Peter N. Bragg, Jr.
Texarkana, AR; Fayetteville, AR
Following his graduation from the University of Arkansas, Mr. Bragg joined the university faculty as an instructor in chemistry, a position he held for one year. In June 1944, Bragg began work with the Naval Research Laboratory. His goal there was the production of weapons-grade uranium as part of the Manhattan project, the U.S. Military’s massive scientific undertaking to create an atomic bomb. Bragg worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on a secret pilot plant. There, on September 2, 1944, a cylinder of lethal gas exploded, killing Bragg and fellow civilian worker Douglas Meigs. Because of the deep secrecy of the Manhattan Project, the circumstances of Bragg’s death did not become known until well after the fact. Even after the government made known the details of the project, his family did not learn exactly how he had died. In the early 1990s, Arnold Kramish, who witnessed the accident, and Braxton Bragg, Peter’s brother, began an effort to gain official recognition of Peter Bragg’s sacrifice. On June 21, 1993, Bragg posthumously received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the highest award given to a civilian employee of the Navy Department. Bragg received the first MSChE granted by the University of Arkansas. It was awarded posthumously in 1945.
Arkansas Academy of Chemical Engineers
Honorary Member, 2007.