Capt. William ‘Deak’ Parsons/Courtesy photo
BY SHARON SNYDER
Los Alamos Historical Society
“Captain Deak Parsons—New Mexico’s Homegrown Atomic Admiral” will be the April lecture for the Los Alamos Historical Society, presented by acclaimed local historian Nancy Bartlit. An expert on the Pacific War during World War II, Bartlit has researched Parsons and his duty as the weaponeer on the flight of the Enola Gay. The responsibility for the first atomic bomb to be armed in flight led him to practice removing and inserting the plugs so many times that his fingers were bloody. The lifting and dropping of the bomb in flight had to be exact.
Though Parsons is sometimes considered one of the Manhattan Project’s unsung heroes, Bartlit presents the facts that counter that image. Having grown up in Fort Sumner, NM, Parsons is claimed by the townspeople as their “Atomic Admiral.”
This lecture follows the theme for the Los Alamos Historical Society’s spring schedule—”Oppenheimer’s Neighbors.” The presentation will be April 11 at 7 p.m. in Fuller Lodge and is sponsored by Enterprise Bank.