USS ESTES AGC-12
Robert Hastings - - Submitted 08/02/12
I want to ask the members who were aboard the Estes during either Operation Ivy or Castle if they remember a mysterious power failure aboard the U.S.S. Estes during Operation Ivy, just before the Mike shot? A declassified reference to it may be found at: DOE History of Operation Ivy, Document Number 59438, on frame 22 of 43. Left column, last paragraph. Title: HISTORY OF OPERATION IVY (PARTIAL) Author(s): MOORE, F.E. (UNITED STATES ARMY) ; BECHANAN, H.G.
I am attempting to learn the reason for the power failure on the Estes just before the Mike shot.
Also, for those who were aboard the Estes for Castle, I'm wondering if anyone can remember a radio blackout just before the Bravo shot. Some time ago, Mike Kerrigan told me this:
"I was an ET3 at that time on board the Estes and we suffered a total radio blackout during the mission. We chalked it up to sunspots at the time but we were totally blacked out from communications for about, I am guessing now, three hours. All we heard was white noise on the receivers and if you know the Estes, we were a floating radio transmitter/receiver flagship. Over 150 receivers of all frequency ranges and another guess since it was so long ago, 20 different transmitters maybe more. We went down on all of them at the same time. I do remember we were not underway but bobbing in the lagoon. It was not during a shot but just before it, if I remember the event correctly."
"Even though it was a long time ago I still remember that blackout because it was the only one I experienced in my four years on the Estes. We had a 500 watt transmitter and could not contact a ship about 3 to 4 hundred yards off our bow. We had to use light. The signalmen were busy for that period of time. The Estes had such high power transmitters that we stood our watch with the fluorescent desk light just laying on the desk and not plugged in and it still glowed."
"We were getting ready for Bravo when we had the radio blackout. It took a while to get over Bravo so I remember that period of time. We used to sleep on deck to get cool breezes and sometimes a rain squall before Bravo. This was at a time when we only had AC for the equipment not people. The heat and humidity at Eniwetok was excessive. After Bravo the deck was so radioactively hot that we were not allowed to sleep on deck for a long period of time."
So, I would be interested in hearing from anyone who can remember either the power failure just before the Mike shot during Ivy, or the radio blackout just before the Bravo shot during Castle. I'm especially interested to know whether any definite cause was ever established for either of them.
I am doing research about the testing in the Pacific and am curious about the power failure and radio blackout mentioned previously and hope to learn more about them.
Thanks for you assistance,