Up and atom, Atom Ant

The negative effect looks a bit more dramatic than the fading black and white from which this picture of my old destroyer came.

If you look at the photo above and the one from yesterday’s post, you might see they are somewhat similar. Actually, they are the same photograph only I used a negative special effect on my digital photo program that brings out the atomic cloud/wave/whatever it is better than the old black and white I used yesterday.

Actually, the photo has something of a special meaning to me. The ship is the destroyer U.S.S. Agerholm, on which I served some 30 years ago. I wasn’t on the ship when this picture was taken. That was in 1962 when the “Skaggy Aggie” as we called her was part of a series of atomic weapons testing known as Operation Dominic which was held in the Pacific Ocean. The Agerholm fired a nuclear anti-submarine rocket, or ASROC, at a target some 4,300 yards away. This is one of the many reasons I am glad I wasn’t on the Agerholm back then because it just is not very desirable to be close to any nuclear weapon going off, much less a nuclear torpedo, which is what this ASROC was.

This is how the Agerholm appears these days. At least, this is how the pair of 5-inch gun mounts appear today under some 400 or so fathoms of water off the Southern California coast.

The Agerholm was put out of service about seven months after I left her and the Navy. I later learned that the ship was sunk as part of a Tomahawk missile test in 1982. Today, the Aggie is known as “Seamount Agerholm” and serves as a focus for scientists who study how little cities of aquatic life take hold and flourish around sunken structures.

While I know the ship is much more than junk littering the bottom of the eastern Pacific, it still is kind of hard to look at it sitting there. I lived on that ship for about a year and traveled to a number of cool places in the western and southern Pacific. The result of the photo is kind of like looking at your home or apartment sitting way down in the deepest recesses of the ocean. It’s kind of sad in that respect. But maybe it is doing some fishes some good.

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