World War Two Letters – 9 August 1945
To: Miss Margie KrumplemanBox 168 R.R.#4, Buttermilk Rd., Erlanger, Kentucky USA.
From: S/Sgt Jos. E. Lehman 35633019 CELos Alamos P.O. Box 180, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA,.
8th August 1945
Received your letter some time ago and was very glad to hear from you. Don’t have your letter here just now, but will try to get off a few lines anyhow.
Suppose you have heard the news about the new Atomic Bomb by now. Some stuff, huh? It is definitely the most wonderful thing to happen in the 20th Century.
You have often asked what I am doing and where I am stationed etc. Well, now I can tell you a little bit anyhow. I am stationed at Los Alamos, just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. We are engaged in making the Atomic Bomb. All the research on the subject was done here. This is probably the most modernly equipped and the largest laboratory in the US. It has been a very secret project; and the best kept secret of the war. Even the people in Santa Fe didn’t know what was going on here. All they knew was that there was some kind of project up in the mountains and that there was a lot of activity there. Everyone was making wild guesses, and some came fairly close, but no one was sure. And now that the secret has been let out, this is probably one of the most famous little cities in the world. Outside of Hiroshima, of course, where the damage was done.
A few weeks ago we had an experimental bomb south of Albuquerque at the Alamogordo Army Air Base. You no doubt read about that. Well, I was one of a fortunate few that witnessed it. It was a sight that I’ll never forget as long as I live. The “thing” created the brightest light and the loudest roar of anything yet known to man. It has been called one of the most fiendish things known to man, and I can heartily agree to it. It is terrible, and I certainly thankful that we were the ones that discovered it first.
We have quite a few GIs here and also a lot of civilians. Due nnnto that fact, it makes it a bit different than a regular army camp. We have a veritable city of our own here complete with movies, stores, and PX’s . It is hidden away in the mountains.
is fairly inaccessible. It sure was a good spot for this place. It is thoroughly guarded and no unauthorized person could possibly get in. We are about 40 miles from Santa Fe, but get in fairly often. Then too, Albuquerque is just 60 miles from Santa Fe, so we get down there once in a while too.
A lot of people wondered why fellows like me had not gone overseas. I hope this new discovery makes it clear to them. When we first got the news of the bomb being dropped last Monday morning, we were very excited. It made us all feel very proud to know that we had a part, if only a small one, in it’s completion. It has been the greatest scientific advance in the 20th Century. Although it is a terrible war weapon it has a variety to uses in civilian life. Of course, these will have to wait a while, but when the time comes, it will really be something. Well, I guess that’s enough blowing off about me. How are you doing? And how are your folks? Hope everyone is feeling fine and not working too hard. How is the weather up there? We have had pretty nice weather, but today it really rained! In fact, I believed it was the hardest rain since I’ve been up here. Reminded me of the rains we used to have in Louisiana. Thank the good Lord that those days are gone forever. I hope!
Well Marge, guess that’s just about all for now. Have you heard anything from my brother? I haven’t heard for some time, and Mother hasn’t heard anything for about a week. She’s a little worried, but I know the mail is held up over there. Tell, your folks I said “Hello”, and Be Good. Write when you can.