Happy Birthday “Plumbbob”

This date in 1957 [BTB] marks the anniversary of the first American underground nuclear bomb test, part of Operation Plumbbob.

Altogether, the operation consisted of 29 blasts at the Nevada Test Site, and included the largest troop maneuver ever associated with U.S. nuclear testing in which about 18,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces were tested on how the average foot-soldier would stand up, physically and psychologically, to the rigors of the tactical nuclear battlefield.

Additionally, around 1,200 pigs were used for bio-medical experiments and blast-effects studies. Some were placed in elevated cages and provided with suits made of different materials, to test which materials provided best protection from the thermal radiation. The pigs survived, but with third-degree burns to 80% of their bodies.

Today is the anniversary of the Rainier shot, the first fully contained underground nuclear test, and became the prototype for larger and more powerful underground tests.

What was on the radio? Yes, of course it was Elvis: