X-Ray Day – Enewetak Atoll Atomic Test #1



We are but a few of the Survivors of the 1977-1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Mission in the Marshall Islands.

Our main focus is to help each other with information and moral support during challenging times.

Our secondary focus is to urge Congress to change the current laws and recognize soldiers of the atomic cleanup mission as “veterans who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

This article is written to honor and respect the soldiers who were assigned to participate and experience the Manhattan Project Tests in the Pacific Proving Grounds at Enewetak Atoll. The Veterans Administration has designated them as Atomic Veterans. They felt the heat and the shock-wave and the radioactive fallout from the nuclear tests.

National Atomic Veterans’ Day is 16 July 2014 and we aim to celebrate and understand that day by sharing government films and documents which were considered top-secret during the Cold War.

We have learned much from the challenges Atomic Veterans have encountered with health complications, dealing with the Veterans Administration and the U.S. Government.

The Atomic Veterans were forced to take legal action against the U.S. Government and the U.S. Justice Department stepped in and judged in favor of the Atomic Veterans.

There were over 40 atomic tests performed at Enewetak Atoll. Operation Sandstone’s X-Ray Day Nuclear Device was the first to be tested at Enewetak Atoll.

Our Mission was to clean the debris left behind by this nuclear test and the rest of the bombs that detonated and left radioactive fallout on the islands and in the lagoon at Enewetak Atoll.

Briefing Summary

  • Enewetak Atoll Atomic Test #1
  • Manhattan Project Test #4
  • U.S. Atomic Bomb #6
  • Date: 4/14/1948
  • Time: 18:16:59.0
  • Operation: Sandstone – DOE – Department of Energy
  • Test: X-Ray

  • Sponsor: LANL – Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Location: West Tip of Engebi aka Janet Island, Enewetak Atoll
  • Latitude: 11.66276° N
  • Longitude: 162.23785° E

  • Surface Elevation: 200’ Tower
  • Type: Tower
  • Purpose: Weapons Related
  • Device: Mk-3 Type B Levitated
  • Yield Range: 37kt
  • Venting: I-131 venting detected, 140 kCi (5200 TBq) Note: 2:1 oralloy-plutonium, levitated core. Levitation was considered a top secret technique until 1980.



  • DOE – Department of Energy
  • DOE/NV – Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office
  • kt – 1kt = 1,000 tons of TNT. The total effective energy released in a nuclear explosion. It is usually expressed in terms of equivalent tonnage of TNT required to produce the same energy release in an explosion.
  • LANL – Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Tower – A nuclear device mounted at the top of a steel or wooden tower and exploded in the atmosphere.

National Association of Atomic Veterans, Inc. ( A Non-profit Veteran’s Assistance Organization ) is a group dedicated to help the 1944-1977 Atomic Veterans and, more recently, to help the 1977-1980 Atomic Cleanup Veterans. The NAAV’s website can be found at http://naav.com/

Their mission statement says: “NAAV  was founded in August, 1979 by the late Orville E. Kelly ( of Burlington, Iowa ) for the purposes of allowing the U. S. Atomic Veteran Community to speak, with a single voice, to their inability to get a fair hearing related to their developing ( radiogenic )  health issues  that may have been precipitated by their exposure to “ionizing” radiation while participating in a nuclear weapon test detonation, or a “post-test” event.   From the beginning, and to date, we continue to pursue our purpose to this dedicated cause.”

The NAAV also has an open access Facebook group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/NationalAssociationofAtomicVeterans/

I’ve been a member of the NAAV’s Yahoo Group since 2009 and have learned much from their discussions at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/naav/info

Enewetak Atoll Atomic Debris Cleanup Veterans Facebook Fan Page was created to publicly share historical information about the 1977-1980 Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission which is published here at AtomicCleanupVets.com. Our Facebook Fan Page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/AtomicCleanupVeterans

We urge our supporters to encourage their politicians to create legislation which will include all Marshall Island Atomic Cleanup Veterans in the U.S. Government Veterans Administration’s definition of a veteran “who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

Article written by Girard Frank Bolton, III. 1977-1979 participant with C Company and HHC S-3 (Operations) 84th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy) (Fwd) Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands.

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