Stephane Groueff: Yes, now we’re recording, Dr. Hilberry.
Corporate Involvement in the Manhattan Project
[Interviewed by Cynthia Kelly and Tom Zannes.]
Tell us your name.
Louis Turner: My name is Louis Turner. L-O-U-I-S T-U-R-N-E-R.
Arthur Squires: Keith is a personality.
Stephane Groueff: He is kind of a personality.
Squires: Keith is a personality and I worked with this man seventeen years, shy two weeks.
Groueff: So you know him very well.
Squires: I know him very well.
Groueff: Would you describe him, during the war especially, because he’ll be one of my main heroes and I want to present him as colorful as possible.
Arthur Squires: And I probably did not appreciate, during the war itself, the extent to which this was such a remarkable effort. Kellex – I am sure some of this you have already heard. Kellex was put together by M.W. Kellogg Company pretty much on a command basis. They just went to the top people all over the industry and got the top instrument man, the top man in the power field, and top people in compressors and all the various phases of the project.
Groueff: Hello? Hello? Recording, San Francisco, Berkeley, February 9, 1965.
Gilbert Church: During the construction period there were several fellows that I could suggest you see. One of them would be Phil Gardner, for example. He was a recruiter on the road, and that was one of the biggest problems that we had, was getting manpower. He would know all the detail of that. So would Buster Harris, Bill Taylor—they were associated with the operation of the camp on Burton on a day-in day-out basis.
Stephane Groueff: Is there a movie about Hanford?
Sir Hugh Taylor: I had been requested by the British Government to find out certain things. They wanted, for example, to know whether they could use this thing and the General Electric Company made it available to them on the condition that their affiliate in England was entrusted with the responsibility of supplying it. It was the British Thomson-Houston Company [in] Rugby.
Then another job that I did for them, I got the Shell Oil Company in California to give me—
Stephane Groueff: Shell Oil.
Groueff: And so you have the tank. You have all these military things. And then you finally got the atomic bomb.
Groueff: What date did [General Leslie] Groves come to you?
Keller: That is all in the book.
Groueff: That was in ’43.
Keller: You will get that all out of the book.
Stephane Groueff: Hello, recording January 19, 1965, Florida, Coral Gables. Mr. Hobbs, H-O-B-B-S.
J.C. Hobbs: I was born in West Virginia, just west of Pittsburgh up in the panhandle. My father and mother were both educators and in 1893 I was five years old, we came to Florida. He was an educator and also an Evangelist. We stopped in Northern Florida around Umatilla and Mt. Dora and Orlando, that area, for three years and then in ’96 we came into Miami.
Groueff: He was a school teacher?
Keller: My father was a very poor boy. And, in fact, their family had been broken up when he was eleven years of age. And he was indentured to a Mennonite preacher farmer in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania who raised him. And when he was twenty, he went into business as a horse dealer in the town.
Groueff: Your father was a poor man?
Groueff: And not educated?