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.