Video interviews: What was it like to work on the Manhattan Project?
Their work created one of the most devastating weapons in human history but much of the history of The Manhattan Project and Los Alamos remains uncovered. That`s why, some 70 years after Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves began searching for a location to base their top secret research into the creation of the first atomic bomb, The Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society have launched a projected to document the Voices of the Manhattan Project. In total, 130,000 people were involved in the project which cost over $2 billion ($26 billion today). In spite of these numbers some fear that the personal history of the project would be lost.
Joan Hinton: Woman who - after helping to build atomic bomb - moved to China to become a Maoist
Joan Hinton, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, but spent most of her life as a Maoist in China, has passed away. She was enrolled into the Manhattan Project in 1944 while still a graduate student. At the secret laboratory at Los Alamos she was part of a team that built two reactors for testing enriched uranium and plutonium. When the first atom bomb was detonated near Alamogordo she and a colleague, riding a motorcycle, avoided Army jeep patrols and hid near a small hill to witness the event. Hinton believed that the bomb would be used for a demonstration explosion to force a Japanese surrender.
Los Alamos: What happens when you build a town in secret for one purpose
As World War Two raged in 1943, a faint radio signal could be heard high on a mesa in the state of New Mexico - one in which performers used only their first names, and the station's location was never given. A pianist known only as "Edward" sometimes played selections by composer Richard Wagner. An outsider listening would have had good reason to be baffled. There was no way to know that Edward the pianist was Edward Teller, the nuclear physicist. At the time he was living in a secret town in the Jemez Mountains with hundreds of other scientists and thousands of workers, developing the weapon that would bring an end to the war.
Paul Tibbets who dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima dies at 92
Brigadier-General Paul Tibbets, who died at 92, commanded the USAAF bomber Enola Gay, which dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima on August 6 1945. In Sept 1944 he was briefed on the Manhattan Project and ordered to form a special unit of B-29 Super Fortress bombers, the 393rd Bombardment Squadron (later part of the 509th Composite Group), and train it to deliver these weapons in combat operations. He requisitioned 15 B-29s and supervised the modifications to make them capable of delivering the weapons. This included fitting fuel-injected engines, a re-configured bomb bay and changes to the aircraft's armour plating.
Man who designed tail fins for Nagasaki atom bomb has no regrets (Article no longer available from the original source)
A bomb. That's all Avery Warner was told at a place that did not officially exist. He would be working on a bomb like none other. And he couldn't talk to anybody about it. It was called Los Alamos, "P.O. Box 1663, Santa Fe, New Mexico," says Warner, the uniform mailbox assigned to 6,000 persons laboring under the information lockdown. "The world's most famous address." At age 91 he is among the last of the crew. As one of the original workers recruited for the top-secret, super-weapon initiative called the Manhattan Project, his task was to design the tail fins that guided the plutonium bomb to Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945.
Oct. 18, 1945: Red Spy Klaus Fuchs steals US Atom Bomb Secrets
1945: Klaus Fuchs passes American atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union for the first time. 1945-1947, working with a courier Raymond, Fuchs delivered information on the atomic bomb, later the hydrogen bomb, to Moscow. Fuchs was a refugee from Hitler's Third Reich, fleeing to England in 1933. At the outbreak of WWII, he was interned but released through professor Max Born. Fuchs was recruited for the British atomic bomb project, and became a British subject in 1942. In 1943 he was among British scientists sent to the US to collaborate on the Manhattan Project. He was present at the Trinity test in July 1945. Through it all, however, he remained a committed communist.
Manhattan Project: Birth of the Atomic Bomb in Words of Its Creators
Edited by Cynthia C. Kelly "The Manhattan Project: The Birth of the Atomic Bomb in the Words of Its Creators, Eyewitnesses and Historians" points out that it was intended that the first bomb would be used to defeat Nazi Germany. President Truman's approval to use the bomb on Japan in August 1945 led to America's victory and the end to World War II. Unlike hundreds of books written about the top-secret Manhattan Project, this time the story is told with firsthand accounts, oral histories and documents, as well as by commentaries of historians and political leaders. Despite the unprecedented security measures 3 scientists were spies for the Soviet Union.
Tours in secret World War II nuclear city - Oak Ridge was not on maps
Visiting a nuclear city may be an unusual attraction but the U.S. Department of Energy is finding interest in a uranium plant once so secretive it had no address and was not on maps. From June to September visitors can tour parts of the facility at Oak Ridge which was set up in 1943 and ran 24 hours a day separating uranium 235. It was part of the Manhattan Project that produced atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945. But during World War II staff recruited there had little idea how their work fitted into the bigger picture. "I didn't know what I was doing or why I was doing it.," said Gladys Owens.
Jack Derry's resume included Manhattan Project
Jack Derry was involved in the Army's buildup of military airfields around the country following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. After that he got used to dealing in code words on top-secret projects. In 1943 he helped facilitate projects known as "X-10" and "Y-12" at the uranium-enrichment facilities at Oak Ridge, for the Manhattan Project. By 1944, he was chosen to assist Army Commanding General Leslie Groves with the development of the nuclear weapons research laboratory at Los Alamos. "I had the full authority to get anything Los Alamos wanted from the Army, Navy or Air Corps."
Oak Ridge was a WW2 secret city not shown on any maps
During WW2 Oak Ridge was a secret city part of the Manhattan project, not shown on any maps, fenced off from the rest of the US. Guarded by troops, tens of thousands of people worked there, operating top-secret machinery. Gladys Owens was a "Calutron girl", one of hundreds of girls recruited to twist knobs in the uranium separation plant. "None of us knew what we were doing there. I was just shown which dials to turn. Why on earth did they have all these girls running this machinery? We could have blown up the whole of Tennessee! I was told that they wanted young women who would do what they were told and not ask questions. Really, we were just robots."
The Secret City of World War II
In 1942, with World War II raging, a team of scientists visited the quiet farming communities in Bear Creek Valley. They found a 60,000-acre tract of land that met military requirements of isolation, water and rail access and abundant electric power. The landowners were ordered to move off their lands quickly and the building of plants for the top secret wartime project began. The creation of the secret city of Oak Ridge began in 1942 as a major site of the ¡§Manhattan Project,¡¨ which was the massive wartime effort that produced the world¡¦s first atomic weapons.