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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

John W. Starner

Experimental PhysicistLos Alamos, NM

Manhattan Project VeteranSpecial Engineer Detachment

John William Starner joined the Manhattan Project in December 1943 as a member of the Special Engineer Detachement at Los Alamos.

Starner, who immedietely recognized some of the names of the scientists who were living on the hill, asked his boss if the project had to do with atomic energy. Soon after, Starner was made a staff member and sworn to secrecy. He worked at Omega site where he helped build the Water Boiler reactor, which would be used to determine the critical mass of a simple fuel configuration and to test the water boiler concept.

After the war, Starner remained at Los Alamos and continued working at Omega as an experimental physicist until he retired. He married Barbara Starner, who he met at Omega, had four children and lived a happy life. Starner passed away in 2006.

John W. Starner's Timeline
1918 Born in Indiana.
1942 Received B.A. in mathematics from Galesburg College.
1943 Dec Joined the Manhattan Project as a member of the Special Engineer Detachment at Los Alamos.

John W. Starner ID Badge

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