Harold Melvin Agnew

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Nagasaki mushroom cloud, Harold Agnew motion picture film.
Nagasaki mushroom cloud, Harold Agnew motion picture film.

Harold Melvin Agnew, a participant in the Manhattan Project and member of the scientific crew that flew alongside the Enola Gay to measure the yield of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, died Sunday at his home in Solana Beach, California, at age ninety-two. For the Hiroshima mission, Agnew carried a 16mm film camera on board to capture footage of the mushroom cloud and its fallout. For the Nagasaki mission, he gave loaded cameras to tail gunners aboard the plane and instructed them to shoot footage of the explosion.  Agnew donated his original footage of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings to the Hoover Institution Archives in 1980. The Agnew atomic bomb footage is the most requested motion picture film in Hoover’s collections.  More information about Agnew’s life and career as a scientist can be found in this obituary from the New York Times