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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Herbert “Herb” F. Depke

Expediting Department SupervisorHanford, WA

Manhattan Project Veteran

Herbert Depke was born November 18, 1907 in Danville, Illinois.  He received a B.S. from the University of Illinois in 1930, then began working for his family’s business.  When the United States entered the Second World War, Depke began searching for war work. He began by working at a DuPont plant in Indiana, likely on conventional explosives. When the Dupont Company built the Manhattan Project plant in Hanford, WA, Depke volunteered to transfer to the new site. 

Depke's son, Herbert W. Depke, gave an interview to the Atomic Heritage Foundation about life as a child at Hanford; you can hear it here

Herbert “Herb” F. Depke's Timeline
1907 Nov 18th Born in Danville, Illinois
1930 Received Bachelor of Science degree from University of Illinois
1943 Joined the Manhattan Project in Hanford, WA
1974 Sep 26th Died in Danville, Illinois

This document is an organization chart for the Expediting Department at the Hanford Engineer Works and is dated July 11, 1944.  With the huge quantities of materials needed, the expediting department played a key role in the success of the atomic project.  This document was prepared by Herb Depke, a supervisor for the expediting dept.  Note his name in the upper center of the chart.  This document was provided to us courtesy of his son, Herb W. Depke.

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