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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Oral Histories

Vincent and Clare Whitehead’s Interview – Part 2

Vincent (“Bud”) Whitehead was a counterintelligence officer at Hanford during the Manhattan Project; his wife Clare was a secretary and a member of the Women’s Army Corps. In part two of their interview with S. L. Sanger, the Whiteheads discuss crime at Hanford and the project’s intense secrecy. Clare recalls when she was stricken with polio and how the DuPont doctors were far superior to the Army doctor. The couple also speculates on whether Bud’s subsequent health issues are related to radiation exposure. Finally, Bud recalls chasing and bringing down a Japanese balloon bomb.

Sam Campbell’s Interview

Before he came to Hanford Sam Campbell had a varied work history, including service with the coast artillery in the Philippines and pipeline construction in South America. He was a Patrol Captain and Assistant Chief of the security patrol during the wartime period at Hanford. He was originally in charge of overseeing security around the B Reactor area. In this interview, Campbell discusses his background in the Army and construction with DuPont, as well as how he was assigned to Hanford. He also talks about the various criminal problems around Hanford, namely gambling, prostitution, excessive drinking and fighting. Campbell also goes into the security procedures and the few security incidents he had to deal with.After the war, he settled in Richland.

Luzell Johnson’s Interview

Luzell Johnson joined the Manhattan Project at Hanford in the spring of 1944. Johnson worked as a cement finisher and helped with the construction of various site facilities, including the 100-F Area reactor building. As an African-American, Johnson discusses what it was like for blacks working on the project and recalls some of the illicit activities that took place in the barracks. He also discusses his experience playing center field for the Hanford baseball team, which included both blacks and whites.