Lake Charles man witnessed first test of hydrogen bomb - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles man witnessed first test of hydrogen bomb

KPLC-TV KPLC-TV
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

A Lake Charles man who served in the Navy at the end of World War 2 later served during the early days of testing for the hydrogen bomb. Self was only 17 when he signed up with the U.S. Navy in the waning days of World War 2. It was May 1945.  Years later, during the Korean War, Marvin found himself in the Pacific observing the first test of a hydrogen bomb.

"It was 1951. The Korean War was going on. We suspect Russia was spying on us." 
 
Self was stationed near the Marshal Islands at Enewetak (N-O-wee-tock Atoll) observing a historic occasion.

"We were all standing around. It went off like daylight early in the morning. It was just a big flash. Several seconds later, the sound waves hit, knocking several people down. "

Self says not everyone in the region knew what was being test.

"When they got to zero, it was detonated. It lit the sky up for miles. Ships 30, 40 and 50 miles away saw the flash. We told them a tanker of fuel had exploded because they didn't want them to know."

He said the entire operation affected him the rest of his life.

"I knew some of the things that could happen, you know, if we weren't careful. I think it made me appreciate life more. "

After his military service, Marvin Self went on to an oilfield career with Magcobar drilling fluids. He turns 90 on May 28. 

Copyright 2017 KPLC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Boil advisory lifted for Town of Oberlin

    Boil advisory lifted for Town of Oberlin

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 1:44 PM EST2017-11-21 18:44:32 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    The Town of Oberlin has been placed under a boil water advisory until further notice due to a Cleco fuse. For more information, call Superintendent Robert Smith at 337-389-9157 or 337-639-4333.    Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    The Town of Oberlin has been placed under a boil water advisory until further notice due to a Cleco fuse. For more information, call Superintendent Robert Smith at 337-389-9157 or 337-639-4333.    Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • Barbe High running back recovers from devastating injury

    Barbe High running back recovers from devastating injury

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 12:50 PM EST2017-11-21 17:50:43 GMT
    (Source: website)(Source: website)

    Dana Fontenot was a bright kid with a big future, fighting for the starting running back position on the Barbe football team. 

    More >>

    Dana Fontenot was a bright kid with a big future, fighting for the starting running back position on the Barbe football team. 

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Showers likely this afternoon before the sunshine returns for our Thanksgiving

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Showers likely this afternoon before the sunshine returns for our Thanksgiving

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 12:11 PM EST2017-11-21 17:11:50 GMT
    Showers possible this afternoonShowers possible this afternoon

    For the rest of today, we will see cloudy skies with showers developing in the afternoon. The rain is more likely along the immediate coastline and up to the I-10 corridor.  Rain chances will go up to 30-40% this afternoon and into the evening hours. After sunset, we could still have a few lingering showers, but they will be coming to an end. Today should be the best day for any rain for the foreseeable future. Temperatures should reach the low 70s today.

    More >>

    For the rest of today, we will see cloudy skies with showers developing in the afternoon. The rain is more likely along the immediate coastline and up to the I-10 corridor.  Rain chances will go up to 30-40% this afternoon and into the evening hours. After sunset, we could still have a few lingering showers, but they will be coming to an end. Today should be the best day for any rain for the foreseeable future. Temperatures should reach the low 70s today.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly