Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

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University of Chicago, IL   Oak Ridge, TN   Los Alamos, NM   Trinity Site, NM

 
Historic Manhattan Project Sites
Trinity Site, New Mexico - October 4, 2008
There are two days a year one can visit the Trinity Site, where the world entered the Atomic Age on July 16, 1945, which are the first Saturday in April and the first Saturday in October, so one needs to plan accordingly to make the visit.  The site is located on White Sands Missile Range and the bus trip out, which is organized by the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, took about an hour and a half.  One can also convoy with the bus or come in a second entrance to the north by privately owned vehicle.  I found that there were many others like myself that had come from all over the country to visit this historic location.
 
Also in the area is the White Sands Missile Range Museum, White Sands National Monument, The International Space Hall of Fame and Museum, and Lincoln in Lincoln County which was made infamous during the Lincoln County war of 1878-1880 that included Billy the Kidd, Pat Garrett, and John Chisum, to name a few.  This is an very interesting town with with several historic buildings still maintained by the State of New Mexico as Museums, including the store that was being used as a jail that Billy the Kidd shot and killed two sheriff deputies in.


The Trinity Site Memorial and National Historic Site.


This was the first Ground Zero.


This tells you whether you will glow in the dark.


This entire area was at one time covered with Trinitite.  It has all been removed with the exception of one small area.


The remains of one of the tower foundations.  The bomb was placed at the top of the tower for detonation.


Only this foundation, which is was the NW corner, remains today.


An example of what the plutonium bomb would have looked like.  The case and and fins where not included in the test shot at Trinity.


Note the small pieces of Trinitite to the left and right of the sign.


Saved for posterity under this covering is the Trinitite.


This is the road that leads from the parking lot to the fenced in site.

 
The gate to the site.  During the visiting hours people are constantly entering and leaving the area.


Not seen in any of the photos was the presence of the White Sands Government security forces, that were monitoring the event.


"Jumbo".  There was concern during the program that the plutonium bomb would not explode properly because it was an implosion device.  Therefore "Jumbo' was manufactured in case the device did not work properly.  This is located in the parking lot and originally with its end caps weighed 214 tons.


The purpose of "Jumbo" was to capture all of the plutonium in case of a misfire so it would be spread all over the desert, as there was only enough produced at this point for this test device and the one dropped on Nagasaki.  In any event there was enough confidence by the scientists and engineers that it was not needed in the test.  The ends were later blown off by a test after WWII with high explosive.


The McDonald Ranch House.  This is where two half spheres of plutonium were assembled into what was called "The Gadget".  This side of the house faced Trinity Site which is two miles away and survived with just minor damage to the roof and windows.


Trinity Site is behind the house in this orientation.


This is the North East bedroom in which "The Gadget" was assembled.


Inside the NE bedroom.


The plutonium was driven down from Los Alamos in the back seat of an Army sedan in a lead box, which ruined the seat due to its weight.  The bedroom was made into a "clean" room for final assembly of the two pieces of plutonium.


Another view of the plutonium assembly room, which was sealed up during the assembly to prevent dust from entering..


This water reservoir was originally used for watering livestock at the ranch.  The Manhattan Project personnel on location used it for a swimming pool during the intense heat of the summer.


The windmill tower still stands even though the actual windmill has fallen.

University of Chicago, IL   Oak Ridge, TN   Los Alamos, NM   Trinity Site, NM
 

 


 
Home  Indiana Museums    Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows    2015 Airshows  2016 Airshows    2017 Airshows 
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center


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