Note: The Navy Nuclear Weapons Association provides this
list as a service to our members. The Navy Nuclear Weapons
Association does not endorse these publications
or the views of their authors. The below publications have been
recommended by an NNWA member who is in good standing.
Recommended by and/or Comments
Adventures of An H-Bomb Mechanic: The Story
of a Top Boomer
Not much in the way of talking about the
rate. More of a travelogue. Most of the information on
weapons is erroneous i.e.: the MK 28 did not have an SEP nor
was it “Dial-A-Yield”, the MK 101 was an implosion weapon,
not gun type.
Parochial writing with technical
misinformation. Travels and Ports of Call interesting for
non-Navy readers. Not recommended for professional
The Age of Radiance
It is a remarkable account
which carries the reader from
the discovery of
radioactivity through nuclear
weapons and nuclear power to today with the waning of
nuclear energy. It is well written, interesting,
biographical of the important
semi-technical (enough to make
you think), highly detailed, and highly referenced and
sourced. I recommend it to all who have the least interest
in the nuclear age.
The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Openheimer
and Sherwin, Martin J.
Blue Jacket Admiral:
The Naval Career of Chick Hayward
Hayward, John T.
and Borklund, C. W.
Broken Arrow: The Declassified History of
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Accidents
Maggelet, Michael H.
and Oskins, James C.
Don G. Boyer
both excellent books on the nuclear weapons
programs, focusing on accidents and incidents
from 1945 to about 2008 and are the culmination
of years of painstaking research in the archives
of the military and civilian agencies associated
with nuclear weapons development, testing, and
operations. These two volumes took years to
prepare because of the tooth-pulling Freedom of
Information Act process it took to get hold of
the relevant documents, and the data is backed
up by excellent writing on the subject by two
very experienced U.S. Air Force weaponeers. The
books are detailed, factual and make for very
interesting reading for those of us who were in
books are particularly important today as
factual counterpoints to the idiotic
anti-nuclear agenda of some "experts" who
contend we fielded unsafe weapons for years, and
came close to full scale nuclear accidents many
times, which is, of course, patently false.
printed, these volumes can be obtained by
contacting Mr. Maggelet directly at
Broken Arrow Vol. II: A Disclosure of
Significant U.S., Soviet and British Nuclear Weapons
Incidents and Accidents, 1945 - 2008
Maggelet, Michael H.
and Oskins, James C.
Brotherhood of Doom - Memoirs of a Navy
Little, James, CWO4, USNRET
Ray C. Margeson
This book "...provides a look inside a national program
that was shrouded in secrecy, during the cold War... details
the dedication and patriotism of a small group of sailors
that were denied much of the liberty and freedom their
fellow citizens enjoyed to insure the survival of America in
the event of a nuclear war."
Dark Sun: The Making
of the Hydrogen Bomb
Campbell has another hit looming on our horizon. His latest
novel, and second in the exciting series of international
conspiracy and modern naval warfare, EMPIRE RISING,
was released in February, 2015. The NNWA was among the
first to receive a review copy and I can tell you this novel
far exceeds the publishers’ hype. Set in a near-future era,
EMPIRE RISING focuses on decades of Asiatic
treachery and a government plot to eliminate the US Pacific
Fleet while gaining control of the world oil supply and the
international economy. I’m reminded of the Japanese
strategic posture prior to their attack on Pearl Harbor. In
addition to lots of sea time, the book has intrigue ashore,
and a love interest woven into the plot.
to the story contains a helpful list of principal
characters, amplified into a total-list addendum,
essentially an order of battle, at the back. The action is
suspenseful and believable with potential technical minutiae
smoothed-out for enjoyable reading. The story tempo is
fast, continuous, and sensational. Campbell effectively
employs many, short chapters to quickly move from one
complementary scene to another. The technique is highly
reminiscent of recent, multi-faceted television drama
mini-series. Beware however, this technique and Rick’s
writing is not conducive to a good night’s sleep!
EMPIRE RISING is impossible to put down! I
thoroughly enjoyed EMPIRE RISING and
emphatically recommend it to you!
Rick was kind enough to donate two copies of
EMPIRE RISING to the NNWA. One will go into our
archives along with other members’ writings and memoirs.
The second, signed by the author will be given to one of our
members as a Door Prize at the October reunion in San
Ice Station Nautilus
This year, as in 2014 and 2015, NNWA member Rick Campbell
produced a new naval thriller; this one entitled “Ice
Station Nautilus”. His previous efforts; “The Trident
Deception”, and “Empire Rising” were cited by professional
reviewers as exciting as “The Hunt for Red October” by Tom
Clancy. I think his latest offering; “Ice Station Nautilus”
is equal, if not superior to, his previous novels. I was
provided an advanced, uncorrected proof copy to read and
review for you. The final release is expected in June or
July. I completely enjoyed the reading experience and spent
several late nights racing through the chapters. As in the
past, Rick has promised to provide two copies of the first
release to the NNWA; one for our memorabilia library and a
second as a door prize to be awarded at the dinner dance of
our Indianapolis reunion. For your interest and pleasure I
present my thoughts upon reading “Ice Station Nautilus”.
Sometime in the near future old rivals with deeply held
animosities clash at the top of the world. Reminiscent of
naval experiences in the second half of the twentieth
century, the new Russian Navy, driven by misguided motives,
challenges American sea power and American skills in a
lethal game of submarine cat and mouse.
Beneath the ice submarines clash in encounters that can only
lead to catastrophe. On the ice island above, Russian and
American Special Forces battle for control of Ice Station
Nautilus with its prize of advanced technology.
In the midst of the confusion and life-threatening action we
again find National Security Advisor Christine O’Connor and
Senior Military Aide Capt. Steve Brackman, USN whom we know
from Campbell’s previous novels; “The Trident Deception”,
and “Empire Rising”. Their wit, guile, and courage are
challenged to the breaking point with unforeseen results.
“Ice Station Nautilus” is a taut story laced with technology
at once fantastic and believable. Ricks’ use of staccato
transitions from one chapter and sub-chapter to the next
heightens the reader’s apprehensions and demands you rush
onward to relieve the growing tension. “Ice Station
Nautilus” is exciting, spellbinding, and difficult to put
down. I strongly recommend it to you for a tense summer
The Making of The Atomic
The Navy I Remember
Danklefsen, Ralph, CWO, USN
Richard Linkroum, former
Director of Programs for NBC.
Ralph Danklefsen, Chief
Warrant officer, USN (Ret) joined the Navy in 1931 with his
Naval career ending in 1957. The years he focuses on are
not only the war years; he recalls fading images of the
peacetime Navy of the twenties and thirties, the days of
four-pipe destroyers, steam driven ships, and station duty
in the Asiatic Fleet. His book is funny, cheerful, exciting
in a dead-pan way, and authentic. Ralph writes from a vivid
memory in a sailor’s dialect that sounds realistic even to
those of us who weren’t there. When Ralph sits down at his
word processor, he just naturally slips into sailor talk - -
and a smart editor let it be.
This book is an easy-reading and interesting
recollection of the years between the wars through WWII and
Korea that recounts what it was like in the “Old Navy”.
Simply reading the table of contents is an adventure in
itself with its’ listing of fourteen ships and shore
stations. I remember reading of his escape from Tsingtao,
China on the last US Navy ship to leave the port before the
Japanese occupation. His history extends from horse-drawn
wagons to nuclear weapons and sophisticated aircraft. This
is a book for all sailors to read.
Nuclear Weapons And Aircraft Carriers: How The Bomb Saved
The U.S. Navy entered World War II with seven
aircraft carriers and finished the war with nearly one
hundred. However, with the advent of the atomic bomb in 1945
and its impact on strategic thinking, the future of naval
aviation looked bleak. Rapid demobilization after the war
eliminated many carriers, and most policy makers believed
that future wars would be fought with nuclear weapons
delivered by land-based aircraft, a method patented by the
new U.S. Air Force.
During the so-called "Revolt of the Admirals," respected
naval leaders lobbied for the Navy's role in the new era.
Arthur Radford and Arleigh Burke, who eventually became the
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the chief of naval
operations respectively, as well as Chief of Naval
Operations Louis E. Denfeld risked their careers to speak
out in support of enabling aircraft carriers to transport,
target, and deliver nuclear weapons. In Nuclear Weapons and
Aircraft Carriers, Jerry Miller traces this struggle, which
also involved serious conflicts with the Air Force and
ultimately led to innovations in the design and engineering
of carriers and aircraft.
United States, An Illustrated History
Gibson, James N
RETURN OF THE ENOLA GAY
Tibbets, Paul W.
Chapter 1 - Strange Destiny First Paragraph:
“From the pilot’s seat of my airplane, I saw the city
shimmering 6 miles below in the bright sunlight of an August
morning. Suddenly, there was a blinding flash beside which
the sun grew dim. In a millionth of a second, the
shimmering city became an ugly smudge.”
His early airplane days started in Florida
where he first real airplane experience was as a bombardier
to his pilot Doug Davis. Davis had the contract with the
Curtis Candy Company to “distribute” Baby Ruth Candy bars
throughout the region. They did this by throwing them out
of the plane over such places as the beach and sporting
events around Hialeah Florida.
Later on the experiences as a Second
Lieutenant working with Lt Colonel George Patton who was in
charge of Tank Training at Fort Benning Georgia.
His experiences during the Second World war
in Europe and North Africa marking Mr. Tibbets as the man
who would be picked for the most important mission the world
The recruiting of his flight crew is an
interesting read and also the treatment of the crew as
“glory boys”. All because no one knew exactly what was
going on and why were they so special. The way they handled
security violators was novel in its own way also.
The entire book kept me captivated and I
personally found it very interesting.
Taking A-Bombs To Sea
No assigned ISBN
Ramage, James D. RADM, USN
Article, Naval History Vol. 9 Number 1. United States Naval
Target Hiroshima: Deak Parsons and The Creation of The
ISBN: 1-250-06127-X / 978-1-250-06127-0
Dusty Rhodes made
mention of this techno-thriller in an email chain about
firearms goofs in books, TV shows and movies. He said that
he enjoyed the book but found one HUGE mistake about the
current US service pistol. In his 1st edition,
reference is made of how one character laments the
retirement of the Colt 45 in favor of the current Llama
9mm. The explanation for the retirement was the Colt’s
propensity to jam. Dusty said that he had a conversation
with the author, a retired Commander bubblehead (to you
landlubbers that means he was a submarine sailor), and
pointed out said errors. The author told Dusty that he will
get the errors fixed in time for the paperback edition. Mr.
Campbell went on to tell Dusty that he learned that factoid
from “a navy captain doing inspections on the boats.”
Let me tell you a bit about the book
and then we will delve into the faux pas in question. Don’t
get too worried about me spoiling the book for you. Most of
what I am going to tell you is on the novel’s back jacket.
Iran is going to go nuclear in a few
days. Israel has asked for US help in destroying the
Iranian nuclear assembly area. America declines. Soon
after, the USS KENTUCKY, an Ohio-class missile boat,
receives an authenticated launch authorization from the
National Military Command Center in the Pentagon. The
orders are to fire all of her 24 Trident D-5 missiles, all
with eight warheads each, at various targets in Iran. After
receiving the order, the KENTUCKY goes radio silent.
And Washington DC goes ape-shit.
Leading the investigation into what
happened, and the plan on preventing the KENTUCKY from
destroying Iran, is the National Security Advisor, Christine
O’Conner. Naturally, she’s described as being ultra-hot.
So let’s skip forward four hundred and
twenty three paperback pages. The CO of the KENTUCK has
brought the ship to BATTLE STATIONS MISSILE. The skipper
has reservations that his crew will carry out the launch
order so he orders the COB- Chief Of the Boat - to arm
himself with a weapon drawn from the ship’s armory.
“Perusing the assortment of weapons in the small arms
locker, he selected a 9mm Beretta semiautomatic pistol. The
rifles and shotguns were meant for topside watches and would
be unwieldy in the submarine’s confined spaces. As he
counted the number of rounds in the magazine, he wished they
still had the Colt 45 handgun. The 45 had been abandoned in
favor of the 9mm due to the propensity for the Colt’s first
round to jam. But (Master Chief Petty Officer)
Prashaw believed the Colt would have proved valuable today.
The first round jamming would have given both parties a
final opportunity to reconsider their actions.”
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Oscar?
Let’s get super nitpicky. First, it’s
“Colt .45”, as in Colt DECIMAL 45. As in a unit of
measure. Specifically, the bore diameter of the pistol’s
barrel is forty-five hundredths of an inch. English
speaking nations liked to measure caliber in inches. The
foreign language speakers like to measure bore diameter in
millimeters. Secondly, a Colt DECIMAL 45 could also be the
classic revolver as seen in thousands of western movies.
No, the author was not alluding to the Colt Single Action
Army M 1873 “Peacemaker” revolver in caliber .45 Colt. What
the author meant was the M1911A1 semiautomatic .45 ACP
pistol, as made by Colt, Remington Rand, Ithaca Gun Company,
Singer Sewing Machine and Union Switch and Signal. (While
the performance of the cartridges .45 Colt and .45 ACP are
roughly equal, they are NOT interchangeable.)