Robert William Lockridge attended the University of Maryland. Here was active in their ROTC program, and in 1930, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Robert was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve on Feb 5, 1931, Army Serial Number: O-42524. Then, on Sept 24, 1940 he transferred into the QM Corps serving in a Civilian Conservation Corps camp near Lewistown, PA.
In early 1942 he transferred into the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) beginning two years of service with the Northwest Service Command (NWSC), which had headquarters at the Yukon Territory in Canada. Here he participated in the ALCAN (Alaska / Canadian Highway) and Canol (Canadian-American-Norman Oil Pipeline) projects. Col. E. E. Kirkpatrick and Capt. H. H. Roerkohl, other Manhattan Project veterans, also served in the NWSC, on this project.
In mid-1944, Lt. Col. Lockridge was selected for the Manhattan Project, and he went to Los Alamos. Here he was assigned to the Ordnance Division, as the Group O-8 (Procurement) leader. He designed and orchestrated the detailed labeling and movement of project material across the U.S. and to the final destination of Tinian, Island.
After the war he was initially assigned to Sandia Base (an extension of Los Alamos Lab in Albuquerque, NM adjacent to Oxnard Air Field, which would become Sandia National Laboratories), in the Z Division: Z-2A – Procurement, Storage, and Shipments. He would go on to hold many USACE positons. In 1948, the USACE stationed him in Nagoya, Japan, with the Fifth Air Force. He continued to serve there through the Korean War. After the war he returned to the Sandia Labs. Then, in February of 1956 he moved to other USACE duties in the United States.
Lockridge retired from active duty on May 16, 1963 with 32 years of military service. He earned a Legion of Merit, the Army Commendation Medal, and two OLCs (oak leaf cluster), one for his work on the ALCAN and CANOL projects, and one for his work on the Manhattan Project.
The information and photographs used for this profile were provided by Scott Muselin.