The Manhattan Project

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

Hanford, WA

William Schneller's Interview

Cindy Kelly: All right, I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and today is Wednesday, March 20, 2013. And what I’d like to do is first have you introduce yourself. Tell me your name and spell it.

William Schneller: Well, my name is William F. Schneller, and it’s W-I-L-L-I-A-M, F, S-C-H-N-E-L-L-E-R.

Kelly: Terrific. You did very well. [Laughter]

Schneller: I still remember it.

William Schneller

William Schneller worked for DuPont at Hanford on the Manhattan Project, and later at Oak Ridge. He recalls DuPont’s emphasis on safety, the fear that the fruit around Hanford might be contaminated with radiation, and sneaking a dog past Oak Ridge guards. 

Russell Stanton's Interview

[Interviewed by Cindy Kelly and Tom Zannes.]

Tell us your name.

Russell Stanton: I'm Russell C. Stanton. R-U-S-S-E-L-L, C. for Crom, S-T-A-N-T-O-N. 

Tell us about yourself.

Stanton: Well, I was born in Elephant Butte, New Mexico. My father was an engineer with the Bureau of Reclamation and they built a dam there. I was born in a wall tent at the site, as was my sister, and that was back in on August 1 in 1915. 

Russell Stanton

Russell Stanton, a civil engineer, arrived at Hanford in October 1943 after working at various DuPont plants across the country. At Hanford, Stanton was tasked with constructing the 105 buildings that housed the nuclear reactors, including the B Reactor. Later, Stanton worked on making side shields for the piles and even helped construct a fish hatchery for the study of the effects of radiation on wildlife. Stanton discusses the incredible logistics required to coordinate work at the site and describes the hard-working attitude of many workers.

Roger Hultgren

Minnesota native Roger Hultgren worked for the DuPont Company as a chemist during the early 1940s, when he was suddenly transferred to Hanford to work on the Manhattan Project in the spring of 1944. Hultgren discusses the secrecy at Hanford and recalls not being allowed to share information with other scientists even though they were working on the same project. Hultgren also explains the importance of safety and recalls Du Pont’s strong commitment to its employees and their health.

Watson C. Warriner, Sr.

Watson C. Warriner, Sr., a trained chemical engineer, worked for DuPont on the Manhattan Project. During the war he worked on building ordnance plants and acid plants, and helped design and build the chemical separation plants at Hanford (also known as the 221 T-plant or "Queen Marys"). He discusses the trains and cask car system used at Hanford and life in the dormitories on the secret site. He recalls going to New York City with his wife to celebrate V-J Day with thousands of other people crowded into the streets.

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