The Manhattan Project

Hal Behl

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After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from New York University, Hal Behl registered with the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel and was drafted into the Army. Although he was first placed in an infantry training unit, he was ultimately assigned to the Army Special Engineering Detachment and stationed at Oak Ridge.

He served as the Assistant Supervisor of the Engineering Department at the K-25 Laboratory. His primary focuses included Health Physics and design. He was part of the team that built and patented the adjustable mass spectrometer tube as well as a new high vacuum selector valve. While at Oak Ridge, he enjoyed exploring rural life, living off-base with his wife, Reggie. The couple went on to have three sons together.

At the conclusion of the war, Behl’s unit received two noncombat unit citations from the Army for their work. He was presented with the opportunity to go to Bikini Atolls for nuclear testing, but opted for discharge from the military. He worked as an independent consultant specializing in aerospace and weapon technology activities for over forty years. Today he is retired. He continues to serves as a Trustee of the National Museum of Nuclear and Science History and as a Board Member of the New Mexico Academy of Science.

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