7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 3, 2021 7:03 PM by Edward Leary

    Seeking record of Manhattan Project Award Certificates

    Edward Leary Newbie

      Seeking record of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson's issuance of Award Certificates on August 6, 1945 to personnel who worked on the Manhattan Project.  The Certificates were issued by the "United States of America, War Department, Army Service Forces - Corps of Engineers, Manhattan District" and certified that [Name][Component] "has participated in work essential to the production of the Atomic Bomb, thereby contributing to the successful conclusion of World War II.  This certificate is awarded in appreciation of effective service."

        • Re: Seeking record of Manhattan Project Award Certificates
          Rebecca Collier Ranger

          Dear Mr. Leary,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 8 series related to Stimson in the Records of the Office of the Secretary of War (Record Group 107) that may include correspondence about the citation for the Manhattan Project. We also located the Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves, Jr. Personal Papers, 1896 - 1970 (Collection GRO) that may include information pertaining to the award. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

          1 person found this helpful
          • Re: Seeking record of Manhattan Project Award Certificates
            Muriel Sorensen Newbie

            Hello, Mr. Leary -


            Perhaps this might be of assistance.  Have you contacted the Hagley Museum?  If not, please go online at Hagley.org.  You can email them at askhagley@hagley.org. or call them at (302) 658-2400. They have some very interesting info on the Manhattan District Hanford.  They can give you the correct search terms if you need them.  They were so very helpful when I contacted them about information on my father who worked there in the 1940's.


            Also, their website has access to the "Sage Sentinel", a Hanford onsite newspaper.  The collection is categorized by years and has a search term feature on it.


            I certainly hope this might help you.  I know what it feels like to search for valuable information regarding this subject.


            Best wishes,


            Muriel Sorensen

              • Re: Seeking record of Manhattan Project Award Certificates
                Edward Leary Newbie

                Thank you for your suggestion.


                In May 2020, in response to the question ...Can you provide any information...


                a) Whether any Dupont personnel were awarded a certificate by Secretary of War Stimson and/or received an

                Award Pin in 1946 for their work on the Manhattan project;


                b) If so, do you have a record of the identity of any of the Dupont personnel who were awarded a certificate by

                Secretary of War Stimson and/or received an Award Pin in 1946 for their work on the Manhattan project


                The Hagley Historian advised by email on May 17-18, 2020


                " Unfortunately we have no records for DuPont employees during that time period. Although Hagley has a large number

                of DuPont's record, since we are not part of the company they never turned those records over to us. If you contact

                DuPont directly they will just send you to us, so I'm afraid you've hit a dead end with DuPont employee records."


                "The U.S. Department of Energy does have records for some of the civilian Manhattan Project employees. You can get

                more information on their holdings and contact them through their website."


                Efforts to validate the issuance of the Manhattan Project certificates/ Award Pins through contacts with the Department of Energy have been unsuccessful to date, but are continuing.

                  • Re: Seeking record of Manhattan Project Award Certificates
                    David Blacklock Newbie

                    I can tell you du Pont employees did get those. My Granddad got both a pin and a certificate. He complained about the pin, if I remember correctly, the president got a gold pin, congress got silver and workers got bronze. I might have the groups wrong. I'd be interested in what you have found out.

                    Actually it uses the name Manhattan District.

                      • Re: Seeking record of Manhattan Project Award Certificates
                        Edward Leary Newbie

                        Through research I have learned “The Atomic Pin Awards” or “A” Awards were given by the United States War Department Army Corps of Engineers to civilian contractor employees who participated in work on the Manhattan Project essential to the production of the Atomic Bomb, thereby contributing to the successful conclusion of World War II. Eligible employees received a certificate and a metal lapel pin (bronze or silver) based upon the amount of time they worked on the project.


                        According to a representative of The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), NARA maintains lists of employees eligible for the "A" Award that contractors sent to the Army Corps of Engineers. These lists consist of over 9200 pages and NARA has estimated that around one hundred thousand names are on the lists. Most personnel who worked for the Manhattan Engineering District were civilian. Not all worked long enough to qualify for an “A Award” or for other reasons did not receive one. Correspondence from the Dupont corporation, located in NARA files, describes the awards and the criteria for their issuance. While the Army Corps of Engineers did not keep copies of the certificates issued, lists identifying some of the recipients are present in NARA Files. As the creation and issuance of the “A” Awards was approved at the headquarters level of the War Department, records pertinent to their issuance, if they exist, may be held at NARA, College Park.


                        NARA Atlanta noted that not all contractors responded at the same time or in the same format to the War Department’s solicitation of nominees for the Award.  According to NARA, the lists received from contractors vary greatly in layout and information provided. As the Army Corps of Engineers distributed the Awards as they obtained the information from contractors over a period of many months, it may not have been administratively necessary for the Department to maintain a running count of the number issued. If there was such a count, it may have been maintained on a temporary basis for financial or payment purposes only and as such may not have constituted a permanent record.


                        Ed Leary

                        • Re: Seeking record of Manhattan Project Award Certificates
                          Edward Leary Newbie

                          A record on the letterhead of the Dupont Corporation in NARA files regarding the Manhattan Project contains the following background information about the “A” Awards and the government’s solicitation of nominees from contractors participating in the project.


                          "This Company has received official notice from the Army Service Forces, Corps of Engineers, Manhattan District, Office of the Area Engineer, Wilmington, that a special award has been authorized by the War Department for the purpose of recognizing certain individual contributions to the Atomic Bomb Program. There will be two types of awards; namely, bronze decorated and silver decorated and will consist of a distinctive lapel pin plus an appropriately worded certificate. The bronze award will be given for six to eighteen months satisfactory service during the period June 19, 1942 and August 6, 1945 and the silver award for more than eighteen months service during the same period. Service may be accumulated and need not necessarily be continuous.”

                    • Re: Seeking record of Manhattan Project Award Certificates
                      Cara Moore Lebonick Adventurer

                      Dear Edward Leary,


                      You may also wish to contact the National Archives at Atlanta. Our National Archives facility in Atlanta, Georgia maintains basic information regarding employees of the Manhattan Project, including individuals who were contracted to work for the federal government and their awards. This series of records is entitled:

                      Manhattan District Central Project Files- Formerly Classified Correspondence Files, 1942-1946.





                      If the awards you are seeking happen to be issued for work at Oak Ridge or surrounding relevant aresas, you may consider requesting information from that facility by writing to:


                      National Archives at Atlanta

                      5780 Jonesboro Road

                      Morrow, GA 30260



                      If not, a similar series for a different National Archives location may hold like materials for said different area. Thank you!


                      Cara Moore Lebonick

                      Reference Archives Specialist

                      National Archives at St. Louis