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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Charles P. Baker

Co-Head of the Fat Man Pit TeamTinian Island

Los Alamos, NMWendover, UT
Manhattan Project VeteranProject AlbertaScientist
Charles P. Baker

Charles P. Baker was a nuclear physicist who worked at Los Alamos and Tinian during the Manhattan Project.

Born in Leominster, Massachusetts, Baker received his bachelor’s degree from Denison University. He went on to receive his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Cornell University. He then joined the faculty at Cornell.

Baker was recruited to the Manhattan Project in 1943. He first worked at Los Alamos, where he was in the Water Boiler group under Don Kerst. Later in the war, Baker was transferred to Tinian as part of Project Alberta, which orchestrated the actual deployment of the atomic bombs. There he was Co-Head of the Fat Man Pit Team, in charge of assembling and loading the Fat Man Device onto the Bockscar.

After the war, Baker returned to Cornell. Later, Baker worked for the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, where he helped build the lab’s 60-inch cyclotron. He retired from Brookhaven in 1976, and continued to serve as a consultant for several years. 

Fat Man being prepared for an airfield trip

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