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Largest naval ammunition depot of WWII


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I wanted to share some photos of a "hidden" treasure in the heartland of the country. I live in Lincoln Nebraska, and anyone really familiar with the manufacture of ammunition in the states in WWII, they might know the largest inland naval ammunition depot was in Hastings, Nebraska.

 

"On June 10, 1942, the War Department authorized the building of a $45-million naval ammunition depot southeast of Hastings. The site was chosen because it was equal distant from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The government immediately began the process of taking 48,753 acres of farmland, located mostly in Clay County, from 232 owners. It manufactured and stored bombs, mines, rockets, 40-millimeter shells and six-inch shells. The Hastings Naval Ammunition Depot supplied 40% of the Navy's ammunition during the war.

 

Pay for line workers started at 74 cents an hour for a 60-hour week. A typical sales clerk in Hastings was being paid 25 cents an hour at the time. The need for workers was so great that almost everyone who applied was hired. The depot operated 24 hours a day seven days a week during the war years.

 

The depot had it's share of accidents. The largest explosion occurred at 9:15 a.m. on September 15, 1944, when the south transfer depot of the railroad line blew up, leaving a crater 550 feet long, 220 feet wide, and 50 feet deep. Reportedly, nine servicemen were killed and fifty-three injured. There is still speculation that the number of dead and injured was higher. The blast was felt as far away as Kansas and Iowa. There was damage in all the towns around. A portion of the roof at the Harvard school caved in, injuring ten children. The earthen barricades in front of the storage igloos loaded with explosives held, preventing an even greater loss of life and property." (on a side note, Kansas is maybe 35 miles away, but Iowa is an astonishing 120 miles!)

 

Anyways, I have this thing about exploring abandoned buildings and also love photography, and there are plenty of original structures left in Hastings. I thought I would share some of my photos. A lot of the buildings were used by local farmers for not only maintenance shops for their tractors and vehicles but some were used for cattle. (I stepped in enough cow patties to discover that).

 

Mike

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My friends, my heroes. You will never be forgotten.

Jason Gonzalez- June 5, 2005

Keith Mariotti- June 30, 2005

Jason West- July 24, 2006

Carlos Martinez- April 25, 2009

Patrick Hamburger- August 6, 2011

Kevin Hatcher- March 29, 2012

David Chu- June 23, 2013

Steven Keech- September 15, 2013

Mark Armijo- March 6, 2019

 

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post-3373-1213481401.jpg

post-3373-1213481417.jpg

My friends, my heroes. You will never be forgotten.

Jason Gonzalez- June 5, 2005

Keith Mariotti- June 30, 2005

Jason West- July 24, 2006

Carlos Martinez- April 25, 2009

Patrick Hamburger- August 6, 2011

Kevin Hatcher- March 29, 2012

David Chu- June 23, 2013

Steven Keech- September 15, 2013

Mark Armijo- March 6, 2019

 

donation2012.gif

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more

post-3373-1213481453.jpg

My friends, my heroes. You will never be forgotten.

Jason Gonzalez- June 5, 2005

Keith Mariotti- June 30, 2005

Jason West- July 24, 2006

Carlos Martinez- April 25, 2009

Patrick Hamburger- August 6, 2011

Kevin Hatcher- March 29, 2012

David Chu- June 23, 2013

Steven Keech- September 15, 2013

Mark Armijo- March 6, 2019

 

donation2012.gif

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and more

post-3373-1213481510.jpg

My friends, my heroes. You will never be forgotten.

Jason Gonzalez- June 5, 2005

Keith Mariotti- June 30, 2005

Jason West- July 24, 2006

Carlos Martinez- April 25, 2009

Patrick Hamburger- August 6, 2011

Kevin Hatcher- March 29, 2012

David Chu- June 23, 2013

Steven Keech- September 15, 2013

Mark Armijo- March 6, 2019

 

donation2012.gif

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more

post-3373-1213481562.jpg

My friends, my heroes. You will never be forgotten.

Jason Gonzalez- June 5, 2005

Keith Mariotti- June 30, 2005

Jason West- July 24, 2006

Carlos Martinez- April 25, 2009

Patrick Hamburger- August 6, 2011

Kevin Hatcher- March 29, 2012

David Chu- June 23, 2013

Steven Keech- September 15, 2013

Mark Armijo- March 6, 2019

 

donation2012.gif

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more yet

post-3373-1213481610.jpg

My friends, my heroes. You will never be forgotten.

Jason Gonzalez- June 5, 2005

Keith Mariotti- June 30, 2005

Jason West- July 24, 2006

Carlos Martinez- April 25, 2009

Patrick Hamburger- August 6, 2011

Kevin Hatcher- March 29, 2012

David Chu- June 23, 2013

Steven Keech- September 15, 2013

Mark Armijo- March 6, 2019

 

donation2012.gif

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that's it for now. I do have more though, but haven't edited them yet.

post-3373-1213481691.jpg

My friends, my heroes. You will never be forgotten.

Jason Gonzalez- June 5, 2005

Keith Mariotti- June 30, 2005

Jason West- July 24, 2006

Carlos Martinez- April 25, 2009

Patrick Hamburger- August 6, 2011

Kevin Hatcher- March 29, 2012

David Chu- June 23, 2013

Steven Keech- September 15, 2013

Mark Armijo- March 6, 2019

 

donation2012.gif

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I lived a hour's drive away from this for 5 years and never knew about it until after I am stuck in Korea for the next 3 years!! pinch.gif I'm going to be sick crying.gif . Please post more photos when you can. Thanks,

 

 

Bryan

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Guest Lincoln A.F.B

Back in 1987 I shared a shop that was in one of the old bunkers, and one time we had to do some electrical repair on one of the wire chases in the wall. I think that the concrete in the walls and floor were about 2 feet thick! Man, did we have fun with that... I am a HUGE Nebraska military history buff, and I remember spending a lot of time exploring all around the area. One of the most vivid memories I have was standing on the loading dock behind our shop, and watching the bombers out of Offutt AFB fly practice bomb runs on the radar installation at Glenvil, Nebraska just to the South of Hastings. It looked like you could just reach up and touch the bombers, as they started their approach...

 

Brian AKA Lincoln A.F.B

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