King's Nuclear Weapons Fascinating Facts Information


Written and researched by Kimberly A. King
US Navy - Chief Petty Officer - Retired

Updated: 4 January 2018

Nuclear Tests:

Since 1945 there have been more than 2,000 test nuclear explosions conducted throughout the world.

Only North Korea has tested a nuclear weapon in the 21st century.

In 1957, Operation Plumbbob, conducted a total of 29 nuclear tests in Nevada. These tests exposed soldiers to
nuclear radiation. Some were in trenches, some stood. Some reported seeing the bones of their fingers through their hands
which were used to shield their eyes during the blast. Many were ordered to "march forward" after the blast.

Of these soldiers, thyroid cancer and leukemia skyrocketed.
(Please note: The government will compensate you if you qualify as an Atomic Veteran).

Nuclear Detonation On The Moon?

In 1958, a plan known as A119, was devised during the Cold War to intimidate Russia. The goal was to detonate a nuclear
device on the moon where the blast could be seen from earth. This project never came about. Of note that the famous scientist
Dr. Carl Sagan was a member of the staff.

Number of Nuclear Weapons In The World:

In 1953, when Eisenhower was President, the United States had 1,000 nuclear weapons.
In 1961 when Eisenhower left office, we had 18,000 nuclear weapons.

In 1985 there were approximately 60,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Today there are approximately 15,000.
Of those weapons, most have about 80 times more destructive power as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As of today, the United States has approximately 7,300 warheads
Russia - 8,000
China - 250
France - 300
U.K. - 225

Isreal, Pakistan, India and North Korea are not signatories or (have nuclear weapons, but not part of the) Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Treaty members agree to limit the spread of nuclear weapons.
Their warhead arsonel is as follows:

Isreal approximately 80 warheads
Pakistan - 120
India - 110
North Korea possibly 6 to 8.

Explosive Power and the Manhatten Project Facts:

Atomic bombs use nuclear fission, or the splitting of an atom, to achieve their enormous explosive power.
In the 1940's, Manhatten housed thousands of pounds of uranium. At 270 Broadway, approximately 5,000 employees worked on the project.
Seven hundred scientists worked on the project at Columbia University. But the project got too big and moved to
Hanford, Washington, Los Alamos, NM and Oakridge, TN.

The real goal of the Manhatten Project was to outrace the Germans in the development of a super weapon or bomb.
But Germany surrendered before the first atomic test was conducted, so the emphasis shifted to ending the war with Japan.

First Atomic Test Facts:

Code named "Trinity", the first atomic bomb test was conducted on 16 July 1945.
It was delayed by 90 minutes due to a thunderstorm in the area.
It was feared that rain, from the storm, may spread the fallout radiation. And also feared that lightning may detonate the device.

A woman who saw the blast 100 miles away, was blinded.

It was feared that the bomb may be a dud or that it may blow up the entire world.

The blast had the explosive power of 20,000 tons of TNT and exceeded expectations by four times.

Strange Benefit From The Atomic Blasts

Two isotopes were created in the atomic blasts in 1945. They are Strontium 90 and Cesium 137.

The two isotopes are used to prove if a painting is a forgery or authentic.
If the isotopes are present in the paint, the painting is a forgery as the isotopes did not exist until they were created in the atomic blasts.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Facts:

Approximately 230,000 people, died in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts in Japan.

The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945 was an atomic bomb
which killed over 140,000 people, and had the power of 15-Kilotons.

A common hydrogen bomb, which uses nuclear fusion, or the fusing of atoms,
has the power of up to 10-Megatons.

To achieve fusion, an atomic bomb is at the center of a common Hydrogen bomb,
creating immense heat used to fuse the atoms.

American Prisoners of War Killed In The Hiroshima Blast:

A little known fact is that about a dozen American prisoners of war also died in the blasts.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were picked as targets for the Atom bomb drop because they did not have any POW prisons.
But to soften up the area, and to take out one of the few remaining Japanese Battleships.
She was in port at Kure Naval Base and the main target on 28 July 1945. On that date, a group of B-24, Liberators, were sent to destroy the battleship.

One B-24, the "Lonesome Lady", was shot down. Piloted by 1st LT Tom Cartwright, the crew bailed out near Hiroshima.

Several were captured and taken to a military detention center in Hiroshima. Cartwright would later recall that air crew members were briefed to tell the truth,
if captured, as our government felt the Japanese already knew what was unfolding. Rather than suffer torture, they were instructed to
truthfully tell their captors of their mission.
But the interrogator who interviewed Cartwright felt he was lying, and he was sent to Imperial General Headquarters, in Tokyo, for further questioning.
Lt Cartwright was in Tokyo when the bomb fell on Hiroshima.
However, members of his crew were still in Hiroshima.

The main target the morning of the bombing of Hiroshima, was the Aioi bridge. The crew was in a detention center
about a half-mile from the bridge. The crew were there with two other aircrew members, from the Taloa,
a B-24, which had also been shot down, and taken into custody.

The walls of the detention center were solid brick and survived the initial blast of the bomb.
Three of the Americans, Norman Brissette and Ralph Neal, and possibly Hugh Atkinson, survived the blast.

Brissette was an aircrewman on a torpedo bomber (photo right) with his pilot, Lt Raymond Porter.
Their plane had been hit by anti-aircraft fire, and they ditched the plane shortly after.
They survived but were later picked up by the Japanese and taken, with the other aircrew members,
to Chugoku Military Police Headquarters as there were no POW camps in the area.
Neal, Brissette and possibly Atkinson escaped the blast and jumped into a cesspool, nose deep,
to escape the raging flames caused by the bomb.

Upon leaving the cesspool, they were quickly recaptured and sent back to the detention center. All were badly burned
and suffered from gamma ray radiation poisoning.

The third, whose identity is not certain, was used as a scapegoat. He was described by one watching as "the most handsome boy I ever saw".

The American was tied to a pole on the Aioi bridge, and a sign placed around his neck reading,
"Beat this American soldier before you pass", where he was beaten to death.

Drawings done by local citizens long after the bombing, show the soldier. Several other drawings show more than one soldier tortured at Hirsohima.

Brissette and Neal would later died of radiation poisoning. They were seen by other POW's and were vomiting
bile violently. Suffering so badly, they asked their fellow soldiers to shoot them but none had any weapons.
They were given the morphine the other POW soldiers had until it was all gone. They both died within hours of one another.

The drawing below is of them after capture.

These accounts are known as both gave their fellow surviving soldiers their relatives names and they asked that their
families be notified.

S/SGT Julius Molnar
Rear Turret Gunner; on the B-24, Taloa
U.S. Army Air Corps
Killed in the blast
Born in 1924; From Kalamazoo, Michigan
He was a baker before the war; 20 years old

SGT Hugh Henry Atkinson
Wireless Radio Operator; B-24, Lonesome Lady
U.S. Army Air Corps
Possibly survived the blast only to be taken to a nearby bridge by enraged
citizens and beaten to death. Not confirmed but rumored.
From Seattle, Washington; 26 years old

S/SGT Charles O. Baumgartner
Lower Ball Turret Gunner; B-24 Taloa
U.S. Army Air Corps
Taken prisoner and held at Chugoku Military Police headquarters; Hiroshima
From Sebring, Mahoning, Ohio; 29 years old

SGT Buford J. Ellison
Flight Engineer; B-24, Lonesome Lady
U.S. Army Air Corps
Taken prisoner and held at Chugoku Military Police headquarters; Hiroshima
From Abilene, Texas; 22 years old

CPL John A. Long, Jr.
Nose Gunner; B-24, Lonesome Lady
U.S. Army Air Corps
From New Castle, Pennsylvania ; 27 years old

2nd LT Durden William Looper
Co-Pilot; B-24, Lonesome Lady
U.S. Army Air Corps
POW held at Chugoku Military Police headquarters; Hiroshima; killed in the blast
From Sebastian Co, Arkansas; 22 years old

2nd LT James M. Ryan
Bombardier; B-24, Lonesome Lady
U.S. Army Air Corps
From New York; 20 years old

LT/JG Raymond Porter
U.S. Navy
Pilot with Bombing Squadron VB87
flying the SB2C Helldiver onboard the USS Ticonderoga
Shot down, adrift 2 days then taken prisoner and held at
Chugoku Military Police headquarters; Hiroshima
with his radioman, Norman Brissett.
Died of radiation poisoning in agony. From Butler, Pennsylvania; 23 years old

ARM3c (Aviation Radioman 3rd Class) Norman Roland Brissett
U.S. Navy
Aircrew radioman with Bombing Squadron VB87
USS Ticonderoga
flying SB2C Helldiver bombers.
Shot down and crashed near Kure Harbor, near Hiroshima
Was held 750 meters from the explosion's epicenter at Hiroshima Castle.
Died of radiation poisoning in agony.
Note: He is known as the only Naval Combat Aircrewman killed in nuclear combat.
From Lowell, Massachusetts; 19 years old

S/SGT Ralph J. Neal
Ball Turret Gunner; B-24 Lonesome LadyU.S. Army Air Forces
Died of radiation poisoning in agony, wounds from parachuting out of the plane
or possibly executed on the Aioi Bridge, Hiroshima
From Whitley County, Kentucky; 23 years old

Ensign John Joseph Hantschel
Fighter Pilot assigned to VF16
flying the F6F-5 Hellcat onboard the USS Randolph (CV-15)
He was shot down near the Inland Sea of Western Honshu, Japan
and drifted 4 days until he was picked up by a fisherman
He was taken prisoner and held at Chugoku Military Police headquarters; Hiroshima
which was 1,300 feet from ground zero.
It is believed he died in the blast.
From Appleton, Wisconsin; 23 years old

Click Here to read more about these hero's of World War II
and all they gave on our behalf.

Paper Lanterns
Click on the link above to view Paper Lanterns. A documentary on these brave American soldiers
and the loyal effort of a caring Japanese
Hiroshima survivor's efforts to find the families of the lost soldiers.

The Man Known To Have Been Bombed Twice

One man lived through both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs. His name was Tsutomu Yamaguch (1916-2010).
In Hiroshima, he was preparing to go home from a business trip when the first bomb fell. He was less than 2 miles from where the bomb exploded.
He had ducked into a ditch but the bomb sucked him up and threw him into a potato field. He was burned on the face and his ear drums ruptured.

He returned to Nagasaki, his home, where he was burned so badly his family and doctor, a friend, did not recognize him.
Despite the burns, he dragged himself out of bed and reported for work. He was explaining what had happened to him, when the second bomb exploded.
It blew his bandages off but due to a reinforced stairway and the hilly terrain, he survived yet again.
His wife, who had gone out for burn ointment with their child, survived as she had taken shelter in a tunnel.

Yamaguch survived both bombs, but had serious radiation poisoning. He would later recover and became a translator for the U.S. Armed Forces
during their occupation of Japan.
In all, about 165 people did experience both attacks but the Japanese government only recognized Yamaguch
as the "nijyuu hibakusha" or the "twice-bombed person. Yamaguch lived to the age of 93.

Explosive Power:

All the explosions in World War II combined totaled "only" 2-Megatons
or just 20% of the power of just one common Hydrogen bomb.

A 10-Kiloton nuclear device has the power of 10,000 tons of TNT.
To haul that much explosives you would need a cargo train of 100 cars long!

However, a nuclear bomb could easily fit into the back of a truck.

Two Near Nuclear Accidents of Note:

At 3 a.m. on 9 November 1979, President Carter got a call that our early warning system detected an attack. It noted that we had
about 7 minutes to respond. The computer showed 250 missiles on their way to the United States. Then NORAD said that 2,200 had been launched.
The error was found when a technician had accidentally put in a sample attack in the computer by mistake.

Four years later, in 1983, the Russians had a similar situation. On call then was Stanislav Petrov.
Petrov was the lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Defense Forces. Petrov was on duty when the computer noted
that 5 missiles were on their way to the Soviet Union. Protocol would dictate that Petrov contact his superiors immediately but fearing it may be a mistake
he paused to figure out if the computer was making a mistake. It had made a mistake and Petrov was later called the
"man who single-handedly saved the world from nuclear war".

Project Dead Hand:

Project Dead Hand was a computer program considered for use by Russia.
It was thought that a computer could launch nuclear weapons at the enemy, should all humans be killed.
The program was considered too dangerous and never used.

The Nuclear Football:

The "Nuclear Football" is really 3 briefcases with a series of codes. The codes are used to identify the President's identify and
NOT to launch a nuclear attack. The military alone has the codes for a launch.

There are 3 Nuclear Footballs. One goes with the President at all times.
One is with the Vice President and one is at the White House.

The President carries what is called a "Biscuit Card". This has the instructions and further codes
which give access to the Nuclear Football. It also lists a set of targets and/or attack plans.
This system was first devised by John F. Kennedy and his administration.

The Future of Nuclear Weapons:

It is "hoped"... hoped... that by the year 2020 the world has less than 8,000 nuclear weapons!

Sizes and Types of Notable Bombs:

    * August 6, 1945: 15-Kiloton Uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

    * August 9, 1945: 21-Kiloton Plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

    The Largest Nuclear Bomb Ever Detonated or Created

    * October 30, 1961: Soviet Union detonates a 50-Megaton Uranimu bomb.
    This bomb nicknamed the "Tsar Bomba" or "King of Bombs"
    would be the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated.
    The detonation occurred over the Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya.

    Tzar Bomb Mushroom Cloud

    The explosive impact of this device was 6,500 times more deadly than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

    This bomb had the equivalent of 3,800 atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima.
    The test was so dangerous, the Russian pilots were given only a 50% chance of survival.

    The bomb weighed 59,500 lbs and was 26 feet long by about 6 feet wide.
    The bomb had an 1,763 lb parachute, buying time for the pilots to fly about 28 miles away before detonation.
    It was dropped from an altitude of 6.5 miles and detonated at 13,000 feet.
    The ensuing fireball could be seen from 640 miles or 1000 kilometers away.
    The mushroom cloud was 40 miles high and reached the mesosphere.
    All buildings in a small village 34 miles away were completely destroyed.
    Heat from the explosion could have caused 3rd degree burns 64 miles away.
    Light from the explosion was visible from 1000 km, or 621 miles, away.

    The bomb was never intended for actual use. Rather it was used to intimidate the United States.
    Because of it's huge size and weight, it could not be put on an intercontinental missile for delivery.
    The bomb proved that the delivery of nuclear weapons by long range aircraft was inefficient in time war.
    As a result, Intercontinential Ballistic Missiles were created.

Effects Of Bombs:

Suitcase Bomb; 0.1-Kiloton

    Approximate blast at 100 feet above surface:

    - Most structures destroyed out to 0.15 miles of the blast area.
    - Approxmiately 50% dead from radiation within one month's time out to 0.3 miles.
    - Massive fires out to 0.07 miles.

Atomic Bomb; 15-Kiloton bomb.

    Approxmiating blast at 550 feet above the surface:

    - Most structures destroyed out to 0.8 miles of the blast area.
    - Approximately 50% dead from radiation within one month's time out to 0.8 miles.
    - Massive fires out to 0.9 miles. Possible fires out to 1.2 miles.

Hydrogen Bomb; 300-Kilotons

    Approxmiate blast at 1,500 feet above the surface:

    - Most structures destroyed out to 2.2 miles from the blast area.
    - Approxmiately 50% dead from radiation within 1.3 miles in one month's time.
    - Massive fires out to 3.5 miles; Possible fires out to 4.6 miles from blast area.



    Otto Hahn, Fritz Strassmann, and Lise Meitner discover Nuclear Fission,
    or the splitting of atoms by bombarding an atom of Uranium with neutrons.


    Albert Einstein, along with fellow scientist Leo Szilard, writes to President Roosevelt
    to warn that the U.S. must not fall behind Germany in atomic bomb research.


    Glenn Seaborg, a chemist from the United States, discover Plutonium.
    It has fissile properties like Uranium.

December 7th, 1941:

    Japan attacks the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.


    Physicist Edward Teller comes up with the concept of a Hydrogen fusion bomb.

    Army General L. Groves is named as director for the Manhattan Project.
    The Manhattan Project was a secret U.S. project to build an atomic bomb.
    Robert Oppenheimer (photo below) is recruited as the project's science director.

    A self-controlled sustaining nuclear reaction is achieved at the University of Chicago.


    Large scale production of plutonium begins at Hanford, WA.


    Trinity; This is the name for the first atomic bomb explosion at Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Eerie Trinity fireball less than 1 second old.
Click on the picture to see more Trinity photos.

August 6, 1945:

    The bomber, Enola Gay, a B-29 bomber plane, drops a 15-Kiloton Uranium bomb, called Little Boy, on Hiroshima, Japan.

August 9, 1945:

    Fat Man, a 21-Kiloton plutonium bomb, is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. Japan surrenders a few days later.


    The United States begins tests of the atomophere and water at the Marshall Islands, Pacific.


    The Soviet Union explodes a Plutonium bomb in Kazakhstan.
    This bomb's design was stolen by scientist, Klaus Fuchs, a German scientist, from the United States.


    President Truman authorizes research for Hydrogen bombs.


    Studies are conducted of the effects of blast and fallout in Nevada. Soldiers are exposed to a 21-Kiloton bomb 6 miles away.


    An A-bomb is tested in Australia by the United Kingdom.

    The United States tests it's first Hydrogen bomb at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
    The bomb is nick-named, Mike. (Photo below).


    The Soviet Union detonates a 1.6 mega-ton Hydrogen bomb in Kazakhstan.


    The U.S. Navy decides to carry Nuclear missiles.
    It places them on the submarine U.S.S. George Washington.


    President Kennedy urges citizens to build bomb shelters.


    On October 30th, the Soviet Union explodes the largest nuclear bomb ever called the Tsar Bomb. See details above.


    The Navy places a blockade on Cuba after discovering that the Soviet Union has been supplying them with nuclear weapons.
    This will be the beginning of the Cuban Missile crisis.


    President Kennedy signs the "Limited Test Ban Treaty".
    This treaty will ban nuclear testing in the air, underwater, or in space.


    Robert Oppenheimer's famous quote about the development of the atom bomb was given during an interview about the Trinity explosion.
    It was first broadcast as part of a television documentary called, The Decision To Drop The Bomb and run on NBC.

    Quote: "We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed; a few people cried; most people were silent.
    I remembered a line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince
    that he should do his duty and to "impress him" takes on his multi-armed form and says,
    "Now I am become Death; the destroyer of worlds".
    I suppose we all thought that, one way or another."


    Soviet Union and United Kingdom sign the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty along with many other nations.


    France tests a Hydrogen bomb in the southern Pacific.


    President Nixon and Soviet General Brezhnev sign the "Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty".
    This is an agreement to limit the number of nuclear weapons for each nation.
    This treaty is also known as the "SALT 1" treaty.


    The Arab and Israli Yom Kippur War puts the United States on nuclear alert
    because Isreal reportedly assembled nuclear weapons during that war.


    India explodes a nuclear device underwater in the Rajasthan Desert.


    President Reagan announces his plans for the "Strategic Defense Initiative".
    This anti-missile defense system was later referred to as "Star Wars".
    It would defend the United States against Nuclear attack from space.


    The U.S. deploys "Peace Keeper" intercontinential ballistic missiles to counter the Soviet SS-18's.
    Each Peace Keeper has 10 nuclear warheads.


    President Reagan and Soviet Leader Gorbachev sign the "Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty"
    to eliminate a certain class of nuclear weapons.


    President Bush and Soviet Leader Gorbachev sign the "Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty"
    which called for the removal of half of the stored Nuclear weapons for each country.
    This treaty was later called the "Start 1" treaty.


    The United States conducts it's last underground test of a nuclear weapon.


    The "Nuclear Non-Proliferation" Treaty is extended indefinitely by nations.


    The United Nations sends nations a "Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty" for it's member nations to sign.


    India conducts a nuclear test in an underground area.

    Pakistan conducts nuclear tests in response to India's tests.


    The United States and Russia sign the "Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty",
    whereby each will cut their arsenal down to 2,200 warheads by the year 2012.

    Iran is reported to be secretly building 2 nuclear facilities.
    An inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency reveals that there has been a program there to develop uranium enrichment.


    North Korea announces it's withdrawl from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.


    Pakistan announces that nuclear secrets have been passed to North Korea, Libya,
    and Iran by the head of their Nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan.


    North Korea announces that it possesses Nuclear weapons.


    North Korea tests a nuclear weapon for the first time.
    Threats begin against the United States.


    Danger with Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon?


      North Korea claims it has conducted a hydrogen bomb test. Threats continue.

    2017 and 2018:

    Threats continue from North Korea

    Final Comments:

    This website was designed and researched to aid you in understanding what Atomic bombs and Nuclear weapons really are.
    If they are ever used by one nation against another, our entire existence will change.

    Over the years, I have seen people build bomb shelters, and prepare for the worst. And I do worry about an 'accidental war' caused by some
    error as these have happened many times over the years.
    Or another Hitler?

    Pray for peace and read your Bible. May God bless you!

Other links:

Radiation and It's Effects

Are You An Atomic Veteran?

King's Core Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) Tutorial

For questions or comments please contact:
AZC(AW/NAC) Kimberly King
United States Navy