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Sam Campbell’s Interview

Manhattan Project Locations:

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.

Date of Interview:
September 12, 1986
Location of the Interview:


[At top is the edited version of the interview published by S. L. Sanger in Working on the Bomb: An Oral History of WWII Hanford, Portland State University, 1995.

For the full transcript that matches the audio of the interview, please scroll down.]

Book Version:

I was working for Du Pont in Pryor, Oklahoma, a powder plant. At Pryor I was chief of security patrol. The work was similar to work at Hanford, pro­tecting classified areas, life and property. I was transferred to Hanford in November of 43.

In November ’43 we were building up the force. We hadn’t completed the fences around the areas. When I first came I was area commander of 100-B, the first reactor and the first one they put the fence around and tightened security. Prior to that, you had to go through a barricade. The primary prob­lem was during construction. They ran buses from Kennewick and Pasco to Hanford and we had lots of people who would come out there who were not employed.

Olympic Commissary had the contract to operate the messhalls and sleep­ing quarters. They shipped people out here, gave them meal tickets and paid their transportation. They got them out of Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit and in fact I think they might have combed Skid Row. I would say quite a few of those didn’t come out to work. They came out to fleece those who were work­ing.

They claimed one of the better jobs was to be in charge of a barracks. I forget what they called this fella, but he would reserve one room for gam­bling. They would set up this room for gambling, sell drinks for a dollar a shot, perhaps watered down a little bit. They would cut a percentage of the crap games, poker games. There would be a regular percentage cut of each pot, or each roll of the dice of each pass. Patrol was raiding these places as soon as we were aware of it, and they would start somewhere else.

Some of the women were prostitutes, or making a little side money. There was quite a bit of that. I have heard of cases of intercourse done through the fences around the womens barracks. I do think we had some bush business along the river.

Your beer halls and barracks were segregated. You had a beer hall for blacks and a beer hall for whites. We had an 11 o’clock closing time, and a lot of get them out, a lot of rock throwing after they got out. I can understand how at 11 o’clock, after working hard all day they were just going good. 

Most violence was fists and knives, but we picked up lots of guns. I know some of the knives were like ones made in the penitientary. Shivs. We had quite a bit of robbery, because of all the people with cash in their pockets.

We closed up Hanford Camp in February of ’45, which was my responsi­bility. I was shipped into Richland as a captain. About then a captain at 200 East was drafted and I was sent out there. We were manning the towers by then, which was operations time. I am trying to recall, we had 225 patrolmen in that one fenced area, where they did the plutonium separation work.

We had so many because we were manning the towers. They were wooden structures, right on the fence, with lights. We had .38-caliber sidearms, and then in our arsenal at that time 12-gauge shotguns, and later on we had .30-caliber machine guns and .50-caliber machine guns. In a short while, we discontinued manning the towers. Instead we had inner road patrols by cars, on the asphalt roads that went inside the fence. We felt this would be as suf­ficient as having somebody in a tower, perhaps asleep, in the wee hours in the morning. No way to check these guys in the towers without climbing the stairs and by that time he’s awake.

My recollections of when I got to Hanford, in November of43, was that it was chaotic. As best as I can recall, we had 400 patrolmen, working around the clock. One of our busiest periods was keeping people from being run over there at shift change, primarily 4-6 in the afternoon.


Full Version:

S. L. Sanger:    But, you were working for DuPont, right?

Sam Campbell: They were the company that built the plant. When it went into operation, it was still under DuPont. Then I believe in’46, General Electric took over the contract.

Sanger: Where were you living before you came here?

Campbell: In Pryor, Oklahoma.

Sanger: But you weren’t working for DuPont there, were you?

Campbell: Yeah.

Sanger: What did they have going there?

Campbell: A powder plant. In fact, they had a powder plant and then they built alongside of it a TNT plant. It was all set to go, the towers around it and the buildings, and all of a sudden, they decided to shut that down.

Sanger: Well, what’s the name of the town?

Campbell: Pryor, P-r-y-o-r.

Sanger: Where is that in Oklahoma?

Campbell: I guess it would be called northeast Oklahoma. It is forty-five miles east of Tulsa.

Sanger: Is that where you’re from?

Campbell: Originally, yes.

Sanger: What were you doing at that point?

Campbell: I was just back from South America on a construction job.

Sanger: Oh, I see. So, not for DuPont, though?

Campbell: No.

Sanger: What company? You were a construction worker before that?

Campbell: I’ve had varied jobs. Six years in the Army, first the Air Corps and then later on the Coast Artillery in the Philippines.

Sanger: That’s before the war, though, huh?

Campbell: We were standing beach alerts over on Corregidor just before I came back. They had just hit this Yangtze gunboat. This caused us to go on full alert there.

Sanger: When was that? Late ‘30s?

Campbell: ’38.

Sanger: What were you doing there? Was that the Coast Artillery?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: Is that Army or Navy?

Campbell: That’s Army.

Sanger: So then you left the Army?

Campbell: Yes.

Sanger: Then that’s when you got into construction?

Campbell: Well, I was back in the Philippines about nine months nursing my ailments I picked up over there. Then nine months after I left the Philippines, I was with the Engineers Limited, who had a contract to put a pipeline into the oil wells in Columbia to the coast where they could be picked up by barges. That was in the boondocks. We built the only roads in through there.

Sanger: That’s a private company, Engineers Limited?

Campbell: Right. They had the contract with Texaco and [inaudible]. It was a joint venture.

Sanger: Well, that must have been some job, too.

Campbell: It was.

Sanger: Is that jungle in there?

Campbell: That’s all jungle in there.

Sanger: How long were you down there?

Campbell: About a year and a half.

Sanger: Then you came up to Oklahoma?

Campbell: I came to a little town right on the Missouri and Oklahoma line, where my parents had moved in the meantime while I had been gone. Then when the job started in, just out of Pryor. My wife and I moved into Pryor and went to work for DuPont.


Sanger: So that would’ve been what?

Campbell: ’41.

Sanger: ’41. So the war had started yet, or not? Of course, it didn’t start until December. Maybe it had?

Campbell: No, I went to work for them in October of ’41, and December 7th is when they hit Pearl Harbor.

Sanger: But they were already starting to put the—

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: —gun powder plant in. Of course, DuPont, that was one of their big functions, wasn’t it, is the explosives, gun powder.

Campbell: They kind of pioneered in powder and dynamite.

Sanger: You would have been what? How old are you now?

Campbell: Seventy-nine.

Sanger: So you would have been what then?

Campbell: Well, let’s see, ’41.

Sanger: When were you born?

Campbell: ’07. So, I would have been thirty-four.

Sanger: You would have been, at that time, actually for the time being, at least, past draft age? Plus you had served already, right?

Campbell: Right. The fact that I’d served prevented me from being drafted.

Sanger: You were married then?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: Then you worked how long? What did you do at Pryor then?

Campbell: I was in patrol. At the time that I left there, I was Chief of Patrol.

Sanger: That really is like a DuPont police force, sort of, huh?

Campbell: Well, it was similar to this right here [at Hanford]. It’s protecting classified areas, life and property.

Sanger: How did you happen to get on the project here then?

Campbell: I was transferred from there.

Sanger: But they offered it to you, or what?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: That was in what?

Campbell: That was in November of ’43 that I came out here on a direct transfer.

Sanger: What was your position here then?

Campbell: I came out as a lieutenant, and in a short time I was promoted to captain. Then assistant chief, and then chief in 1951. I retained that position until I retired in ’71.

Sanger: You were chief of—what did they call it then? Now, you’re working for what, GE and somebody else?

Campbell: Yeah, I retired with ITT.

Sanger: They ran it at that time?

Campbell: It was divided into different companies, and ITT had electrical, office equipment, patrol, fire safety. Each company had their own safety, but patrol furnished the security for all the companies.

Sanger: What was it called then? Was it patrol or security or what?

Campbell: It was called security patrol.

Sanger: That’s actually what it was during the DuPont days, too.

Campbell: Right. Then the union, they called it “the guards” in their contract. But we referred to it as security patrol all the time, that I can recall.

Sanger: You came out in—what did you say, October, November of ’43?

Campbell: November of ’43.

Sanger: As a lieutenant. Now, that would mean that you were in charge of a certain section or what?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: Do you remember how many fellows were in that at that time?

Campbell: We were just building up the force at that time. We hadn’t completed the fences around the different areas, and they were building what they call B Area, D Area and F Area. Then over in separation, which is at 200 East and 200 West.

Sanger: Now, that was obviously the key security part, those areas.

Campbell: Right, right.

Sanger: What was your actual responsibility? Any particular part of the project?

Campbell: Well, when I first came, I was the area commander of 100-B.

Sanger: Oh. Well, that was the first reactor.

Campbell: That was the first reactor, and that’s the first one that they put the fence around and tightened the security. Prior to that, you had to go through a barricade and didn’t require a Q clearance, like they eventually did when they put the fence around it.

Sanger: You were able to circulate any place you wanted to, then?

Campbell: Right, right.

Sanger: What were some of the security precautions in those days?

Campbell: Primarily to prevent any unauthorized people from entering a secured area.

Sanger: How would you prevent that?

Campbell: They wore badges that we checked to make sure that they had the proper credentials.

Sanger: Was it a badge and anything more than that?

Campbell: Eventually, they had to have pencils and then, here again, it’s my memory. A certain portion of the badge that they wore in addition to their security badge would check to see if it picked up any contamination or any plutonium.

Sanger: That was during that period, the early period?

Campbell: Early period. Well, this continued on.

Sanger: I suppose, yeah.

Campbell: Oh, yes.

Sanger: Did you have any particular problems with anybody, or was there any security violations frequently, or not?

Campbell: The primary problem was back in construction. Hanford was an open town, and they ran buses from Kennewick and Pasco. We had lots of people that would come out there that were not employed.

Sanger: Oh, I see. Anybody more or less could go to Hanford, the town?

Campbell: Right, right.

Sanger: Then the areas themselves were secured?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: Was there a lot of trouble because of that? People coming into the camp?

Campbell: Employees were hard to come by. Olympic Commissary had the contract to operate the cafeterias and the sleeping quarters. They shipped people out here, gave them some meal tickets and paid their transportation. They got them out of Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit. In fact, I think they might have combed Skid Row and a few of those places.

Sanger: Yeah, that’s what I heard. That brought in a certain element that was troublesome, I suppose.

Campbell: I’d say quite a few of those didn’t come out to work. They came out to fleece those that were working.

Sanger: Did they have much success?

Campbell: Yes.

Sanger: In what way? I mean, gambling and what?

Campbell: They claimed one of the better jobs was to be in charge of the barracks, different barracks. They would reserve one room for gambling, and they had a name for this fellow that was in charge. I’ve forgotten what it was. Back in those days, in the State of Washington, you could only get a fifth of whiskey every two weeks, but you could buy rum and gin just about all you wanted and maybe a little tequila. They’d set up this room for gambling, sell drinks for a dollar a shot, perhaps watered down a little bit. They would cut the crap games, the poker games.

Sanger: They’d take a cut of it, you mean? Whoever ran the barracks would have their piece?

Campbell: Yeah, well, it was the regular percentage cut of each pot or each role of the dice or each pass. Patrol was raiding these places as soon as we were aware of it. Then they’d start somewhere else. We had barracks for the women; we had barracks for men. Some of the women would get into the wrong barracks, or were prostitutes, and they were making a little side money.

Sanger: Yeah, I was going to ask you about that. Was there a lot of that?

Campbell: Quite a bit.

Sanger: Because I’ve asked these people, what in the world did all of Styles and the men do about women out there in the desert? Well, obviously, one guy told me that there were a lot of single women who worked in the mess halls and obviously, some of them were prostitutes, I suppose. Made more money at that than they did making in the mess hall, I’m sure. Was that pretty prevalent?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: Where would they go? Just in their rooms?

Campbell: That’s a good question.

Sanger: Or in the sagebrush?

Campbell: I’ve heard of cases through the fence.

Sanger: I’ve heard that, too. In fact, some guy told me that some guy lost part of himself on the fence. There was a barbed wire problem, I guess.

Campbell: That’s a good story, but I’ve never heard that.

Sanger: Oh, yeah, well, it probably is a story.

Campbell: You get all sorts of stories. Possible, I guess.

Sanger: What would happen then when you caught somebody? I mean, either prostitution or gambling?

Campbell: Ship them out.

Sanger: Then they would be prosecuted under state law?

Campbell: We had a setup with Benton County, particularly with our drunks. We’d put them on a bus and ship them into Prosser. In fact, on Saturday night, we’d generally have a good run of drunks or other situations where we’d have to confine them into the jail. Then Sunday morning, we’d release them and ship them to Prosser to make room for the Sunday night crowd. Weekends were—

Sanger: Big.

Campbell: —really kept us busy.

Sanger: What about in the beer hall? Was that a source of problems, too?

Campbell: Your beer halls and your barracks were segregated. You had beer halls for blacks and you had a beer hall for whites, and we had an 11:00 closing time. A lot of them didn’t want to leave. There was a certain amount of tear gas used to get them out. A lot of rock-throwing when they got out. I can understand 11:00 there, they worked all day and maybe they’re just going good at 11:00, you know.

Sanger: Did you have bad problems with violence? Stabbings, that sort of thing, either in the beer hall or barracks or wherever?

Campbell: I can’t prove this, because I don’t know what crime Seattle had, but the year of ’44, supposedly, the crime in Hanford equivalent to the crime in Seattle.

Sanger: So there was quite a bit of it?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: Was a lot of that violent? Or was it more in the gambling and prostitution angle?

Campbell: I would say more gambling, prostitution, some violence, but I just don’t recall different situations.

Sanger: Well, was most of the violence either fists or knives?

Campbell: I would say so.

Sanger: No guns, I suppose, huh?

Campbell: We picked up lots of guns.

Sanger: Did you? You mean in the barracks?

Campbell: Well, different situations. I’m trying to recall. I know some of the knives, knives like they would be made in a penitentiary, shivs. We had quite a bit of robbery, robbing people that had money in their pockets. I think a lot of this was caused by some of the people they shipped out here that worked for the Olympic Commissary.

Sanger: Yeah. Did you recall any homicides, or very many of them?

Campbell: I was just trying to think. I’m going to have to say I don’t remember any.

Sanger: Homicide?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: One guy, and this is obviously an exaggeration, I mean, he said that there were just many uncounted murders in the beer halls. You don’t recall that also, I suppose you remember, but [Francis] McHale, he was—

Campbell: McHale was out here early. Then he went to into the service, and he didn’t get back out for a while. So, he missed a lot of the—

Sanger: Oh, the main part.

Campbell: Right. But I was going to suggest that you talk to McHale. His memory might be better than mine.

Sanger: Well, I have talked to him. He didn’t remember any real serious, homicide-type. Maybe once or twice, he thinks. But not very often.

Campbell: Mac, who eventually become chief of security for Atomic Energy, was back after I think he pulled a little tour over in the Philippines, too.

Sanger: Yeah, that’s what he said. He was kind of cagey about that. I don’t know what that was for.

Campbell: But he was here when I got here.

Sanger: He was in fire safety, wasn’t he, or fire department originally?

Campbell: Right, right. He was connected with fire some way, but he wasn’t here very long before, that’s when I got here, then he left. It seems like his rank was a staff sergeant.

Sanger: What about any racial difficulties? Was that a problem?

Campbell: The best I can recall, only one. We closed their beer hall. You wouldn’t call that racial, except that the patrol was white and here we were interfering with their pastime.

Sanger: You mean that’s at night, you mean?

Campbell: Right, 11:00 at night.

Sanger: I suppose that the blacks had a much smaller beer hall, right, because there weren’t nearly as many of them as the whites, were there?

Campbell: I don’t know the ratio.

Sanger: I remember that there were barracks for maybe two thousand blacks, something like that. I suppose some of them lived maybe elsewhere. But [Colonel Franklin] Matthias was saying that, as far as racial minorities went, the blacks were about it, because there wasn’t any Hispanics to speak of.

Campbell: As far as being racial, I’d say no.

Sanger: I mean, like race riots or something.

Campbell: Right, yeah.

Sanger: That’s what other people have said, too, that there were certain personal difficulties, but it didn’t seem necessary to be—

Campbell: That could happen anywhere.

Sanger: Yeah. Although there was a certain large segment of people from the South working there, I guess, who had feelings about it.

By the time the war was over, what was your job? Was it essentially the same, or had you gone on to a higher job, higher position?

Campbell: I think we went over that earlier, a while ago. We closed up Hanford in February of ’45. I was still in construction and my job was to close Hanford.

Sanger: Your main job was at the construction site?

Campbell: Until February of ’45.

Sanger: Yeah, okay.

Campbell: Then I was shipped into Richland primarily with no responsibility as a captain. We set up our master key system. I was put in charge of the communications, lost and found department, which was quite heavy at that time, the laundry. About that time a captain at 200 East Area was drafted and I went out to East Area as a captain.

Sanger: That was operating then?

Campbell: That’s in operation.

Sanger: What was that like then?

Campbell: We were manning the towers at that time. I’m trying to recall, 225 patrolmen just in one fenced-in area.

Sanger: Oh, was that for the separation area?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: Just one of them?

Campbell: That was just one. I’d look at the roster in my office there, and I think I counted thirty-five Smiths.

Sanger: Oh, yeah. So you had 225 guys just for that one area?

Campbell: Right. That’s because of the manning the towers.

Sanger: What were they?

Campbell: That’s just a wooden structure right on the fence with a view on both sides with lights to prevent people from coming through or over the fence.

Sanger: What kind of weapons did they have?

Campbell: Had a .38 sidearm. In our arsenal, we had at that time 12-guage shotguns. Later on, we added the 30-caliber machine guns, the 50-caliber, the tanks, which were stationed at each area. They fired the 37 millimeter.

Sanger: I mean, these are real tanks?

Campbell: Real tanks.

Sanger: That was during the wartime period?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: Each area had how many?

Campbell: Each area had one, and we had a spare over to our training section.

Sanger: That would mean each reactor area and each of the separation areas?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: I never heard that. They were regular track tanks?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: What were they supposed to do?

Campbell: I guess, right now, it’d be similar to your—what do they call these squads that report?

Sanger: Oh, the SWAT teams?

Campbell: Yeah, the SWAT teams.

Sanger: It was like an armored car.

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: Whatever happened to them, I wonder?

Campbell: The decision was made that they were no longer needed.

Sanger: After the war.

Campbell: I’m not sure that they were there for the complete war. That’s where things get a little hazy there.

Sanger: The security where you worked, the separation area, was that similar to what it was at the reactors, too? Do you know?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: They had fences and towers?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: Lights?

Campbell: In a short while, we discontinued manning the towers and set up the inner-road patrols. We had asphalt roads going complete around on the inside of the areas. We felt like that would be just as efficient as having somebody in a tower, perhaps asleep there in the wee hours of the morning and no way to check him without climbing the stairs. By that time, he’s awake.

Sanger: You would just drive a circuit of these inner roads?

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: But they still had—

Campbell: At that time, we had two cars to an area, continuous roving around.

Sanger: Did you ever find anybody?

Campbell: I’m sure we found unauthorized people. We had a plane land in 200 East Area, inadvertently. It was lost. He landed inside of the area and reported to First Aid. He wasn’t intentionally trying to get in. It just happened that he landed there and didn’t know where he was.

Sanger: Was there an airstrip there?

Campbell: No, but there was a lot of open spaces.

Sanger: He just was lost and came down there?

Campbell: Right, at night.

Sanger: He’s lucky he didn’t get shot down, I suppose. Do you recall ever having any serious breaches of security?

Campbell: No.

Sanger: Really suspicious people, that sort of thing?

Campbell: No.

Sanger: These fences, they were pretty high?

Campbell: Fairly high with wire stretching out from the outside. A climb-proof fence, so-called.

Sanger: Could they be the same ones that are still at B, I wonder?

Campbell: You know, I haven’t been out there in many years.

Sanger: I know they have fences around, but these fences I think about are pretty. They’re right up next to the building. The fences were a ways away, weren’t they?

Campbell: See, we had areas inside of an area.

Sanger: Yeah. In other words, there might be several fences.

Campbell: Right. Several areas inside of the main area.

Sanger: Say when you were at the B, at the construction, do you remember how many fence lines there were for that?

Campbell: Originally, none. Then shortly after I was assigned there—see, the first fence went around East Area, and the second area to have a fence was B. Then they were still building on D and F. Then later on they built a K Area.

Sanger: Yeah, that was after the war.

Campbell: Right.

Sanger: Where did you live during that period?

Campbell: When I first came to Hanford, several of us had a tract house, just about a mile up river from Hanford.

Sanger: Oh, you did.  What was that? Left over from something, or what?

Campbell: It was what we called a tract house, where a farmer had operated there and then had moved out. We had a [inaudible] around the house with a modern—had janitor service, and we had to do our own cooking.

Sanger: Your wife was with you?

Campbell: No. My wife came out in February of ’44.

Sanger: ’45, you mean?

Campbell: ’45.

Sanger: I guess, you were here in ’43, right?

Campbell: Let’s see, yeah, ’44. We lived in an apartment in Yakima, except I still lived at the cherry orchard and would commute back and forth on Wednesdays.  Then I’d go Wednesday and then back Thursday morning. Then Saturday evening and come back Monday morning.  We worked six days a week.

Sanger: Did your wife move over here then later?

Campbell: Yes. See, housing wasn’t available to everyone here. They were still building homes.

Sanger: Oh, I see.

Campbell: This house here wasn’t built until ’48.

Sanger: Where’d you move then when she came over in Richland?

Campbell: In a B house. That’s a duplex. Two families to a B house.

Sanger: When was that? Do you remember?

Campbell: July of ’44.

Sanger: Is this your wife here?

Campbell: She’s out painting the fence this morning.

Sanger: I might ask her after we get through talking. It was suggested we talk to the women, too, because they usually have stories.

Then I suppose things tapered off considerably then when the construction workers were gone, as far as crime went and so on?

Campbell: Oh, yeah. But, everyone that was working in an area had to have a Q clearance, which meant that they were originally investigated by the FBI. Later on, to relieve the FBI, this momentous, continuous assignment, they—not the CIC, but another one.

Sanger: The military security, you mean?

Campbell: Well, they did the—

Sanger: Oh, I see what you mean, yeah.

Campbell: —they did the check on the employee before you could be granted a Q clearance.

Sanger: That was top secret, or secret or what?

Campbell: Certain areas required a top secret clearance, but primarily it was called a Q clearance, and that would get you into most of the areas.

Sanger: Did you have much to do with the physicists and scientists and so on? Any problems with them? 

Do you recall many of those guys? I mean, were they eccentric types or not, the physicists and the scientists out there, just at the B, 100-B?

Campbell: Most of your scientists were headquartered in 300 Area, the laboratories. Eventually, Battelle took that over. I suppose that a few were eccentric, but I don’t recall any specific cases. I had, of course, that area under, along with the rest of them.

Sanger: How many layers of police, etc.? Now, the military, they had their MPs, I suppose, huh? Were they around?

Campbell: Well, they came to Hanford. Actually, their headquarters was in North Richland.

Sanger: Oh, was it?

Campbell: They put an anti-aircraft around the reactor areas.

Sanger: During the wartime period?

Campbell: Right. Well, this was not World War II, this was—

Sanger: Oh, you mean later?

Campbell: Later.

Sanger: Do you recall, what was the military protection here? Was there much during the war, besides what you were talking about, the tanks and so on?

Campbell: No.

Sanger: Who ran those tanks? Was that DuPont or was that military? Do you remember?

Campbell: We operated them, but I’m trying to think who we were working for at that time. It had to be either DuPont or General Electric.

Sanger: But you think there—

Campbell: ITT didn’t come in until, was it ’66? Or somewhere in the late ‘60s.

Sanger: Do you think, though, that those small tanks were here during the wartime period when DuPont was here?

Campbell: You know, I’d be guessing.

Sanger: Maybe somebody else—I think Matthias would know that one, if he remembers.

Campbell: McHale should know that.

Sanger: Oh, okay.

Campbell: Because he was here when they had the tank.

Sanger: There were some MPs here, though, during the war, were there?

Campbell: No. The Army had their own MPs when they were stationed out here in North Richland. They had nothing to do with us whatsoever, or any protection for the areas, except their anti-aircraft. They were on call if we needed them.

Sanger: During the DuPont period, did you deal with military security types?

Campbell: Originally, it was the Corps of Engineers that was hiring the subcontractors, which we really were. Later on it became the Atomic Energy, and the Corps of Engineers had no more to do with it. Just like eventually the DOE took over from the Atomic Energy.

Sanger: When you first came here in ’43, what’s your recollection of it? Was it really chaotic, busy, frantic place, or what?

Campbell: You’re talking about Hanford?

Sanger: Yeah.

Campbell: Yeah, it was chaotic. I think, the best I recall, for the town of Hanford, we had 400 patrolmen, that’s working around the clock. One of our busiest periods, we were keeping people from being run over there at shift change, primarily 4 to 6 in the afternoon, when they get in from the areas. Let’s see, what did we have? 55,000 working out of Hanford in a confined area.

Sanger: Being run over by what? Trucks or cars?

Campbell: Right. They’d want to cross the street and there was a steady stream of equipment going by. Oh, yeah, we had a bank robbery in Hanford. I can’t recall too many particulars.

Sanger: What happened to them, do you remember?

Campbell: I think they were caught.

Sanger: Well, could that be. I think McHale mentioned that, that they were caught somewhere on the way to Yakima.

Campbell: Yeah, they still had the money with them, best I recall.

Sanger: But there weren’t any real sensational crimes you remember? Mostly it was gambling, prostitution, that sort of thing?

Campbell: Yeah.

Sanger: Robbery.

Campbell: I’ve been trying to recall and I just don’t recall any shootouts.

Sanger: Yeah. Matthias was saying that he thought that maybe there was a red light district along the river off the project. Do you remember anything about that, on the way to Pasco, etc.? Of course, that wouldn’t have pertained to you guys.

Campbell: I just don’t recall any. I do think we had some bush business along the river, adjacent to Hanford there.

Sanger: Who was the chief during that period?

Campbell: Armstrong.

Sanger: Is he dead?

Campbell: Yeah. He left before we went into operations, and let’s see, he was from, I believe he was the chief at Wabash, Indiana, the plant they had. DuPont sent quite a few people from each one of their plants, Old Hickory, Tennessee; OOW [Oklahoma Ordnance Works], which was the Pryor plant; Remington Arms from Salt Lake City; and Denver.

Copyright 1989 S. L. Sanger. This transcript may not be quoted, reproduced, or redistributed in whole or in part by any means except with the written permission of S. L. Sanger.