Groves, Leslie Richard
Leslie Groves, born 17-08-1896 in Albany, New York, as the third son of four children of a pastor and a descendent of French Huguenots who came to America in the 17th century. He graduated fourth in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1918 and was commissioned into the US Army Corps of Engineers. On 01-07-1939, he was posted to the War Department General Staff in Washington, D.C. Groves was promoted to major on 01-07-1940. Three weeks later, he became special assistant for construction to the Quartermaster General, Major General Edmund B. Gregory (see Gregory) The two men had known each other a long time, as Groves' father was a close friend of Gregory's. In September 1942 he was placed in charge of the Manhattan Engineer Project, established a month earlier, with the rank of Temporary Brigadier General. The Manhattan Engineer Project was the cover name for the atomic bomb project and, under his direction, the basic atomic bomb research was carried out, mainly at Columbia University and the University of Chicago. The work culminated in the first successful explosion of a nuclear-fission bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico, 16-07-1945. In the three years since the project was organized, no major obstacles and no serious breach of security had occurred. He had been promoted to temporary Major General in December 1944, and he continued to head the atomic establishment created during wartime until January 1947. He was then named the Chief of the Army's Special Weapons Project. Promoted to Lieutenant General in January 1948, he retired a month later. Groves died of heart disease on 13-07-1970, age 73 in Washington D.C. and was buried with his wife Grace, born Wilson, who died old age 89 in 1986, in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery. Close by in Section 2, the graves the Generals Edward Almond (see Almond), Frederick Anderson (see Anderson), Frederic Bell (see Bell), William Blandy (see Blandy), Clovis Byers (see Beyers), Robert Carney (see Carney), Claire Chennault (see Chennault), Willis Crittenberger (see Crittenberger), Benjamin Davis (see Davis), John Dewitt (see Dewitt), William Donovan (see Donovan), Speck Easley (see Easley), Merrit Edson (see Edson), Robert Eichelberger (see Eichelberger), Frank Fletscher (see Fletscher), William Fechteler (see Fechteler), , Ridgeley Gaither (see Gaither), Charles Gerhardt (see Gerhardt) and John Gingrich (see Gingrich).