Post-Crossroads History of the Ex-USS Independence: Recently Declassified Documents and Images
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The archaeology of the Cold War can be said to involve “excavating” through long-sealed, once classified files. In the National Archives branch in San Bruno, California, the files of the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard contain a series of documents, all now declassified, which speak to the post-Crossroads history of the USS Independence. Dating from the incipient arrival of the USS Independenceat San Francisco in May 1947, the documents discuss important matters such as the retention of some of the Crossroads target vessels, such as Independence, their use in subsequent tests, radiation levels, and the decisions to remove machinery, stow radioactive materials in the ship, firing up the ship’s boilers to burn off the contaminated fuel oil left aboard, and finally the orders to dispose of it by sinking. Intermixed are more mundane documents that speak to the removal of small equipment, the installation of a watertight door to provide access at dock side, the shifting of berths, dry...