The Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association, Inc.

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


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In conjunction with our commitment to the Veteran History Project of the Library of Congress, we proudly present the Veterans of the Manhattan Project.  Below are the personal histories of 12 of these veterans.  Please "click" on a name below to go directly to that veteran's section or simply page down to view them all.  Please "click" here to go to the Veteran Archives Directory.

Manhattan Project Veteran Archives

     Archive Section 10 of 50    

Jack P. Pierard Diana R. Pierard Elsie C. Harrington
Alfred L. Carson Herbert F. Depke Samual B. Watson
Robert R. Follit Jack Busby Vito Di Rienzo
Karl D. Larsen Charles Critchfield Rolf Peterson
 

10-1

Name:  Pierard, Jack P.  | Table |

Location:  Hanford, WA

Assigned Unit:  Civilian - Other

Job/Position:  Communications & Office Services Clerk

Dates of Service (if Known):  1/44 to 1/65

Information Submitted By:    Burton & Richard Pierard; Sons

Archival Record #:  HA-CO-PIEJ-0702

| Picture 1 | Document 1 |

Jack P. (John Henry Perkins) Pierard, was born December 22, 1905 in Bicknell, Indiana.  He was the son of Victor Pierard, an immigrant Belgian coal miner, and Eva Lawton. 

His wife, Diana (Florence Ruth) Russell, was born February 2, 1911 in Culver, Indiana.  She was the daughter of T. J. Russell, a Presbyterian minister, and Effie Haswell, and lived in several communities in the Midwest, most notably Fort Wayne, Indiana.  They left their respective hometowns and moved to Chicago, Illinois, where they both changed their names.

 

 


10-2

Name:  Pierard, Diana R.  | Table |

Location:  Hanford, WA

Assigned Unit:  Civilian - Other

Job/Position:  Reading Radiation Badges & Drawing Records Clerk

Dates of Service (if Known):  1945 to 1962

Information Submitted By:    Burton & Richard Pierard; Sons

Archival Record #:  HA-CO-PIED-0702

| Picture 1 |  Document 1 |

Jack P. (John Henry Perkins) Pierard, was born December 22, 1905 in Bicknell, Indiana.  He was the son of Victor Pierard, an immigrant Belgian coal miner, and Eva Lawton. 

His wife, Diana (Florence Ruth) Russell, was born February 2, 1911 in Culver, Indiana.  She was the daughter of T. J. Russell, a Presbyterian minister, and Effie Haswell, and lived in several communities in the Midwest, most notably Fort Wayne, Indiana.  They left their respective hometowns and moved to Chicago, Illinois, where they both changed their names.

 

 


10-3

Name:  Harrington, Elsie C.  | Table |

Location:  Oak Ridge, TN

Assigned Unit:  Civilian - Other

Job/Position:  RO Operator

Dates of Service (if Known):  10/43 to 2/47

Information Submitted By:  Patricia Dangermond; Daughter

Archival Record #:  OR-CO-HARE-0802

Picture 1 |  Document 1 | Story 1 |

Elsie Harrington was a civilian RO Operator at Oak Ridge during the war.  Not much is known about her actual duties while there.  It is known that the group that she was with all wore white uniforms.  If anyone remembers Elsie Harrington, please contact us via feedback above.

 

 


10-4

Name:  Carson, Alfred L.  | Table |

Location:  Oak Ridge, TN & Los Alamos, NM

Assigned Unit:  Military - SED

Job/Position:  Mechanical Engineer

Dates of Service (if Known):  1943 to 1945

Information Submitted By:  Brooks Carson, Grandson

Archival Record #:  OR-SD-CARA-0802

Picture 1 | Document 1 | Story 1 |

Alfred L Carson, my grandfather, died the day before I was born in 1970. I know he graduated from Georgia Tech in 1943 and went directly to Oak Ridge, then to NM. Like most honest men of the time, he was told to keep his secrets, and did just that, all the way to his grave. Any information that anyone might have about Alfred Carson would be of great pleasure to his family. For myself, I just want to learn about my grandfather I never met. Thank you. Brooks Carson

SED, unknown specialty. Later in life, worked on aircraft for Lockheed.

 

 


10-5  

Name:  Depke, Herbert "Herb" F.  | Table |

Location:  Hanford, WA

Assigned Unit:  Civilian - Other

Job/Position:  Supv. - Expediting Dept.

Dates of Service (if Known):  1943 to 1944

Information Submitted By:    Herb W. Depke, Son

Archival Record #:  HA-CO-DEPH-0802

Picture 1 | Document 1 | Document 2 |

Herbert F. Depke, Expediting Department, Hanford Engineer Works;  1943-1944

Born 18 Nov 1907, Danville, IL;  Died 26 Sep 1974, Danville, IL;  Graduate U of I, Urbana, 1930, B.S. Architects not being in demand in 1930 and Dad went into the family business.   December 7, 1941 stirred the patriotism of all Red Blooded American Men, my Dad included.  Being a college graduate, he was eligible for an officer's commission.  Bad teeth made him unacceptable to the Navy, his service of choice.  He must have preferred water to mud?  The next best thing men with these problems could do was to find War Work.  Thirty miles from home, just over the Illinois state line into Indiana, E. I. DuPont ran a plant [TNT or something] and Dad went to work there with some of his buddies.  DuPont was soon pegged to open a plant in Hanford, Washington, something called the Manhattan Project, and needed tons of people willing to go to that sand pile near the end of the Earth.  Dad volunteered.  Later, Mother and I lived in Richland.

 


10-6

Name:  Watson, Samual B.  | Table |

Location:  Oak Ridge, TN

Assigned Unit:  Civilian - Other

Job/Position:  Machinist

Dates of Service (if Known):  Unknown

Information Submitted By:  Eric A. Watson, Grandson

Archival Record #:  OR-CO-WATS-0802

| Picture 1 | Picture 2 | Picture 3 | Document 1 | Story 1 |

Samual Watson was a machinist at Oak Ridge during World War II.  He was from Kirksy, KY.  His grandson states: "In memory to a great man, admired and respected by all whom he had ever met".

If anyone remembers Mr. Watson at Oak Ridge, please contact us via "feedback" above.

 


10-7

Name:  Follit, Robert R.  | Table |

Location:  509th CG - Tinian Island

Assigned Unit:  Military - SED

Job/Position:  Photographer

Dates of Service (if Known):  Unknown

Information Submitted By:  Bernadette M. Daplyn, Granddaughter

Archival Record #:  CG-MO-FOLR-0802

Picture 1 | Document 1 | Document 2 | Story 1 |

This is my (Step) Paternal grandfather i.e. he married my English Grandmother. He was the Mission Photographer on the Hiroshima Mission he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery Grave 3454 Section 60 he died in 1987.

If anyone remembers Mr. Follit, please contact us via "feedback" above.

 

 


10-8

Name:  Busby, Jack  | Table |

Location:  Oak Ridge, TN; Sandia Base, NM; and Enewetok Atoll

Assigned Unit:  Military Police

Job/Position:  Guard - Bomb Parts

Dates of Service (if Known):  1944 to 1947

Information Submitted By:    Robert W. Busby, Son

Archival Record #:  OR-MP-BUSJ-0802

Picture 1 | Picture 2 | Picture 3 |

Jack Busby was a Military Policeman who came from Waco, Texas. Jack loved his time with the MP's and enjoyed his travel to TN, NM and the various other locations he traveled while protecting the atomic bomb.

Jack Busby passed away on January 17th, 2006 at the age of 77. He is survived by his wife, Bea, and his children, Carla and Robert.

 


10-9

Name:  Di Rienzo, Vito  | Table |

Location:  509th CG - Wendover, UT / Tinian Island

Assigned Unit:  1st Ordnance Squadron

Job/Position:  Assembled Bomb Components

Dates of Service (if Known):  1943 to 1946

Information Submitted By:    Michael Di Rienzo, Son

Archival Record #:  CG-MO-DIRV-0802

Picture 1 | Document 1 | Story 1 |

This is some of a interview that my stepdaughter did for her History class about World War II. The interviewee is my father Vito J Di Rienzo age 76. The interview was taken 12 April,1999. Q. How old were you when you became involved in World War II? A. I went into the war in 1943. I was 20 years old Q. Were you drafted or did you enlist? A. I was drafted. Q. Where were you stationed for basic training and how long were you there? A. I did my basic training at Fort Dix N.J. I was only in training for a month. Q. Where did you go after basic training and what did you do there? A. For two years, I went from state to state working as a mechanic, I went to Atlantic City; Halliburg, Maryland; Andrews Air Force Base; Washington DC; North Carolina; Albany NY; South Carolina; Mitchell Field NY; And Wendover Field, on the border of Utah and Nevada. 

 


10-10

Name:  Larsen, Karl D.  | Table |

Location:  M.I.T.

Assigned Unit:  Civilian - Scientific

Job/Position:  Physicist - Heavy Water Research

Dates of Service (if Known):  1943 to 1945

Information Submitted By:  Richard A. Guay; Nephew

Archival Record #:  UP-CS-LARK-0902

Picture 1 | Document 1 | Story 1 |

Dr. Larsen was my uncle. He is deceased. My mother told me years ago of his secret work at MIT in WW2 on the spectrum of heavy water and that his work was a prerequisite to the first a-bomb.  She said two physicists were on the heavy water spectrum project, he and an assistant who was from Texas. My uncle told her and my father that what he did on the spectrum of heavy water was a scientific first. He said that he worked long hours, day and night. We would like to know more about what he actually did.

 

 


10-11

Name:  Critchfield, Charles  | Table |

Location:  Los Alamos, NM

Assigned Unit:  Civilian - Scientific

Job/Position:  Physicist (Group Leader - Ordnance)

Dates of Service (if Known):  1943 to 1946

Information Submitted By:  Robert Critchfield, Son

Archival Record #:  LA-CS-CRIC-1002

Picture 1 | Document 1 | Story 1 | Hall of Fame |

My father undertook both his undergraduate and graduate studies at George Washington University, where he was a research fellow and earned his PhD in physics. His principal graduate professors there were George Gamow and Edward Teller and he was present, at GWU, when Niels Bohr publicly announced the discovery of fission by Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch. He was subsequently awarded a scholarship by the American-Scandinavian Foundation to study at Bohr's Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen, but he reluctantly declined due to the turmoil and uncertainty being inflicted by Nazi Germany at that time. He also had a post-doctoral offer from J. Robert Oppenheimer at Berkeley but chose instead to accept a post-doc appointment with Eugene Wigner at Princeton. In December of 1942 he received a personal visit from Oppenheimer and Teller for the purpose of recruiting him to join the project at Los Alamos.   

 


10-12

Name:   Peterson, Rolf | Table |

Location: Los Alamos, NM

Assigned Unit:  Civilian - Scientific

Job/Position:  Physicist

Dates of Service (if Known): 

Information Submitted By:  Ruth Boe (Classmate at St. Olaf College)

Archival Record #:  LA-CS-PETR-1002

Picture 1 | Document 1 | Story 1 |

Rolf Peterson died Dec.23, 2001. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 1943 and obtained his Ph.D in physics from the University of Wisconsin. He worked on the project at Los Alamos and subsequently spent more than 40 years there until retiring in 1984. He is survived by his wife Betty. ( Santa Fe, NM)

If anyone has more information about Rolf Peterson's work at Los Alamos during the war, please contact us via feedback above.