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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Nelson C. Baker

Executive OfficerLos Alamos, NM

Manhattan Project VeteranMilitary VeteranSpecial Engineer Detachment

Nelson C. Baker was a lieutenant working as an executive officer to Captain Palmer in the Second Provisional Special Engineer Detachment at Los Alamos. Prior to his work on the Manhattan Project, Baker spent two years in Italy in the 16th Armored Engineer Battalion of the 1st Armored Division in North Africa and Italy. When he returned to the United States in the summer of 1944, Baker met with General Leslie R. Groves, and was reassigned in August. Despite the secrecy surrounding his assignment, Baker made the grueling trip to Los Alamos, arriving on August 14th, 1944. Baker started off as an executive officer but eventually took on the titles of Personnel Officer, Supply Officer, and Post Recreation Officer as well. These positions encompassed a variety of duties, including training military personel, overseeing office staff working on scientific research, doing the payroll and paying the troops, as well as censoring letters.

In October of 1945 Baker left Los Alamos, but continued to serve in the military until 1961, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Baker also worked as a personnel and security investigator for the U.S. Civil Service Commission and the Office of Personnel Management until July 1982 when officially retired.

Nelson C. Baker's Timeline
1920 Feb 2nd Born in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.
19371941 Served in the Michigan National Guard.
1940 Oct Called to Active Military Service.
1941 Oct1942 Jan Attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Belvoir, VA where he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant.
1942 May1944 May Overseas duty in WWII, North Africa and Italy.
1944 Aug 12th Met with General Leslie Groves in Washington, DC and received travel orders to Albuquerque, NM.
1944 Aug Assigned Executive Officer, Second Provisional Special Engineer Deatchment.
1945 Jan Appointed Executive Officer, Personnel Officer, Supply Officer, and Post Recreation Officer in the Second Provisional Special Engineer Detachment.
1945 Oct 12th Separation from the Service.
1946 Sep1961 May 31st Returned to active duty and served in command, staff, and advisory positions. Retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
1982 Jul Retired from positions in the U.S. Civil Service Commission and the Office of Personnel Management.
2009 Oct 1st Passed away.

Nelson Baker's Assignment to the Manhattan District

Nelson Baker's Manhattan District Certification

Nelson Baker's Transfer Orders to Santa Fe, New Mexico

Nelson Baker's Travel Orders, August 1944

Nelson Baker's Meritorious Service Unit Star

Separation orders for Nelson Baker

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