The Manhattan Project

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & HistoryNational Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Special Engineer Detachment

Peter Lax's Interview

Cindy Kelly: My name is Cindy Kelly with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is January 8, 2016, and I am in New York City with Peter Lax. My first question for him is to say his name and spell it.

Peter Lax: Peter Lax, spelled L-A-X.

Kelly: Great, thank you. So I would love to have you talk, just a little bit anyway, about your childhood and your parents.

Bill Hudgins's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly. It is October 14, 2015. We’re in in Los Alamos, New Mexico and my first question for the gentleman with me is to tell me your name and spell it.

Bill Hudgins: William G. Hudgins. W-I-L-L-I-A-M. G stands for Gordon. Hudgins. H-U-D-G-I-N-S.

Kelly: First, could you start by telling us when you were born and where, and something about your childhood?

Walter Goodman's Interview

Walter Goodman: My name is Walter Goodman and I was born in 1922, which is a very long time ago. I was particularly interested in engineering and in the military from the time I was a young boy. When I did get into the service, I ended up continuing in school, and finished electrical engineering.

Harold E. Hoover's Interview

Harold Hoover: My name is Harold E. Hoover, that’s H-O-O-V-E-R, commonly known as Hal, H-A-L.

Cindy Kelly: Why don’t you start by telling me how you got into the SED [Special Engineer Detachment]? How you happened to get into the SED, and then what you found when you got to Oak Ridge?

Robert J.S. Brown's Interview

Robert JS Brown: I'm Robert JS Brown.

Robert S. Norris: You are recording this oral history for the Atomic Heritage Foundation on June third, two thousand fifteen in Washington, DC.

Brown: Yes, right.

Robert S. Norris: How did you become involved in the Manhattan Project? Can you tell us about that?

Rex Edward Keller's Interview

Alexandra Levy: All right. We are here on April 23, 2015 with Mr. Rex Edward Keller. So first, can you please say your name and spell it.

Rex Keller: Oh, Rex Edward Keller, R-E-X E-D-W-A-R-D, Keller, K-E-L-L-E-R.

Levy: Can you tell me where and when you were born?

Keller: I was born in Saxton, Missouri, October 10, 1923.

Levy: And you grew up in Missouri?

Keller: Yes, yes, in Dexter, Missouri.

Ralph Gates's Interview

Wendy Steinle: Good morning, Ralph. I’m Wendy Steinle, as you know, and I am really pleased to be your friend and to have the opportunity to interview you this morning. Just for the record, will you start by stating and spelling your name, and then tell us the date?

Ralph Gates:  Well, thanks, Wendy. My name is Ralph Gates, but I am—it’s Ralph Pillsbury Gates and I am a junior. It’s R-a-l-p-h, Pillsbury is P-i-l-l-s-b-u-r-y, and Gates is G-a-t-e-s.

Steinle: What is today’s date?

Ralph Gates

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.

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