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Interview with Raymond Chester Harbert, February 18, 2005


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Narrator affiliation: Resident Engineer, Holmes and Narver; Program Manager, Plowshare

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Harbert, Raymond Chester. Interview, 2005 February 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 Raymond Harbert February 18, 2005 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 Raymond Harbert February 18, 2005 Conducted by Mary Palevsky Table of Contents Introduction: birth, Depression boyhood, family background, education, military service in World War II Europe, post- war education in engineering, takes job with Holmes and Narver, works on Operation Castle, marriage and children. 1 Becomes electrical engineer and later resident engineer for Holmes and Narver in the Pacific. 2 Describes life and work at various test facilities in the Pacific. 4 Security as “ an all- consuming attitude”: tells story about losing a classified document and being questioned by the FBI. 8 Describes project designed to determine fallout pattern and particle size of shot. 10 Talks about work with U. S. Navy in setting barges for shots. 11 Details different types of structures used in testing in the Pacific. 12 Preparation for and observation of Castle Bravo test, over- yield and fallout, damage to Japanese ship Fortunate Dragon, reentry and recovery at Bikini after test. 14 Knowledge of and concerns about radioactivity from tests, changes in attitude toward radiation and its effects. 22 Preparation for and observation of Castle Romeo and Union tests. 24 Description of Pacific islands and peoples, and the aftereffects of testing. 26 Recalls meeting with ADM Hyman G. Rickover, “ father of the nuclear navy”. 28 Becomes chief electrical engineer for J. H. Pomeroy, returns to Holmes and Narver to work with Charles Wesley Kelly, Jr., assistant resident manager at NTS. 30 Describes work on Operation Plumbbob ( including Diablo). 31 Details work with Civil Effects Test Group on Frenchman Flat, NTS. 34 Talks about managing contracts, honesty of contractors. 37 Selecting the site for Rainier, “ the first true underground tunnel shot”. 39 Conclusion: work on Plowshare. 43 Harbert_ R_ 02182005_ TOC_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Raymond Harbert February 18, 2005 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Mary Palevsky [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Mary Palevsky: All right, so let’s begin with some of your background. Raymond Harbert: My name is Raymond Chester Harbert. I was born in Los Angeles [ California] on September 30, 1922. I was raised in the West Los Angeles area out by UCLA [ University of California, Los Angeles]. I was drawn towards an engineer early in my life. I was raised during the Depression and so things were tough to come by. And I was a Boy Scout, and part of being a Boy Scout, on Memorial Day we would show people to the graves of their loved ones in the cemetery at the cemetery there in [ 00: 00: 56] Sawtelle California, the veterans’ cemetery. And one year when I was there, I was drawing a map on the territory I was supposed to take people to, and a veteran came and looked over my shoulder and he said, My, you’re going to be an engineer. And that stuck with me. And ultimately I decided I wanted to be an engineer. My father was an electrical contractor in Los Angeles and he was considered to be one of the better ones, and he did most of the movie stars’ homes there in the Los Angeles Westwood- Bel Air area. And as I grew up I worked as an electrician. He never gave me the fancy jobs. He always gave me the dirty jobs. He thought that’s a better way to it. I went to University High School in Los Angeles and I graduated from there in January of 1941. And the rumblings of war was coming along and my dad convinced me to volunteer for the draft so I could get the draft over with and then go on with my life. I was expecting one year. I ended up spending four years, seven months, thirteen days, and eight hours in the service. And I was in combat in Italy during World War II. I was at Anzio and first troops in Rome, first troops that went to the Vatican and had an audience with the pope. And I was in Task Force UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 Howze, which cut Italy in two right at the end of the war. And we almost caught [ Benito] Mussolini at Lake Como. The partisans got him in the town of Dungo and history records what happened. When I got back from the service, we had the GI Bill of Rights. And my father wanted me to come into the contracting business with him. And I felt I could do more and I decided to go to college. I wanted to be an engineer. And I enrolled under the GI Bill of Rights at University of Santa Clara in Santa Clara, California and went through their engineering program. I graduated from there in 1951, and in 1954 I passed my state bar as a professional engineer and then my register engineer in the State of California. I went to work initially for my father, and father and sons don’t always get along. So I went into the engineering design field and I ended up working for Holmes and Narver on Figueroa Street in Los Angeles. When I first went there, you had to get a Q- clearance to work on any of the AEC [ Atomic Energy Commission] programs, and so the first work I did was design the lighting for the airstrip on Kwajalein because that was not classified. And as soon as my [ 00: 05: 00] clearance came through, I was allowed to move upstairs and I was responsible for the design of the electrical systems for all of the test facilities at Bikini and Enewetak during the [ Operation] Castle series in the Pacific which was to take place in 1954. And after we had completed the design, my boss Henry Dietz came to me and said they needed an electrical engineer out in the Pacific for plan interpretation and problem- solving, and would [ I] consider going out there. I discussed this with my family and I took the assignment and proceeded to the Pacific. When you say �� your family,” were you married at this point? Yes. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 And did you have children also? Yes. And we made an arrangement. When you were on the islands, you got five dollars a week allowance out there and the rest of it went home to take care of your family. And you worked under a bonus program, and that was important. It was also important to assume more responsibility. The flight in, we flew commercially from Los Angeles to Hawaii on Pan American. And from Hawaii, we went to Hickam Air Force Base. And at Hickam Air Force Base, we got on a military aircraft that flew us into Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific in the [ Republic of the] Marshall Islands. The flight took about thirteen hours down there. And we landed in a rainstorm. There was the wife of a sailor who was stationed on Kwajalein on board. She had her two children with her. She was going down there to be with her husband. And it was her first flight, first time she had ever flown in an aircraft. And she and the kids were scared to death, and when we got in the heavy rain squalls, the plane bounced around and she was taking bucket to bucket to the kids, and I was trying to help her. And we landed there that morning after the thirteen- hour flight. All of the flights into the test facility, into the [ Pacific] test site, had to be flown by pilots who had Q- clearances. So we changed planes there. We stayed at the terminal, I guess, a couple hours and then we boarded the plane. We flew from there into Enewetak and were processed on board there at the Enewetak Island of the Enewetak Atoll. We then took a LCM [ landing craft mechanical] to island code- name Elmer, which was a base camp for all of the civilian operations and the test personnel. I was there for about three weeks. It was interesting. I did have an opportunity to visit a neighbor island called Japtan and on Japtan there was wreckage of the S. S. Nickajack Trail. It UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 was a cargo ship, Liberty ship. It was built in World War II and it had tried to enter the lagoon and apparently there was a dispute between the captain [ and] the sea master of the island and he told them to turn around, they couldn’t enter, and then trying to make the maneuver, he grounded out on the island of Japtan, and the wreckage has gradually disintegrated. One of the interesting things while I was [ 00: 10: 00] on the island, it was completely forested with palm trees and tropical vegetation, was there was one of these dragon lizards on there. We saw it. It scared the hell out of me. But other than that— A Komodo Dragon? Komodo Dragon, yes. Oh yes, it was a big one. So long. But that was one of the experiences there. After I’d been there for about three weeks, I was informed that the resident engineer at Bikini would be going back on leave because his wife was sick, and they asked me if I would go up to Bikini and serve as resident engineer at Bikini until his return. I went up there on the first of October of 1953 and assumed his responsibility. As it turned out, he never came back, and so I ended up being promoted to resident engineer and served as that through the test series until I had to leave the Pacific because of the radiation. OK, I have a question here. The electrical engineering that you’re doing had to do with the buildings at Holmes and Narver? There were three electrical engineers in Los Angeles. One was in charge of the design of the test facilities, the internal and external. Another was responsible for the power generation and the distribution of power around the islands. The third was responsible for the communication cables. So my expertise was all of the— and the design activity I was involved in was all of the UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 electrical installations in every test facility, whether it be a camera bunker or an instrument bunker or a ground zero, that was my responsibility. So I’m trying to get clear that it wasn’t the electrical engineering on the devices themselves. It was the facilities. No, it was facilities, strictly facility design. In my entire career, I never got directly involved in devices. Only going up, providing power to the devices, and power to the instrumentation and the camera bunkers and all of that. And that was the extension of my professional training, and that’s what I figured I was trained for. I found out in later years that I was a better project manager than I was an electrical engineer, and that’s where my career ultimately headed. But this was the first step towards project engineering. Total project responsibility. And so when I went up to Bikini— at Enewetak we had metal barracks on Elmer. But on Bikini, we lived in eight- man what are called squad tents. So when I got there— and each island group, on Bikini the main camp was a complex called Tare. There was a camp and main command and control center on Nan which was Eneu. There was nothing else on the island itself. Then there was the Fox- George Complex in which there was a camp on George. And then there was a camp on Charlie, along with Ground Zero for the Bravo event and photo and instruments. Now these are all code names for islands? These are code names. There are twenty- eight islands, as I recall, twenty- eight islands, and they were all given code names, although they had native names from the Micronesians, they named them all. But we had set up— and it was alphabetically, so there was Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, [ 00: 15: 00] Easy, Fox, George, and they used the phonetic alphabet, basically, and it was a phonetic alphabet that was used at that time. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 And so the main camp was on Tare. And each of these camps were self- sufficient. We had entertainment on them, they had movies, we had a mess hall, we had a recreation area where the— get your beer and drinks and everything. It was referred to as the Snake Pit. We were allowed to buy a bottle of alcohol, very reasonable, we didn’t pay tax on it, Scotch or bourbon or whatever, and so we had those in our tents. The tent I was in, because I was considered part of management there, was an eight- man tent but the tent was divided into two parts. There were four beds in the back half of it. In the front was a recreation area where we had a table and a refrigerator and some reading material and that sort of thing. In the mess hall, because we did have a caste system. I was fortunate, I was in the upper class. There were eight managers there, the resident manager, myself, the operations, and marine operations electrical, mechanical, structural, those sort of things, there were eight of us. We had a separate table and we were served by waiters, and we had the best food in the Pacific. Holmes and Narver was noted for it, regardless of what your rank was, but we got, as part of the caste system; we had our own separate area, separate table, that was reserved for us. And it made life reasonably pleasant. Were all eight of you— this is all Holmes and Narver employees? All Holmes and Narver employees, yes. And there was a separate table for the AEC and the scientists. And their lead people got the same type of treatment that we got. Do you think that the caste system, as you call it, is related to a military— a sense from the military? I’m curious about that. I think part of it did because in World War II, I was an enlisted man and I couldn’t deal with the nurses who were lieutenants, although I did date one. And part of it, if there were arguments between the supervisor and the workers, they wanted to keep that separate. They wanted to keep them minimized. So we kept somewhat to ourselves, or we were forced to be kept by ourselves. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 The Snake Pit, the guys’d get drunk down there because when they were through work, they had nothing else to do. You’re on an island that the highest spot on the island’s eight foot above the ocean. And so they needed some way to let off steam. And we did not go down to the Snake Pit. We drank in our tents and things like that. There was a military detachment there on Bikini and it provided the aircraft for us. There was both observation aircraft and helicopters, H- 19s. Plus we had our own if you want to call it a fleet, our own water system made up primarily of LCMs, landing craft mechanical, and that was the way we got around the islands. In some cases, we had to mix concrete on one island, put it in a concrete mixer, take it over to another island, and dump it that way because we stockpiled in one area. We had to pour some [ 00: 20: 00] unique concrete out there for radiation shielding which was called limonite. Normal concrete runs 150 pounds per cubic foot. The limonite ore that we were pouring was dense, 310 pounds. So you had to treat it completely different. You couldn’t treat it the same way. In our mixers, we could only mix a quarter of a yard instead of the full yard in mixers because of the excess weight. The equipment couldn’t handle it. We also had to cure it differently because it had a high heat of hydration as it cured, and so we put a sprinkler system up over it and put gunny sacks over it after we’d poured that type concrete, to let it cure over an extended period of time. We did that on Bikini. On Enewetak they did not do that and what happened was the limonite began to spall. You’d hear an explosion and a chunk of concrete would pop off the wall. So we devised our own. When you’re out in the field, one of the things you learn as an engineer is to make the best of what you’ve got, but it make it work and make it right. And so that’s basically what we did. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 We had a movie theater there. Of course, we looked for mail call. We had a small first- aid station there. There was a doctor’s station there. We could get dental help if we needed it. We were pretty self- sufficient. It was really a relaxed life but we were faced with a schedule. The first shot was scheduled for March of 1954, so all of the facilities had to be constructed, completed, tested, and ready for the detonation and ready for the scientists when they came in, because the scientists were not there early on. It was purely construction and support people. As I indicated before, we commuted between islands by helicopter or by LCMs. I had some unique experience on the helicopters. We were going to an island called Love, if you can imagine, that’s for “ L,” Love, and we started to land on the lee side of the island. When the breeze, the current wind, dropped because it was sheltered by trees, the helicopter fell into the water and the wheels on the bottom of the pontoons hooked onto the underwater cable. And the pilot got us loose from that, and then we got up about ten feet above the water and he raced to the end of the island where he could get back into the wind stream and get up. But it was rather scary. Another time when I went into Nan, I’d just gotten out of the helicopter and was walking over to the Jeep to go to the camp, and the helicopter took off and a shear pin broke and the helicopter came crashing down. No one was hurt but thank God I was out of the way when it came down. I had another interesting experience. I was flying between Charlie and Fox- George Complex and I was sitting next to the door. The doors were open on the helicopter. It was an H- 19. And as I looked down, I saw a huge shark on the reef. And I was telling the man next to me, Look at the huge shark down there. And because of the noise, he couldn’t hear me. Well, UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 [ 00: 25: 00] I tried to show him by spreading my arms apart. Unfortunately, I had a plan which was a classified plan in my left hand. And as I showed him how big the shark was, the slipstream caught the plan and it’s lost. I spent hours explaining to the FBI [ Federal Bureau of Investigation] how I lost a classified document. No one would believe I lost it trying to describe how big a shark was. That’s an interesting story, but let me understand this. Once you lost the classified document, you have to report it. How does the FBI come in? How does that process work? I had to fill out a form because the classified document was a ground zero document and it has a number on it, so now it becomes missing. You have accountability for it. So I had to report it through the system to the AEC. The AEC’s agent for that was an FBI agent. He came in and interviewed me for about three or four hours on how I lost the document. And at first he wouldn’t believe me, and finally he decided it was true and he laughed about it. What was it like for you to be questioned like that? Horrible. A grilling. Because in those days, classified document, it was something that you just didn’t— you start out under your Q- clearance and everything, you couldn’t write anything home to anyone about what you were doing, other than it was construction, or eating, or you went fishing, or whatever you did. But security was an all- consuming attitude. Of course, we were in the middle of the Cold War and you couldn’t expect anything else. But that’s what happened. One time I was up in the helicopter and the pilot, the major, we had become bosom buddies out there, and I was the only one in the cabin. And so he decided he was going to give me a thrill and he put the plane into counter- rotary, which drives the helicopter down. And then he did what he called “ rocking the baby.” The helicopter kept going back and forth. So they had their fun with me and that was it. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 While we’re talking about the air, there was another incident that occurred. One of the projects was designed to determine the fallout pattern and the particle size of the first shot. And we had built concrete blocks as anchors and tied them to a buoy and then a raft was attached to that. And it was in a checkerboard pattern across Bikini lagoon. And a large storm came up and all of a sudden, through the passage between the islands, we saw our rafts going out, along with some buoys. So this major and myself went up in a observation plane and we went over the lagoon, trying to plot the ones that we had lost so we could replace them. As a result of that, he was flying a lot of figure- eights. I got sick. Only time I’ve ever been airsick in my life, but I got sick. But we did record them and replace them for the experiment. Let me ask you how that works a little bit. You’ve got this checkerboard of buoys. How does that help detect the radiation? Well, what you had was a concrete anchor and it came up to a buoy, the buoy basically being a float. Then you had a rubber raft or a cork raft attached to that, and you had a collector [ 00: 30: 00] on that raft, so that when the device went off and you started getting fallout from the mushroom cloud, you would get a collection of different amount[ s] in different areas, so you could then take and plot the pattern of the fallout across the lagoon. Does that—? Yes. And you said rubber or what kind of raft? I’m not sure. It was either a rubber raft or it had a cork. Cork. I didn’t understand what you said there. Cork. Yeah, cork. It was a life raft. All right. And so the debris would literally fall on that thing and then it would measure it. Yeah, it would fall. It’d be essentially stationary. And they would go in and then collect it and record the amount of radiation collected on that raft. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 So the wind had blown these rafts away from their concrete anchors, is that right? Broke them loose, so they were no longer attached to the mooring. Got it. OK. And just for the record, do you recall this major’s name that was your friend? No, I don’t. He was a good buddy. We drank together and all the other things. In fact, he shaved a couple people’s heads and put helicopter pads on them, but he was drunk. But you developed a camaraderie out there which is extremely unique. You’re living in a very limited space. So I really couldn’t— On one of the flights, we flew over the [ USS] Saratoga. The Saratoga was sunk in the Able shot or Baker shot in 1946. You could still see oil coming up from that in 1953 and ’ 54, from the wreckage. Around the conning towers, when the tide was a little low, you could see the top of the conning towers, even though they were below the surface. And as such, this one time I was flying over there and there was three or four sharks just swimming around them. One other interesting experience I had while I was there dealt with the Navy. We were going to use barges for the latter shots. The first shots were in cabs on various islands, one on Charlie and one on Tare, and then the rest were all barges off Fox and Dog. The Navy had to locate the coral heads within the lagoon. They provided that service to the AEC. When they came out, the two ships that came out were the [ USS] Chief and the [ USS] Competent, were the names of them. And the captain of the Chief, which the other ship referred to, they were minesweepers, referred to them as the Incompetent, so the Competent and the Incompetent, but that was a little joke. But I went out and spent two days with them while they were sweeping and recording the coral heads. And they did that by tying a line between the two ships and they would go along and when it would hit a coral head, it would break the line and they would record UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 that location. It was really a novel experience. I was the only one of the contractors that they had out there, and I ate at the captain’s table and all the other good things. It was quite an experience. And what was your reason for being there? Do you have certain duties or you were helping them—? My duties? Just to observe the mapping of the coral heads because that was important. We had to [ 00: 35: 00] prepare a map which would allow a tug to bring in the barge for anchoring. We didn’t want them to get hung up on these coral heads, so the whole atoll had to be swept. We had to find out where they were, particularly in the areas where we had planned mooring of the barges. OK. Thanks. That explains it perfectly. OK. There were a lot of different type of structures. We had camera bunkers and we had instrument bunkers and we had ground zeros cabs and we also had line- of- sight pipelines. And one experience that I had which was interesting, on the Charlie Complex there was a pipeline seventy- five- hundred feet long and I think it was twelve pipes or eight pipes, I’m not sure, and I believe their diameter was eight- inch diameter. And they were line- of- sight pipes. And a mile- and- a- half curvature of the Earth comes into play. And so when we aligned it, finished surveying an alignment, it did not show a complete circle, and there was something wrong with it. We tried to figure out what was wrong. There was a scientist by the name of Stirling Colgate from Lawrence Radiation Lab [ LRL]. He’s related to the Colgate millions. But he was there and he was apparently one of their top scientists. He postulated that the reason that we were getting the readings we got— because the way you measured it was put a radioactive source at one end and a recorder at the other— he said there was probably a magnetic field somewheres along that line which was distorting it. I couldn’t really buy into that, so I got my head of surveying and we went over and we went through the calculations again, and what we found out was that yes, it UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 was set up in a sinusoidal fashion wave because we had only adjusted to the midpoint of the pipe. We’d not adjusted the entire length, made the adjustment. So we went through and recalculated the alignment, resurveyed it, the next test. But it was interesting. Sterling swore that it was a magnetic field which was screwing it up but it really wasn’t. It was an engineering error. So you had allowed for the curvature for the first half? They took to midpoint, so they corrected for midpoint but they didn’t go back and then correct between midpoint and start and here. You got to take that correction and use— the delta’s all the way along. We didn’t use the delta. They used the one correction. And so we got a bow and a bow. That’s interesting. And that brings us up to the time that— oh, one other thing that was interesting as part of the early construction is the island of Bikini itself. The atoll had been used for the Able- Baker shots in 1946. And we went over to the island of Bikini and we found on that island that there was still several hundred barrels of oil. There was construction equipment. We were able to salvage all of that and use it as part of our activity. Also on Bikini was where the major inhabitants lived. It [ 00: 40: 00] was their primary island on the atoll. Their graves there for their people were— because you have coral below the surface, they could only dig down so far— and what they did was build mounds over them, and the mounds were supported on the outside by Coke bottles that had floated over the years there; and they used those, and they put the headstones beyond that. There was also an obelisk on the island. It was put there in memory of a Japanese pilot that had gone down during a maneuver prior to World War II, and it was close to the camp there. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 I visited another island that we called [ the] codename I think it was Uncle or William, I’m not sure which one, but we found on that island a downed Japanese aircraft that had crash- landed there. It was deep in the forest. But that pretty much tells you what life was like and what it was like getting ready for the shots. In preparation for the first shot, which was Bravo, we tried to remove as much salvageable equipment as we could from the island. We would take it down to the loading area, move it down there, and they’d bring in an LST [ landing ship, tank]. We’d load it on board the LST. There was one LST that came in. I don’t recall the name or the number on it. It had a new captain assigned to it in San Diego [ California] before it left, went to Pearl Harbor and loaded up there, and then came out. When it came into Enewetak, the captain was at the helm and it hit a pier there and knocked off a chunk of the pier. He then came up to Bikini and beached at Tare so we could load all this heavy equipment on it. When he got ready to back off— what they do is they drop an anchor as they come in and then they pull on the anchor to pull them off. He couldn’t get off because he’d come in hard and we’d loaded him. So we’re getting ready for the shot and he can’t get off. And this goes on. They lowered the loading ramp and they got bulldozers pushing on it. We got tugs alongside of it, trying to work it from both sides. Couldn’t get it loose. About that time, the command ship was I believe the [ USS] Estes, or the [ USS] Curtiss, I’m not sure— The admiral in charge of doing [ Joint] Task Force Seven, which was the name of the support operation, sends in the message, blinking light thing, “ Captain, you will be off by 1000 hours tomorrow period. Signed, the Admiral.” And so we got everything we could. We got three bulldozers, we got some LCMs alongside of it with lines on it to rock it, and they UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 had a tug out there hooked up to it. And it got off. But I imagine that was the end of that captain’s career. Amazing. That’s an interesting story. [ 00: 45: 00] As we got ready for the shot, the camps were evacuated. We were told that we would be able to come back in after the shot was over. Bravo shot was originally forecast to be between three to five megatons. It was an experimental thermonuclear device. So we evacuated the camp. And the people who were scheduled to come back, anyone who was surplus was sent back to Enewetak. Those of us who were involved in the recovery operation and everything were aboard the [ USS] Ainsworth. Can I ask you a question here before you go on with that story? Do you recall any of your anticipation? What were your thoughts about—? Looking forward to a great adventure. Something I’d heard about. I’d heard about the Trinity shot, heard a little bit about what went on at Nevada, particular the Cannon shot out here. But it was anticipation. I’m going to be part of a great experiment. I’m part of the Cold War. I’m helping my country. I’m devoted to what I’m doing. And fortunately I was playing a key role in it. I was not just an observer. And as such, on board the Ainsworth, I got special treatment. I got a cabin to myself and