Major Harry D. Riley (1907-1996) worked on the Manhattan Project at Hanford as an engineering officer and chief of services.
Riley was born in Andalusia, Alabama on November 12, 1907. He graduated from Auburn University in 1931 with a B.S. in Architectural Engineering.
On March 1, 1943, as a captain in the Army Corps of Engineers, Riley began work on the Manhattan Project at Hanford. According to a 1946 account in The Sunday Oregonian, Riley was the second military man to be assigned to Hanford. He served under Colonel Franklin Matthias as Chief of Engineering and Services.
Part of Major Riley’s responsibilities included travelling between the various Project sites, handling engineering contracts, communication, and administration. In addition, he, along with other officers, was responsible for transporting plutonium to Alamogordo, NM and Chicago.
Following the war, in 1946 Major Riley and his family relocated to Brazil where he worked on a hydroelectric project in Brazil for six years with Matthias. Based in New York City, his subsequent work on engineering projects took him to Greece, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. After retirement, he moved to Ponte Vedra, Florida.
Major Riley died in Falmouth, Massachusetts in 1996 at the age of eighty-nine.
Information submitted by Brett Riley, Major Riley’s son.