Rachel "Rae" Erlanger worked on the Manhattan Project for the Kellex Corporation. She grew up in New York City.
When looking for a job to support her family, Rachel responded to an advertisement for Kellex. She received a job at a chemistry lab in New Jersey, where the high level of secrecy tipped her off that this was not an ordinary job. As a chemist, she recognized uranium-235 as the material used in an atomic bomb and realized she had become involved in the war effort. Her work at Kellex contributed to the development of the K-25 gaseous diffusion plant. Her husband Bernard Erlanger also worked on the Manhattan Project as a technical advisor at Los Alamos.