Operation Crossroads was an atmospheric nuclear weapon test series conducted in the summer of 1946 at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The series consisted of two detonations, a low altitude test and a shallow water test. The devices, each with a yield of 21 kilotons, were named shots Able and Baker. These were the fourth and fifth nuclear explosions in history (after Trinity (Alamogordo), Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. Lieutenant Laurence Bershad was assigned to S.S. Avery Island as Photographic Officer for Joint Task Force One: Operation Crossroads. In this capacity he was the photo editor of the campaign album Operation Crossroads.
Bershad’s Operation Crossroads photo archive includes 169 vintage silver prints (plus some duplicates,) various sizes, all generally in excellent condition, except two large prints that show heavy use. Many of these were included in the published album, but many others were not published.
In addition to the Operation Crossroads material the archive includes Bershad's collection of vintage prints of some iconic World War II photographs, official AAF prints of the atomic bomb explosion over Nagasaki, and the destruction of Hiroshima. Of particular interest and importance is Bershad's copy, inscribed to him by the photographer Joe Rosenthal, of the most celebrated World War II photograph, "Raising the Flag in Iwo Jima" This is one of the earliest prints, printed on shipboard in Guam, not a wire service copy. A complete description and inventory is available. Item #32540