National Geographic : 1992 Jun
BIKINI LAGOON In the path of a staggering force that would blow her 800 yards away atop a 43 foot wave, Saratogasits at the edge of the Baker blast a half second after detonation. Seven and a half hours later "she died like a queen-proud ly," eulogized a New York Times correspondent.Six other large ships were also lost, including the battleships 200 4 7 200 140 Nam 7ts' -. .. ........ . ,- BRAVO tS On March , 1954, 2 f a 15-megaton S hydrogen bomb tainted Bikini with radiation. Arkansas and Nagato and sub marines Pilotfish and Apogon. Some were sunk by the two mil lion tons of water and sediment that was hurled more than a mile upward, then fell to batter the ships. Yet the bombs' most insidious danger was revealed in the ships that remained afloat or were salvaged: They seethed with radiation. Bewildered men j7 17 3 improvised decontamination efforts against an invisible enemy. Permitted aboard some ships for only minutes, sailors washed, scrubbed, foamed, and painted "hot" steel, with little effect. "In the end the Navy... is going to feel a lot like Br'er Rabbit when he got mixed up with the Tar Baby," physician David Bradley, a Crossroads veteran, observed at the time.