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.
Reflections on the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
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.
Irwin P. Sharpe was born in 1921. He was recruited for the Manhattan Project by his employer, General Electric, after he graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in engineering in 1942. His work took place in the Woolworth Building in Manhattan, where he played a key role in developing pumps and seals to transport gas and oil.
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.
Ed Gerjuoy: My name is Edward Gerjuoy, G-E-R-J-U-O-Y. I’m presently a retired Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh.
Cindy Kelly: I'm Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. This is Monday, February 16, 2015. We are in Pompano Beach, Florida with Dieter Gruen. I'm going to ask him to please say his name and spell it.
Dieter Gruen: I am Dieter Martin Gruen. D-I-E-T-E-R, M-A-R-T-I-N, G-R-U-E-N.
Kelly: Very good. Anyway, this is an interview about your life but with a focus on the Manhattan Project Experience. In that spirit can you tell us when and where you were born?
Mench: I am John Mench and sixty years ago I was a young man with a wife and a baby girl, a good job in industrial deferment, a brand new home and a mortgage. Inside of a week or two, I had in my hand a ticket to a camp, an Army camp, an industrial deferment that was cancelled. I still had a wife and a baby daughter but they were now living with my wife’s sister, and my home was rented. The only thing that hadn’t changed was the mortgage.
Freeman Dyson: I’m Freeman Dyson, F-R-E-E-M-A-N D-Y-S-O-N, retired professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
Cynthia Kelly: Why don’t we start with your experience in World War II? Maybe you could tell us what your role was.
Richard Groves: I’m Richard Hulbert Groves, G-R-O-V-E-S.
Paul Williams: What memories do you have of family life, at least when you were at home?
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.