Operation Dominic I


Operation Dominic was a series of 36 nuclear test explosions conducted in the spring and summer of 1962 by the United States near Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean. The tests were done in response to the Soviet resumption of testing after the tacit 1958–1961 test moratorium. USS Taylor 468 was part of Operation Dominic 1. Read accounts by Taylor sailors as part of the Atomic Veterans initiative.

Most of the tests involved free-fall bombs dropped from B52 bombers. The objectives were to test new weapons designs; weapons effects; and to confirm the reliability of existing weapons. A subset of tests, called Operation Fishbowl were high altitude tests.

A number of Navy ships, including USS Taylor, were assigned to observe the tests stationed at various distances from the detonation sites. The chart at left shows the position of USS Taylor (DDE 468) and a number of other ships during Starfish Prime, a high-altitude test conducted on 9 July 1962.

A Thor rocket carrying a W49 thermonuclear warhead was launched from Johnston Atoll about 900 miles west-southwest of Hawaii. The explosion took place at an altitude of 250 miles above a point 19 miles southwest of Johnston Atoll. It produced a yield equivalent to 1.4 megatons of TNT, and could be seen from Hawaii, 900 miles away, about 10° above the horizon at 11PM Hawaii time.