Nuclear Museum Logo
Nuclear Museum Logo

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Felix DePaula was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 3, 1926.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944, and placed in the Army Corps of Engineers. He deployed to Los Alamos in early 1945 before being sent to the Trinity Site. 

DePaula carried out various tasks at Trinity, including serving as a garbage man and building posts and rails. He also witnessed the Trinity test. “When it went off, the whole canyon that we were in lit up like it was daytime,” he remembered. “That’s how tremendous it was.”

After being discharged from the Army in 1946, DePaula returned to Los Alamos to work for the Zia Company in a warehouse. In 1949, he joined the GMX Division at the Los Alamos laboratory, now Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). He worked at LANL for 41 years before retiring.

Felix DePaula's Timeline
1926 Jun 3rd Born in Brooklyn, NY.
1944 Oct Drafted into the military.
1945 Came to Los Alamos.
1945 Mar Began working at Trinity Site.
1945 Jul 16th Witnessed the Trinity Test.
19461949 Worked for the Zia Company.
19491990 Worked in the GMX Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Felix DePaula with a pet crow at the Trinity Site. Photograph courtesy of Willie Atencio and David Schiferl.

Felix DePaula with a pet dog at Trinity. Photograph courtesy of Willie Atencio and David Schiferl.

Felix DePaula with a pet dog at Trinity. Photograph courtesy of Willie Atencio and David Schiferl.

Felix DePaula with a dog and crows. Photograph courtesy of Willie Atencio and David Schiferl.

Visiting the remains of the Trinity test tower. Photograph courtesy of Willie Atencio and David Schiferl.

Letter of commendation for Felix DePaula. Courtesy of Willie Atencio and David Schiferl.

A group photograph of soldiers at Trinity. Photo courtesy of Willie Atencio and David Schiferl.

Swimming hole at Trinity Site. Photograph courtesy of Willie Atencio and David Schiferl.

Shelter at Trinity. Photograph courtesy of Willie Atencio and David Schiferl.

Related Profiles

Meyer Rubin

K-25 Plant

Attended the City College of New York.

L. W. Wendlandt

Tinian Island

L. W. Wendlandt served in the 390th Air Service Group.

R. L. Whitefort

K-25 Plant

R. L. Whitefort worked for the Kellex Corporation at the K-25 Plant.

Peter Watkins

Los Alamos, NM

Peter Watkins was a member of the Special Engineer Detatchment (SED) at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project.