ALS : Autograph Letter SignedWeapons officer of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. 2 page Autograph Letter Signed on yellow lined paper in which he answers questions on the Hiroshima mission. There are many corrections and annotations on the letter. Jeppson writes both the questions and answers in his own hand:, in part: "Dear Sir, Here are answers to your questions: Q1 Did you work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where the bomb was created?
In November, 1944 I was one of 8 Air Force second lieutenants recruited by Los Alamos. We had completed 8 months of training in advanced electronics and radar at Harvard and MIT. We were ordered to Wendover, Utah to join the 509th Bomb Group [Tibbets group that dropped the Atomic bomb over Hiroshima]. But, we worked for Dr. Edward Doll,PhD Cal Tech, of Los Alamos, who was developing the fuzing system, including radar height detection radar, for weapons being developed by Los Alamos. [Jeppson was in charge of the fusing system of the bomb on the plane to Hiroshima] Los Alamos civilian scientists were not permitted to fly combat missions. We assisted with development and made test drops of dummy bombs with fuzing systems on targets on the Salton Sea in California - flying B29s from Wendover, Utah.
At times we flew to Albuquerque and on to Santa Fe, where Security changed our Air Force insignia to Army Ordnance and drove us to Los Alamos. There we worked with Dr. Doll's people. Los Alamos personnel were not to know that the Air Force was preparing to use their weapons. [Jeppson was one of the few, other than very high up chief scientists like Oppenheimer who knew, as he had to arm the fusing system inside the plane bomb bay, right before it was dropped over Hiroshima]
Q2 Did you ever meet Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the Los Alamos project where world nuclear scientists had gathered to develop nuclear bombs?
During work visits to Los Alamos we worked in the Tech Area, but were not permitted (for security reasons) in the laboratories where the scientists were developing nuclear weapons.
In May 1945, I believe, before the 509th moved with B29s from Wendover to Tinian Island in the Pacific, I was told to get on a B29 that was taking a passenger to an Air Force base in Southern California. The sole passenger was Dr. Oppenheimer. This very gracious man was smiling to visit with me, and he answered my questions about where I should attend graduate school in nuclear physics after the war. He recommended University of California, Berkeley (where I did attend a year later). Because of very tight security restrictions, neither of us ever mentioned nuclear weapons." Signed with a different pen "Sincerely, Morris R. Jeppson". In excellent condition.