My name is Dick Belmont. Pilot in Barrier Squadron from 1961-1963.
Transferred to a P3 Squadron out of Moffet Field until 1966. Then joined
American Airlines until retiring last year. A friend and fellow Barrier
pilot told me about your website, and I grazed through the info until I got to
the material on the Atomic Testing.
I was on Christmas Island for a number of the tests. I was also on the
primary conrol aircraft during the high altitude test shot that went up off
of Johnston Island. You were right about a spectacular sight, also I
instantly learned that we as mere humans were playing with something that
we shouldn't be playing with. It was absolutely frightening. We were 14 miles
from bottom dead center when it went off about 42 miles up in the
About 11 years ago I was also diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
researching my military history, the VA approved a service related
disability pension due to exposure from Atomic Weapons testing and Agent Orange. (Two
tours flying low level missions in Vietnam.)
**My main reason in writing you this note is that I have been waging
man campaign in trying to inform vets about this service connected
disability. The VA is not pushing this information out there where any of us
can see it. We are basically on our own. A good source to contact to get
help is the local DAV Office (Disabled American Vets) in conjunction with the
local VA Rep.
Hope this info may be of some use to our old squadron mates.