The Manhattan Project

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

Y-12 Plant

Leon Love

Leon Love was a metallurgist for the Cook Electronic Company in Chicago, IL, and worked under contract with the Manhattan Engineer District. He worked at the Y-12 Plant in the Isotopes Separation Department, and was an expert on how the Alpha and Beta Calutrons operated.

Dorothy Wilkinson

Dorothy worked at Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project as a “calutron girl.” After her brother was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, she was eager to join the war effort, and did so starting in 1944. She met her future husband, Paul Wilkinson, on her first day at Oak Ridge, and married him three months later. The two have lived at Oak Ridge ever since. 

Paul Wilkinson

Paul Wilkinson got a job at the Y-12 Plant Oak Ridge after graduating college. He supervised calutron work and some of the “calutron girls,” including his future wife, Dorothy. Wilkinson.

Gordon Steele

In 1942 Gordon joined the Radiation Laboratory at the Berkeley campus. He worked at the Davis campus as well. Gordon was one of the first research scientists selected to go to Oak Ridge, Tennessee on the Manhattan Project. He was granted permission to drive his car in lieu of taking the train if he took John Morfitt, a liaison chemical engineer with him. Gordon and John arrived at Oak Ridge in April, 1943 and their badges reflect that early arrival. Gordon’s badge number was 129, and John’s was 122.

Gordon Steele's Interview

Mary Kalbert: My name is Mary Kalbert and I am in Friday Harbor, Washington, interviewing Gordon Steele on June 16, 2014 for the Atomic Heritage Foundation Manhattan Voices Project. Gordon?

Gordon Steele: My name is Gordon, and you want me to spell my name?

Kalbert: Please spell your name for me.

Steele: Gordon. G-O-R-D-O-N. Steele. S-T-E-E-L-E.

Ernest Wende

Ernest Wende was transferred into the Manhattan District, the branch of the United States Army Corps of Engineers tasked with overseeing the construction of critical Manhattan Project sites, shortly after its formation in 1942. He lived and worked at Oak Ridge during the war and was closely involved in the design and construction of the site’s thousands of residential units and cafeterias and recreational facilities, as well as the Y-12 and X-25 Plants and the X-10 Graphite Reactor.

Leroy Jackson

Leroy Jackson was transferred into the Manhattan District, the branch of the United States Army Corps of Engineers tasked with overseeing the construction of critical Manhattan Project sites, shortly after its formation in 1942. He lived and worked at Oak Ridge during the war and was closely involved in the design and construction of the site’s thousands of residential units and cafeterias and recreational facilities, as well as the Y-12 and X-25 Plants and the X-10 Graphite Reactor.

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