Working on a secret project to end World War II
(WTVC) Chattanooga, Tenn —
Bob and Madge Elizabeth Boggild met in 1944. She was from the South Pittsburg, TN area. He was from Connecticut,
They were sent to Oak Ridge to work on a secret project that would end World War II.
"Uncle Sam brought me down here," Bob Boggild said. "They took all of the northern boys south, and all of the southern boys north."
Bob Boggild was going to college in Cincinnati. He dropped out of school to join the war effort. Madge wanted to find a way to serve too.
"I had three brothers in the military that had volunteered," Madge Boggild said. "I thought well anyway that was my duty to go."
Bob and Elizabeth met on a boat ride at Norris Dam, and even though it wasn't the norm he asked Elizabeth on a date.
"You didn't make dates at Oak Ridge," Mr. Boggild said. "There was twenty thousand single girls, and a few thousand GI's most of them single, but not all."
The first date didn't quite go as planned, but things quickly improved.
"I said well how about tomorrow night, breaking the rule of no dates," Mr. Boggild said. "We dated the next night, and somehow or another we have never missed a night since then except when special duties called like riot duty or something like that."
This was 1944 in the middle of World War II. They were working on a secret project developing components and enriching uranium for a nuclear weapon. They had strict rules to never speak about what they were doing.
"I didn't ever hear the word uranium mentioned, and I had a very sensitive job. I was inspecting all of the instrumentation on all the piping," Mr. Boggild said.
Elizabeth was one of thousands of women who worked in Oak Ridge. She worked in the intelligence office. She had access to Bob's file and she looked him up
"I found out more about him, and I said he's a good guy. He's okay, and the rest is history," Mrs. Boggild said.
A few months later Bob was sent to the Philippines until the end of the war.
"When they dropped the bomb we were on a ship, and we all gathered over in a corner rec room there where there was about thirty of us from Oak Ridge," Mr. Boggild said. "We had a little conversation and we broke all of the rules there. What were you doing? What were you doing? What were you doing?"
Bob knew what he was doing, but it wasn't until after the war that the rest of the country started to learn about what happened in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the 1940's
"It wasn't so long really. It was about a years time, but you'd be surprised what happened in that year," Mr.Boggild said. "We did things you just couldn't do today with all of your internets and TVs and everything else. We got things done."
The Boggild's just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.