George C. Hollowwa was a member of the Army Air Corps and a weapons expert. During and after World War II, he was involved in the assembly and testing of atomic weapons.
Hollowwa was born in Denton, Texas in 1920. After graduating from Denton High School, Hollowwa majored in physics at Texas State Teachers College (now North Texas University). In order to put himself through college, he worked as a licensed engineer at the Denton radio station, KDNT. When the war began, Hollowwa volunteered himself for the Army Air Corps.
World War II
Hollowwa’s first job during the war was to equip new aircrafts with radar and navigational equipment, and because of his prior electronic experience, he quickly rose up in the ranks and became shift foreman. Having been commissioned as Second Lieutenant, Hollowwa attended Yale University’s radar school, developing his specialty in weapons. Later, with the approval of the Los Alamos laboratory, Hollowwa was sent to Wendover, Utah with the 216th AAF Base Unit Special Ordnance Detachment and assisted in the assembly of atomic bombs for testing.
According to Special Order No. 9, dated December 7, 1945, Hollowwa’s unit was transferred to the 9812th TSU-CE at Sandia Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At Sandia National Labs, nuclear weapon design and testing continued. Hollowwa was first assigned to Sandia, Division Z-9, Stockpiling under the management of Wilber F. Shaffer. Hollowwa would continue to work at Sandia for 41 years. In 1949, Hollowwa married his wife, Barbara Connors, who also worked at Sandia.
Hollowwa passed away on February 20, 2018. He was 97.