The Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association, Inc.

"Preserving, Exhibiting, Interpreting and Teaching the History of the Manhattan Project"


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In Memory of...

Douglas Paul Meigs

1918 - 1944

 

A brilliant chemical engineer, he volunteered for a dangerous assignment while employed by the H. K. Ferguson Company of Cleveland, OH.  The H. K. Ferguson Company was the primary contractor building the giant S-50 Plant at Oak Ridge, TN.  The S-50 Plant was based on the technology developed at the pilot-plant at the Naval Research Laboratory at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.  As part of the super-secret Manhattan Project, it was the Lab's mission to perfect the thermal diffusion process for the enrichment of uranium.  On Sept. 2, 1944, while working to unclog a tube in a complex array of pipes, Douglas was killed in a horrific explosion that sent a cloud of radioactive uranium hexafluoride over much of the Navy Yard including the battleship USS Wisconsin, berthed just 200 yards away.  A fellow co-worker, Peter Bragg, was also killed.  His work was crucial to the development of the first atomic bomb, and in his own way, his contribution helped bring about an early end to World War II.  Although not in uniform, he died in service to his country.

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