Dr Donald Ames, longtime resident of Kirkwood and 60+ year member of the American Chemical Society, died at his home on January 2, 2014.
Dr Ames received his BS in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin in 1944 and was drafted into the Army but assigned to the Metallurgy Laboratory at the University of Chicago to work on the Manhattan Project. That phase of the project was directed by Glenn Seaborg.
After the war, Ames’ involvement in atomic weapons continued. He worked at Argonne National Laboratory and was on the Bikini Atoll Resurvey Team following atom bomb test shot Baker of Operation Crossroads. He went on to earn a PhD in physical chemistry and physics at the University of Wisconsin in 1949.
His subsequent career included a brief stint in academia at the University of Kentucky (1952–54), followed by distinguished years at DuPont, Monsanto, and McDonnell-Douglas. He retired from McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories as Staff Vice President/General Manager in 1989. The University of Missouri–St Louis awarded Dr Ames an honorary doctorate in 1978.
Because of the intense interest in preserving the history of the birth of the atomic age, many scientists have contributed their oral histories to the Atomic Heritage Foundation. Dr Ames’ reminiscences of a bachelor-level chemist working out the properties of plutonium and the personalities of the scientific luminaries surrounding him can be found here. The photo accompanying this post is a frame grab from his interview. Dr Ames also contributed a number of documents, photos, and written recollections to The Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association.