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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Henry Howard Roerkohl

Commanding Officer of the 216th Special Ordnance DetachmentWendover, UT

Washington, DC
Manhattan Project VeteranMilitary Veteran
Henry Howard Roerkohl

Henry Howard Roerkohl was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the QM Corps Reserve on Jan 16, 1940. On Nov 9, 1942 Howard was transferred to the Northwest Service Command (NWSC), located in Whitehorse, Canada in the Yukon Territory. He was Commanding Officer of the 3413th Ordnance Company working on the ALCAN (Alaska – Canadian Highway) and Canol (Canadian-American-Norman Oil pipeline) projects. Col. E. E. Kirkpatrick and Lt. Col. Robert W. Lockridge later of the Manhattan Project also served in the NWSC, with Lockridge recommending Roerkohl for the Manhattan Project.

As a result he became Commanding Officer of the 216th Special Ordnance Detachment which assembled atomic bomb prototypes for test purposes as a component of the 216th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Sp) at Wendover Field, Utah.

After the war, he briefly served at Sandia Base as Commander of the Troops, reporting to Col. Seeman for Technical Area matters and Col. Tyler for Post matters.

Information and photographs for this profile were provided by Scott Muselin.

Henry Howard Roerkohl's Timeline
1937 Dec 23rd Applied for commission in the Quartermasters Corps (QMC) (reserve).
1940 Jan 16th Appointed as 2nd Lt. Quartermasters Corps.
1941 May 1st Called to active duty.
1942 Feb 27th Promoted to 1st Lt. Fort. Lewis, Washington, HQ 69th Ordnance (MM) Battalion (Q).
1942 Oct 6th Promoted to Captain, Fort. Lewis, Washington, HQ 69th Ordnance (MM) Battalion (Q): position (S-4) supply officer.
1945 Mar 8th1945 Mar 16th Assigned (SO #58) to Manhattan Engineering District, Oak Ridge, Washington D.C. office.
1945 Mar 23rd Assigned to Office of the Chief of Staff, Washington D.C.
1945 Mar 26th Assigned to 216th AAF Base Unit, Wendover Field, Utah. Special Ordnance Detachment/ Section; in command of 29 Officers, 350 enlisted men and 35 civilian employees.
1945 Jul 26th Recommended for promotion to Major, by Col. Heflin.
1945 Sep 25th Promoted to Major (SO #228).
1946 Aug 14th Appointed Officer Reserve Corps rank of Major (Ordnance).
1953 Jan 1st Again appointed a Reserve Commissioned Officer of the Army (Ordnance Corps).

Henry's orders to Wendover- 3/26/1945

Oak Ridge Orders- 3/8/1945

4/2/1945- Parsons to Ashworth Document 

7/1945- Document of a Recommendation for Roerkohl's Promotion to Major 

8/1945- Document of a Recommendation for Roerkohl's Promotion to Major

Attachment to Recommendation for Promotion of Roerkohl 

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