The Manhattan Project

Women

Sheila Rowan and Jo-Ellen Iacovino's Interview

Interviewer 1: Why did your family come to Oak Ridge? When did that happen?

Rowan: Well, we actually came to Oak Ridge in 1945. We left Nashville in early 1945. Because there was no housing available onsite in Oak Ridge, we had to stay in South Harriman, which is about twenty miles away. In the summertime of 1945, we moved into—

Iacovino: No, no, that was ’44. It was ’44. Because we went through the winter, because then the war was over.

Rowan:  We should have gotten our story together. [Laughter.]

Sheila Rowan

After her brother was drafted, Sheila Rowan's family moved to Happy Valley, Tennessee to support the war effort. Although Rowan and her sister, Jo-Ellen Iacovino, were too young to participate in the construction of the K-25 gaseous diffusion plant, their older sister, Colleen Black, and their parents worked to support the Manhattan Project. When the war ended, Rowan left Happy Valley.

Helene Suydam's Interview

Helene Suydam: I find this story of how Norris Bradbury came to Los Alamos rather interesting.  He was a graduate student at the University of California in the ‘30s and every student who was a graduate student of Professor [Leonard] Loeb had to join the Navy reserve.  So when the war started all these scientists were activated into the Navy, and about four PhDs ended up at the naval proving ground in Virginia. And the commandant of the proving ground was a retired naval officer who had been passed over and had been called back because of the war.

Gordon Steele's Interview

Mary Kalbert: My name is Mary Kalbert and I am in Friday Harbor, Washington, interviewing Gordon Steele on June 16, 2014 for the Atomic Heritage Foundation Manhattan Voices Project. Gordon?

Gordon Steele: My name is Gordon, and you want me to spell my name?

Kalbert: Please spell your name for me.

Steele: Gordon. G-O-R-D-O-N. Steele. S-T-E-E-L-E.

Eileen Doxford's Interview

[We would like to thank the Rhydymwyn Valley History Society for donating this interview.]

Interviewer: It is Friday the 22nd of May, 2009 in Lymm speaking to Eileen Doxford at her house. Eileen can you tell me where you were born and some basic things about your family?

Eileen Doxford

Eileen Doxford, worked as a lab assistant at P6, an early site for the British Tube Alloys Project. After answering a radio announcement from the United Kingdom’s government science agency, the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, she traveled to the M.S. Factory Valley in Rhydymwyn, Flintshire Wales to assist engineers attempting to develop a process for the separation of uranium isotopes. She worked at P6 from 1943 until just before it was closed in 1945. 

John Mench's Interview

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.

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