The Manhattan Project

Race for the Bomb

William Lowe's Interview

William Lowe:  I was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in the year 1920. Within a few years, my parents had moved to Westfield, New Jersey, where I grew up. But upon reaching 18, I went to college at Purdue University. It was 700 miles from home. By train, it took a day. 

I would say that my 93 years have been dominated by atomic bombs, war, in particular World War II, and later by people uses of atomic energy. What I will do is try to convey, more or less chronologically, what happened.

Dunell Cohn's Interview

Cindy Kelly: It is January 14, 2014, and we are in St. Louis, Missouri. And I want to ask the first question of you, which is to tell us your name and spell it. 

Dunell Cohn: My complete name is Dunell Edlin Cohn, D-U-N-E-L-L. Edlin is E-D-L-I-N. And the last name is Cohn, C-O-H-N.

Kelly: Very good. 

Peggy Bowditch's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and today is Thursday, November 7, 2013, and I have with me Margaret Parsons Bowditch. And my first question to her is to tell me her name and spell it.

Peggy Bowditch: Peggy Bowditch, that is B-o-w-d-i-t-c-h.

Kelly: Thank you. And can you tell me something about who you are, when you were born and where you were born?

Thomas O. Jones' Interview

I was in the Army drafted, classified for counter-intelligence work for reasons I will never understand.  I got into that, investigative work as an enlisted man and after about a year I was commissioned also in counter-intelligence work.  I continued there in the 6th service command in Chicago in that kind of work.  One day to my surprise I found myself in the main office of the G-2 part of the service command there.  A man from Washington was due there, an officer, for unspecified reasons.  It happened to be a day on which there was a large me

Thomas O. Jones

Thomas O. Jones volunteered to join the Army before the start of WWII. As the war began to unfold in Europe, Jones was placed in a sub-organization of the Army called the Counterintelligence Corps. Eventually, his work in the Counterintelligence Corps led him to being involved with the Manhattan Project. Jones oversaw many of the operations taking place in places like Chicago, Decatur and Ames, IA. He recounts witnessing three of the five bomb testings during his time working on the project.

Norman Brown's Interview

I was in the SED, the Special Engineer Detachment and I worked in what was then called D-Building and with my college James Gergen I purified all the plutonium that went in the Nagasaki bomb.  That’s what I did.

The purification that we used was purely in the liquid phase. We worked with solutions of plutonium nitrate and put it through a series of chemical processes to get out all the impurities.  But I want to go back because I think more interesting than the chemistry of plutonium is the whole process, the procedures that we went through.  

Harold Hasenfus' Interview

 

 

 

I was a member of two Special Engineer Detachments: I worked at the University of Chicago at the Metallurgical Laboratory and I also worked in Oak Ridge Plant, conceived and designed by Philip Abelson, who is probably here today. I lived in the barracks area when I was at Oak Ridge and I lived in an apartment with three other soldiers when I was in Chicago.

Theodore Rockwell's Interview

 

Well I was very young at the time. I went down there in 1943, down to Oak Ridge, TN.   They were interviewing at Princeton where I was going to school. They guys said that they had a very important war project going on down there. And I said, “Oh what’s it all about?” 

And they said, “Oh, we can’t tell you what it’s all about.”

So I said, “Gee, why should I go at a place if you can’t tell me what it’s all about.”  

Robert Furman's Interview

Robert Furman: Robert Furman. F-U-R-M-A-N. I was an assistant to General Groves in the Manhattan District, in his Twenty-First Street offices here in Northwest. And I joined him in late autumn of ‘43 and left him right after the war—right after the end of the war.

Cindy Kelly: Can we—just to—no one’s going to hear what I say, so. And don’t feel that I’m interrupting you because the beauty of editing is we can cut and paste things.

Furman: Sure.

Lawrence Bartell's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, and this is May 9, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We’re interviewing Lawrence Bartell. Dr. Bartell, can you please say your name and spell it?

Bartell: My name is Lawrence Sims Bartell, I am the son of Lawrence Sims Bartell, but I’m not “junior” or “the second” or anything like that. How can that be? 

Kelly: How do you spell your name?

Bartell: L - A - W - R - E - N - C - E    B - A - R - T - E - L - L.

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