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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Frances Dunne

Explosives Technician/MechanicLos Alamos, NM

Manhattan Project VeteranProject Worker/Staff
Frances Dunne working in Bayo Canyon. Image courtesy of the Los Alamos Historical Society.

Frances Dunne was an explosives technician in Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project.

She attended multiple universities but never obtained a degree. At the beginning of the World War II, Dunne studied to become an airplane mechanic. She first worked at Ryan Field in Tucson and then at Lindbergh Field in San Diego.

In 1944, she was working at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico when she was recruited by George Kistiakowsky to work at Los Alamos with the Explosives Assembly Group. She was the only woman working in this group, and was an asset to the group because her smaller hands could reach things that the men could not.

Following the war, she worked for the FBI.

Los Alamos ID.

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