The Manhattan Project

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & HistoryNational Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Hanford, WA

Leon Overstreet

Oklahoma-born Leon Overstreet went into construction in 1941 after he learned a little pipefitting with American Can in Kansas City. He retired in 1979 after helping build the Fast Flux Test Facility and Washington Public Power Supply System No. 2, both at Hanford. During the interview at his Richland residence, he was especially amused by his recollection of an outhouse scrawl he read at Hanford in 1944. "Come on you Okies/Let's take japan/We took California/And never lost a man."

Kathleen Hitchock's Interview

[Interviewed by Robert W. Mull, from S.L. Sanger's Working on the Bomb: An Oral History of WWII Hanford, Portland State University, 1995]

We came from the Waterville area. My parents moved down to White Bluffs to develop a fruit orchard. They bought a 10-acre place that had been planted to apples. They really pioneered. This had to have been 1910.

Kathleen Hitchcock

Another casualty of the 1943 government invasion was White Bluffs, a few miles upriver from Hanford and considered one of the prettiest towns on the Columbia. Kathleen Hitchcock was the daughter of Tom and Jane O'Larey, who owned the local newspaper, "The White Bluffs Spokesman."

Joe Holt's Interview

[At top is the edited version of the interview published by S. L. Sanger in Working on the Bomb: An Oral History of WWII Hanford, Portland State University, 1995.

For the full transcript that matches the audio of the interview, please scroll down.]

Book Version:

Joe Holt

They called him "Honey Joe" because of his bee business, which he went into after he left Hanford. DuPont transferred Holt from a construction job in Indiana to Hanford in 1943. At Hanford, Holt worked building the B reactor and laying graphite. Holt settled with his wife Lois in a large and handsome brown house on the side of a hill above the Yakima River on the west edge of Richland. The other big construction job of Holt's life was the Golden Gate Bridge.

Jess Brinkerhoff

In 1943, Jess Brinkerhoff was working at Du Pont's Remington Arms ammunition plant in Salt Lake City as a warehouse and shipping foreman. The plant was shut down and he transferred to Hanford as a fireman. His wife soon joined him, and they raised six children in an original Richland pre-fab; Brinkerhoff was still living there at the time of this interview in 1986.

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