[We would like to thank Robert S. Norris, author of the definitive biography of General Leslie R. Groves, Racing for the Bomb: General Leslie R. Groves, the Manhattan Project's Indispensable Man, for taking the time to read over these transcripts for mispellings and other errors.]
Robert Holmberg: I’m Robert W. Holmberg, H-O-L-M-B-E-R-G, Bob Holmberg. And I like to tell people I’ve never had an honest job. I’ve worked for the Manhattan Project or its predecessors all my life. I’m an Iowan by birth; Fort Dodge, Iowa. As a little boy I was interested in chemistry. I went to college and got my degree at Ames, Iowa. Iowa State College then, it is Iowa State University now.
[Interviewed by Cynthia Kelly and Tom Zannes.]
Robert Kupp: My name is Robert William Kupp. Did you say spell it?
Kupp: Robert William K-U-P-P. And the age is eighty-two. I’ll be eighty-three next month in July.
So, Mr. Kupp, I wanted to know, what were you doing before you came to the Secret City?
Cindy Kelly: It is January 14, 2014, and we are in St. Louis, Missouri. And I want to ask the first question of you, which is to tell us your name and spell it.
Dunell Cohn: My complete name is Dunell Edlin Cohn, D-U-N-E-L-L. Edlin is E-D-L-I-N. And the last name is Cohn, C-O-H-N.
Kelly: Very good.
Alexandra Levy: We are here on December 27th in Florida. This is Alexandra Levy. I am with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. And we are here today with Esther Stenstrom. My first question for you is to please say your name and to spell it.
Esther Stenstrom: My name is Esther L. Stenstrom, E-S-T-H-E-R, middle initial L, S-T-E-N-S-T-R-O-M.
Levy: Where and when were you born?
Stenstrom: I was born in Crescent City, Florida, March 9, 1922.
Cindy Kelly: My name is Kelly. I am with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. And I am in Oak Ridge, Tennessee today, which is Friday, September 6, 2013. And we are very fortunate today to have Helen Jernigan. And I am going to start by asking Helen to say her name and spell it.
Helen Jernigan: Jernigan. H-E-L-E-N, J-E-R-N-I-G-A-N.
Kelly: This is Cindy Kelly, and I am in Boulder, Colorado. It is June 25, 2013, and I am going to be interviewing Bert Mills Tolbert. And the first question for Bert is to say his name, and then spell it?
Tolbert: My name is Bert Mills Tolbert, spelled T-O-L-B-E-R-T.
Kelly: Why don’t you start at the very beginning, and tell us when you were born and where, and then a little bit to lead up to your education and the Manhattan Project?
I was a member of two Special Engineer Detachments: I worked at the University of Chicago at the Metallurgical Laboratory and I also worked in Oak Ridge Plant, conceived and designed by Philip Abelson, who is probably here today. I lived in the barracks area when I was at Oak Ridge and I lived in an apartment with three other soldiers when I was in Chicago.
Well I was very young at the time. I went down there in 1943, down to Oak Ridge, TN. They were interviewing at Princeton where I was going to school. They guys said that they had a very important war project going on down there. And I said, “Oh what’s it all about?”
And they said, “Oh, we can’t tell you what it’s all about.”
So I said, “Gee, why should I go at a place if you can’t tell me what it’s all about.”
Emily Efland: I’m Emily Efland and I am with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. Today is August 14, 2013, and we’re interviewing Marilyn Hanna.
So first, could you give me your name and spell it.
Marilyn Hanna: My name is Marilyn Hanna. M-A-R-I-L-Y-N. H-A-N-N-A.
Efland: And could you tell me about when you were born? Where you born?
Hanna: Yes. I was born on a farm in South Dakota; Spencer, South Dakota. And I graduated from high school in 1941.