1946 Nuclear radiation exposure requiring hospitalization of the crew of the USS Bayfield at Puget Sound Naval Base Bremerton Washington

Title: USS Bayfield
Description: (APA-33) At Charleston, South Carolina, on 4 January 1950. She is proceeding to Pier D-5 at the Charleston Naval Shipyard to embark troops of the Third Division, from Fort Benning, Georgia, to participate in Operation Protrex. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command.
Catalog #: NH 99242

Citation: DTIC AD0473908: OPERATION CROSSROADS. RADIOLOGICAL DECONTAMINATION OF TARGET AND NON- TARGET VESSELS. VOLUME 3 p. 52

SAN FRANCISCO NAVAL SHIPYARD
San Francisco 24, Calif.
26 September 1946

Rear Admiral T. A. Solberg,
Code 180, Bureau of Ships
Navy Department,
Washington. D. C.

Dear Admiral Solberg:

Speedletter serial 1381 of 24 September was received, and all concerned here were highly pleased with its contents.

My trip to Seattle was most beneficial, as I was able to clear up many points. Upon my arrival aboard the USS BAYFIELD, I encountered trouble trying to inspect the evaporators. The evaporator room was locked under orders were issued to the effect that no one was permitted to enter. It seems that Lieutenant Shallow (monitor) issued instructions that the evaporator room was contaminated. The reason for his action was made upon arrival aboard the BAYFIELD, two tube nests were removed from the shelves and the crew had mechanically cleaned them.

It appears that the BAYFIELD was only in Bikini five days subsequent to the Baker test and was not monitored prior to her departure. The Commanding Officer was not aware of the radiological situation. After explaining the situation we were able to reassemble the evaporators and the work of circulating muriatic acid was undertaken.

All necessary personnel precautions were taken while reassembling the evaporators. I also suggested to the Captain that the men who did the mechanical scaling of the BAYFIELD evaporators be given blood counts find urinalyses tests for a period of a month and report the situation to Captain Walsh.

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