Project Alberta

Yale Goldberg
March 11, 2016

Submitted as coursework for PH241, Stanford University, Winter 2016


Fig. 1: A victim of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Project Alberta, or Project A as it was also known was a crucial part of the Manhattan Project. Project A was formed for three main reasons: design a bomb that could be transported, transport the bomb, and assemble the bomb. Project Alberta was responsible for preparing and delivering 'Little Boy' and 'Fat man', code names for Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs, for combat. [1] Project Alberta successfully completed its job at North Field, a former World War II airfield in the Mariana Islands. [1]

The Manhattan Project

The Manhattan project consisted of research and development and resulted in the first used in warfare during World War II. [2] The project was led by the United States for its duration from 1942-1946. Additionally, the United States consulted Canada and the United Kingdom during the Manhattan project. The project developed two different types of atomic bombs; one made of Uranium and one made of Plutonium. [2] The Manhattan project did not only work on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, however. Other projects included the Allied Invasion of Italy, the Allied Invasion of France, and additional invasions and occupations. [2]


While the Manhattan Project began in 1942, Project A was only formed in March of 1945. [1] It consisted of 51 Army, Navy and civilian personnel. [3] There were 19 men from the Army, 15 men from the Navy and 17 civilians.


Project Alberta was not ordered to attack at all, yet it still played a major role in what I view as a tragic occurrence. The bombs dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed many, left cities in ruins, and affected the lives of many in a multitude of ways. For example Folley, Borgtes and Yamawaki showed the large number of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors that were later diagnosed with Leukemia. [4] In addition to Leukemia there were many other illnesses that plagued the survivors of these vicious attacks.

While Project Alberta is not the most well known part of the Manhattan project, it was important. Project Alberta is in part responsible for the tragic events that transpired in Hiroshima and Nagasaki as the bombs were transported, designed and assembled by the Project Alberta team.

© Yale Goldberg. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.


[1] F. G. Gosling, The Manhattan Project: Making the Atomic Bomb (Diane Publishing, 1999), Page 43.

[2] J. Hughes, The Manhattan project: Big Science and the Atom Bomb (Columbia University Press, 2003).

[3] R. H. Campbell, The Silverplate Bombers: A History and Registry of the Enola Gay and Other B-29s Configured to Carry Atomic Bombs (McFarland and Company, 2005).

[4] J. H. Folley, W. Borges, and T. Yamawaki, "Incidence of Leukemia in Survivors of the Atomic Bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan," Am. J. Med. 13, 311 (1952).