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March 9, 2022

Miss-Cue Wearing an A-Bomb Crown to Illustrate Another Misfiring of the Operation Cue Bomb, 1955

One test in the Operation Teapot series, in early 1955, was used to evaluate the potential impact of a nuclear attack on civilian communities. This joint U.S. Atomic Energy Commission - Federal Civil Defense Administration program, known as Operation Cue, measured how well houses, household items, food, shelters, metal buildings, equipment, and mannequins wearing everyday clothing would survive at various distances from a nuclear blast.

After several delays due to high winds, personnel began calling the test “Operation Mis-Cue.” During one such delay, Cue personnel descended on Las Vegas where six U.S. Army personnel from Camp Desert Rock crowned an unidentified Copa Girl at the Sands Hotel, “Miss Cue.”

On May 1, 1955, the Sands Hotel released photos of the showgirl being crowned “to illustrate another mis-firing of the Operation Cue Bomb.” Her crown was, of course, a mushroom cloud.

The detonation finally occurred on May 5, 1955.


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