July 01, 1946

Operation Crossroads, the atomic bomb tests on Bikini Atoll, begins as a Boeing B-29, nicknamed Dave’s Dream, and piloted by Maj. Woodrow “Woody” Swancutt drops a 23 kiloton yield nuclear weapon over a cluster of 70 target ships of various types anchored in the Bikini lagoon. This Able Test is designed to measure the effect of an atomic airburst on ships and unmanned drone aircraft. The bomb, a duplicate of the Fat Man (plutonium) bomb that had been dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, missed its intended target, the former battleship USS Nevada (BB-36) by several thousand yards. However, it destroyed or heavily damaged ships anchored within a half mile of the zero point.