The Manhattan Project

Trinity Site

Val Fitch's Interview

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.

Val Fitch

Val Fitch is a Nobel-Prize-winning physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos. He was drafted into the Special Engineer Detachment, and remembers George Kistiakowsky getting the SED special exemptions from their military duties so they could work harder on the Project. He was sent to Wendover, UT to observe the dummy bomb tests. He worked on the detonation team for the Trinity test, and recalls witnessing the test. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1980.

Julius Tabin

Julius Tabin was a physcist and a member of Enrico Fermi's team at Los Alamos that developed the world's first atomic bomb during World War II.

Tabin, working alongside fellow physicists Herbert Anderson and Darragh Nagle, carried out experiments under Fermi at Los Alamos. In July 1945, Tabin witnessed the Trinity Test and afterwards went into into the crater left by the blast, riding in a specially modified lead-lined tank to collect surface samples at ground zero.

Raemer Schreiber's Interview (1993)

Raemer Schreiber: Yes, there was at least one [bomb core], and people back here worked furiously taking the plutonium as it arrived and converting it into another core. I don’t know the answer to it. I have heard stories another core was on its way out at the time of the surrender.

Richard Rhodes: Groves decided not to ship it. I’ve seen the document.

Emilio Segrè's Interview

Richard Rhodes: This will be a tape of an interview with Doctor Segrè. That's E-m-i-l-i-o, S-e-g-r-e at his home in Lafayette, California on the 29th of June 1983. 

I have been, for example, through the Oppenheimer Papers, I’ve been through the [Leo] Szilard Papers in La Jolla. All of the books, most of the books have errors of one kind or the other.

Segrè: The Oppenheimer Papers, I have never gone through, but you have seen the letters of Oppenheimer?

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