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NOTE: Military Veterans who were exposed to harmful radiation at various atomic testing sites may qualify for the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act funded by the United States Department of Justice, if deceased, their family members may file the RECA Claim. In the event your claim is denied at the DoJ, I suggest you go to your nearest Veterans Administration and inform them of your exposure to radiation, they will help you through the Claims Process. If your Claim is approved at the DoJ, the payment will be a one time payment of $75,000 or if Compensation is approved by the Veterans Administration you will receive payments monthly.


11th Abn Patch Do you know where any of these former soldiers are now, living or deceased? They are personnel of the First Battalion 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment who were present in the 1951 nuclear tests on Yucca Flat at the Nevada Test Site. Participants in atomic bomb testing programs were sworn to secrecy, told not to ever talk about their experience at a nuclear test site under penalty of Law. 

In 1996, the U.S. Congress repealed the Nuclear Radiation Secrecy Agreement Act, which rescinded the Atomic Veteran “oath-of-secrecy”, thus allowing Atomic Veterans the opportunity to recount stories of their participation in Nuclear weapon testing and post test event activities, without legal penalty. By this time, however, many thousands of Atomic Veterans, the majority of whom were afflicted with a host of radiation induced health issues, such as cancer, had taken that “secret” with them, to their graves. Because of the threat of prosecution by the government, many Veterans never mentioned their involvement even to their own families. 😷 😨

Below are links to the names of soldiers of the First Battalion 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment that were present in the "Buster-Jangle" nuclear tests in the Fall of 1951. Please click links to see if you are one of these men or know where they are now. Thanks, John

| Headquarters Company | Company A | Company B |
| Company C | Company D |

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Photo on left is of James E. Owens at Camp Desert Rock in October 1951. James was in Company "A" of the 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment. If you know where James E. Owens is at present, please contact Editor of this web site and share your information. Second Photo of James Owens and John DeBusk taken on Yucca Flat at the Nevada Test Site in 1951. Click photo to enlarge.

Click Here To Read Bill S. 1283 -- To authorize the award of a military service medal to members of the Armed Forces who were exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of participation in the testing of nuclear weapons or under other circumstances. Tragically, more than 75 percent of Atomic Veterans have already passed away, never having received this recognition. They served honorably and kept a code of silence that most certainly led to many of these veterans passing away all too soon. Atomic Veterans were unwitting victims of nuclear testing and were paid so little to be used as Guinea Pigs by their own government.

Analysis of Radiation Exposure on test participants in the "Buster Jangle" atomic series of tests in 1951.  This document contains 194 pages and has history of the test detonations conducted on Yucca Flat in 1951. There is a complete list of the military units and their home stations who were present at the nuclear events at that time.

Morning reports and associated documents indicate that each of the four line companies (A, B, C & D) were augmented by temporary assignments of about 30 personnel from the corresponding companies in the 2d Battalion (Companies E, F, G,and H). The Editor of this web site hasn't been able to locate all of the 30 additional members assigned to the First Battalion, 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment.

Persons who may be eligible are: Onsite Participant The Act specifies a payment of $75,000 --- Downwinder The Act specifies a payment of $50,000 --- Ore Transporter The Act specifies a payment of $100,000 --- Uranium Miner The Act specifies a payment of $100,000 --- Uranium Miller The Act specifies a payment of $100,000

The purpose of this web site is to provide information to Atomic Veterans and others who were exposed to harmful nuclear radiation. Links and addresses are provided within this page where persons can locate their military records or to download forms for filing claims from this Web Site. A list of presumptive Radiogenic diseases associated with radioactive exposure covered by Law is also provided.

Many Laws have been passed to aid Atomic Veterans and others who were exposed to radiation and have experienced adverse health problems because of exposure to radiation.

The U.S. Department of Justice funds the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act and has millions of dollars to provide payment to persons who have become ill or died as the result of radiation exposure. All claimants must qualify for the RECA compensation.

Under the RECA Program, an ONSITE PARTICIPANT is defined as:
Onsite Participants,
the Act covers participation in a test involving the atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device above or within the Pacific Test Sites, the Nevada Test Site, the South Atlantic Test Site, the Trinity Test Site, any designated location within a naval shipyard, air force base, or other official government installation where ships, aircraft or other equipment used in an atmospheric nuclear detonation were decontaminated; or any designated location used for the purpose of monitoring fallout from an atmospheric nuclear test conducted at the Nevada Test Site. A claimant must establish both participation onsite in a test involving the atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device and a subsequent diagnosis of a specified compensable disease. “Atmospheric detonations of nuclear devices” means only those tests conducted by the United States prior to January 1, 1963.

There are additional Veterans that may be covered. They are those who served with U.S. forces occupying Hiroshima or Nagasaki, Japan during the period beginning on August 6, 1945, and ending on July 1, 1946; Veterans interned as prisoners of war in Japan during World War II or who served on active duty in Japan immediately following such internment, if their internment resulted in an opportunity for exposure to ionizing radiation comparable to that of Veterans who served in the forces occupying Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These RECA applicants must use the "Onsite Participants" forms.


The U. S. Department of Energy (DoE) in Las Vegas, Nevada has copies of the Film Badge Radiation Exposure History for persons who participated in nuclear tests, send for your film badge history today to obtain proof you were present at a nuclear test/tests.

Requests for Radiation Exposure Histories can be made by completing the form NSO-192

Nuclear Testing Archive
National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec)
Contractor to the United States Department of Energy
Mail Stop 400
PO Box 98521
Las Vegas, NV 89193-8521
Phone 702-794-5106

Download the NSO-192 Radiation Exposure Film Badge History form below, you will also need the Privacy Act Form attached to it, be sure to send both to the address above. If the person exposed to radiation is deceased, surviving family members may file a claim, they will need to sign an "Affidavit of Surviving Relative Form." Download the forms from this web site below in a PDF format. Send the NSO-192, the Privacy Act part and the Affidavit of Surviving Relative forms if the latter applies in your case. The links below provide all the necessary forms to begin a Radiaton Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Claim.


IMPORTANT -- The RECA Claims Forms are different for: Downwinders, Uranium Mine Employees, Uranium Mill Employees and Uranium Ore Transporters. The following Links are provided to download RECA Forms for these persons affected by Radiation Exposure: DOWNWINDERS FORMS ~~ URANIUM MINERS FORMS ~~ URANIUM MILLERS FORMS ~~ URANIUM ORE TRANSPORTER FORMS

Military Servicemen or family members can obtain Military Records from the National Personnel Records Center located in Saint Louis, Missouri. The form to request Military Records from the NPRC is located on this Web Site. Click This Link to download the form for Instructions and information sheet for SF-180, the request form pertaining to Military Records.

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Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA)

Atomic Veterans, Onsite Participants and others may be eligible for compensation

The RECA Act specifies a payment of $75,000 to individuals who participated onsite in a test involving the atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device, and later developed a specified compensable disease.

Persons who qualify are: Atomic Veteran, Onsite Participant, Downwinder, Uranium Mine Employee, Ore Transporter, Uranium Mill Employee.


NOTE: In the event the Atomic Veteran is deceased, family members may file a claim until the RECA cutoff date of July 9, 2022.


Map from Richard Miller's excellent book "Under The Cloud"
U. S. Fallout MapExcellent and thorough account of the nuclear testing era in America, the South Pacific and the Soviet Union. The book's focus is the open air testing in Nevada, and details of those tests and fallout trails in the 50s and 60s. The book is written in a style that makes it fascinating, not bogged down with complex scientific jargon. It sidesteps to describe what was going on in American culture at the time, in the cities that were virtually unaware they were downwind of deadly exposure. Author explains how it all occurred, why, and the tragic legacy it has left.

The atomic blasts of the 1950s and 1960s illuminated the Southwestern deserts, shattering windows in Las Vegas, and hurled billowing clouds of radioactive dust. For many years these clouds drifted across America poisoning animals and people in Utah and searing the boot soles of troops on maneuvers just yards from ground zero.

Click Here to view the 280mm cannon (11 inch) that fired the 15 kiloton atomic shell named "Grable" at the Nevada Test Site on May 25, 1953. The "Big Gun" photo was taken at The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Atom Spin     Another Big Bang     atom Spin



In 1988, Congress established a presumption of service connection for 13 different cancers in veterans exposed to ionizing radiation. Later changes brought the number to 16. Under provisions of the Radiation-Exposed Veterans Compensation Act (Pub. L. 100-321), veterans are presumed to be service connected if they participated in a radiation-risk activity and later developed one of the following diseases: leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia), cancer of the thyroid, breast, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, gall bladder, bile ducts, salivary gland, or urinary tract, multiple myeloma, lymphomas (except Hodgkin's disease), primary cancer of the liver (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis B is indicated), or bronchiolo-aveolar carcinoma, many more diseases have been added recently.

Click Here To View The Radiation Exposed Veterans Compensation Act - Public Law 100-321 ~~~ May 20, 1988

Veterans exposed to radiation during their military service and diagnosed with cancer of the bone, brain, colon, lung, or ovary will have an easier time applying for and receiving compensation for their illnesses if proposed changes to VA regulations are approved.

Recently there were proposals to add more cancers to the list of illnesses presumed to be connected to the military service of "Atomic Veterans," thereby lessening their burden of proof when seeking compensation.

Check Out These Informative Links:

CLICK THIS LINK For additional information pertaining to filing your claim with the Veterans Administration or the U.S. Department of Justice (RECA).

CLICK THIS LINK To watch "Excersise Desert Rock" video. This YouTube video shows how we lived and worked at The Nevada Test Site in 1951. The video also shows how we set up the test positions prior to the detonations and much more. After watching the 26 minute video, click your back button to return to this site. Thanks

CLICK THIS LINK To view the page listing the names of soldiers of Company "A" 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment who were present at the 1951 Nevada atomic tests. If you know where any of these men are now, contact the Editor of this Web Site, Thanks.

CLICK THIS LINK To read about my experience at the Nevada Test Site. I have uploaded a photo of the Editor of this web site at Camp Desert Rock in 1951 (soldier on right) Click Here to view.

CLICK THIS LINK To read the story about Atomic Veteran Thomas J. Roth, "The Soldier in the Sketch".

CLICK THIS LINK To read the story about The "Able" Test detonation that took place on 22 October 1951. This was the first detonation in the Buster Jangle nuclear test series. It was a dud and exposed participant soldiers to excessive amounts of harmful radiation.

CLICK THIS LINK To read about The Atomic Birdcage we guarded at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The First Battalion of 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment was selected to be the first guards of this secret atomic facility in the early 1950s. This page also displays rare images of the Birdcage bunkers.

CLICK THIS LINK To read a Radiation Compensation Act Update.

CLICK THIS LINK To the Utah Division of State History Page -- About the 1950s nuclear testing in Nevada and “The Utah Downwinders.”

CLICK THIS LINK To read Radiation Death and Deception. This is a State of Utah Web Site. The page describes what the "downwind" people of Utah were subjected to and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) cover-up during atomic testing at the Nevada Test Site.

CLICK THIS LINK To check out a list of publications you may wish to read pertaining to atomic bomb testing in the 1950s and 1960s.

JOIN NAAV TODAY The National Association of Atomic Veterans. Who is an Atomic Veteran? Atomic Veterans were and are members of the United States Armed Forces who participated in atmospheric and underwater nuclear weapons tests from 16 July, 1945 to 30 October 1962.

KILLING OUR OWN The Disaster of America's Experience with Atomic Radiation

CLICK THIS LINK To read June 2005 press release and information from the Defense Nuclear Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) for Atomic Veterans.

CLICK THIS LINK VA’s Ionizing Radiation Registry Free Health Exam alerts Veterans to possible long term health problems concerning radiation exposed Veterans during "The Cold War."

CLICK HERE Department Of Veterans Affairs -- Diseases Associated with Ionizing Radiation Exposure --- Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation and health care benefits for any disease that VA recognizes as related to radiation exposure during service. Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who died as the result of diseases related to radiation exposure during service may be eligible for survivors' benefits.


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The First Battalion of the 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky was the first military unit to be sent to the Nevada Atomic Test facility in late 1951. There would be 883 personnel involved in the testing of seven atomic bombs and would be the world's first "atomic warfare maneuver." Code Name for this series of atomic tests was named "Operation Buster Jangle." CLICK TO VIEW ATOMIC PHOTO PAGE


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