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Operation Dominic
Dominic Chama 002.jpg
Dominic Chama
Information
Country United States
Test site Pacific Proving Grounds
Period April–November 1962
Number of tests 36
Test type Atmospheric / Underwater
Max. yield 8.3 Mt
Navigation
Previous test Operation Nougat
Next test Operation Storax

Operation Dominic was a series of 36 nuclear test explosions with a 38.1 Mt total yield conducted in 1962 by the United States in the Pacific.[1] This test series was scheduled quickly, in order to respond in kind to the Soviet resumption of testing after the tacit 1958-1961 test moratorium. Most of these shots were conducted with free-fall bombs dropped from B-52 bomber aircraft. Twenty of these shots were to test new weapons designs; six to test weapons effects; and several shots to confirm the reliability of existing weapons. The Thor missile was also used to lift warheads into near-space to conduct high altitude nuclear explosion tests; these shots were collectively called Operation Fishbowl.[2]

While Operation Fishbowl was administratively part of Dominic, it has its own Wikipedia page: Operation Fishbowl.

Operation Dominic occurred during a period of high Cold War tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, since the Cuban Bay of Pigs Invasion had occurred not long before. Nikita Khrushchev announced the end of a three-year moratorium on nuclear testing on 30 August 1961, and Soviet tests recommenced on 1 September, initiating a series of tests that included the detonation of Tsar Bomba. President John F. Kennedy responded by authorizing Operation Dominic. It was the largest nuclear weapons testing program ever conducted by the United States, and the last atmospheric test series conducted by the U.S., as the Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed in Moscow the following year.

The operation appears to have been undertaken by Joint Task Force 8.[citation needed]

ListEdit

Dominic Tests
Name Date Time (UT[3][4]) Location Elevation + Height Delivery Purpose Device Yield Notes
Adobe Error in Template:Dts: '1962-04-25' is an invalid date 15:46:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°35′24″N 157°19′12″W / 1.59°N 157.32°W / 1.59; -157.32 0 + 884 metres (2,900 ft) Air drop, free fall Weapons development XW-50X1-Y2 190 kt Verification test, similar to Aztec, Kingfish, Bluegill Triple Prime. Used a in a Mk-39 Mod-1 Type 3 drop case.
Aztec Error in Template:Dts: '1962-04-27' is an invalid date 16:02:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°37′12″N 157°18′36″W / 1.62°N 157.31°W / 1.62; -157.31 0 + 796 metres (2,612 ft) Air drop Weapons development XW-50X1-Y3 410 kt similar to Adobe, Kingfish, Bluegill Triple Prime, yield slightly lower than expected; achieved 2.21 kt/kg.
Arkansas Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-02' is an invalid date 18:02:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°34′48″N 157°15′36″W / 1.58°N 157.26°W / 1.58; -157.26 0 + 1,533 metres (5,030 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development XW-56X2 /Fife I 1.1 Mt Highly successful; parachute retarded, only 600' from aimpoint. 4.00 kt/kg.
Questa Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-04' is an invalid date 19:05:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°37′48″N 157°19′12″W / 1.63°N 157.32°W / 1.63; -157.32 0 + 1,594 metres (5,230 ft) Air drop Weapons development XW-59 670 kt Similar to Alma, Rinconada, Sunset, yield considerably lower than expected.
Frigate Bird Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-06' is an invalid date 23:30:-- Pacific Ocean 4°49′59″N 149°25′01″W / 4.833°N 149.417°W / 4.833; -149.417 N/A + 3,350 metres (10,990 ft) High altitude rocket (30–80 km) Weapons development W-47Y1, Mk-1 RV 600 kt Only US operational ballistic missile launch w/live warhead, Polaris A2 SLBM launched from USS Ethan Allen (SSBN-608), detonated within 2200 yds of target, completely successful, if somewhat contrived. Launched at around 12°26′53″N 134°51′14″W / 12.448°N 134.854°W / 12.448; -134.854.
Yukon Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-08' is an invalid date 18:01:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°37′12″N 157°19′12″W / 1.62°N 157.32°W / 1.62; -157.32 0 + 878 metres (2,881 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development Calliope II 100 kt 1st test of high fusion/low fission family; similar to Muskegon, Chetco, Nougat Arikaree, Hudson, Codsaw, Hoosic; yield slightly higher than expected.
Mesilla Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-09' is an invalid date 17:01:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°34′48″N 157°18′00″W / 1.58°N 157.3°W / 1.58; -157.3 0 + 747 metres (2,451 ft) Air drop, free fall Weapons development Mk-15-0 Zippo-I 100 kt Advanced primary and secondary concepts test, yield considerably lower than expected.
Muskegon Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-11' is an invalid date 15:37:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°35′24″N 157°19′12″W / 1.59°N 157.32°W / 1.59; -157.32 0 + 913 metres (2,995 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development Calliope IV 50 kt Advanced lightweight low fission concept, similar to Chetco and Yukon, slightly lower than expected yield.
Swordfish Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-11' is an invalid date 20:00:25.9 Pacific Ocean 31°14′42″N 124°12′43″W / 31.245°N 124.212°W / 31.245; -124.212 0 - 198 metres (650 ft) Underwater Weapon effect W44 less than 20 kt Full scale RUR-5 ASROC ASW rocket proof test, similar to Nougat Chena, fired from USS Agerholm (DD-826) at target 4348 yds away.
Encino Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-12' is an invalid date 17:03:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°34′48″N 157°18′36″W / 1.58°N 157.31°W / 1.58; -157.31 0 + 1,679 metres (5,509 ft) Air drop, free fall Weapons development XW-43Y5 500 kt Verification of reduced yield variant of HT-I Elder shot.
Swanee Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-14' is an invalid date 15:22:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°34′12″N 157°19′12″W / 1.57°N 157.32°W / 1.57; -157.32 0 + 896 metres (2,940 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development XW-65 ? 97 kt "Clean" ABM warhead test, similar to Bluestone, possible W-65 progenitor, highly experimental, yield lower than expected.
Chetco Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-19' is an invalid date 15:37:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°36′00″N 157°19′48″W / 1.6°N 157.33°W / 1.6; -157.33 0 + 2,105 metres (6,906 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development Calliope I 73 kt Advanced light weight concept, similar to Muskegon and Yukon, yield close to predicted, only 200' from target.
Tanana Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-25' is an invalid date 16:09:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°36′00″N 157°18′00″W / 1.6°N 157.3°W / 1.6; -157.3 0 + 2,752 metres (9,029 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development Calliope III 2.6 kt Fizzle with secondary fail, "radical" design.
Nambe Error in Template:Dts: '1962-05-27' is an invalid date 17:03:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°35′24″N 157°19′12″W / 1.59°N 157.32°W / 1.59; -157.32 0 + 2,176 metres (7,139 ft) Air drop, free fall Weapons development Mk-15-0 Zippo-II 43 kt "Unique" design, advanced concepts test, yield lower than expected.
Alma Error in Template:Dts: '1962-06-08' is an invalid date 17:03:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°31′12″N 157°12′36″W / 1.52°N 157.21°W / 1.52; -157.21 0 + 2,702 metres (8,865 ft) Air drop, free fall Weapons development XW-59 782 kt Similar to Questa, Rinconada, Sunset. 3.12 kt/kg.
Truckee Error in Template:Dts: '1962-06-09' is an invalid date 15:37:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°34′48″N 157°18′00″W / 1.58°N 157.3°W / 1.58; -157.3 0 + 2,125 metres (6,972 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development XW-58 210 kt Development and verification test for the Polaris A-3 weapon (3 MIRV), satisfactory.
Yeso Error in Template:Dts: '1962-06-10' is an invalid date 17:01:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°30′00″N 157°14′24″W / 1.5°N 157.24°W / 1.5; -157.24 0 + 2,537 metres (8,323 ft) Air drop, free fall Weapons development 16-M 3 Mt Advanced concepts test, similar to HT-I Koa, performed as expected.
Harlem Error in Template:Dts: '1962-06-12' is an invalid date 15:37:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°34′12″N 157°13′12″W / 1.57°N 157.22°W / 1.57; -157.22 0 + 4,160 metres (13,650 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development W-47Y2 /Tuba 1.2 Mt Successful, doubled W-47Y1 yield, 3.42 kt/kg.
Rinconada Error in Template:Dts: '1962-06-15' is an invalid date 16:01:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°33′36″N 157°13′48″W / 1.56°N 157.23°W / 1.56; -157.23 0 + 2,775 metres (9,104 ft) Air drop, free fall Weapons development Mk-15-2 XW-59 "Wall" 800 kt Increased yield warhead test, successful, similar to Questa, Alma, Sunset. 3.48 kt/kg.
Dulce Error in Template:Dts: '1962-06-17' is an invalid date 16:01:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°35′24″N 157°16′48″W / 1.59°N 157.28°W / 1.59; -157.28 0 + 2,771 metres (9,091 ft) Air drop, free fall Weapons development 52 kt Experimental lightweight, high efficiency design, similar to Mesilla, basic design adequacy confirmed.
Petit Error in Template:Dts: '1962-06-19' is an invalid date 15:01:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°34′12″N 157°16′48″W / 1.57°N 157.28°W / 1.57; -157.28 0 + 4,570 metres (14,990 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development Oboe 2.2 kt Advanced concepts test, second LRL fizzle, no secondary.
Otowi Error in Template:Dts: '1962-06-22' is an invalid date 16:01:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°34′48″N 157°18′36″W / 1.58°N 157.31°W / 1.58; -157.31 0 + 2,746 metres (9,009 ft) Air drop Weapons development Mk-15-2 Zippo-III 81.5 kt Advanced concepts test of "novel system".
Bighorn Error in Template:Dts: '1962-06-27' is an invalid date 15:19:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°22′12″N 157°14′24″W / 1.37°N 157.24°W / 1.37; -157.24 0 + 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) Air drop Weapons development Cello I-C 7.7 Mt Advanced concepts test, successful. 4.14 kt/kg.
Bluestone Error in Template:Dts: '1962-06-30' is an invalid date 15:21:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°31′48″N 157°15′00″W / 1.53°N 157.25°W / 1.53; -157.25 0 + 1,518 metres (4,980 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development XW-56X2 primary 1.3 Mt Similar to Swanee; 4.96 kt/kg.
Sunset Error in Template:Dts: '1962-07-10' is an invalid date 16:33:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°36′00″N 157°15′36″W / 1.6°N 157.26°W / 1.6; -157.26 0 + 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) Air drop Weapons development XW-59 1 Mt High yield advanced concepts test, similar to Questa, Alma, Rinconada, 4.06 kt/kg.
Pamlico Error in Template:Dts: '1962-07-11' is an invalid date 15:37:-- Kiribati (Christmas Island) 1°23′24″N 157°13′12″W / 1.39°N 157.22°W / 1.39; -157.22 0 + 4,370 metres (14,340 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development 3.9 Mt Advanced principles test for high-efficiency TN burn, successful, last Christmas Island airdrop; 0.934 kt/kg (experimental drops are low usually).
Androscoggin Error in Template:Dts: '1962-10-02' is an invalid date 16:18:-- Johnston Island 13°48′00″N 172°06′00″W / 13.8°N 172.1°W / 13.8; -172.1 0 + 3,130 metres (10,270 ft) Air drop Weapons development 75 kt Possible Ripple device, fizzle, retested in Housatonic shot.
Bumping Error in Template:Dts: '1962-10-06' is an invalid date 16:03:-- Johnston Island 14°36′00″N 168°18′00″W / 14.6°N 168.3°W / 14.6; -168.3 0 + 3,050 metres (10,010 ft) Air drop Weapons development Oboe 11.3 kt Retest of Petit, yield much lower than expected, test to improve yield-to-weight ratio.
Chama Error in Template:Dts: '1962-10-18' is an invalid date 16:01:-- Johnston Island 14°36′00″N 168°42′00″W / 14.6°N 168.7°W / 14.6; -168.7 0 + 3,650 metres (11,980 ft) Air drop, parachute retarded Weapons development Thumbelina 1.6 Mt Test of lightweight small diameter device, possible replacement for W-38, yield below predicted value.
Calamity Error in Template:Dts: '1962-10-27' is an invalid date 15:46:-- Johnston Island 14°36′00″N 168°24′00″W / 14.6°N 168.4°W / 14.6; -168.4 0 + 3,590 metres (11,780 ft) Air drop Weapons development 800 kt Third drop test of specific device to maximize yield to weight ratio.
Housatonic Error in Template:Dts: '1962-10-30' is an invalid date 16:02:-- Johnston Island 13°42′00″N 172°12′00″W / 13.7°N 172.2°W / 13.7; -172.2 0 + 3,700 metres (12,100 ft) Air drop Weapons development Ripple II 8.3 Mt Repeat of Androscoggin, successful, target accuracy within 100'; last U.S. nuclear weapon airdrop. 2.56 kt/kg.

ReferencesEdit

  1. U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office (December 2000). "United States Nuclear Tests - July 1945 through September 1992". http://www.nv.doe.gov/library/publications/historical/DOENV_209_REV15.pdf. 
  2. Dwayne A. Day (7 May 2007). "Space ghost". The Space Review. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/863/1. 
  3. Universal Time at Kiribati is 14 hours before local time; UT dates are one day before local date for UT times before 10:00.
  4. Universal Time at Johnston Island is 10 hours after local time; UT dates are one day after local date for UT times at or after 14:00.

External linksEdit

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