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 Richard Leroy McKinley

Richard Leroy McKinley

Birth
Death 3 Jan 1961 (aged 27)
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 31, Lot 472, Map grid X 37.5
Memorial ID 5934 · View Source
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Nuclear Accident Fatality. His military grave marker states that he was a veteran of the Korean Conflict. At the time of death, his rank was Specialist 4th Class, United States Army serving with the Engineer Corps as a 52H-Nuclear Power Plant Mechanic Operator. On January 3, 1961 at 9:01pm, alarms sounded at the fire stations and security headquarters of the U.S. National Reactor Testing Station where the reactor was located. Investigation found two operators dead with a third dying later, and detected high radiation levels in the building. This was the world's first fatal nuclear accident; a control bar was manually removed causing a small, 3MW experimental BWR called SL-1 (Stationary Low-Power Plant No. 1) to be destroyed. He earned a Cold War Certificate. Besides McKinley, Army Specialists, John Byrnes and and Richard Carlton Legg, Navy Electricians were killed; McKinley was the youngest at age twenty-two years old and joined the military in 1957.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 23 Jul 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5934
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Leroy McKinley (1 Dec 1933–3 Jan 1961), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5934, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .