The Manhattan Project

Working Conditions

Louis Rosen

Louis Rosen, a native New Yorker and the son of Polish immigrants, was personally selected to work on the Manhattan project in Los Alamos while a graduate student in physics. Once in Los Alamos, Rosen was assigned to Edwin McMillan’s group, where he worked on implosion technology. Rosen remained in Los Alamos after the war ended and was considered the father of the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility. 

Roger Rohrbacher's Interview

Tell us your name.

Roger Rohrbacher: I'm Roger Rohrbacher. That’s R-O-H-R-B-A-C-H-E-R.

How did you come to Hanford?

Rohrbacher: In 1942 and '43, I was working for DuPont in an acid plant in Illinois and my buddies were disappearing. They ended up in Richland, so I got the map out and Richland, Pasco weren't even recorded on the map. I contacted them and I said, “What are you guys doing?”

They said, “We don't know.”

Roger Rohrbacher

Roger Rohrbacher was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 11, 1920. He graduated from Macalester College in 1942 with a degree in chemistry and physics. Rohrbacher joined the Manhattan Project and was sent to Hanford in early 1944. He worked as an instrument engineer at the B Reactor. Rohrbacher was tasked with measurign neutron flow and temperature pressure and radiation monitoring. 

Rex Edward Keller's Interview

Alexandra Levy: All right. We are here on April 23, 2015 with Mr. Rex Edward Keller. So first, can you please say your name and spell it.

Rex Keller: Oh, Rex Edward Keller, R-E-X E-D-W-A-R-D, Keller, K-E-L-L-E-R.

Levy: Can you tell me where and when you were born?

Keller: I was born in Saxton, Missouri, October 10, 1923.

Levy: And you grew up in Missouri?

Keller: Yes, yes, in Dexter, Missouri.

Irwin P. Sharpe's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it’s Friday, May 15, 2015, and I’m in Middlebury, Vermont, with Irwin P. Sharpe. And, my first question for him is to tell us your name and spell it.

Irwin Sharpe: Oh, I know that. Okay. It’s Irwin, I-r-w-i-n, initial P, Sharpe, S-h-a-r-p-e.

Murray Peshkin's Interview

Murray Peshkin:  Well, how did I get involved in the Manhattan Project? I was an undergraduate student at Cornell University. A group of about ten, who were studying physics. It was clear that we could not be kept out of the Army very long. They were looking for programs in which we could serve usefully. I really believed that there was something else behind it.

Murray Peshkin

Murray Peshkin is a Manhattan Project veteran and a physicist. He was recruited by the Army to assist the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos when he was an undergraduate student studying physics at Cornell.

Hans Courant's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation and this is Friday, April 10, 2015. We’re at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. I have Hans Courant with me, and the first question for him is please tell us your name and spell it.

Hans Courant: My name is Hans Courant, and it’s spelled C-o-u-r-a-n-t. It’s French for running, Courant, c’est moi.

Kelly: Right. So, are you a runner?

John Mench's Interview

Mench: I am John Mench and sixty years ago I was a young man with a wife and a baby girl, a good job in industrial deferment, a brand new home and a mortgage. Inside of a week or two, I had in my hand a ticket to a camp, an Army camp, an industrial deferment that was cancelled. I still had a wife and a baby daughter but they were now living with my wife’s sister, and my home was rented. The only thing that hadn’t changed was the mortgage.

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