Atomic Heritage Foundation

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Ralph Gates

Ralph Gates (1925-2018) was a chemical and electrical engineer who was recruited to the Manhattan Project as a part of the Special Engineer Detachment in early 1945. He had completed three years of engineering school before the army called him for basic training. Due to his engineering ability he was instructed to study electrical engineering in New York, before he was transferred to Los Alamos after V-E Day.

At Los Alamos, Gates' primary job was casting shape charges for the plutonium bombs. Although he was happy, Gates remembered his time at Los Alamos with mixed feelings and even wrote a poem describing his sentiments about missing out on the war.

Ralph Gates's Timeline

  • 1925 Jan Born in Nashville Tennessee.
  • 1944 Drafted by the Army.
  • 1945 Jan Sent to New York to study electrical engineering at NYU.

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