USS ESTES AGC-12
Submitted by Richard G. Lynch AG1
Richard G. Lynch AG1 1956 - - Submitted 9/18/07
My name is Richard Lynch. I was an AG1 on the Estes during Operation Redwing. I worked with a great bunch of guys in the meteorology unit. Some of our bunks were in the ship's photo lab which was a good deal because the lights in the lab were often unlit.
I recall being at anchor, fishing off the fantail where signs advised it was o.k. to fish, but warned not to eat what you caught because the fish were radioactive. I'll never forget being an observer for the airdrop of Cherokee, a 3.8 megaton hydrogen bomb on May 20, 1956. Up on deck at first light, when the bomb detonated I sat with my back to the blast, wore lightproof goggles, had my face in the crux of my elbow and my elbow tucked between my knees. We'd been told we would not see anything when the bomb went off, but when it detonated I saw a brilliant yellow-orange image containing two odd gray structures. I'll never forget what it looked like. A high school dropout with not too much smarts, I had no idea what I saw. Six years later I was in medical school and saw my first x-ray of an arm. I immediately realized that what I had seen that day on the Estes were the bones in my arm, my radius and ulna.
In doing research about Operation Redwing I found government documents that became unclassified in the 1990's which stated that the radiation monitoring badges used during the first half of Operation Redwing were later found to be defective.
On a lighter note I recall trading with the commissary crew -large weather balloons for delicious pies- as the Estes neared San Diego coming back from the Marshall Islands.
I'd love to hear from anyone who has some memories about Operation Redwing.
Richard G. Lynch
Richard G. Lynch AG1 1956 - - Submitted 2/5/07
I'm writing an article about personal experiences during Operation Redwing. I am interested in learning about the experiences crew members of the Estes had related to the nuclear weapons tests and about any memories they have about their time at Bikini/Eniwetok. Any and all info will be greatly appreciated.
I served on the Estes during 1956 as an AG1 in the Meterology Unit of the Aviation Division.
Richard G. Lynch
Send any photos of the Estes, or life and times while aboard.
We prefer digital images, but can accept original photographs or documents. Originals will be returned unless you indicate otherwise. We will make our best efforts in returning things safely, since we use public carriers to return items, i.e. US Postal Service, we cannot guarantee safe returns. We would feel more comfortable if you had items scanned into digital images.
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