The Manhattan Project

Y-12 Plant

James Cole's Interview

James S. Cole: I’ll put it this way. I was in Biloxi, Mississippi and getting ready to go overseas as a B-17 engineer. I was on the train getting ready to come here, not knowing I was coming here. An MP came on and said, “You’ve got another set of orders.” I figured I had done something bad, so I went in there and talked to the guy. He said, “You’ve got another set of orders.” He gave it to me. It was a telephone number, Knoxville, Tennessee.

I said, “What kind of orders are those?”

He says, “Get on a train.”

Gordon Fee's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly. It is Thursday, April 26, 2018, and I have with me Gordon Fee. Gordon, first, why don’t you just tell us a little bit about your background and how you happened to come to Oak Ridge and what you’ve done here.

Gordon Fee

Gordon Fee is the retired president of Lockheed Martin Energy Systems and the former manager of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, TN. He began working at Oak Ridge at the K-25 gaseous diffusion plant in 1956. In this interview, he describes his career at Oak Ridge, and shares stories about his work at Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In particular, he focuses on scientific developments connected with Oak Ridge, including the growth of the Nuclear Navy, the use of radioisotopes in medicine, and more.

Ruth Huddleston's Interview

Nathaniel Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg, and I am here recording this oral history interview for the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is April 25, 2018. I am here with Ruth Huddleston. If you could start by saying your full name and spelling it, please.

Ruth Huddleston: Ruth Huddleston, H-U-D-D-L-E-S-T-O-N.

Weisenberg: Let’s begin at the beginning. Can you tell me about when and where you were born?

Dieter Gruen's Interview (2018)

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, it is Tuesday, February 6, 2018. I’m in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida, and I have with me Dieter Gruen. I want him first to say his name and then spell it.

Dieter Gruen: My name is Dieter Gruen, D-i-e-t-e-r G-r-u-e-n. 

Kelly: Thank you very much. Now, I want to start back to your childhood. Maybe you can tell us when you were born, and where. 

Donald Ross's Interview

Donald Ross: My name is Donald Ross, and I am about to begin my eightieth year on this planet. I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and I left there with my parents at an early age. We moved to the southern tip of Texas, and had a little farm not too far from Edinburg, Texas, where I grew up.

Clarence Larson's Interview

Stephane Groueff: Interview with Dr. Clarence Larson—L-A-R-S-O-N—head of the Union Carbide’s operations at Oak Ridge, a chemist. Dr. Larson was connected with the electromagnetic separation process during the war, and he was a personal friend of Dr. Lawrence [Ernest O. Lawrence]. He’s married to the daughter of Dr. Stafford Warren, who was also with the project. You came in 1942?

Dr. Clarence Larson: Yes.

Groueff: From where?

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?

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