Wednesday, April 23, 1952 | 7:14 p.m.
A combat Marine assault team, preparing for specialized action in the next secret atomic test, possibly next Tuesday, are expected to penetrate deeper into an atom blast zone, than did Army troops in yesterday's spectacular field maneuvers.
Arrangements for the marine test are being completed under supervision of Lieut. Col. Webb Sawyer of Camp Pendleton, representing the Department of Defense, who was an observer at yesterday's "Operation Big Shot."
Ground troops in battle positions were a scant four miles away when the atomic bomb more violent than those which leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki exploded two-thirds of a mile above the barren desert yesterday.
But Dr. Alvin C. Graves, scientific test director, said it would have been possible to have gone to the heart of the 200-foot-wide target bullseye area as soon as the dust settled, and to have stayed there 30 hours before radioactivity would become dangerous.
This was the first admitted indication that combat forces can maneuver closer to the heart of an atom bomb blast with comparative safety. The marines may be the first to undergo this ground zero test.
There will be a lull of several days before the next blast, an AEC spokesman said yesterday that there would not be another atom blast until after a press conference next Monday night.
The next test, presumably Tuesday or Wednesday, will have marine teams participating, and will have no one excepting authorized AEC personnel as observers.