Friday, Oct 28th

Last update05:20:13 AM GMT

You are here News Military Veteran: Risks In 1950s Bomb Test 'A Disgrace'

Veteran: Risks In 1950s Bomb Test 'A Disgrace'

E-mail Print PDF

A test disgraceIn 1957, Joel Healy witnessed one of the largest nuclear tests ever conducted on U.S. soil. Healy was in the U.S. Army, stationed in the Nevada desert north of Las Vegas at Camp Desert Rock. He was 17 years old and a private first class at the time.

Healy drove dump trucks, moved materials, and built structures, like houses, that would be destroyed by the explosions so the Army could study the effects of a nuclear blast. He also helped build the towers where many of the bombs were detonated.

At the age of 74, Healy joined his daughter, Kelli Healy Salazar, at StoryCorps in Atlanta to tell her about witnessing the Operation Plumbbob nuclear tests in 1957.

"I thought to myself, if there is a hell on Earth, it's gotta be that," Healy told his daughter. "You felt the shock wave of the thing going off and then the heat. And the biggest one that was set off in the desert when I was there was a 74 kiloton — almost twice the amount what was used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

In one of the explosions, Healy says, he could see the bones in his hands.

"The Army had their own film teams out there to show these are our boys whistlin' Dixie going into a nuclear device," Healy says.


Most Recent Related Stories...

Ash Carter suspends California Guard bonus repayments

Ashton CarterDefense Secretary Ash Carter has suspended collections and ordered a review of the process that's forcing...

Dozens of Afghans Missing From U.S. Military Training

Afghan trainees AWOL in USForty-four Afghan troops visiting the United States for military training have gone missing in less than...

California Guard vets told to repay millions in enlistment bonuses

Natl Guard CaliforniaTen years after the Pentagon enticed soldiers to reenlist by offering hefty bonuses, officials are demanding...

Joint Staff general's girlfriend problem grounds career

michael BobeckAn Army National Guard general on the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been fired from his...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!