CHRISTMAS ISLAND BOMB TESTS

Navy Oilers supported Task Forces Here
See:
Operation Dominic 1962
or Operation Castle 1954


From Life Magazine, 1962

..

Aerial photograph of Christmas Island taken by a NASA Space Shuttle. Note the white cloud cover and the lagoon structure through the centre of the island
In 1962, The USS Ponchatoula AO-148 was part of a task force that was engaged in a series of nuclear tests in the Christmas Islands.   HISTORY


Selection of Christmas Island as the Bomb Test Base had  been taken in January and February of 1956. Personnel maintained the Island until 1963 where in September the last of the American servicemen had departed.  Both the USS Hassayampa AO-145 and USS Kawishiwi AO-146 also traveled these waters. They supported ships in the area as required.
Other Tankers that were also there.


USS Tolovana AO-64

USS Tolovana began her next tour of duty in the Western Pacific in October 1961 and returned to the United States in February 1962. The following summer she participated in Operation Dominic, a nuclear test series conducted at Christmas Island during June and early July, 1962.  

USS CHIPOLA AO-63

The USS Chipola left the US in May 1962 for a cruise to an island in the South Pacific after first being fitted with a water washed down system used to spray a fine mist of water over the entire ship. This was to wash off any particles of radiation that may land on the ship. The ship was involved in a total of seven different atomic blasts. Six of these were at Christmas Island and the seventh was several months later at Johnston Atoll. At Johnston Atoll the atomic blast was an atmospheric test and it was visible in Hawaii.


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