Personal Recollections of Los Alamos and The Manhattan Project
August 10, 2022
The global cataclysm that was World War Two was brought to an abrupt conclusion on August 6th 1945 when Paul Tibbets captained the Enola Gay over Hiroshima and the plane dropped the first atomic bomb in human history on the city.
Despite 80,000 dead and the resulting devastation, the Japanese still refused to surrender. A second atomic bomb was subsequently dropped on Nagasaki three days later resulting in 40,000 more deaths. Japanese Emperor Hirohito finally relented and announced Japan’s unconditional surrender in a radio address on August 15, 1945 citing the devastating power of “a new and most cruel bomb.”
The bombs forestalled an assault on the Japanese mainland called “Operation Downfall”. Projections indicated it would result in up to one million deaths. It also ushered in the atomic age and ultimately the Cold War, and irrevocably changed the world.
The project that created the bomb that ended the war was the resultof a program called The Manhattan Project. It was promoted in part by a letter from Albert Einstein to President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning of Nazi Germanys progression towards the creation of an atomic bomb.
Led by Americans Dr. Robert J. Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves, it harnessed the brain power of some of the worlds greatest minds.
And this is where the story of our guest Greg Rasmussen begins.
Greg, who retired from A. C. Spark Plug on the East Side of Flint has a unique view on this story to say the least. His parents Roger and Jane Rasmussen were both participants and workers on the Manhattan Project, and that’s where they met. Without the Mahhattan Project there wouldn’t have been an atomic bomb, or a Greg Rasmussen!
The bombs having been completed, were ultimately dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by B29 Super Fortresses “The Enola Gay”, and “Bockscar”. After Nagasaki, Japanese Emperor Hirohito was finally compelled to surrender, thereby ending World War Two.
Greg’s story, and the tale of one of human history’s most impactful stories are inextricably linked. We are absolutely thrilled to help him tell it right here in The or Aquarium of “Fish and The Flint Chronicles.”
We're lucky to have Greg share some of his treasures: