Charles Shepard, BM1c

USS Salt Lake City CA25


USS SLC..."Enlisted Navy" Charles "Shep" Shepard, BM1c

US FLAG Charles "Shep" Shepard passed away on Sept. 26th, 2014.
Sept. 27th, 2014
Message from Rich Shepard, son of Charles A. "Shep" Shepard:

I was just told Dad passed away this evening while in Washington DC for the WWII get together. They flew 5 from his VA home there yesterday. My Brother said he was told they went site seeing today and Dad went to his room after and when they went to check on him he had passed. I have no news on a service yet but know he want to be buried at sea over the old SLC.
Sept. 1999
Message from Charles "Shep" Shepard

Hi Sandy

Glad to hear from you and enjoyed your website. The SLC has a reunion of members every two years. We are preparing to attend the one this year in Texas Oct. 15th.

We are fortunate to have almost two hundred shipmates still with us though we lose a few each year. Small groups keep in touch and visit back and forth.

The first I attended in '83 was the most wonderful that happened to me, to meet old shipmates and to know them as we passed each other. I was on board from Dec. 1942 to the very end having been on the Bikini test. I did the ship when they had her in Bremerton WA. for decontamination but at that time they would not allow me to board her.

I would be very interested in answering any question you have and will mention your father to those who attend this years reunion. The score card painted on the side of the ship would make a nice addition to your site also the war cruise map.

After the war I was on the USS Iowa, USS Missoui and the Columbus for a short time.

If you enjoy reading, I recommend "Time and Tide" by Thomas Fleming. It depicts an accurate tale of the SLC though the name is changed in the novel. It is supposed to be fiction but I read it start to finish (Unusual as I don't enjoy reading) and enjoyed every page as I feel sure the author knew someone quite well to have written such detail of the story of the ship.

Have a good day,
Charles "Shep" Shepard


Below is a letter that he and wife Dottie submitted to the

"After the war a "select few" volunteers were pointed to and informed they were going on a test in the Pacific. Told not to discuss what went on. We left Pearl Harbor and was told to leave our sea bags there and all personal items. About all we had was what we had on to take.

When we got to Bikini we moored the Salt Lake City fore and aft to a buoy. Then we went to an APA to live on. After the Bomb went off we were sent aboard the SLC to check damage and clean up some. No badge or protective gear was supplied. After each trip we would return to the Transport and they would run a giger counter over us, then take our clothes and we had to shower in salt water from the lagoon and return nude to run the counter again. Don't know what happened to the clothes as next day we were issued new clothes and go through the same routine, boarding and returning for check. The readings were recorded but nowhere in my medical records is it noted.

Living conditions were not nice. I have talked to several of my shipmates that were there and none of us remember how we got back to the states or remember the return on the APA-Rockbridge. I found out the name of the ship I returned on, when my wife wrote a Naval Agency in DC. I had a letter from a former crew member telling me that APA was so contaminated it was immediately sunk near Pearl. Don't know how I got to San Francisco and woke to be on the USS Iowa.

The time spent there was the worst few months of my life, the fighting was not nice but we had a reason to be there. I can see no reason to have been sent on this test after returning from 3 long years of being in active fighting.

I have been fortunate not to suffer overly much but have had stomach problems loss my hair, my teeth and have chronic joint pain, have periods of feeling really sick, unable to motivate for days, then it seems to pass and I feel half way normal. Even a glass of milk makes me ill at times and at one time I suffered bleeding from the rectum and eventually the Doctor informed me I had a parasite, eating the intestine wall that came from waters in the Pacific. I have severe gas and bloating, no matter what I eat or medication I take.

The VA Medical evaluates me and but no help or cure and informs me none of my problems are service related. Recently they seem to try to convince me I have post trauma syndrome. Recently I do dream more of the things I'd rather forget.

At reunions those of us who were at the test talk of the battles etc. But we never talk of the time spent on the test.

Charles A Shepard, BM1c
USS Salt Lake City, USS Iowa, USS Columbus, USS Missouri.

Operation Crossroads Veterans
More Information on Operation Crossroads

SLC Deck Logs Dec. 1942  Feb. 1943
Picture with ball-red-02 Deceased Bernard McMurray, 1998
Signed Autograph Book of shipmate ball-red-02 Deceased Paul G. Welborn

Shep, Dottie &/or Family Members have attended the following SLC Reunions:
1983  1985  1989  1991  1999  2001  2004


Message in a Barnacle Coated Bottle
MY SPEED ZERO-Battle of the Komandorski Islands
Ships Wake-1943 Newsletter



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