, Salem, MA

December 31, 2012

Letter: Memories of the Manhattan Project

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Your Dec. 17 feature article about the Manhattan Project on the front page of The Salem News caught my eye, attention and interest!

I hope that the proposal by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is decided upon for the benefit of the surviving former employees and their dependents/survivors.

The details as to the operations at Metal Hydrides, one of many parts of the government Manhattan Project, was and is very interesting.

As I worked at Bomac Laboratories in my early working days, I had occasion to visit the pictured area. I received a cursory idea of what was going on, met a few employees, etc. This was a very secret operation. And a very interesting one.

Danvers, where I now live, also had a company servicing the Manhattan Project. It was the Vulcan Electric Company (on Holten Street). My father-in-law, Clarence W. Russeu, was the office manager. He understood that the government was using a number of small companies in this area for this secret project to create the first atomic bomb. His daughter Isabel, my wife, confirmed this to me.

I also found interest in two letters on your Opinion page. First: “Library patron needs help, is stunned by response.” To be short on this one, that the library is a source of knowledge is true, as it is at our Danvers Peabody Institute Library. The director is the “spark plug” for the “education” of all. The library has a staff that has assisted patrons. Get to know them! They’ll come help you! Second, the “Beverly lost a true gentleman” letter on Paul Henderson’s passing. His name and Sue Ball’s name caused a memory stir. Is Sue a sister of Harry Ball? I knew him well!

Wilbur S. Cobb