Yvonne Delamater: We are interviewing Felix De Paula for the Manhattan Project video. Thanks for coming here to give us an interview. Briefly tell me when and where you were born and something about your education and training.
Rebecca Bradford Diven: All right. My name is Rebecca Bradford Diven, but I was mostly known as Becky Bradford Diven.
Cynthia Kelly: Great. Well, tell us about your background and what you were doing before the war.
Diven: Did you want—your outline said you wanted birth dates and where—
Kelly: Okay. Sure.
[Interviewed by Cynthia Kelly and Tom Zannes.]
Tell us your name.
Steve Buckingham: Steve. S-T-E-V-E. Buckingham. B-U-C-K-I-N-G-H-A-M. (Question off camera)
Santa Fe was the first stop for many scientists, engineers, Women's Army Corps, military police and all others assigned to work on the top-secret project at Los Alamos.
Ten miles from Santa Fe, Lamy is the nearest stop on the former Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Young men and women assigned to work at Los Alamos arrived not knowing where they were or where they were going.
Michel: My name was Mary Lowe, L-O-W-E, and I married John Michel, M-I-C-H-E-L.
Kelly: Great. Is it possible that you can look toward me? So tell me, how and when did you come to Oak Ridge?
Michel: I came in November of 1944.
Kelly: And what had—where had you come from? What brought you here?
Hanford, Washington, on the beautiful Columbia River, was the site selected for the full-scale plutonium production plant, the B Reactor. Today a popular tourist desination, the Hanford Site proved crucial to the success of the Manhattan Project.
Cindy Kelly: We’re going to start with your name: could you tell us your name and spell it?
Black: My name is Colleen Black, C-O-L-L-E-E-N B-L-A-C-K.
Kelly: Terrific. Good job.
Black: [Laughter.] Thank you.
In 1942, General Leslie Groves approved Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as the site for the pilot plutonium plant and the uranium enrichment plant. Manhattan Project engineers had to quickly build a town to accommodate 30,000 workers--as well as build the enormously complex plants.