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Byline: James W. Brosnan email@example.com / (202) 408-2701
WASHINGTON -- The chief of security for the Manhattan Project gave Capt. Thomas O. Jones a mission: "Calm down Oppenheimer!"
Three things helped Jones achieve that task in the spring of 1945: a secretary, a death and the realization that forcing Robert Oppenheimer, the internationally renowned physicist, to leave the bomb-building team at Los Alamos over his ties to communists could have blown the lid off the secret of the A-bomb.
"In my opinion he was close to resigning, which would have been calamitous," said Jones, 87, the last chief of security at Los Alamos during WWII and the only living witness to the fight within the Manhattan Project over Oppenheimer.
Jones will be one of the presenters, via videotape, at a June 26 symposium on the life of Oppenheimer at the Smith Civic Auditorium in Los Alamos. The day before that, officials will dedicate the Oppenheimers' old house at 1967 Peach St., which has been sold to the Los Alamos Historical Society.
Oppenheimer is getting extra attention this year …