Operation Redwing

Operation Redwing

Operation Redwing was a United States series of 17 nuclear test detonations from May to July 1956. They were conducted at Bikini and Enewetak atolls. The entire operation followed Operation Wigwam and preceded Operation Plumbbob. The primary intention was to test new, second-generation thermonuclear devices. Also tested were fission devices intended to be used as primaries for thermonuclear weapons, and small tactical weapons for air defense. Redwing is notable for having demonstrated the first US airdrop of a deliverable hydrogen bomb – test “Cherokee”. Because the yields for many tests at Operation Castle in 1954 were dramatically higher than predictions, Redwing was conducted using an “energy budget” – there were limits to the total amount of energy released, and the amount of fission yield was also strictly controlled. Fission, primarily “fast” fission of the natural uranium tamper surrounding the fusion capsule, greatly increases the yield of thermonuclear devices, and contributes the vast majority of the fallout – fusion being a relatively clean reaction.


 Land Fallout Studies, December 1956 [ 114 Pages, 16.94MB ] – This report presents the results of one of the 48 projects participating in the Military Effects Program of Operation REDWING, which included 17 test detonations.

 Operation REDWING, 1956 (Report Date: 01 August 1982) [ 442 Pages, 18.70MB ] – REDWING was a 17-detonation atmospheric nuclear weapons test series conducted in the Marshall Islands at Enewetak and Bikini atolls in spring and summer 1956. This is a report of DOD personnel in REDWING with an emphasis on operations and radiological safety.

 Operation REDWING, Operation Order Number 1-56, Task Group 7.1, 91 August 1982 [ 138 Pages, 16.94MB ] –

 Operation REDWING, Pacific Proving Grounds Project 31.2, Release Tone System. May – July 1956, 20 September 1957 [ 39 Pages, 2.75MB] – This report describes in detail the operation and components of a frequency shift/frequency modulation system which provides telemetering of bomb release time from an aircraft to a ground station.

 Operation Redwing, Preliminary Report.  In Flight Participation of a B-66 Airplane. October 1956 [ 71 Pages ] – The objective of this project was to measure the overpressure, gust, and thermal effects of a nuclear detonation on a B-66 aircraft in flight to determine its delivery capability.

 Operation REDWING. Technical Summary of Military Effects. Programs 1-9, 15 May 1981 [ 71 Pages, 20.49MB ] – The blast program for this operation was designed to establish the basic blast phenomenology for specific shots. The nuclear-radiation program, larger than in any previous operation, has as its primary objective the determination of fallout contours and collection of data in connection with the mechanism of fallout for use in the development of a fallout model. This program also included projects to study decontamination and nuclear-radiation countermeasures and initial neutron and gamma radiations.



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