Hawthorne Army Depot
Hawthorne Army Depot (1930-Present) - First established in 1930 as Naval Ammunition Depot Hawthorne in Hawthorne, Mineral County, Nevada. Renamed Hawthorne Army Ammunition Plant in 1977 and Hawthorne Army Depot in 1994. Active Military Installation.
Initially established as Naval Ammunition Depot Hawthorne in September 1930. The Depot was established in an isolated area of western Nevada, far from populated areas, but close enough to west coast ports to supply the Pacific fleet in the event of a major conflict. A catastrophic explosion at an east coast Depot in 1926 spurred the Navy to move ammunition storage to more isolated areas like Hawthorne.
World War II (1941-1945)
During World War II, the Depot furnished supplies of ammunition, bombs, and rockets to West Coast ports for shipment to the Pacific theater. By the end of the war in 1945, the Depot employed over 5,000 workers and by 1948 it occupied about 104 square miles of the 327 square mile reservation.
The Depot furnished munitions for both the Korean War and the Vietnam War expanding to encompass some 236 square miles and several thousand structures.
The Depot was transferred to the U.S. Army in 1977 and redesignated the Hawthorne Army Ammunition Plant. In 1980 the Depot became a contractor-operated facility and in 1994 it was renamed the Hawthorne Army Depot.
The post was built in a small cantonment area on the west side of what is now U.S. 95 north of the town of Hawthorn. The Cantonment area housed the headquarters, administrative functions, officer's quarters, NCO quarters, and enlisted quarters. A small town of workers' quarters known as Babbitt grew up between the cantonment and the town of Hawthorne. The Babbitt quarters are now gone but the street layout can still be seen. The Depot storage facilities now surround the town of Hawthorne on the north, east, and south and can be seen for miles from U.S. 95. The storage facilities include both above-ground storage buildings and earth-covered ammunition bunkers. See Wikimapia for an outline of the Depot.
The Depot was included on the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure list (BRAC) for closure. The depot was later dropped from the BRAC closure list because it was providing pre-deployment training areas for troops headed overseas.
A contractor operated active military installation in Hawthorne, Mineral County, Nevada. The cantonment area is open to the public and contains the Walker Lake Golf Course, a public golf course. The storage areas are not open to the public but are visible along U.S. 95 which bisects the reservation.