The Manhattan Project

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

Hanford, WA

Harry Petcher

Harry Petcher's flat feet meant he couldn't be drafted, but still had an obligation to work for the war effort. After working as a Signal Corps clerk in Chicago, Petcher moved to Hanford with his wife, where they went to work in the mess hall. Petcher soon became head of Hanford's massive box lunch department, where he oversaw tens of thousands of box lunches being made every day. In twenty months at Hanford, the staff serrved 3,088,480 box lunches.

Bob Bubenezer

Bob Bubenezer was supervisor of Hanford plant protection for DuPont from 1943 until early 1945. Though he helped maintain order in Hanford, he said that he "got no pleasure in putting people in prison." After the war, he worked in the construction industry in the Midwest.

Bill Bailey'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:

Bill Bailey

Dewitt "Bill" Bailey was originally from New Albany, Mississippi, and was working at an Alabama shipyard when he heard of the job opportunities in Hanford. At Hanford he worked as a special material handler for DuPont, and experienced the regime of intense compartamentalization and secrecy.

David Hall'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:

David Hall

David Hall and his wife, the late Jane Hamilton, went as a team to Hanford. Also a physicist, she worked in the medical-safety division. In later years, he became head of the reactor division at Los Alamos and Jane Hamilton was the assistant director at Los Alamos. 

Dale Babcock

Dale Babcock was a physical chemist and colleague of Crawford Greenewalt, himself a chemical engineer who married a Du Pont and eventually became president of the company. Greenewalt had been working in the development of nylon, but had to put that aside when he became technical director of the firm's Manhattan Project contracts. Greenewalt took Babcock and a few other close Du Pont colleagues with him into the new world of atomic energy.

C. N. Gross'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:

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