In early 1944, DuPont, the operating contractor at Hanford, foresaw the need for four chemical separation facilities. These facilities, designated the T and U plants at location 200-West and the B and C plants at location 200-East (the C plant was never built), would be located approximately ten miles south of the reactors.
Security & Secrecy
Donald Trauger: Yes, I’m Donald Trauger. And Trauger is T-R-A-U-G-E-R, Trauger. My mother-in-law when we first married would say auger, Trauger so she could remember it. [Laughter.]
Kelly: All right. Well, tell us how you came to Oak Ridge and how—what you did as your role in the Manhattan Project; where you were from and how you got involved.
Cynthia Kelly: Why don’t you start, George, by telling us your name and spelling it.
George Mahfouz: I’m George Mahfouz, last name is spelled M-A-H-F-, as in Frank, -O-U-Z, as in zebra.
Kelly: Is that Egyptian?
Mahfouz: It’s Middle Eastern. The name is Syrian.
Kelly: Anyways, sorry, next question—tell us about your background, you know, where you went to college...
Cindy Kelly: Give me your name and spell it.
Graydon Whitman: My name is Graydon Whitman, G-R-A-Y-D-O-N W-H-I-T-M-A-N.
Kelly: Great. Okay, can you tell us a little bit about your background: where you’re from and how you happened to become part of the Manhattan Project?
Lucille Whitman: I am Lucille Whitman, L-U-C-I-L-L-E W-H-I-T-M-A-N.
Kelly: Great. And how did you happen to—where are you from and how did you happen to get—
Michel: My name was Mary Lowe, L-O-W-E, and I married John Michel, M-I-C-H-E-L.
Kelly: Great. Is it possible that you can look toward me? So tell me, how and when did you come to Oak Ridge?
Michel: I came in November of 1944.
Kelly: And what had—where had you come from? What brought you here?
Robert Ellingson: My name is Robert Ellingson, and it’s spelled E-L-L-I-N-G-S-O-N.
Kelly: Great. Now if you could just tell us where you’re from, and how you happened to end up in the Manhattan Project.
Ellingson: I am from a little town in Idaho, and Idaho is west of Wyoming if you’re not familiar with the geography of the country. Most people look quizzical and say, “Iowa, that’s north of here, isn’t it?” But this is the one in the West.
Evelyn Ellingson: My name is Evelyn Ellingson, E-L-L-I-N-G-S-O-N.
Cynthia Kelly: And can you tell me where you’re from and how you happened to arrive in Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project?
Tinian Island was the launching point for the atomic bomb attacks against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. One of three islands in the Northern Marianas, Tinian is less than forty square miles in size and located approximately 1,500 miles south of Tokyo. The round-trip flight from Tinian to Tokyo took B-29s an average of twelve hours. This proximity to Japan is one reason Tinian served as the headquarters of the 509th Composite Group.
Hanford, Washington, on the beautiful Columbia River, was the site selected for the full-scale plutonium production plant, the B Reactor. Today a popular tourist desination, the Hanford Site proved crucial to the success of the Manhattan Project.