In Memoriam: Herbert Lehr

In Memoriam: Herbert Lehr

Herb Lehr with the Active Material

​We have recently learned that Manhattan Project veteran Herbert Lehr passed away on January 13, 2018 at the age of 95 in Seattle, WA. Lehr was born in New York on February 15, 1922. He attended City College of New York before enlisting in the U.S. Army.

Lehr served as a member of the Special Engineer Detachment at Los Alamos. He worked in the Experimental Physics Division, and contributed to the design of the core design for the uranium bomb.

He was also present at the Trinity Test, and helped assemble and transport the plutonium core of the test bomb. Trinity Site expert Jim Eckles explained in an AHF interview: “At the clean room, they are going to assemble the core. You’ve got two pieces of plutonium. Herb Lehr is carrying those in a special padded box. There is a famous picture of him coming through the door.”

After the war, he returned to Los Alamos to help Marshall Holloway prepare for Operation Crossroads. He later worked as an administrative officer at Brookhaven National Laboratory and as an engineering supervisor for Boeing.

In 1948, he married his wife Pat, and together they had three daughters. The couple retired to Arizona in 1987. 

For more on Herbert Lehr:

Seattle Times Obituary

AHF Profile

Veterans History Project Oral History with Lehr