Doris Fiedler Story

Doris Fiedler Story

My Aunt's Story

My Aunt Doris Fiedler worked for the U.S. Forest Service in 1952 ,They transfered full grown Fir trees and planted them in concrete at the Atomic Test Site in Nevada. the story that I am writting is from letters she sent to her family about events that took place in her employment with the U.S. Forest service in April and May of 1952.

Left Berkely Friday afternoon for Indian Springs about 17 miles from Camp Mercury, when we landed a Corporal drove up in a jeep, trained his gun on us, ordered us out of the plane and into the operations office and stood us there, still with gun in position, and waited until he got word from a Major who was eating dinner that we were ok.

The office is a quonset hut crowded with tables, homemade chairs & stools, and equipment scattered all over: and dust on everthing,--the wind blows all the time. Every morning the men load up the truck, a station wagon and a weapons carrier with equipment and take them out to the field where they work setting up their experiments:

The area I work in is fenced and well guarded and most of the people here are like my own group: scientist or engineeers or Army administration:

First Shot was Tue April 22, 1952, Would have been the Tumbler/Snapper Tests

Second Shot May 1, 1952. It was posphoned from that Tuesday until the following Thursday because of bad weather. Thursday was a beautiful day. Just like the previous shot. I didn't get quite the thrill, because I knew more what to expect: but still it was exciting. We sat on the ground again, on same hill, facing the valley, but this time the newsmen and photographer's weren't there, and not many employees were allowed to go; only those directly connected with the experiments, I guess. The place where we sat was quite near the spot the LIFE photograph showed last week--about 10 miles from the explosion; it's where the Command Post is-- that's the building from which the whole thing is directed, radio communications with the drop plane, and all. It was a smaller shot than the first one I saw, But still good-sized and almost as pretty. This time the mushroom stem and cap joined, so there was dirt in the cloud for a while--the other time it stayed white and pink the whole time--but it gradually became prettier and was beautiful to see for 5 or 10 minutes before it became just another cloud.

My Aunt Doris Fiedler died of Cancer. On Aug 7, 1976 at the age of 56 . Strange that she was involved with Atomic test and died of cancer. My Uncle Dick her husband is still alive, he gave me these letters.