigwam. And there was one or two that went beyond the perimeters that they had anticipated. OK, on Redwing and/ or Wigwam. Yes, I should just, for my own curiosity, I’m going to get the book [ DOE/ NV— 209- REV 15 December 2000] and look at the size of those things. So you’re obviously told and prepared for the shot itself. Just so I can orient us to what we’re talking about here. [ 00: 15: 00] I believe it was Wigwam. Wigwam was an underwater weapons effects test, so we’re probably talking about Redwing, which had a ton of tests. OK, then it was Redwing. And one of them, Cherokee, was 3.8 megatons. Zuni was 3.5. These are big. And Dakota. Yeah, these are big megaton tests, at least [ turning page], oh, and there was a huge one, 4.5 megatons [ Navajo]. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 One of them or two of them were out of the parameters of what the scientists said they’d anticipated. Those are big. And what I can do is look in the records and see, look closely at those tests and see when that was the case. So when it goes off, you’re on deck? Yes, we’re on the forward deck, and we’re either with our backs to it and then we can turn around and look, or we’re facing it and we’re all sitting down, squatting down on the deck. Then we have the goggles on, we cover our eyes and put them over our face like this [ demonstrating] with our hand. And you could see through your arm, there was that much light, and it was kind of a trip, kind of reminded you of a Halloween ghost story. It affected me psychologically more than what I anticipated. I’m presently going through therapy with the VA [ Veterans Administration]. I just thought that I’ve always been kind of a rough- and- tough kind of guy, the soccer- player- type person, and I always thought that my mood was just testosterone- type of thing. My wife one time made the comment, that you’re scary, you know, you scare me, because I have the tendency of blowing up, and then I just kind of drop it like nothing happened. Well, what happens is [ that] you’ve pooped all over everybody around your environment and it really bothers them, and particularly a female. And she said, you know, You really need to go see somebody. So I went in to the VA and I’m working with Dr. Bateman now out of Anchorage [ Alaska]. She asked me the questions, went through it, and just said, Man, you are way up there, you know, we need to work with you and bring you down. Can you go to therapy? I guess they have post- traumatic stress therapy groups that meet every week. Well, since I live six hours away by driving or an hour- and- a- half away by plane, I couldn’t do it, so I meet with her once a month. She’s been working through UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 some things with me. I’m very diligent in what I do and I’m really heeding what she has to say. I’m on medication, which has helped calm me down a little bit. They had me on one medication which gave me seizures at night and I was biting my tongue and I’d wake up with blood all over my mouth, so they took me off that. That’s the psychiatrist that did that, Dr. Gomez. And then they now have me on a medication which is better, and what it does is it just takes the edge off, because as you know, post- traumatic stress is not mental; it’s a physical reaction. It’s that combat, flight- or- fight- type thing. Dr. Bateman and I have been working through an area and I’m trying to understand what it is, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that there’s nothing you can do. You’re looking at something that, it’s instinct, you’re gone, you’re history, you’re mist. And I think that really affected me as a child. And I was a kid. I was just nineteen years old. And I came from a fairly protected family, old country family, we were immigrants, my family were immigrants also. So that really bothered me. The other thing that really upset me was the submarine. Yes, talk to me about that a little bit. Well, Robert Mackenzie was the admiral’s orderly that night, and I was the orderly on the next deck down, and my job was to protect the crypto room which was, if you were looking down the hall, was to the left, and then the CIC which was straight ahead. CIC is? Is Central Intelligence Control or something like that. It’s an area where they plot everything. [ Note: on board U. S. Navy ships, the CIC is the Combat Information Center] [ 00: 20: 00] Anyway, I was standing there and all of a sudden Commander Hart came running around the corner and said, Come with me, with that I was on alert. So we went into CIC and then there was— I stood at the door. He said, Block the door, and I blocked the door. And it UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 was one of those combination doors in those days. And I saw him talking with an officer, with the officer in command of the CIC at the time, or duty officer, I guess is what you call him, and then they were really— I could tell they were really stressed about something. Then a chief electronics mate had taken the young man off of the board and they were looking at the board and plotting on the board something, and he got on the phone to the bridge. I immediately felt the ship changing course, and we immediately started into a zigzag situation. And then I could tell, this man was stressed, and I’d never seen him stressed like that before. This way, that way. Everything was very staccato. So went back up to the bridge and Mackenzie and the Admiral were already there. And as a young man, you’re looking at their body language and their facial features and we knew that there was something wrong. Well then, I heard the conversation, and they wanted to know, in profanity, how the son- of- a- bitch got there. How did it get there? How did it get through the perimeter? So then they were communicating with the vessels that were on the perimeter, there were destroyers out there and everything else, and they couldn’t figure it out. Admiral Wellings said, I believe that’s he’s probably been sitting here waiting for us. He probably plotted our course and just dropped to the bottom and waited till we came by, and then he came up underneath us. And he just followed us, and it was just a Russian sub, is what we anticipated. And they figured that they knew it was a Russian sub. Yeah. And it did. It stayed with us. And then what really became scary is that I remember the admiral telling the captain, We don’t have to worry if he’s directly under us. If he drops back into firing range, then we have to worry. By then, the other ships were doing crisscrosses in front and in back of us. These are the little destroyers. And sure enough, he did, he dropped back, I don’t know how far, I remember they had it plotted, and he was within firing range. And so then I just, I don’t know, something really bothered me and really happened UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 to me mentally, because I just said [ to myself], this whole thing’s over now, we’re through, we’re done with. And I guess I kind of convinced myself that that was going to happen. And this is prior to arriving in the Pacific. Yeah, we were on our way. So, just to get a sense of it, you’re well aware of what you’ve got on board? Oh yeah, because I’d already been down in the hole and they’d told us what it was. Yeah, and then you’ve got a— Got this sub, and believe it or not, not very many people knew about it. I mean surprisingly, people were telling Bob [ Robert W. Mackenzie] he was crazy. You don’t know what you’re talking about. There was no submarine. Well, I know there was. And when I mentioned it to Bob last year he said, Thank God somebody else knows. And what we’re trying to do is find a third Marine who was on the bridge, but there may not have been a Marine on the bridge. Right. Did you know Bob at the time? I think so. We were all in the same unit but I wasn’t really that close to a lot of the people. I’m just asking so that you would recall that it was actually— that you saw him on the bridge. Yeah. Oh yeah. All right, then— So but talk to me a little— that’s interesting, it’s really good that you’re getting your therapy, and obviously oral history isn’t therapy, so you tell me if something moves too much into the feelings side— No, that’s fine. But it’s interesting what you say, that already with this first incident, that had shaken you up. Yes. And I didn’t know it. And I’ve just kind of been, I hate to say, just a toughie. I’ve always been a toughie. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 But had you also been, as a child, were you kind of— Actually, yes. When I went to school as a child, people talk about discrimination, if [ 00: 25: 00] you were a Jew or German, a Slavic, any of those. Americans were too stupid, they couldn’t tell the difference, so everybody got the same “ Heimy” thing— kicked in the butt, putting swastikas on their lockers. And I had really good Jewish friends, they’d break down and cry because here’s this thing that killed their grandparents or their parents. And so yeah, we were kind of— that group kind of hung together because we were foreigners. We took English for foreign students in A period, is what I’m trying to say. Got a little emotional there. And so we were all together in that. And they knew. I mean the foreigners would all come up from the first floor to go to school. And so we had to fight. And I don’t know why. This is when I was actually removed from public school and had to go to a private school, because it was just getting to be too much. Now when you say “ the English,” did you speak— but you spoke English in the home or you spoke another language with your parents? I spoke Austrian. Austrian and French are more my native languages, but my grandfather said, In America, you speak American. Otherwise, you’re not going to make it. So we had private classes at home and we had a tutor that came. I came from a very comfortable family of immigrants. Plus English at school. Did very well. So what kind of— we’re moving back chronologically but that’s OK. I’m curious, what kind of business or whatever was your family in that you could have this comfortable—? My dad was in the finance business. He was the vice- president of a finance company and he also had an automobile agency and used- car lots. So he did very well. And he also was in surplus. When the ships came back from World War II, he had some property in Emeryville, California that they used for storing when they were stripping these troop ships down; so he had PT [ Motor UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 Torpedo] boats on there and air- sea rescue vessels and all of those twenty- one- man steel life rafts. As a kid, we used to climb all over them and have fun. And he did very well in that area, he and my uncle. But your first language was? Austrian. And I’ve lost it. I was injured one time. I separated my kidney, which is pretty painful, and when I was kind of in a state of shock, my wife said all I did was talk in German. And fortunately, the doctor was German, so I guess we talked. And she said, My gosh, I didn’t know that. And I didn’t know that I was speaking it myself till afterward. That’s interesting how the brain does that when you’re injured. So anyway, yeah, that’s my background. My parents belonged to the Claremont Country Club and I played a lot of tennis. I didn’t like golf. Went to Cal [ University of California, Berkeley] and then moved on, and then I got another degree from University of Alaska in organizational management. And out of the Marine Corps, I went to work for an international company that supplied contracting work for the government, and I worked for them for years. Before we get there, let’s go back to the Pacific. So if you’re on Redwing, then there were a lot of shots on that. Tell me a little bit about what the day- to- day procedure would be once you get there. The ship stopped somewhere and you said depending on whether the shot was a barge shot or where it was, there would be different procedures, tower shots or whatever. [ 00: 30: 00] Everything was dispensed from the vessel on small like jitneys or small personnel carriers because they’re not that big. On one of the shots, we brought a McDonnell Douglas airplane over, one of their sweep- back- wing planes, and it was triced up on the aft of the ship; we brought it back to the P. P. G. with us with the McDonnell mechanic, the pilot was flown over ahead of us. I was talking with them about the plane because I’m really interested in engineering UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 at the time— they apparently made additional intakes to the jet intake system forward so it wouldn’t be contaminated; it would go into a filtering system which they put in the bottom part of the plane. The pilot’s job was to fly over or through these shots and take radiation samples. It was interesting, talking with the mechanic. He was a pretty nice fellow, a little bit too talkative but, I got to get some pretty good information from him. So he flew through the shots for samples— Not the mechanic, the pilot. The pilot. And then you actually brought that plane back? No, we didn’t bring the plane back. We just took it over. I think they destroyed it over there, I never saw it again. But you say you brought the samples back to the States? I believe the samples were put in containers and brought back, yes. And I don’t think we brought it back. I think that there was a ship that was part of the group that came back before we did. I think they transferred the scientists, the arming and disarming [ firing] team is what they’re called, onto that vessel and brought them back after the shots. Then we had to stay there for a while to go through decontamination. We had a new device that was put on our ship where it would put a spray up, and we’d move the ship along and it basically washed the ship down, and then they’d go out and take readings to see how hot it was. And it was kind of a decontamination system which was pretty good. We had to go through decontamination ourselves downstairs, inside the vessel, if we’d gone outside and it was too hot. They were pretty cautious about that. They did take our dosimeters and I think they read those once a week. As a matter of fact, I brought a set back and am going to donate them to the [ Atomic Testing] museum, because it has UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 the medical tag on the chain, I don’t know if you’ve seen it or not, but it has a medical strip on it, it has my dog tags, and then it has one of the old black, round dosimeters. I want to see that before we go, yeah. OK, I’ll show that to you. The little pencil [ sized/ shaped] jobs, they would take those every day, and those would go to the science lab. So did you have a sense, then, from what you’re saying, that there was systematic concern about exposure? Yes. I was very concerned about it but you know, being enlisted, you don’t say anything. And particularly after one of the shots, they said, oh well, we can go swimming now, on the island. And that island was hotter than Hades. There were places that you couldn’t go. You know they told you you couldn’t eat the coconuts, they told you you couldn’t eat the fish, and they kept telling you all these things you couldn’t do, yet you could go swimming in the water. And in my mind, I knew that it wasn’t right. And I discussed it with a friend of mine who was also a member of the detachment, and he said, If I were you, I wouldn’t let anybody hear you say that. So I didn’t. I didn’t get along too well with our commanding officer, and there was a reason for it. It was brought on by myself. I didn’t even think about it at the time, but afterwards I did. Geez, it’s been a long time. My commanding officer was making out with a lady in a car at the bottom of the gangplank, and I was standing guard duty at the time. And so I was standing there, and behind the car, looking around, and I really wasn’t looking at them, I wasn’t paying any [ 00: 35: 00] attention to them. I knew they were making out but I didn’t pay any attention to it, I’d walk back and forth and then I’d stop at the bottom of the gangplank because I didn’t want to