Oral History interview of John Bistline. Interview conducted by Giffen, Betty Jean at Village on the Green in Longwood, FL.
0:01 Introduction; 0:45 Childhood; 2:14 Education; 2:58 Government Project Opportunity; 3:41 University of Chicago; 4:31 Dealing With Plutonium; 5:01 Movement of Reactor; 6:15 First Job With Project; 7:14 Transfer to Los Alamos; 8:30 Arriving at Los Alamos; 9:40 Job at Los Alamos; 11:10 Going to Louisiana/Skipping Basic Training; 11:58 Explanation of Tests Conducted; 14:00 Explaining the Different Parts of the Manhattan Project; 16:50 Working with U235 (Uranium); 18:05 Description of Los Alamos; 19:35 First Nuclear Accident; 21:51 Hospital Stay for Radiation; 22:54 Final Checks on the Bomb; 24:10 Other Radiation Incidents; 26:00 Reasons for Dropping the Bomb; 27:20 Discharge; 28:00 Return to School; 28:30 Job with GE; 30:00 Parents Reactions to Job; 30:30 Brother's Service in the Navy; 31:05 Working on Naval Reactor; 32:45 Shutting Down Enriched Uranium Projects; 33:36 Return to Florida & Grove Business; 35:08 Retirement & Family; 36:05 Conclusion.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
White - Non Hispanic
War or Conflict
World War II
Begin/End date of Service - 1st
Entrance into Service
Branch of Service
Unit of Service
Manhattan Project/ Los Alamos; Army Corps of Engineers
Location of Service
Los Alamos (N.M.)
Technician Third Grade; TEC3
Prisoner of War
Service Related Injury
Good Conduct Medal
Determining Critical Mass of u-235 sphere in water.
Continued work on atomic power submarines for remainder of career.
City of Birth
Country of Birth
Giffen, Betty Jean
Location of Interview
Village on the Green, Longwood, FL.
Bistline, John; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives; United States. Army
Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.
Contributor Affiliation / Organization
RICHES; University of Central Florida
Giffen, Betty Jean
Length of Interview
Department of History, University of Central Florida
All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/
University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UCF Community Veterans History Project
John, Bistline, "Bistline, John interview" (2014). Veterans Oral Histories. 261.