Staff Badge Photos
Project Y security badges were issued
to employees at Los Alamos. Below is an alphabetical listing of badge
There were countless scientists, technicians, administrative people, soldiers and WACs without whom the work could not have been done. Not the least were the wives to whom, John Williams once said, should go much of the credit. They lived in uncertainty and sometimes fear during those trying years. They never knew what their husbands were doing and they never asked.
The first members of the staff were those who already had been working on related problems at the University of California under J. Robert Openheimer. Others came from laboratories all over the country and the world, People like Enrico Fermi, Bruno Rossi, Emelio Segre, Neils Bohr, I.I. Rabi, Hans Bethe, Rolf Landshoff, John von Neumann, Edward Teller, Otto Frisch, Joseph Kennedy, George Kistiakowsky, Richard Feynman and, Edwin McMillan came to Los Alamos, some temporarily, some occasionally as consultants and others as permanent members of the staff.
Recruiting was extremely difficult. Most prospective employees were already doing important war-related work and needed a compelling reason to change jobs. Because of the tight security regulations, only scientific personnel could be told anything of the nature of the work to be done. These scientists were able to recognize the significance of the project and be fascinated by the challenge. The administrative people and technicians, on the other hand, were expected to accept jobs in an unknown place for an unknown purpose. Not even wives could be told where the work would take them or why.
"The notion of disappearing into the desert for an indeterminate period and under quasi-military auspices disturbed a good many scientists and the families of many more," Oppenheimer recalled later.