Theresa Strottman: As we start, could you briefly tell me when and where you were born and something about your early education and training?
General Leslie Groves
Benjamin Bederson: I’m Benjamin Bederson.
Cindy Kelly: Can you spell it?
Bederson: B-E-D-E-R-S-O-N. Sometimes it’s called “Bederson.” I say Bederson.
Kelly: And what was your birth date?
Bederson: I was born November 15, 1921. I'm about to have my 90th birthday next month.
Kelly: You are phenomenal. This man looks like he's sixty-five.
William J. Wilcox, Jr.: My name is Bill Wilcox. Oak Ridge, Tennessee resident for sixty-three years. Ever since—pretty much since the beginning of Oak Ridge. Can’t imagine a better calling, a better career, a better place to live, better people to work for, better people to work with, or to be associated with. Very important contribution to our country that I was privileged to have a very tiny, small part of. It was great.
Theresa Strottman: It’s Saturday March 21, 1992, and it’s approximately 10:20 in the morning. We are speaking with Jerry Roensch. We thank you so much for coming this morning.
Eleanor (Jerry) Roensch: My pleasure.
Strottman: To start off the interview, I wonder if you could briefly tell me when and where you were born and a little something about your early education and training.
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.
Ben Diven: All right. I’m Ben Diven. That’s spelled D-I-V-E-N. I was born and raised in northern California, and I went to school in my hometown of Chico, and fortunately there was a state college there so I could start college in my hometown. I took the two and a half years of physics and mathematics that they taught there. And then, after a break of a couple years to save enough money to be able to go to Berkeley, I then transferred to University of California at Berkeley.
Kelly: Talk about the Manhattan Project and what it was like to be part of it. So if you could start by telling your name and when and where you were born and your education and how you came to be involved.
Donald Trauger: Yes, I’m Donald Trauger. And Trauger is T-R-A-U-G-E-R, Trauger. My mother-in-law when we first married would say auger, Trauger so she could remember it. [Laughter.]
Kelly: All right. Well, tell us how you came to Oak Ridge and how—what you did as your role in the Manhattan Project; where you were from and how you got involved.
Cynthia Kelly: Why don’t you start, George, by telling us your name and spelling it.
George Mahfouz: I’m George Mahfouz, last name is spelled M-A-H-F-, as in Frank, -O-U-Z, as in zebra.
Kelly: Is that Egyptian?
Mahfouz: It’s Middle Eastern. The name is Syrian.
Kelly: Anyways, sorry, next question—tell us about your background, you know, where you went to college...
Cindy Kelly: Give me your name and spell it.
Graydon Whitman: My name is Graydon Whitman, G-R-A-Y-D-O-N W-H-I-T-M-A-N.
Kelly: Great. Okay, can you tell us a little bit about your background: where you’re from and how you happened to become part of the Manhattan Project?