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Dutch John: I am not sure if I remeber a Lt Skinner-but I will give you a quick run down of my Atomic experience: I was in Alpha Co. First Recon Battalion at Camp Horno at Camp Pendelton Ca. from Jan. 1956 until Jan. 1960. In July 1957 we were detached to the Fifth Marines and sent to Camp Desert Rock Neveda to participate in an Atomic test.. The first Bomb was called "DIABLO" and had a yield of 17 Kilotons. We were in Trenches approximately 3800 yard from Ground Zero and the Bomb was to be detonated from a platform tower 500 feet above Ground Zero. Bomb was a "DUD". Well since they had all these troops out there and they had to blow something up to show that they were doing their job, they gave us several days leave in Las Vegas while they looked around for another Bomb to try to cook us.---well they found one. "HOOD" was an 74 Kiloton Bomb (for reference the Bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki where under 20 Kilotons. Because of the size of the Bomb it was determined that they would have to detonate it from a platform suspended 1500 feet above Ground Zero ( the trenches were still at 3800 yards). ---Well count down commenced and we were trying to figure out how to get the hell out of there but ran out of time, so we just hunkered down in the trenches and covered our faces with our hands and arms. The largest Firecracker I have ever heard or seen detonated early in the morning on July 5, l957. First there was a brilliant flash of light (supposedly 2 million degrees centigrade) and the light was so powerfull it was like a brilliant candle burning inside your head and you could clearly see every bone in your arm and hand. shortly thereafter there was a shock wave that passed thru creating a sound like some one cracking a whip by your ear. after the shock wave came back thru we stood up and watched the fire ball boiling up into the early morning sky.--Well theres lots more but not enough time or space, so if you can connect me with LT. Skinner maybe I can remember him..I was Cpl Hefner in those days. Chow--keep in touch

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Hammer... Thanks for the comeback. Maybe I should not mention, but Jim Skinner

passed away... cancer... about 10-years ago. We were good friends. He is related to all of the Skinner family in the Lone Pine Area. His dad was a well known mining

engineer/lawyer in Reno. Jim graduated from Mackay in 1953 served his tour of duty with the Nevada atomic testing. 1/lt Corp of Engineers. He was in the trenches

during the 1953-56 testing

I was stationed at Ft Wood; and was RAD in March 57. Remember the HOOD blast... it was detonated about 05 AM. I was working at KKC in McGill... saw it slowly light up the morning sky brightly and slowly fade away.

We moved to s Calif in 1961... Kaiser, and then three different soil labs. Then became a "shop" schoolteacher. Also drywashed, dredged, ansd sluiced along the San Gabrial River. Camped at both Follows and Williams. Belong to several different clubs. It is somewhere here our paths have crossed.

Anyone else reading this thread feel free to jump in... Maybe we all can meet for coffee... Sandtrap is an x-marine... There are other x-servicemen in a loosepack


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Hammer and Dutch John, a good Sunday morning to both of you.

Your the first that I've ever heard of that were actually at the testing sites of the Atomic test. All the time since very little has ever really been told.

I've always had the feeling that it's another Government cover-up as to what actually took place and how it affected the lives of the people in the trenches during the test.

About the time you were leaving the service I was going in (1960).

A big thanks to both of you guys for sharing something that should have been exposed long ago.

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garimopo... Great that you are jumping in... However, I was not involved in the Nevada test program. But Jim Skinner was. He had an ROTC commission and it was there he was stationed.

Jim Skinner graduated in 1953. I in 1954. I was sent to Ft. Leonard Wood in 1955

and Jim Skinner was then in Nevada. We exchanged letters. I thought Jim had it made. A Good duty assignment. However, the "fly in the ointment" may have been being in the trenches when the bombs were tested. I know Jim was one in the trenches. Jim passed away of lukemia about 10 years ago. Thus, I may be the lucky one... Being assigned to Ft. Leonard Wood.

I cannot say for sure... not a scientist, but it could be(?) that possibly being exposed to some potential "dirty" tests may be "controversal". Sorry for the x-talk,

and I'm not "wishy-washy." But, I cannot say either way. However, Hammer was.

Changing the subject, Jim Skinner was very experienced in underground mining. He is quoted on page 132 in Vol. 3; The Nuggetshooters Bible."

If Rob wishes... and can do this. If he would, it may be of value to Copy "STAY OUT OF OLD MINES" on pgs. 131-132. I speak from experience...

Mr. Ralph Welchel are you out there.... ???

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Dutch John: Been up the the San Gabriel Canyon to Follows and Williams Camps many times over the last 30 years. I live in Yorba Linda, California and would be game for a get together for coffee or whatever. I currently meet with a couple of retired Veterans three time a week for coffee-any one is welcome even if they were not in the Marine Corps :blink:

The more the better, I need to get a Squad together :lol:

P. S. I will try to PM you--Hammer

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I'm another lucky one..The small unit I was in sent a few folks down to Camp Mercury to do some Rad monitoring this was 1961 I think for some of the tests, anyway I was too short (time left in service) to go on an extended TDY so I stayed at Ft Lewis. Don't know how the folks fared now that did go Now I am glad they didn't ropeadope me into that one...HH...Geo

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Note: Anyone involved with the atomic tests should contact the Veterans Administration at 1-800-827-1000. They would like to hear from you. There are lots of benefits and help you can get. Also the families of deceased atomic veterans should also contact the Veterans Administration as there are special benefits for them. Later, Buffalo Earl

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Dutch John, Garimpo< Buffaloear: If Lt. Skinner had lukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic Lukemia and he is survived by a wife and children then They should apply for benefits from the VA with assistance from the NAAV.--to further assist with this I will open a new thread.

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Hammer... every one... Looks like this thread may have opened a can of

worms. As for Jim Skinner, he was single and left his entire state to Univ of Nevada. Jim was a good friend... One of the best...

Sandtrap, who occasionally posts is a x-marine... I was in the Corp of Engineers.

My tour was just stateside... Ft. Leonard Wood. Just long hours... But I was able

to have my wife and our first child with me.

seeker... Camp mercury may have been well named. Not because of mercury but


I belong to both the PCSC and the WCPTHA. I live in Rialto. Currently I plan(?) on

participating in the AMDA fee/planted hunt in Laughlin the last of October.

I have been particpated in fee-hunts since 1974. Sometimes, (like a stopped clock that is right twice a day), I occasionally find a buried token that is worth a good prize. But it

is okay if I find little... to participate is the main thing.

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