First air drop test of a thermonuclear weapon. The weapon was dropped from a USAF B-52 bomber (not seen) that flew from Fred Island, Eniwetak (sometimes spelled Enewetak or Eniewetok), on May 21, 1956. View appears to be from an aircraft flying above altocumulus clouds, below higher stratiform layers. The film begins with a complete whiteout from the initial fireball. As that subsides, local stratiform clouds take on a rosy hue and the center fireball is seen rising above them. As the fireball rises, it takes on a somewhat hemispherical shape, flat on the bottom, from which a straight stem-like column extends toward the ground. The light of the explosion slowly fades and complete darkness ensues. Official accounts state that the intended ground zero was directly over Namu Island, but the flight crew mistook an observation facility on a different island for their targeting beacon with the result that the weapon delivery was grossly in error. The bomb detonated some 4 miles off target over the ocean northeast of Namu. As a result essentially all of the weapons effects data was lost. ( Note: According to ancillary reports, the delivery error resulted in blast overpressures and thermal effects on the 6 structural response targets between Iroij and Namu Islands, greatly exceeding specifications for any use in scientific military modeling of high yield aerial detonations. Plans for graded damages analysis failed when all the structures collapsed. Effects cameras also failed from the intense fireball heat.)
Activities aboard USS Mount McKinley AGC-7, serving as press observer ship for nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean. A reporter works on a portable typewriter,on deck. A sailor hands documents to him. Animated map of the places in vicinity of Bikini atoll. Namu is circled with pencil. Aerial view of the island. Reporters come aboard the ship and the Captain greets them. Two reporters converse with the Captain. Several other reporters stand and chat on the deck. They discuss their credentials. One shows his identification card which reads "Uncleared Observer Program". A B-52 strategic bomber flies low over the ship. Another aircraft flies low over the ship. A group of reporters stands on the deck. Aerial view of island with target drawn on it.
The H Bomb blast exploded at 15000 feet over the Pacific. Weather airplane circles the disaster area. In preparation for the explosion, skiffs carrying radiation detection devices are lowered and anchored at strategic points in blast area. Trace rockets ready to be launched that will capture samples of radioactive clouds. Admiral B Haw Hamlin inspects the area. B-52 Commander, Major Dave Crichlor briefs the crew members. The Crew of B-52 Bomber drops bomb from fifty five thousand feet to explode fifteen thousand feet over the target area where these instruments will measure heat and radiation. View of the target island of Namu outlined with a cross of lights and its radar installations. View of the large explosion as it spreads in the area. Observers close their eyes as the light is very strong.
Nuclear detonation on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean as part of the Operation Red Wing. A resultant mushroom cloud. Scenes of landing of several USAF-aircraft like B-52,B-47,B-66, B-57 on a United States AFB situated on the Eniwetok atoll (sometimes spelled Enewetak or Eniewetok) in Marshall Islands. Shows the aircraft carrier USS Badoeng Strait in Northwestern Pacific Ocean. Several US-airplanes like F-84F, F-101, B-52 and B-36 can be seen on the AFB. Maintenance crew can be seen working on a B-52's (Stratofortress) engines. Men working on the nose and wing section of a F-101 Voodoo. Technician working on the F-101's electronics equipment, opens its nose dome to reveal photo panel radiation gauges. Airman removes motion picture camera from the nose of F101. Technicians work at the instrumental panel of a B-57. Radiometer attached at tail section of B-66. Technician removes dust for radiation sample. Technicians work on the horizontal stabilizer of B-47 tail section.
Shows one of the many raydist site (HF & MF relay station) situated on the Bikini and Eniwetok atolls in Marshall Islands,Pacific Ocean . Aircraft carrier, USS Badoeng Strait in the Pacific Ocean. Several receiving antennas near radar trailers on the aircraft carrier. Radar dish on top of trailers on the Bikini atoll. Man checks radar antenna on top of trailer. Aerial shots of shoreline radar installations, an AFB and living quarters located on lagoon. Several United States Aircrafts that participated in Project Red Wing can be seen on the AFB.
United states Navy submarine SSN-571, the USS Nautilus, introduced in 1956. The nuclear powered USS Nautilus submarine underway at sea in United States. Men at controls as the first nuclear submarine is tested. SSN-571 in New York Harbor with Manhattan Island skyline of New York City in background. Next scene shows the guided cruise missile SSM-N-8 Regulus, also introduced in 1956, being fired from a ship, and an aerial view is seen of the Regulus guided missile in flight.