Ralph Gates is a chemical and electrical engineer who worked on the Manhattan Project as a part of the Special Engineer Detachment. His primary job was casting shape charges for the plutonium bombs.
Murray Peshkin: Well, how did I get involved in the Manhattan Project? I was an undergraduate student at Cornell University. A group of about ten, who were studying physics. It was clear that we could not be kept out of the Army very long. They were looking for programs in which we could serve usefully. I really believed that there was something else behind it.
Murray Peshkin is a Manhattan Project veteran and a physicist. He was recruited by the Army to assist the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos when he was an undergraduate student studying physics at Cornell.
Anthony French: This Anthony French. I was born and raised in Brighton, England, south of London. I went to Cambridge as a student in Upping, which is more or less northeast of London in 1939, just a couple of weeks after the war was declared.
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.
Stephane Groueff: Mr. James Stowers.
James Stowers: We had a responsibility of procurement, which was not generally—it was not generally known. Going into this job, the Kellogg Company wanted to be well protected. They didn’t want to lose any money, it’s understandable. And they did not want to get entangled in having to defend a lot of actions, which they knew would have to be taken fast and furiously during this period.
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.
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?
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it's Monday, September 8, 2014. I’m at the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, with David Kaiser. The first thing I’d like him to do is tell us his name and spell it.
David Kaiser: My name is David Kaiser. The last name is K-A-I-S-E-R.
Richard Rhodes: Interview with Dr. Kistiakowsky in Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 15, 1982.
I have done a great deal of reading into the literature; there are probably two hundred books that are built around the subject that I’ve looked at, including yours, which I enjoyed. Can I go back to some very early things?
George Kistiakowsky: Sure.