Nuclear Museum Logo
Nuclear Museum Logo

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

John Lansdale

Special Assistant for SecurityWashington, DC

Alsos Mission
Military Veteran
John Lansdale.

John Lansdale (1912 – 2003) was a colonel in the US Army.

Lansdale first learned of the Manhattan project from National Defense Research Committee Chairman James B. Conant. At that time, he was assigned to head counterintelligence at the Radiation Laboratory at University of California, Berkeley.

Following the creation of the Manhattan District, Lansdale headed a counterintelligence group in Washington, D.C., which reported to General Groves. Following the decentralization of Army counterintelligence, Groves appointed Lansdale as his special assistant for security. He was consequently in charge of coordinating Manhattan Project security across multiple federal bureaus.

The colonel later served in Europe with the Alsos Mission, at which point he assisted in capturing German scientists and shipping uranium to the United States.

John Lansdale's Timeline
1912 Jan 9th Born in Oakland, California.
1941 Jun Called for active duty, begins service in the Investigations Branch in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff at the War Department.
1942 Feb Assigned to lead counterintelligence at the Radiation Laboratory.
1944 Hand-picked by Groves to serve as his special assistant for security.
1945 Sent to Europe on the Alsos Mission.
2003 Aug 22nd Died in Annapolis, Maryland.

Related Profiles

Ben J. De Corso

Los Alamos, NM

Charlton C. Barth

Los Alamos, NM

Howard Orndorff

Los Alamos, NM

Howard Orndorff’s daughter, Norma Orndorff, died in July of 2022. Her obituary can be read¬†here.

Edward Tarnacki

Los Alamos, NM