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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

James B. Snodgrass

Military Police - MountedLos Alamos, NM

Trinity Site
Manhattan Project VeteranMilitary PoliceMilitary Veteran
Front gate to the Los Alamos compound

James B. Snodgrass was a member of the Mounted Military Police working on site security at Los Alamos and the Trinity test site.

Snodgrass was born on March 29, 1919 in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Prior to serving at Los Alamos, he was a member of the Tennessee National Guard.

In 1943, Snodgrass enlisted as a Military Policeman (MP) and was assigned to the 9812th Technical Service Unit at Los Alamos. He worked as a standing and mounted guard protecting the secret city, including highway patrol. According to his son, Snodgrass ventured out to the Trinity test site with another MP only hours after the blast and recalled green glass crunching under their feet.

The photos displayed below were taken by PFC Snodgrass during his time at Los Alamos and the Trinity Site. They were developed shortly after his discharge in 1946. Many thanks to Quentin Reynolds for donating the photographs and documents to the Atomic Heritage Foundation.

James B. Snodgrass's Timeline
1919 Mar 29th Born in Elizabethton, Tennessee.
19371940 Served in the Tennessee National Guard.
19431946 Served as an MP at Los Alamos.

Snodgrass’s certificate from the War Department

Snodgrass’ discharge papers (front)

Snodgrass’ discharge papers (back)

Project Trinity Booklet (cover)

Jumbo “failsafe” device for the Trinity test explosion

McDonald Ranch House at the Trinity Site

McDonald Ranch House at the Trinity Site

MPs playing polo

MPs playing polo

MPs playing polo

MPs with dogs Nicki, Pudgie, and Fang

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