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.
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?
[We would like to thank the Rhydymwyn Valley History Society for donating this interview. The above photograph was provided courtesy of the Rhydymwyn Valley History Society.]
Myfanwy Pritchard-Roberts: My name is Myfanwy Pritchard-Roberts.
Interviewer 1: Okay, okay.
Roberts: And, I’m from Caernarfon [Wales].
Interviewer 1: Just leave it—
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.
Marge Shipley: As for housing, men would come too, because they would feel that they would get sent for their wives.
Shirely Tawse: What would you do then, take it up with the Tennessee Eastman?
Shipley: I would take it up with Eastman and do what I could. I’d quiet them down if I could. If I saw no reason for their squawks and thought I couldn’t do any better, I’d try to be as diplomatic as I could. I never was cross with anyone.
Shirley Tawse: Pat, do you live here now too?
Patricia Hansard: Uh-huh.
Tawse: I’d like to ask you how you first became interested. How you happened to go to Oak Ridge? You said before it was for the money.
Val Fitch: My name is Val Logsdon Fitch. It’s V-A-L L-O-G-S-D-O-N F-I-T-C-H. And the Logsdon is my mother’s maiden name. Where Val comes from, I have no idea. Except it was a favorite name of my mother’s.
Cindy Kelly: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you happened to end up at Los Alamos during the war.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy, and I’m in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, today. It is January 21, 2015, and I have with me Martin J. Skinner, Sr. The first question I’m going to ask him, though, is to say his name and spell it.
Martin Skinner: Oh, really. Martin Skinner, M-A-R-T-I-N. Last name Skinner, S-K-I-N-N-E-R.
Everett Weakley: My name is Everett Weakley. E-v-e-r-e-t-t, W-e-a-k-l-e-y.
Where did you go to school and how did you get to Hanford?
Richard Malenfant: I go by Richard Malenfant. That’s M-A-L-E-N-F, as in Frank-A-N-T, as in Tom, although I’m more comfortable going by my nickname Dick.
Cindy Kelly: Great, terrific. Now I wish I could ask you about Tahiti. Just remembered that you just got back from there! But let’s stick to the topic and ask you to tell us a little bit about who you were, I mean, what you’ve been doing, and then we can start with, let’s say, the Pond Cabin.