Tybee Island Georgia is a godsend.  One beautiful little spot on this great planet we live on, all together.
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League 02/01
Tybee Island Weather Station
Tybee News
Island Art and Crafts Superstore 
Our Staff 
Live Cams 




ASSURE Press Release

 American Sea Shore Underwater Recovery Expedition

Phone 912-681-1394 Fax: 912-681-8478 


February 14, 2001  CONTACT:

Derek Duke (912) 681-1394



American Sea Shore Underwater Recovery Expedition (ASSURE) will present its recommendations regarding the missing thermonuclear bomb in Savannah River harbor on 7 p.m. Thursday evening, February 15th, at the Tybee Island City Hall; 403 Butler Avenue; Tybee Island, Georgia. ASSURE recommends that the missing nuclear bomb be located as soon as possible, and discussion and analysis begin immediately to determine the feasible alternatives for addressing the radiation and explosive hazards posed by the bomb.  “The U.S. has spent millions of dollars finding lost nuclear weapons in foreign countries. The only thing Savannah residents can believe at this point is that this bomb needs to be found,” said Derek Duke, a Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and President of ASSURE. The missing nuclear bomb is an “MK-15, Mod 0,”1 the first thermonuclear bomb deployed in the United States. The MK-15 was a “Teller-Ulam”2 thermonuclear design with an explosive power of 1.6 to 3.0 megatons--about 100 times the explosive power of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. The U.S. deployed 1200 MK-15’s in its nuclear arsenal between 1955 and 1965. The thermonuclear bomb has been missing since February 5, 1958, the day a B-47 aircraft carrying the bomb suffered a mid-air collision with an F-86 aircraft above Sylvania, Georgia. According to official reports, the damaged B-47 jettisoned the bomb into the water off the mouth of the Savannah River after unsuccessfully attempting to land with the bomb. A subsequent search failed to locate the bomb and officially ended on April 14, 1958. Forty-three years later, the Government still considers the bomb “irretrievably lost.” The real hazards--particularly the presence or absence of highly toxic plutonium--posed by the bomb are also in dispute. In sworn testimony to Congress in 1966, Assistant Secretary of Defense W.J. Howard stated that the Savannah River bomb was one of the two U.S. nuclear weapons lost up to that time that contained a plutonium trigger. The Air Force maintains its position that the plutonium “capsule” was never placed in the weapon, and disclosed a document in the chain-of-custody records to support its assertion. However, ASSURE believes this document is fatally flawed because it contains handwritten changes without proper annotation. Even if the bomb does not contain the plutonium trigger, it could contain plutonium in the second stage, or “secondary”, of the nuclear weapon. The MK-15 Mod 0 was a “Teller-Ulam” characterized by the use of either a plutonium or highly enriched uranium rod as a “sparkplug” in the thermonuclear reaction. Also present in the secondary is highly reactive lithium and highly toxic beryllium. Seawater corrosion and the presence of more than 400 pounds of aged, sensitive high explosives near these materials poses a substantial threat to Savannah--both city and river. ASSURE is a non-profit organization founded to locate the missing bomb. Many of its members are lifelong residents of the greater Savannah area and military veterans with extensive nuclear experience. “We know the dangers that this lost weapon can pose and we strongly recommend that it be searched for with new technology,” said Derek Duke, who added, “we want the weapon located and either removed or encapsulated and contained. In either case, Savannah deserves a full disclosure of the real risks.”



Click here to get your subscription to The Tybee News

this page!

Any resemblance in this material to any person is purely coincidental and is unintentional.
©2000, Tybee Bomb (dot) com. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 08, 2003 .