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The World War II History of NADCrane

History of Northern Martin County

Š 2012 by the author of this book. The book author retains sole copyright to his or her contributions to this book.

The Blurb-provided layout designs and graphic elements are copyright Blurb Inc., 2012. This book was created using the Blurb creative publishing service. The book author retains sole copyright to his or her contributions to this book.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane By Margaret "Peggy" Julian and Anthony "Tony" Haag

December 2015

The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane


Peggy's To my husband, Rich, and daughters, Faith and Jade, but especially to the dedicated employees past, present, and future of what is now the Naval Support Activity, Crane.

Tony's To my wife, Teresa, for her proof reading dedication and tolerance of my focus on Crane's history and to my parents, Leo and Joan, for their service to Crane and the Navy and for their interest in history and this project.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Table of Contents Introduction: i Historical Perspective: ii Ralph Graves Biography: iv Chapter 1: Naval Ammunition Depot Burns City/Crane Indiana and Its Greatest Generation: pl Chapter 2: The Construction - From Wilderness and Wasteland: p16 Chapter 3: Ammunition/Ordnance Production Department: p28 Chapter 4: Supply Department: p65 Chapter 5: Other Departments: p82 Industrial Relations 1st Lieutenant's Security Safety Conclusions and Authors' Notes: p114

The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

Introduction During the years of 1940 through 1945, nearly 64,000 acres ofland in Martin, Lawrence and Greene Counties, in Indiana, transformed from wilderness and sub-marginal farmland to one of the Navy's most productive ammunition depots. This transformation was not an accident. It was a spectacular feat by the people who not only occupied the land before, but also those who came to Indiana from across the United States to make it happen. The sleepy countryside exploded with thousands of construction workers and dovetailed into thousands of ordnance production, storage and shipping workers as well as the people who maintained and administered the depot and its operations. In this time of war and worldwide peril, the farmers, small community residents, and regional city dwellers drove themselves and each other to astounding accomplishments with unfathomable dedication for the sake of their family, friends, and fellow Americans who were risking their lives to defend and protect their country. Wives, mothers, retirees, students, and teachers on summer break flooded through the gates each day, six to seven times a week, by train, bus and carpool to produce and pass the critical materials of war that the National Leadership requested. Unanimity of purpose was evident in the speed at which the work was completed, the quality of the product and the selflessness of the contribution. This time period will likely never be duplicated, but the echoes of this period still ring in the foundation of Crane 75 years later. In this book we will attempt to give the history both from the NAD Crane World War II After-Action Report, which was written by the depot leadership in late 1945, as well as from an eye-witness account given by a young landscape architect who was there from the first days of construction. We will also share bios of military and civilians who led the building and wartime operations of the facility as printed in the depot's every other week newsletter entitled, "Bursts and Duds". We will attempt to give a peek into the life and times of the people and their community that formed within and around the depot. Our hope is that this book will serve to honor the Plankholders of the Naval Ammunition Depot, Crane, Indiana, and will help to immortalize the contributions of the Greatest Generation to the depot, to the counties surrounding Crane, and to Indiana as well as the Nation and the world.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Historical Perspective The question is often asked "Why is there a Navy facility in Southern Indiana?" The answer to this has roots in three historical happenings. The first, happened in July, 1926, at a Navy facility in Lake Denmark, New Jersey, where a series of major explosions rocked the area adjacent to today's Picatinny Arsenal. The Navy was storing and servicing many tons of ammunition and explosives left from World War I. The quantity and type of ordnance stored at this facility far exceeded what would be allowed today when a fire broke out during a summer thunder storm and a chain-reaction ripped through the facility. Projectiles and explosives detonated for nearly two days and burned for a week. Fragments rained down and, in some cases, live projectiles launched and landed in a 15 mile radius around the facility. 21 people lost their lives and nearly

Aftermath of Lake Denmark Explosions

100 were injured. Most of the casualties were not associated with the facility but civilians living near Lake Denmark. The depot was nearly flattened and the adjacent Picatinny Arsenal also suffered substantial damage.

The investigation yielded findings that led to a complete new set of rules to govern the way ordnance is stored, handled, shipped, and produced. In addition, the determination was made that new depots needed to be sought in locations with less population and more real estate to ensure that future mishaps would not lead to innocent civilian losses of life and property.

In 1928, the Navy began construction of an ammunition depot in Hawthorne, Nevada. This facility had a huge expanse of mainly desert land, a few hours south of Reno.

Aftermath of Lake Denmark Explosions ii

The World War II History of NAD Crane

Naval Ammunition Depots 1928to1977 :





NAO Hawthorne, NV

NAO Crane, IN



M_~c;.alester~ OK





Est. 1928-30 140,000 acres 2427 Magazines Army Controlled 1977

Est. 1940-41 64,000 acres 1800 Magazines Navy Controlled

Est. 1942-43 45,000 acres 1833 Magazines Army Controlled 1977

Est. 1942-43 49,000 acres 2000 Magazines Closed 1960

This facility would meet the new ordnance guidelines with ease and would also give the Navy a Western United States location to support the growing Pacific Fleet. There was also an intent to construct a complementary depot in the Eastern United States, but the Stock Market crash of 1929 and Great Depression halted this pursuit The second happening contributing to the establishment of Crane was the Federal and State relief programs that grew out of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's ''New Deal" to address the Great Depression. Land holders in Northern Martin County, as well as Greene and Lawrence, were offered purchase of lands that were no longer able to produce crops. Approximately 36,000 acres were pmchased in a patch-work pattern inside what later became NAD Burns City/Crane. Many families continued to occupy land adjacent to the land sold to the White River Project. Thousands of acres in the northwestern portion of the property collective was set aside for an Indiana state park. The land purchases were carried out :from.1934 and 1939 and park development was well underway when the U.S. Navy started looking for land to establish a large ammunition depot The third happening was the onset of World War II. The U.S. political and military leaders suspected that, at some point, wars in Europe and Asia would spread to this country. The Germans where already prowling the East Coast with submarines while the Japanese expanded their conquests in the Pacific. It was reasonable to assume that attacks against coastal cities and military


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

facilities were probable if the United States continued to support Great Britain and the Soviet Union. The construction of an inland Navy depot to serve the Atlantic Fleet returned as a top priority in late 1939. The Appalachian Mountain range was seen as a natural barrier to the weapons of the time so the search for a suitable location was on. The Department of Navy became aware ofa substantial land purchase in Southern Indiana that was being administered by the Department of Agriculture. Approximately 36,000 acres had been purchased from area farmers from 1934 to 1939. A state park was being constructed on the land and it had reasonable roads, railroad, and power as well as a water source. The Navy took the steps to have the land transferred and began additional land acquisition to form a contiguous land mass that totalled approximately 64,000 acres. Along with gaining the additional land, the Navy worked with other agencies to transplant the residents who occupied purchased land and set about awarding construction contracts.

Mr. Ralph Graves Biography - 1918 to 2007 By Selba Noble, Connie Vowells and Tom Noble

Mr. Ralph E. Graves was born in Rockford, Michigan in April 1918. After graduation from High School, he entered Michigan State University, graduating in 1939 with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Immediately after graduation, he accepted a position with a large landscape company in Indianapolis, Indiana. In the summer of 1940, he became aware that the United States Navy intended to open a naval ammunition base in Southern Indiana. He then applied for and was hired as a surveyor with a contractor who was purchasing and surveying the land for the new base, which, eventually, became Crane Naval Ammunition Depot. Mr. Graves was one of the initial employees hired by the Government for the Depot in the Public Works department. He rapidly advanced into supervisory and management positions and was responsible for the design and layout of all the base roads, as well as many of the original railroads, buildings, and infrastructure. During all of World War II, Mr. Graves was an extremely valuable employee as he continued to ensure that infrastructure to the depot was maintained at the highest level. During this time he was commended on several occasions for the high quality of his work. In September of 1945, the Depot allowed him to volunteer for the United States Army where he served in "occupied" Japan until 1947, when he returned to his old job in the Public Works department where he would remain until 1995 when he retired with over 53 years of government service. Mr. Graves was an accomplished artist and journalist. He was a private man, therefore, many of his works were not found until after his death. As one drives around the base today, he or she may notice many things that were done many years ago. The landscaping at building one and the "star shaped" shrubbery at the chapel, as well as many other locations, were done by Mr. Graves personal hand. Mr. Graves was married in 1941 to the former Betty Ressler of Odon. They had three daughters Shelba Graves (Noble), Joan Graves Sterkel, and Connie Graves Vowels.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

Ralph is boy sitting on left



Ralph in 1941

Wife Betty in 1961


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

In 1988, Ralph was asked by the Public Works Department leadership to take time and capture his remembrances. He recorded information about his early days at the rough work camp which was the beginning of the Naval Ammunition Depot, Burns City, Indiana. He covered many interesting events and details of the construction and early operation of the facility, as well as some of its people. His remembrances were documented in "Naval Weapons Support Center, Crane ... from the beginning." We approached Ralph's family to contribute

his bio and also to gain their blessing in using his words in this book. Throughout the book you will see Ralph's eye witness accounts, in italics, providing the details and happenings of the day.

The introduction from Ralph's "Naval Weapons Support Center, Crane ... from the beginning":

"My name is Ralph Graves, Public Works Inspection Foreman with the Facilities Management Division Code 0932. My purpose is to record on tape some of the observations I have made since first being employed at the Naval Weapons Support Center Crane, Crane, Indiana, beginning as an Engineering Technician at an age of22 to the present time at age 70. I graduated from Michigan State University in 1940 in Landscape Architecture and spent the summer with the Eagle Creek Nursery Company in Indianapolis. I came to Crane with the R. B. Moore Engineering Company on the date of 14 November 1940. I have been at Crane since then with the exception of one year while serving in World War II with the US Army in the South Pacific area."


The World War 11 History of

NAD Crane

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Chapter 1: NAVAL AMMUNITION DEPOT BURNS CITY/CRANE INDIANA AND ITS GREATEST GENERATION AUTHOR'S COMMENT: World War II was an amazing period in United States history. Certain themes appear regularly: labor shortages created by young men serving in the military, gasoline, rubber andfael rationing that made transportation difficult, and women joining the worliforce for the first time in U.S. history. Despite these challenges the United States geared up a major war machine at home. NAD Burns City, a major ammunition production facility, faced all of these challenges and many more, but it still managed to excel in production during the war.

Crane's Formation History, 1940-1941 Early in 1940, the United States was in its 11th year of the Great Depression (1929-1940), and World War II was raging in Europe. Congress passed the first supplemental National Defense appropriation Act authorizing a five million dollar new ammunition production and storage facility. After considerable study, the Shore Station Development Board of the Navy recommended, and the Secretary of the Navy approved, that three million dollars be appropriated for the construction ofa new ammunition depot at a site near Bums City, Martin County, Indiana. In 1934, six years earlier, the Soil Conservation Service of the Department of Agriculture began to acquired 35,636 acres that would later be part of the estimated 4 7,000 acres required for a new ammunition depot. The land was acquired as part of the Roosevelt Resettlement program to implement the "Southern Indiana Agriculture Demonstration Project" also known as the "White River Land Utilization Project". As part of the project, a 52 foot high dam across Furst Creek created an 800 acre lake. This existing lake would later provide an adequate water supply for the new Ammunition Depot. In 1940, the Bureau of Yards and Docks of the U.S. Navy negotiated the first contract for the construction of the Naval Ammunition Depot, Burns City, Indiana, with the Maxon Construction Company of Dayton, Ohio. The "Cost-Plus-Fix-Fee" contract was awarded on 12 December 1940, with a stipulated net cost not to exceed $2,400.000. The first construction began on January 27, 1941. "Structures and facilities to be built included 23 earth-covered Smokeless Powder magazines, 22 sets of military quarters, an administration building, dispensary, barracks, recreation hall, garage, fire house, general storehouse, maintenance shop, locomotive/crane shop, surveillance test building, paint and oil house, laundry, gasoline service station, and sentry house." (John Allen. Northern Martin County, Mar 1991).


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Imagine a Navy Ordnance Depot near Bums City in 1940 ... there was no water supply other than the dam across Furst Creek, no sanitation, very few roads, no buildings, no ready food source, no energy source, no telephone service, no food supply, no housing and no ordnance trained workers. NAD Bums City, laterNAD Crane, was officially commissioned on December 1, 1941. CAPTAIN E.G. Oberlin reported aboard a week prior to the commissioning before assuming command of the Station. The Maxon Construction Company and the Russell B. Moore Engineering Company of Indianapolis arrived at Bums City about one short year earlier in late December 1940 along with LCDR Wallace B. Short, the first Officer in Charge of Construction. LT A.P. Pasquariello arrived at the Deport in June 1941 and served as Assistant Officer in Charge of Construction under LCDR Short. First ground was broken on January 27, 1941. CAPTAIN Oberlin, the Maxon Construction Company, R.B. Moore Engineering, LCDR Short and LT Pasquariello all deserve much credit for transforming the hilly, rock ribbed wilderness in Martin County into one of the world's largest ammunition depots.

The Comm.anders CAPT E.G. Oberlin - 1st Commanding Officer - From 1 December 1941to24 June 1994 Captain E.G. Oberlin, (Ret) was the Commanding officer at Burns City/Crane Naval Ammunition Depot. CAPT Oberlin took command at the Commissioning on December 1, 1941. Captain Oberlin was retired from active duty in 1932 after 33 years of service in the Army and the Navy. He was recalled to active duty to come to Crane after being at the office of Naval Operations where he was in charge of the Naval Transportation Service. Oberlin graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served as commander of the Philadelphia Navy Yard during World War I. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. He was the first military commander (Assistant Director) of the Naval Research Laboratory established in 1923 with contributions from Thomas Edison. In May 1944, Captain E.G. Oberlin, (ret.) received a letter from Rear

Admiral, G.F. Hussey, Jr., Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance,


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

naming his successor, Captain L.L. Hunter, as Commanding Officer of Crane. The letter states, in part: "You are probably aware that the Bureau has for a long time endeavored to keep in its organization the maximum amount of recent ordnance experience, coupled with the greatest possible diversity of recent Fleet experience. Of course in time of war, this recent Fleet experience becomes recent combat experience ... I am keenly appreciative of the very splendid job which you have accomplished in building up the Station from a wilderness into an effective producing unit, and I must assure you that I am asking for the change only on the basis of bringing fresh experience to the Station." Captain Oberlin's orders instructed him to take a month's leave and then report to the Commandant Twelfth Naval District, for duty in connection with permanent general court-martial where he served as President of the Courts Martial at Charleston, South Carolina. He retired again from active service in February 1956 and lived in Asheville, North Carolina and the Florida Keys.


Burns City Leadership December 1, 1941 (The following officers are likely pictured) CAPT E.G. Oberlin, CDRL.F. Corbin, CDR W.B. Short, LCDR G.H. Carrithers, LCDR W.D. Sedgewich, LT A.P. Pasquariello, LT J.S. Marsh, LT G.F. Strobel, LT W.J. Felber, LT C.W. Muessig, LT R.G. Montgomery, LT. R. Boyd Jr., Maj P.C. Marmion USMC


The World Wax II History of NAD Crane

U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot - Burns City, Indiana 1941/42 Number Of Employees in each Organizational Unit is unknown for this period.

NAD Crane Fint Change of Command CAPT Oberlin to CAPT Hunter 24 June 1944 at the Marine Corps Barracks tennis courts


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

CAPT L.L. Hunter 2nd Commanding Officer CAPT L. L. Hunter, USN assumed command of the Crane Ammunition Depot on June 24, 1944. He relieved CAPT E.G. Oberlin who had been in command since the Depot was commissioned on 1 December, 1941. CAPT Hunter served as commanding officer of the Naval Mine Depot at Yorktown, VA., and of the Naval CAPT Oberlin reviewing mounted Marines

Ammunition Depot at St. Julien's Creek, VA. He was at the Naval Proving Grounds,

23 June 1944 before change of command

Dahlgren, Va. for a while and was in Command of the USS MISSISSIPPI

from December, 1942 until April 1944. Prior to assuming command of the Crane Ammunition Depot, he served two years at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. In a letter to CAPT Oberlin, Rear Admiral G. F. Hussey Jr., Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, stated that the Bureau had endeavored to keep in its organization the maximum amount of recent ordnance experience, coupled with the greatest possible diversity of recent Fleet experience. Of course in time of war, this recent Fleet experience became recent combat experience. A number of officers, who were called by the Bureau in 1941 to meet the increased demand, have been relieved by officers with ordnance experience ashore and recent combat experience in the Fleet. In line with that policy: "I have requested that Captain L. L. Hunter, USN, formerly Commanding Officer of the Naval Mine Depot, Yorktown and of the Naval Ammunition Depot, St. Juliens Creek, and presently in command of the MISSISSIPPI, be ordered to Crane as Commanding Officer."


The World War II History of NAD Crane

rane Military Leadership - Fall of 1945 Depot adminiatrativ officer• and department head s, le ft to right, front row, Comdr. B. Altm n, Capt. R. F. Hague, Comdr. A. L. Ge b e lin, Capt. L. L. Hunter, Capt. H. J. M cManua, Lt. Col. H. R. H u ff , C omdr. R . L. Bence ; aecond row, Lt. (jg) R S. Babcock, Comdr, E. D. Vea t e l , Lt. Comdr. L. C . Ash, Lt. Comdr. J. J. Baffa, Lt. Comdr. S. B. Ezell, Lt. Comdr. R . H . Griffin, Lt. L. G. Ma11ey, Lt. W. N. Dale.

U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot - Crane, Indiana 1945 Number Of Employees in each Section/ Department is unknown for this period.

LL Hunter XO-CDRA.L.Gebeiln

Note: LCDRG .J. Cheney -OICConscruction- May to No.r CDR J .T. Dav is-OIC Construction - Nov to Dec

Note: LCOR Hutt:hi11S-on died

In hi.s office Feb-CDRW eis 1 1~ 0n:::lnaru:eOfficerMa y to Oe<

Note : Became CAPT in May

Note: LT M.J. Hollander held Position from Apr to Dec

VE Day in May VJ Day in September


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

From NAD Burns City to NAD Crane - 1942 to 1945 What NAD Burns City, later, NAD Crane Ammunition Depot, was able to accomplish from December 1940, when the Maxon construction contract was let through the end of World War II, was nothing short of miraculous. The base stands as a tribute to the American Spirit and a monument to the way the country came together to accomplish the impossible during World War II. By Crane's third birthday, in December 1944, more than 1,200 enlisted men and women had come from all across the country to Crane, and the Civilian work force increased from a few hundred to over 7,000. In 1943, Crane was probably the largest naval industrial activity in the world, a $60,000,000 project with construction work still unfinished. It comprised an area of more than 100 square miles (roughly twice the size of the District of Columbia), contained more than 2,000 storage magazines, production buildings, barracks, and quarters and was connected by more than 125 miles of railroad and 200 miles of highway. The first four years of the Naval Base's history was focused on two enormous challenges. The first was developing the mostly wilderness land into a highly organized ordnance production plant with excellent railroads, highways, and housing. The second challenge was to hire and train ordnance workers so that the base could actually produce, ship, and store live ammunition. In addition to these two challenges, there were other major problems which included fmding enough labor in the area to work in ordnance (in a labor area comprised mostly of farmers and where most young men were in the service), training the workers, fmding sources of water, energy, food, and suitable housing, storing and shipping ammunition as it arrived, and overcoming the rubber, gasoline, housing, and car shortages. The rubber, gasoline, and car shortages made shipping in of ordnance and construction materials difficult as well as transporting ordnance materials out of the base. It also made traveling any distance to the Depot a challenge for employees. Housing was essential for hiring and retaining capable ordnance employees. The Naval Base rose to the challenge. Despite the obstacles to construction, approximately one year after the award to the Maxon Construction Company, on December 1, 1941, the Naval Ammunition Depot Bums City was commissioned and opened. The first ordnance materials arrived at the Naval Depot in November 1941, and six months later in May 1942, the first production of TNT Boosters was loaded. But even before the first TNT Boosters were shipped from NAD Bums City, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The U.S. declared war on Japan one day later on December 8, 1941. A few days later on December 11, 1941, the U.S. declared war on Germany. Now engaged in two major intercoastal wars, the U.S. needed ammunition shipped to both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts immediately.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

Labor Shortage Challenges

1broughout the entire war years, as young men were drafted into the military, NAD Burns City/Crane faced a critical labor shortage. Crane eased the labor shortage in a variety of ways. Women and boys under 18 joined the workforce. "Bursts and Duds" reported on March 31, 1943, that BOW's (Boy Ordnance Workers) and WOW's (Women Ordnance Workers) were needed. Since so many men were engaged in the military, there was a shortage of available labor, so the Civil Service Commission consented to lower the age limit to 16 years so serious minded boys could do their part in "licking the Japs". Women, 45 years of age and under, could apply as Mechanic Learners, the preliminary road to munitions workers. In March 1944, approximately 200 Indiana University students worked Saturday and Sunday at various jobs at the Depot to help alleviate the serious manpower shortage. The students, men and women, were picked up in front of the Union Hall at the IU campus and transported to the depot in a large trailer bus. They continued to work weekends until the manpower crisis was passed. In the August 30, 1944, issue of "Bursts and Duds", the newspaper reported that the Navy had established an Ordnance Battalion at Crane. 1,200 enlisted men were quartered in the buildings formerly known as the WPA barracks. Most of the men had minor physical disabilities. The need for the Battalion grew out of the failure to recruit some 2,000 additional workers needed to meet the increasing ammunition production, loading and shipping schedule. Another way of alleviating the labor shortage was hiring older workers. In August, 1945, 104 Depot employees were 70 years old and older. They served as ammunition handlers, powder inspectors, railroad maintenance men, janitors, and members of the Coast Guard police force. After the War, in November, 1945, the government authorized the release of all 70 year old employees. Since labor was in such short supply, absenteeism at work was a major theme during the war. From the first issue of "Bursts and

Duds", in 1943, through the end of the war, once a month or more, the newspaper contained articles about how absenteeism slowed production and supported the enemy. The newspaper also celebrated those areas ofNAD Burns City/Crane that had 100% attendance records. The Depot instituted a "Card of Merit" that was awarded to employees with 100% time on the job for three months. The card read in part, "In time of war your value to your government cannot be measured in dollars and cents." Beginning in March of 1944, a WAVE detachment was sent to Crane. Groups of 10 to 14 WAYES arrived during the month of March and by the end of April, fifty-five enlisted WAVES were on-board. The WAYES expected a dubious reception at Crane, but found that they were welcomed aboard enthusiastically from the Commanding Officer to the employees. WAYES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) was established as a Branch of the Naval Reserves in July 1942. The WAYES accepted women into the Navy only for the duration of the War and six months after.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

By August, 1945, there were 50 enlisted WAYES at Crane and 12 Officers. They served in the Commissary, Security, Communications, Ordnance, Supply, the Dispensary and I.B.M. Division. A separate WAVE barracks was authorized for construction in March 1945 but was "indefinitely postponed" in May 1945 after V-E Day. The WAVES wrote a regular column for the "Bursts and Duds" entitled "Driftwood from the WAVES". The last column appeared on November 8, 1945. The WAVES were nominated for Transfer by November 17th, 1945.







i .

Josephine Shindelar of lowa1 Y3c. operating NTX machine munication• Office.



Clara Briggs of Illinois, SK3c, left, an~ C_race Ferraro of New York, Ste, ._,e1ghang vegetables at Commiuary.

Margaret Schnettler, Sp.(X)Jc, standing, and Berjouhi Artzerounian,

Sp.(X)3c. tabulating at IBM Office.

Maudelene Myers of Francesville, l~d., SK3c, fingerprinting p r ospec• hve emp lo.vee in Security Office.

Tied in with the labor shortage challenges was the housing and transportation shortage. Some employees were traveling 120 miles a day to and from work.

Transportation Challenges The War created a gasoline and rubber shortage that posed a huge challenge for employees getting to work at NAD Burns City/ Crane, and transporting ammunition, building materials, and supplies. It was almost impossible to get repair parts for family cars, and no new cars were available for purchase during the war and for several years afterward. To help alleviate the shortage, the Depot established a car pool registry for employees needing a ride or those offering rides. It also ran buses from 5:30 A.M. to 10:20 P.M. for transporting employees to work and built housing units for employees outside the Crane gate.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Billed as "Swap a Ride", in March of 1943, the Depot established a Clearing Center for men who had rides to offer and men who needed rides. NAD Crane also began a train service in September 1943, from Bedford on the east and Jasonville on the west. The train service was a result of a plan to ease the gasoline and tire rationing in order to transport employees to work. Trains began service at 4:30 AM and the last train arrived in Terre Haute at 6:45 PM. To help advertise NAD Crane and keep it in the minds of people in the surrounding area, Crane devised a slogan and insignia to use on Depot Transportation facilities. The insignia was to be used for windshield stickers, emblems for civilian buses operated by the Navy, railroad cars, engines, trucks, and on work clothes.

It was hoped that the insignia would build an Esprit de Corps for employees and help them keep in mind the importance of their work. The insignia depicted a "crane" coming in for a landing, feathered with ammunition and armed with a rocket in each claw. Near the end of the War, the August 20, 1944, "Bursts and Duds" reported that the lack of housing within commuting distance of the Depot was "hindering the acquisition of new workers". The newspaper sent out a plea for any employee with rental property or knowing of any to contact the Labor Board Office.

Housing Challenges and Crane Village Before, during, and after the war from 1941 through the early 1950's, there was a serious housing shortage in the towns and villages surrounding the Depot. To address the housing shortage, in 1941, the Depot set up 100 trailers as family housing units. They also began a federal housing project that was ready for occupancy in 1943. On March 2, 1943, the newspaper reported that applications for the first 100 homes (Crane Village) would be taken for Depot employees. The former Thomas J. Porter farm, located at the intersection of Bloomfield Road and the Depot, would be ready for occupancy in 1943.


The World War II Histoiy of NAD Crane

The new area (Crane Village) was named after William Montgomery Crane, the first Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, and was also the namesake of the depot. It is a fitting name since Crane was established 100 years after the Ordnance Bureau. On May 12, 1943, the "Bursts and Duds" reported that "600 dwellings opened at Crane on April 25, 1942, and 17 families were residing in the development. All of the units contained "iceboxes, coal-fired furnaces, and space heaters." In December 1944, the 600 unit Housing Project was taken over by the Navy. The housing project improvements included wider streets, sidewalks, extended water mains, and additional fire plugs. Electric stoves replaced coal ranges, and refrigerators and water heaters were installed. Mrs. G. C. Guthrie pictured canning in a typical kitchen in Crane Village. Bursts and Duds. August 4, 1943. In 1945, 100 new trailers were added to the already existing trailers. After the war, in the 1950's, Crane Village was overflowing. Crane village had migrants from nearly every state and every walk of life. A pamphlet entitled, "Indiana's 'Forgotten Village' Crane Village, Martin County, Indiana", By Margaret (Wenzel) Hall says: "The population ofCrane Village grew so fast that in the (19)50 's, the government eventually added what we called 'the cottage section ' (that actually had steam heat to offer!); and later, leased a large amount ofland on the north edge ofCrane to a private business to erect a very large section ofapartments called Crane Village North. This still wasn't enough housing to provide for the inflow ofpostwar veterans and military personnel families; and the waiting lists to into the Village housing areas were endless."


The World War II History of NAD Crane

NAD CRANE Accomplishments 1940-1944 Beginning with an award for the construction of the base, Crane won many awards during the war. On October 29, 1942, Admiral John Downes, USN., Commandant of the Ninth Naval District, presented the Army-Navy "E" (Excellence) Pennant to the Maxon Construction Company, its employees, and associate subcontractors. From the first issue of the "Bursts and Duds" in February, 1943, the newspaper was promoting War Bonds with bond campaigns, competitions between areas at Crane, and slogans. The Depot set a goal to win the Navy Flag awarded by the Secretary of the Navy for 10% of the entire payroll and 90% of all employees participating in bonds. The Depot succeeded and was awarded the Bond Flag on July 16, 1943. In order to keep the Bond Flag flying, the Depot could not drop below 10% of payroll or 90% employee participation for two successive months.

descriptive: "Remember! The Bonds you buy will buy a

Bomb with which to Bomb a Bum." War Bonds were Throughout the War Years, War Bonds were promoted. One

discontinued in October 1945 and replaced by "Victory

slogan promoting bonds appeared in 1943 and was particularly

Loans" to create a "mighty peace".


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

As early as August, 1943, NAD Crane was receiving commendations for production. A telegram from Rear Admiral W. H.P. Blandy, U.S. Navy, Chief of the Bureau Ordnance stated: "Parachute flares such as you manufacture for the Navy have proven to be

an important factor in the success ofnight bombing missions. The Commanding Officer of a Patrol Squadron who took part in the first air raid on Munda reported: 'On night attacks we always pull flares as we finish our bombing run. We think these flares are wonderfol things to help in the get-a-way. They are so bright and blinding that any anti-aircraft fire is usually thrown offcompletely by them'. You are to be congratulated on producing equipment ofsuch value to our gallant Naval Aviators. " At the time of the commendation, Crane's production lines were turning out more per shift than the most optimistic estimates. The production and loading of AP projectiles exceeded that of all other Naval ammunition depots. The base produced a variety of ammunition, both major and medium caliber projectiles of all types, with the emphasis on medium caliber VT fuzed ammunition, TNT boosters, depth charges, and rocket heads. The Pyrotechnics plant served as the Navy's major source of supply for illuminating projectiles and parachute flares. In May 1943, Governor Schricker of Indiana visited the Depot for an inspection. He visited several of the production plants and was impressed with the "marvelous" work being done by Hoosiers who had never before had any experience in making projectiles. He was particularly impressed with the women war workers who had adapted to emergency war production. Rear Admiral W.H.P. Blandy, Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, again commended employees of the Depot in September 1943 for the five-inch projectile. Blandy sent a telegram to the Inspector of Ordnance-In-Charge at the Depot that read in part: "The firepower

offive-inch projectiles loaded at Crane was a telling factor in the successfal invasion ofSicily. U.S. Destroyers using these projectiles spearheaded the shore bombardment which enabled our forces to land with a maximum ofprecision and a minimum of casualties ... No misfires were experienced with this ammunition. The Bureau extends thanks to all ofyou helping to put the punch in these hard-hitting projectiles. " Construction of buildings was also an accomplishment of Crane. Besides the railroads, highways, production buildings, and storage buildings built during the first four years, the base also constructed the Bus Depot, a commissary store capable of providing staple food products and other commodities for the approximately four thousand people, expansion of transportation equipment repair facilities to approximately 300% over the original unit, and rehabilitation of the 600 family dwellings units at Crane. In January 1945, the Navy Department announced that Crane would became a permanent base for storing Fleet Supplies and a $10,000,000 expansion program was launched. NAD Crane became the principal supply station of the Atlantic Fleet. This was excellent news for Crane's future and meant permanent jobs for many civilian employees.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

V-E Day occurred in May 1945 and was announced to Depot Personnel on May 8, 1945. The announcement said that General Eisenhower had announced complete cessation of organized resistance in Europe. V-J Day followed on August 15, 1945, with a cut back in production and a Reduction in Force (RIF) effected at Crane, (mainly women). After the cessation of hostilities steps were taken to immediately reduce the number of people at Crane, loading schedules were curtailed. Everyone went on a 40-hour work week, no Saturday employment except for emergencies, and the night shifts were eliminated. Employment at Crane dropped to 1,900 after World War IL In August 1945, Captain L.L. Hunter commended all employees. on the Depot for the vital and valued contributions they made to final victory. "The attention to duty and faithful attendance, especially of those on night shifts who traveled long distances under adverse weather conditions have been inspiring. As a result of employees ' efforts the Depot has been able to meet stiff production and shipping schedules and get the ammunition and supplies to our fighting forces when needed. "

In the years after World War II, (1945) Crane began to develop the expertise in engineering and electronics that carried Crane into a leadership position in the Navy. In 1947, the Bureau of Ordnance established a laboratory at NAD Crane because it was a major stocking point. Crane developed testing methods, procedures and equipment and designing statistical tests while the overall mission of the activity remained the same.

'lf E GOOD


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Summary From 1940, when the Maxon Construction contract was let to build NAD Bums City until the end of World War II in 1945, NAD Bums City/Crane overcame serious manpower shortages, transportation challenges, and housing shortages to become one of the Navy's premier ammunition production plants. Today, Crane still excels in Electronic Warfare, ordnance, and electronic engineering for the Navy. Most of the information for this article came from the NAD Bums City/ Crane twice monthly newspaper. On top of the other challenges for NAD Crane, the Depot started a twice monthly newspaper. The first edition of the NAD newspaper (unnamed for the first two issues) appeared on Tuesday, February 16, 1943. It was four pages long and included no pictures. Five months later on July 21, 1943, the newspaper jumped to eight pages, and the first photos appeared. One month after that in the August 4, 1943, issue, a two page photo spread appeared. The first issue of the newspaper held a contest for the naming of the publication and offered a $5.00 prize to the winner. Two issues later, on Mar. 17, 1943, Charles E. Miller named the newspaper the "Bursts and Duds". The theme for the name was that Crane would make all bursts and no duds, "100% effort in our jobs".

Other Command Leyel Key Leaders:

LCDR T.E. Kelly- Executive Officer - January 1942 to October 1942 CDR K.S. MacLean - Executive Officer - S. MacLean was Executive Officer at NAD Crane. He arrived at NAD Bums City on 28 October, 1942, from the South Pacific where he served as Executive Officer on a combat transport. He was the second Executive Officer succeeding LCDR Thomas E. Kelley. CDR MacLean graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1924. He detached from NAD Crane on 1October1943, to take command of another ordnance depot.

CDR J.T. Thorton - Executive Officer - October 1943 to April 1945 CDR A.L. Gabeiln - Executive Officer - April 1945 to 1946 LCDR W.J. Felber - Planning and Progress Officer - W. Felber was present at the NAD Bums City commissioning on 1 December 1941, as a LT. He has functioned in many positions and roles during his time at Crane. He has overseen housing establishment, the standup of the Naval Barracks, and acted as the early CO. He received the microfilm building 45 when it was commissioned in 1942. He set up the first ordering system. He was responsible for establishing the trailer park in the industrial area. He oversaw the purchase of nearly all the office equipment as well as all contents of the on base housing. LCDR Felber was a graduate of University of Wisconsin with a BS in metallurgical engineering and also graduate studies in law. He worked for the Inland Steel Company before joining the Navy in August 1941. He returned to Inland Steel in Kansas City on 1 November, 1945.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

Chapter 2: The Construction - From Wilderness and Wasteland Key Leaders; LCDR/CDR Wallace B. Short- Officer In-Charge (OIC) of Construction - Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Wallace B. Short arrived at NAD Burns City in December 1940 to take charge of overseeing the construction planning effort that would turn the Martin County wilderness into NAD Bums City and the Navy's second largest ammunition depot in the Country. LCDR Short hailed from the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida where he served as Assistant Public Works Officer. LCDR Short was a 1924 graduate of the Naval Academy, attended the Navy Post Graduate School and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he received his Civil Engineering degree. CDR Short remained the Commanding Officer ofNAD Bums City until CAPT E.G. Oberlin took command before the commissioning of the NAD Bums City on 1December,1941. CDR was also the Officer in Charge of Construction and the first Public Works Officer at Crane. After a 19 month tour of duty at Crane, CDR Short reported to Hastings, Nebraska to oversee the construction of the NAD there. Retired Vice Admiral Short attended Crane's 50th and 60th anniversary celebrations in 1991and2001 at the age of88 and 98, respectively. He retired from the Navy in 1964 and passed away in 2003 at the age of 100.

LCDR G.H. Carrithers- OIC of Construction-August 1942 to March 1943

LCDR A.P. Pasquariello - OIC of Construction -AP Pasquariello was on NAD Bums City/Crane from 14 June, 1941, to 5 May, 1945. He departed NAD Crane for Davisville, Rl. Foundations for a few buildings in the industrial, residential, and storage areas had been completed and construction was just getting underway when LCDR Pasquariello reported aboard. From his arrival he served first under CDR W.B. Short, the Depots first Construction Officer, and later under CDR G.H. Carrithers. He witnessed more than 2000 buildings, 150 miles ofrailroad, and 300 miles ofroads completed. On 11 March, 1943, LCDR Pasquariello became the officer in charge of construction and in that capacity had much to do with the economical expenditure of the $58,000,000 that was allotted by the Navy for new construction at NAD Crane. His department operated under a separate command building the various structures and then turning the facilities over to the NAD for operations and maintenance. LCDR Pasquariello graduated from Yale

in 1933. Before entering the Navy, he spent a number of years in construction work in New York and in Connecticut. He was married and had two daughters while at Crane.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

From the after-action report: In preparation for the coming national emergency, Congress voted $5,000,000 toward the construction of additional ammunition stowage facilities in the First Supplemental National Defense Appropriation Act of 1940. Three million dollars of this was made available for a depot to supply the Atlantic Fleet. The Shore Station Development Board was requested to select the site, with the provision that, for security reasons, the depot should be located west of the Appalachians. After a careful survey, the board recommended a site near Bums City, Martin County, Indiana. This is recommendation approved by the Secretary of the Navy, above the market price for land that could be secured by condemnation proceedings. Those that resorted to court proceedings to secure a higher compensation found the price lowered in the judicial process, and with but few exceptions purchases proceedings went smoothly. There were many advantages given for the chosen location. It was remote from congested areas of population. It was located far enough from the Eastern seaboard to minimize the dangers of an enemy air attack. The hilly terrain was ideal for magazine construction and camouflage protection. The territory, though isolated, was traversed by two state highways, a branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, and an adequate 66,000 volt electric power transmission lines. A third hardsurfaced road crossed the Depot, and additional railway line passed in close proximity to the site. The reduced value of the land and the ease with which it could be acquired were further favorable factors. Eighty percent of the land was sub marginal, and 35,636 acres of the site were already governmentally owned. The 26,830 additional acres to be purchased cost less than $20.75 an acre, according to latest available statistics. Very little difficulty was encountered in the purchases from small landowners. Government offers were usually above the market price for land that could be secured by condemnation proceedings. Those that resorted to court proceedings to secure a higher compensation found the price lowered in the judicial process, and with but few exceptions purchases proceedings went smoothly.

Ralph Graves: "In the early 1930s a New Deal Administration conceived the idea of buying blocks ofsub-marginal land and retiring it from agriculture and at the same time relocating the occupants to productive agriculture land. The US Department ofAgriculture, in conjunction with a Land Management Specialist ofPurdue University and Resale Administration, in 1934 began taking options on land which was later to become the Naval Ammunition Depot. Approximately 35,000 acres were purchased from the period 1934 to 1938, at an average cost o/$7.00 per acre. As this land was purchased, the occupants were resettled to a commune farm near Vincennes, Indiana. " The presence of an adequate water supply in an 800 acre artificial lake further prompted the choice. The State balked at relinquishment of control of Lake Greenwood and the surrounding recreational area, but withdrew the protest when the importance of the lake as a source of water supply was emphasized. Nearby sources ofrock and limestone were also available for building and construction purposes.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Ralph Graves: "The Lake Greenwood Dam, structure #1934, was built in 1938. The surface of the lake is 800 acres, maximum depth is 46 feet, length 4 miles, average width 114 mile. It was designed to withstand a flood which may occur once in 500 years. The dam is located close to the edge of a terminal moraine; the location was once before the site of a lake during the glacial period. Part of this dam is remains of the dam created during the Ice Age. During this era, a bed of silt was deposited 60 feet deep. This silt forms the impervious bottom of the lake. The area was developed by the Department of Conservation for propagation offish, wildlife, and in some measure, flood control. " -- "The land was to be developed into a recreational state park type area sponsored by the Indiana State Department of Conservation, and when completed was to be administered by the Conservation Department. During this development and improvement period, Lake Greenwood was built and picnic areas were constructed and roads and utility lines completed. In 1938, the Resale Administration was absorbed by the Farm Security Administration, Bureau of Agriculture Conservation Service and in 1939 was transferred to the Economics and lastly to the Soil. The project called the White River Land Utilization Project was completed and dedicated September 15, 1939, and the recreational concessions were turned over to the State ofIndiana, Conservation Department for operation. "


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

It was the early belief that a large untapped labor supply was available, since the area was not extensively developed industrially and

a large member of people were on WPA rolls. The reduced standard of living promised that the labor supply could be acquired cheaply. The labor picture formed the only substantial disappointment, as will be explained in the Personnel Relations Section. All other expectations were realized in whole or in part. The Department of Agriculture was in control of the government-owned land and relinquished it to the Depot. Land owned by the State of Indiana was secured after reasonable negotiation. Ralph Graves: "The new deal WPA workers cut this Depot out of the wilderness as they had the following assigned task to peiform: Clearing every building site, road and railroad site. This had to be accomplished ahead of the construction crews. They found a great many poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes, mosquitos, briars, brambles and underbrush which hampered their progress. " The virgin nature of the site presented the first construction problem. The land was rough, wooded, and mainly sub marginal in nature. With the exception of approximately 20,000 acres in the northwest section, there was no topographical data available. A topographic survey was therefore necessary to make proper selection of unit locations. As aerial survey saved considerable time in obtaining the topographic data and made it possible to start construction at an earlier date.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

The original construction planning prior to Pearl Harbor was restricted to 23 smokeless powder magazines, quarters for officers, a group of shop buildings, railroads, roads and service functions as required. The "shop buildings" comprised the various maintenance buildings, including the administration building. Additional projects were gradually added to include an illuminating projectile and flare loading plant, two mine filling plants, torpedo and ordnance storehouses, shell loading plants, a microfilm storehouse, explosive handling plants, and the various auxiliary and service buildings required for such varied operations. In addition there were, of course, many miles of roads, railroads, water lines, sewer lines, power and telephone lines, sewage-treatment plants, waterpurification systems, pumping stations, water towers-in short, complete utilities and services. The design criteria for all phases of the project were predicated on Navy Standards, where applicable; otherwise, recognized standards of the engineering profession were used. Under certain conditions, in connection with ammunition loading facilities, the standard designs developed by the Bureau of Ordnance and the Bureau of Yards and Docks were adopted in total. Every effort was made to comply with the directives used by the Bureau and the restrictions imposed by WPB. Initially and before Pearl Harbor, the allowable stresses and factors of safety used in the design of all structures were those established by the Navy and Federal Bureaus. Subsequently, as materials became scarcer, requiring substitutions or the use of inferior grades, the design stresses were modified in keeping with the conditions obtaining and the covering directives. The entire project is considered as permanent construction in character, and this feature was recognized and reconciled in the design of all structures. Major difficulties were encountered because of the rapidly changing conditions imposed by the war emergency. The tremendous load imposed on the understaffed Bureaus led to delays in securing basic information for design and in some cases approval of plans. In addition, delays were occasioned by the necessity to use less critical materials and the determination of the properties of the

substitute. There were delays also in connection with the development of new processes for the manufacture of ammunition and ammunition loading facilities. These delays, while constituting the major difficulties in the development of the plans, should not be charged to lack of coordination or cooperation of the various Navy Bureaus, but rather to the exigencies created by the technical and scientific development of modem warfare. Paramount to these was safety and the time required to determine the features to this land. Every effort was made to conserve critical materials in keeping with the directives issued by the Bureaus. In the case of plans released for construction, the same were re-designed for the use of substitutes if the critical material had not been ordered and delivered. Wherever possible, concrete was substituted for steel, and in the final phases of the work, wherever acceptable to the Navy Department, timber was substituted for steel. There were instances where as substitutes could be made and yet comply with the requirements of Ordnance.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Ralph Graves: "During construction days, all concrete was made at a central point. Concrete Batcher No. 1 was on Highway 101, what is now the "can pile". Batcher No. 2 was located at the present salvage yard on Highway 58. What is now our Oil Tank Farm on Highway 5 was the site of the Concrete Batcher No. 3. A thriving general grocery store stood at the intersection ofHighway 77 and 99 known as Sergeant's Corner." Indirectly, material shortages influenced design in that additional effort and time was required to survey the problem and ascertain the probability of substituting materials that could be secured with less delay. The problem required the closest cooperation between the architect- engineer, the prime contractor, and the material suppliers. On November 6, 1940, the first contingent of the engineers arrived on the project with the necessary instruments and materials to start

the work. Two barracks in the NYA camp located on the project were made available for office purposes and sleeping quarters, and these quarters were used until the Officer in Charge of Construction arrived and approved plans prepared by the Engineers for a temporary type construction office to be used by the Navy representatives, the architect-engineer and the prime contractor. The old NYA barracks remained in use as sleeping quarters. Ralph Graves: "My first duties were locating foundations for our office Building 2530. Until this building was finished, our offices¡ and living quarters were located in the NYA (National Youth Administration) Camp in the present site of the new Data Processing Building. The Engineers were employed by the R. B. Moore Engineering Company. They provided surveys, plans and specifications for the Center's roads, buildings, railroads and grounds. The cost plus contract was awarded to the Maxon Construction Company ofDayton, Ohio. Engineers living in the NYA barracks and officers working on the project were: M R. Keith, ChiefEngineer, H. L. Signs; other engineers were Boyd Hall, Clare Shields, Robert Meek, Walter Sapp, H. 0 Wimset, Tom Jacoby, Colonel White, J. C. Wilkerson, Jack Turner and Bill Lindamen. Technicians and Rodmen were Wallace Elkeyer, Buford Strange, Charles Wilson, John Barnett, Wayne Girdley, Keith Williams, Ralph Graves, John Lee, George Overton, Jack Superee, Joel Beaverstine, Alex Levee, James Heaney, Richard Scott, Hayden Ritchey, and A. L. Perkins. " "The NYA barracks were located 200 yards north of the present transportation office building 2713 built in 1936 and demolished in 1947. Housing was provided for 110 enrollees in 23 buildings including barracks, dispensary, mess hall, recreation lodge and boiler building. The NYApersonnel moved out in 1941. The facilities were then used by the R. B. Moore Engineering Company as office and quarters space for designing plans and writing specifications for construction of the center. The US Marine Corp also used the facility as their center of operations on security duty until their new barracks at Building 13 was ready. The NYAfacility also housed the offices of the tire rationing board where tires were inspected and ration stamps were issued to civilian workers for purchase of automobile tires and gasoline. It also housed the Safety Office which administered the safety program for the construction work force and the Acquisition Land Office which was where real estate was purchased for the center. " When actual construction got underway, it was apparent from the nature of the work and the large area of the site that operations would have to be conducted in such a manner as to afford maximum freedom and initiative to localized activities. The distances involved, the erodible soil, and the possibility of unfavorable weather turned first attention to transportation. Primary consideration was given to access roads and transportation facilities so as to assure the mobility of the construction workers. Power, water, and railroad facilities were essential to the construction effort, and attention was turned to these.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Permanent utility and service installations were made wherever possible to aid construction. At the time work began, Lake Greenwood had been drained and the dam was undergoing repair by WP A forces. It was necessary to bring in, by rail and by tank truck, all water required both for construction and for drinking purposes. Several wells were drilled in an effort to obtain water at the site, but they failed. Sufficient water was not available at the site until May, 1941, when the dam had been rebuilt and a temporary pumping station placed in operation. The supply of water from the lake was not fully adequate until November, 1941. Ralph Graves: "The WPA repaired Lake Greenwood Dam's Spillway, which was damaged due to freezing of the concrete before curing on the first job. This job necessitated the installation of material and vertical weeps in the pouring of 1525 cubic yards of concrete, and the installation of the steel basin at the west end also pouring of concrete piers and the construction of a foot bridge across the spillways. The lake was drained down to a low level and a new clay core was placed in front of the weir. Also, in connection with this job, the weir elevation was changed. The boat docks and residential area were all constructed on dry land, transferring the theoretical finished elevation of the water level. " In the field, areas were organized with consideration given to the various types of work and the geographical locations of projects. Central service offices were maintained to aid the field offices. Specialized crew units were formed to handle the functions of building. The progress was smooth and rapid, exceeding Bureau requirements.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

M axon empl o yees who b uilt the Hi Ex A rea Maxon employees enroute to their job during the early daya of the Depot

Ralph Graves: "They built the Heaney Memorial Bridge which is a double 23 foot metal arch, with stone spandrel and wing. Stone was picked up from the fields and the deep rolling hills and hauled to the site, carved and laid in place by some of the best stonecarvers ofMonroe and Lawrence County. They were unemployed at that time, coming from their local jobs at stonemills, which were down due to lack of business in the depression. This bridge was named in honor ofJames Heaney, a landscape architect with the R. B. Moore Engineering Company, who was killed in a jeep accident near the town ofScotland, while proceeding through the Center boundary to survey a fence line. The limestone plaque purchased from the Indiana Limestone Company ofBedford is imbedded at the top of the column on the east side of the bridge. The inscription reads "Heaney Memorial Bridge". There is also an inscribed headstone of local quarried sandstone placed at the top of the creek bank on the northeast side of the bridge. " The progress in the nineteen months from Pearl Harbor is illustrated by the figures available in July, 1943. At that time there were approximately 2000 structures. Some 1600 were earth-covered magazines, about 400 were buildings. The buildings (masonry, with a few exceptions) consisted of mine-filling, shell-loading and flare-projectile loading plants, storehouses, administration, and maintenance-shop buildings, and subsidiary buildings, along with the necessary utilities and services required by an industrial ordnance activity employing perhaps 6,000 people. Building construction was primarily of reinforced concrete, fire-proofed steel, structural steel, and masonry. Wood frame roofs with non-inflammable surfaces were used on some structures, such as the administration building, dispensary, recreation buildings, garages, quarters, etc. Most structures had monolithic re-enforced concrete walls. Minimum safety distance requirements were maintained as furnished by the Bureau of Yards and Docks and approved by the Bureau of Ordnance.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

Administration Building # 1 Medical Dispensary Building #12

The following is a list of the requirements for High Explosive and Warhead Magazines: 1. The clear distance between magazines within a groupnot less than 500 feet. 2. The clear distance between any high explosive magazines and the boundary (or inhabited building within the Depot)-not less than 2155 feet. 3. The clear distance between groups of high explosive magazines or between high explosive magazines and Concrete Building Construction

any other type of magazine or an inert storehouses-not less than 1900 feet.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

One of man


owder ma azinea bein

constructed near H-TI

During the period preceding July, 1943, in connection with the contract under which construction of this Depot was initiated, morale among the employees was high. This is best exemplified by voluntary contributions toward the Depot progress. In the latter part of March, 1942, the reinforcing steel superintendent and eleven of his foreman came to the job on a Sunday, unannounced, and installed all the reinforcing steel for a smokeless powder magazine of their own accord, without suggestion from the management. The next day they announced that the time spent was their special contribution to the war effort and an example to their men of what could and should be done in one day. Other groups of mechanics immediately announced that they, too, desired to contribute a day to the war effort. Since the work would have to be supervised, and since it would require the presence of all auxiliary forces, the management suggested that Sunday, April 19, 1942, be designated as a day when all volunteers might give a day's work, without cost to the Navy. On the day 98% of the contractor's personnel, including the office staff, subcontractors' personnel, all business agents (who took up their tools), all the Navy personnel, the staff of the architect and engineer, all material suppliers immediately available, and other associated activities, reported for duty and accomplished a highly productive day's work. There had been discussion of a microfilm storage building for the use of the Secretary of the Navy, but plans had not yet been received. It was proposed and agreed that all hands working April 19 be paid for the day's work but that the money be turned over to the Navy, through the office of the Secretary of the Treasury, to finance the construction of the microfilm storage building. The sum of $63,112.85 was contributed, and the money was forwarded to the Treasurer of the United States.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

Dedication of the Microfilm Storage Building Microfilm Storage Building #45

The amount included contributions from suppliers, who had requested the privilege of participating with appropriate donations. The microfilm building, financed by these funds, was completed and dedicated in June, 1942. Ralph Graves: "During construction of the Marine Barracks in 1941 the structure caught fire. Concrete for the first deck had been poured and the forms, reinforcing steel and so forth were completed for the second deck. All was in place and in readiness for concrete pouring the next day. The weather was cold and coal fired salamanders had been placed to prevent freezing, and watchmen were left to watch and replenish the fuel. The watchmen had gone to the Wilson Canteen, which is now the enlisted men's club to eat. During this absence, the salamanders overheated and set fire to the forms. The entire second deck and form work burned, reinforcing steel melted and warped and all the steel had to be cut off and spliced and new forms built. All of this delayed the moving of the Marines into their permanent quarters until early 1942."


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Ralph Graves: "In a letter dated 1942, the Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks issued a letter that the Bureau had requested orders for LT CDR W B. Short. The orders issued designated him as the Public Works Officer at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Burns City. As Public Works Officer LT CDR Short came directly under the Inspector of Ordnance in charge of- the Depot, Captain Oberlin. It was necessary for LT CDR Short to retain his designation as Officer in Charge of Construction in order that he could handle the administrative duties for construction by the contract. " Until July 1943, construction was carried on with cost plus fixed fee contracts with one construction company dominating the field. At that time the policy was changed to lump sum contracts with available contractors bidding for jobs. This change resulted in considerable impact in construction. All unfinished work was changed over to the new basis. Difficulty in securing parts for ventilating and heating systems often held up building completions. Frequently, the uncompleted structures were turned over to Ordnance pending the arrival of priority materials. However, at no time were production schedules held up by delays in construction. Building construction progressed in step with production expansion in the lump sum contracts period, which lasted until the end of the war. From July 1943, until the close of hostilities, approximately 100 buildings of2343 completed and put into use, and approximately 130 others were in various stages of construction. No difficulties outside of those already mentioned were encountered in this second period. Ralph Graves: "Following construction, there was a great deal of landscaping, soil conservation and forestry work to do. My supervisor son was Charles D. Worstell, Field Superintendent ofRoads and Grounds. I supervised 200 laborers and equipment operators assigned to planting trees, shrubs, ground covers, lawns and seeding highway roadsides, backs/opes; and magazine access roads for erosion and drainage control; also mowing lawns , highways, and magazines. That was a long time before the concept ofmaintenance control and the establishment ofP&Es and Shop Planners. I had to do it all myself, planning, estimating and ordering equipment and materials in addition to supervision. We mowed thousands of acres for hay mulch to spread on the newly seeded miles and miles of highway backslopes and road side and shoulders. The hay fields were abandoned farms. We stripped sod from pasture fields for relaying in residential and industrial areas and drainage channel. "

The Men Who Built the Depot

Captain E.G. Oberlin, the Depot's first commanding officer and the men who transformed a hilly, rock-ribbed wilderness into the world's largest naval ammunition depot. [L-R] A.C. Alt, general superintendent, Maxon Construction Co.; LCDRA.P. Pasquariello, assistant officer in charge of construction (later officer in charge of construction); G.W. Maxon, president, Maxon Construction Co.; CAPT Oberlin; G.L. Ohl, vice president, Maxon Construction Co; G.E. Hines; L.W. Harter and R.B Moore all of the R.B. Moore Engineering Co.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane


Key Leaders LCDR J.W. Hutchinson -Ammunition Officer- John Weasley Hutchinson was the Ammunition Officer at NAD Burns City/Crane from February 1942 until his death, in his office, on 25 February 1945. The Ammunition Officer was one of the most difficult and critical leadership roles at the NAD. LCDR Hutchinson was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1898 and served in the Navy for nearly 28 years. He enlisted in the National Naval Volunteers during WW I on 9 March 1917. He was honorably discharged on 8 March 1920 but emolled several months later in the regular Navy and served continuously until his death. Beginning as an apprentice seaman, he rose to the rank of Gunner in October 1927. For two years, 1928 to 1930, he served as Assistant Gunnery Officer on the heavy cruiser Pittsburgh of the Asiatic Fleet, and for two years, 1930 to 1932, on the Dobbin. He was Ammunition Officer at the Naval Ammunitions Depot, Fort Mifflin, PA, from 1932 to 1934, and during that time was made Chief Gunner. For the next three years he served on the USS Wright as Assistant Gunnery Officer. From 1937 to 1939, he served as the Ordnance Officer at NAD Balboa, Canal Zone, Panama and from 1939 to 1941 as Assistant Gunnery Officer on the Wasp, an aircraft carrier. After leaving the Wasp he reported to NAD Burns City. LCDR Hutchinson was promoted from the rank of Chief Gunner to that ofLCDR in a little more than a year, December 1942. LCDR Hutchinson left a wife, Olga and a five year old daughter Olga Patricia both residing on NAD Crane. He was buried in New Jersey near the hometown of his wife. CDR G.H. Weis - Ordnance Officer- G. Weis reported to NAD Crane on 4 Nov 1944 after serving as Navigator on the baby flattop USS Altamaha for 26 months. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy in 1926. He served two and one half years aboard the USS Texas before going to civilian life. CDR Weis was production superintendent of the American Smelting and Refining Company in New Jersey for 14 years. He left this position in 1942 and reentered the Navy. He became the Ordnance Officer in May 1945. The Ordnance Officer position is new to NAD Crane. From 1942 until October 1944 the leadership was provided by the Ammunition Officer, LCDR Hutchinson. The operations where known as the Ammunitions Department. The Ordnance Officer position was established to better cover the broadening ordnance operations at NAD Crane. The Ammunition Officer now answers to the Ordnance Officer as do the Deputy Ordnance Officer and Pyrotechnic Plant Officer. There are nine major operations: Major and Minor Caliber Loading, High Explosive Loading, Case and Bag Ammunition, Torpedo Storage and Overhaul, Field, Material Handling, Records and Space Control, Inspection and Magazine Inspection and Surveillance. He detached from NAD Crane on 25 November 1945 and returned to American Smelting and Refining Company in New Jersey.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

LCDR L.E. Pleva - Ordnance Department- LCDR Leonard Pleva arrived at NAD Bums City on 5 August 1942 from the Naval

Ordnance Plant, Charleston, WV. He held several positions at the Depot in both Ordnance and Supply. He secured his B.S. in chemical engineering from Marquette University in 1939. He worked in metallurgical work for J.I. Case, Racine, WI, working on farm equipment before entering the Navy. He detached from NAD Crane in November 1945 for an assignment in Japan.

P .. t and pre1ent Ordnance officera at a banquet held October 17 at the Officera' Club.



The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

From the after-action report: The ordnance Department at the Naval Ammunition Depot was originally the Ammunition Department. The Ammunition Officer, who reported aboard in December, 1941, had as his assistants a small group of ensigns who had just completed their indoctrination and general ordnance training, plus a few civilian ordnance-men recruited from other ammunition depots. With this nucleus of officers and civilians, which grew as the Depot expanded, the field and then the production activities were commissioned one by one and placed in operation. The problems of operating the production units with inexperienced officer and civilian personnel were many-fold, and much credit is due the Ammunition Officer for his success in placing the plants in operation as rapidly as he did. The outstanding safety record established at the activity is in part due to his personal supervision of the handling of the ammunition.

The Ordnance Department expanded without major organizational changes until the fall of 1944, at which time an Ordnance Officer was appointed. It was found that the Department as it existed at that time was not as flexible nor as efficient as was required for large-scale production. The delegation ofresponsibilities to the various officers was not clearly defmed, and detailed decisions, as in the beginning, rested with the Ammunition Officer. This procedure did not promote the development of competent junior officers. By March, 1945, the department was functioning under the direction of an Ordnance Officer, with one Assistant Ordnance Officer in charge of Pyrotechnics and another, the Ammunition Officer, in charge of the Ammunition Section. An organization along the lines of that pictured on the organization chart in the appendix began taking shape (Authors' Note: this organization chart has been lost over time). By June organizational changes were complete, and the operation was in smooth running order, with a total of fifty-nine officers assigned to the department.

The greater division of responsibility was one of the benefits derived from the present organization. Orders were executed much more expeditiously, and each problem received more detailed attention than otherwise had been possible. The Ordnance Officer, likewise, by virtue of the new setup, was relieved of numerous minute details and was in a position to more ably administer and coordinate the overall operation of the department.

Ordnance employment soared with Depot employment. By the summer of 1945, a total of5,500 civilians were employed in Ordnance on the Depot. Of this number 4,500 were employed in the production plants, and 1,000 were assigned to field activities. It


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

is significant that these employees drove from five to fifty miles to work daily and many were above sixty years of age. There are three production areas within the Ordnance Department. The development of each will be considered in turn. Load and Fill Area Key Leaders LT R.R. Cramer - Medium and Major Caliber Loading Area Officer - R. Cramer came to NAD Burns City in July 1942. He was a key ammunitions officer throughout his time at Crane. He was the first officer in the charge booster loading in building 104 before moving to become the supervisor over Medium and Major Caliber Loading Area. He is a native of St. Louis, MO and a graduate of Amherst College in 1940. He worked with his family at the G. Cramer Dry Plate Company for a year before joining the Navy.

LT F.R. Paley-High Explosive, Booster, Rocket Loading and 3"/50 Area Officer-LT Frank Paley arrived atNAD Burns City in July 1942 after securing his Naval indoctrination training at Notre Dame. His first duty was Officer in Charge of Small Arms Ammunition. He is a resident of St. Louis, MO and served as Research Engineer for Shell Oil Company before entering the Navy. In 1936 he received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at Washington University also in St. Louis.

Mr. James E. Morrisette - Load and Fill Department Head- James Morrisette came to NAD Bums City in July 1942 from the Naval Ammunition Depot St. Julien's Creek, VA. He worked as an ordnancemen for 12 years which gave him the experience to assume leadership at Crane. Before working at St. Julien's Creek, Mr. Morrisette worked at the Norfolk Navy Yard. He lived at Crane with his wife and four children. Portmouth, VA was where he called home.

Mr. Jesse M. Bentley- Medium Caliber Quarterman-Jesse Bentley came to NAD Burns City on 12 October 1942 from the Washington Navy Yard where he worked for two and a half years. He first supervised Building 105 then 104. In June 1945 he was assigned Buildings 104, 198 and 143. Before coming to Crane he served for nine years as a torpedoman in the Navy Submarine Service. Mr. Bentley was a resident of Bloomfield and was married with two children.

Mr. Finley R. Troutman -Building 198 Supervisor- Finley Troutman came to NAD Bums City in March 1942 after being discharged from the Navy. He was a gunner's mate for nine years in both the Atlantic and Pacific. He had several European tours including the 1937 tour on the USS New York where the crew was invited to represent the United States at the King of England's coronation. His first assignment at the Depot was as field crew leader and later as night supervisor at building 104. He put building 198 into commission. Mr. Troutman was married and lived at Crane.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

Mr. Walton E. Poole - Assistant Supervisor Mine Fill A- Walton Poole came to NAD Bums City in June 1942 from the Bellevue Fuze Assembly Plant, Washington, DC. He was first assigned supervisory duties at the booster loading and then became assistant supervisor at Mine Fill A. He rotated as supervisor of buildings 104 and 105 and put building 200 into operation. He served in the Navy for four years from 1929 to 1933. He was in Shanghai when war broke out between China and Japan. He is a former resident of Chattanooga, TN and lived in Bedford, IN with his wife and four children.

Mr. F.R. Lane - Motor Assembly Supervisor-F. Lane arrived at NAD Bums City on 4 June 1942. He started in the Pyro Machine Shop and transferred to Illuninants where he helped establish the building. After attending 20mm School at Hingham, MA he helped establish Buildings 142 and 143 for 20mm production. This production area did not receive orders to commence. He moved to Building 146 in the 5in/50 Area. He became a Training Instructor in April 1944 and was in the first NAD Crane Ordnance Class. He then became the supervisor of the Motor Assembly. He was a native of Kankakee, IL and lived in the Housing Project (Crane Village) although he lived at Bloomington for 13 years and worked for a stone company until 1942.

Mr. B.A. Abel-Mine Fill B Supervisor - Bernard Abel came to NAD Bums City in March 1942 and was one of the first 14 employees on the Depot payroll. He began work in the "Hat Factory" making helmets for the troops. Under Wayne Gannett he was in the Field Unit. He helped start the booster loading in Building 104 and then moved to Mine Fill A. He served as supervisor of the Tool Shed. He transferred to Mine Fill Bin February 1943 where he became assistant supervisor. After attending Ordnance School he was made supervisor of Mine Fill B. Mr. Abel ws a native of Bedford, IN. He continued to live in Bedford where he worked for a stone mill prior to coming to Crane. He was married and with two children.

Mr. I.L. Dicks-Mine Fill A Supervisor- Ivan Dicks was hired to NAD Bums City in March 1942 to work in the "Hat Factory" making helmets for the troops. He transferred to boosters and then helped set up Mine Fill A and also worked in Mine Fill B. He attended Ordnance School. Mr. Dicks served in the Navy from 1921to1925 as an engineman, second class. He was in the Asiatic Fleet in the Philippines, China, and Japan. He was born in Indianapolis, IN where he lived in the Housing Project (Crane Village). Before coming to Crane he worked in the coal industry.

Mr. L. Buse - Quarterman for the 3in/50 Area -Lyle Buse came to NAD Bums City in July 1942. He began as a machinist in the Star Shell and after a year transferred to the Safety Department. In September 1943 he left Safety to lead various crews in the Ordnance Department. In January 1943 he became the supervisor of Building 146. Mr. Buse was a resident of Plainville, IN. He worked for Corcoran Manufacturing in Washington, IN before coming to Crane. He had a wife and five kids.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

From the after-action renort;

One of the major production divisions in the Ordnance Department is the Load and Fill Area. The preparation of ammunition in this division is widely diversified, and includes the loading and assembling of all calibers from 3"/50 to 16"/50 inclusive. It is a cartridge case shop equipped to recondition and test all types of cartridge cases used in the assembly of fixed and semi-fixed ammunition, a tank repair shop equipped to recondition all types of ammunition containers, as well as the case filling, bag charge, medium and major caliber plants, which are prepared to do any work necessary on all types of projectiles and propellants from 1-pounder to 16" inclusive. Each of these production sections will be considered individually.

The first production for both the area and the Depot was the loading of TNT boosters in May 1942. Work was started even prior to the completion of the building. There were approximately thirty people employed in the initial operations. By July 1942, three shifts were operating the Booster Assembly, including the first women to be employed in ordnance on the Depot.

During the period from May 1942, until December 1943, the Depot developed the Mark 5, Mark 2, and Mark 5 boosters, with the latter now used in all major caliber high capacity ammunition. In December 1943, the loading of boosters was transferred to the Rocket Motor Assembly and Booster Loading Area.

Medium Caliber Loading is the first production section in the Load and Fill Division to be considered. Medium caliber projectile loading started in December 1942, with a day shift in Building 104, and when the production rate increased the following July, a night shift was added. 5"/51 and 3"/50 projectiles with black powder and TNT (Mix Fill) were loaded. Eventually, 5"/38 AAC projectile production, with the use of explosive "D", was added, following the methods and procedures developed at St. Julien's Creek, Virginia.

The peak in production was attained in November 1944, when 97,113 projectiles were assembled. The number of workers at Building 104 reached its height in April 1945, when the loading of Comp of A-3 in 5"/38 AAC projectiles was started. Employees total 444.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

Official U. S. Navy Photographl

Captain L. L. Hunter explains the bas loadinl' operation being done by Mn. Lucy Reynolds at 102 to Senator Homer E. Capehart while Lt. H. B. John1on looks on.




5° / 38



Bids. 104. Building 190, the last building to be commissioned, is another medium caliber production center. Employees at the time of commissioning numbered eighty-seven, and production for the first month amounted to 1,082 reassembled projectiles of the same types as these handled in 104.

In November 1944, new production was started on the 5"/38 AAC Mark 35 with the same number of employees. A night shift was added in January 1945 which consisted of 136 employees who worked on the same new production. By June 1945, production of new 5"/38 AAC Mark 35 and Mode fused with FT VT fuses reached a maximum of 62,418 projectiles completed for the month by a total personnel of 374 people on two shifts. In addition, the day shift during that month reworked a total of 4,784 5"/38 Mark 38 Mod 1, while nine men assigned to the press crew on the night shift pressed 325 5"/38 AAC Mark 35 and Mode for new production.

The second Load and Fill Section is Major Caliber Loading. The first major caliber loading center was Building 105, completed June 1, 1942, but the loading of explosive "D" charges did not begin there until February 1943. In the meantime, the building complement handled rework jobs, some of which were (1) Defusing and refusing of 57,683 fragmentation hand grenades, Mark 2, (2) Modification of 15,283 incendiary bomb clusters, and (3) Defusing and refusing of 36,684 anti-tank mines.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

From November 1942, until February 1943, Building 105 was set up to clean and repair bag charge tanks from 7" to 16"



inclusive, and facilities were installed to dye silk used for ignition ends in bag charges. The average number of tanks cleaned per day of all sizes was 256, and the average number of yards of ignition cloth dyed per day was 300 yards.

In February 1943, production in major caliber "D" loading began with 130 people employed. The personnel were eventually to expand to 155 workers on two shifts. The following items were loaded in this building between February 1943, and the end of the war: (1) 1,000 lb. AP AN bombs, Mark 33-2; (2) 1,600 lb. AP Navy bombs, Mark 1; (3) 12" AF projectiles, Mark 15-6; (4) 14" AP projectiles, Mark 16-6;

(5) 5"/38 common projectiles, Mark 38-1; (6) 8", 12", 14" & 16" High Explosive (HE) projectiles; (7) 8" AP projectiles, Mark 196; (8) 12" AP projectiles, and Mark 18-1. The above items were not produced simultaneously.

Outstanding production records were made without sacrificing quality. For example, all production records were broken on the "D" loading of 1,000 lb. and 1,600 lb. bombs, 12" HC, 14" HC, 12" AP, and 16" AP projectiles. It is believed that those marks led all naval ammunition depots, and the production loading of AP bombs was approximately 40% greater than the production maintained by any other station in the country. The quality of the ammunition was proven high by the receipt of no adverse reports concerning any of the major caliber projectiles loaded and fused on the Depot.


Approximately 1,000 16" projectiles stowed in smokeleu-type magaz ine.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Two outstanding experiments conducted as a result of "D" loading HC projectiles at this plant were as follows:

1. A Mark 5 booster was developed which eliminated the processes offloading the booster tube on the nose assemblies with compressed TNT. A recent procedure to press around the nose assembly on HC projectiles was submitted to the Bureau, but has not been approved to date. Authority to use this procedure would eliminate the necessity of drilling for the nose assembly and would revolutionize the loading ofHC projectiles.

2. An example of the efficiency in this activity was the loading of fifty 1,600 lb AP AN bombs for experimental purposes. In March 1943, instructions were received from BUORD to expedite the experimental loading of subject bombs and to forward them to the Naval Proving Grounds at Dahlgren as soon as possible. The Bureau had estimated that it would require five days to conclude the experiments and ship the ammunition. These bombs were received at Building 105 in a foreign car at 1530 in the afternoon. By 1120 the following morning the 50 bombs had been loaded, painted, and were ready for shipment.

The peak in production on the 1,600 lb. bombs was reached in March 1943, with a total production of 1,037 bombs or an average of 85 bombs per shift. Maximum production of the 1,000 lb. bombs was attained in April 1943, with an average of 100 bombs per shift or a total production of 2,690 bombs.

Most of the difficulties encountered in Building 105 had been overcome by the time Building 200, with its increased facilities for "D" loading, was put into operation. For instance, the method of training personnel had progressed to the point that a nucleus of experience personnel was available to instruct any new employees. The assigning of female personnel proved very satisfactory on all processes of 8" caliber loading, but their work was limited to painting, inspecting, weighing, and thread cleaning on the larger caliber projectiles. The original production crew at Building 200 consisted of 20 women and 15 men, and this force gradually grew to a peak of 60 workers in March 1945.

One of the crew• that did a lot of working durin1 the la.t year without "Wh&t the well-dreHed girl' are wearing these day•" at NAO, Crane. Left to right, they are M11.bel Dailey, Audrey Dailey, Mary Par1ley, habelle Gate1, Mary Lee Simi , Leona BeJ..,al, Maudie Tolli'f'er, and Charlotte ~Caffert


1aying much about it W•• the crew which te.ted rocket moton aaae mbled on the Depot.

Left to right, the y a ..e Ola Belle Mc.Bride, Mabel Hammons , Fern

McDaniel, Betty (Browni n g )

Simp1on, Lt. (jg) D . E. Weaver, Office r in

Charge, Karl Harter, John Mottern·, and Vople Rusell.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

The first job in Building 200 was the loading of 8" HC projectiles which continued until June 1945, when it was decided to use Building 200 for the loading of 12", 14", and 16" projectiles, and Building 105 for the loading of 8" HC projectiles.

The peak in production for the major caliber AP and HC projectiles was reached in March 1945. The following is a list of the different types of projectiles loaded in Major Caliber "D" Loading with the rates per hour: 8" AP

30 Per Hour

8" HC

25 Per Hour

12" AP

17 Per Hour

12" HC

12 Per Hour

14" AP

15 Per Hour


9 Per Hour

16" AP

10 Per Hour


9 Per Hour

Bag Loading and Ignition Assembly, another section of the Load and Fill Area, started in September,1942, with an unstacked 5"/50 service bag charge. Production Buildings 102 and 103 were allocated for this purpose. Production for the first month amounted to approximately 2,930 5" service bag charges with about 30 employees. The number of workers steadily increased as production schedules became heavier, and when employment reached its peak in July 1945, 180 people were divided into night and day shifts. The top monthly production was achieved in 1945, when about 40,000 service bag charges of various calibers were produced.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

The plant, at different times, loaded nearly all types of bag charge ammunition such as service, target, high capacity, and reduced charges, including 5"/50, 5"/51, 6"/53, and 8"/55, 12"/50, 14"/55, 14"/50, 16"/45, and 16"/50.

Larger building capacity for Building 103 was requested, because the loading of2 1/2 oz. 3 1/2 oz. and 3/8 oz. expelling charges for illuminating projectiles was needed. In addition, preparation of bags also made it difficult to keep within the powder and personnel limits specified by the Bureau of Ordnance.

Flash shields, which were introduced to protect the operator from any sudden flashes or explosions that might occur in quilting the black powder, proved to be very successful and was an outstanding feature of this particular operation. Buildings 102 and 103 have the record of no lost-time accidents during the entire period of the Bag Change Plant's operation.

Another section in the Load and Fill Division was Case Filling. Production in Cartridge Assembly started in January 1943, in the Case Filling Building 101. Twenty people were employed in the first operations, and the initial ammunition assembly consisted of 5" /35 and 6"/47 semi-fixed cartridges. Later came the assembly of3"/50 fixed and 3"/50 saluting cartridges in June 1943, 4"/50 fixed charges in July 1943, and 5"/25 fixed charges in April 1944. In July 1945, when production reached its peak, two shifts were operating, employing a total of 160 civilians.

The production methods used in the beginning consisted of many hand operations, which later gave way to the use of electric and automatic devices. The changes not only redeemed the amount of labor per operation, but likewise, brought about increased production, causing it to reach an average per day (using two lines) as follows: 4,500 5"/38 cartridges per day, 1,000 5"/25 cartridges per day, and 1,000 5"/50 cartridges per day.

One problem encountered was getting components loaded in cars and having cars spotted at the proper time. This difficulty was solved by the acquisition of inert stowage magazines close to the building and by closer cooperation with field crews and the Transportation Department.

The production record of cartridge assembly has been exceptionally high, with some outstanding features connected with its operation. It has the record for completing the assembly of 5,419 5"/38 cartridges in eight hours and of net falling below the monthly schedule as set forth by BuOrd since July 1944.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Breakdown and Overhaul is the final section under the cognizance of the Load and Fill Division. Breakdown and Overhaul was conducted in a number of different buildings at various intervals during the time of the Depot's operation, including Building 108 and 142. In building 108, Breakdown and Overhaul was carried on in connection with target loading. Building 108 was completed 15 January, 1942, and was used for the stowage of 5"/51 common projectiles and 8"/55 wood loaded and traced projectiles until January 1943. At that time the building was cleared out, and work in Target Loading was started. The original building crew devoted its time partly to field work and partly to target loading.

Difficulties were encountered involving materials and processes. For example, sand and sawdust were delivered wet and dried on a steel plate heated with salamanders. This was a very slow process. Later, dustless white sand and dry sawdust were used for target loading. Of the original 15 or 16 men who started work on target-loaded projectiles, only four remained throughout the operation of the building. A night shift was never employed since the work was quite irregular. The personnel at the peak of the building's activity numbered 74 persons employed for the week ending 6 August, 1944. Building 142, another center of breakdown operations, originally was constructed for the manufacture of the 20MM ammunition. The construction of the building was completed on 3 November, 1943. The necessary machinery and equipment was installed, but the building was never used for that purpose. The overhauling and retanking of bag charges in December 1943, by Surveillance Test was the first activity conducted here. Refusing of 5"projectiles was conducted by a crew from Building 104 at about the same time. In April 1943, the overhauling of Mark 16 mechanical time fuses and the refusing of 5"/38 projectiles Mark 32 commenced.

Building 142 closed down 30 August, 1945, having completed the breakdown ofa total of53,500 3"/50 rounds. All remaining cartridges and equipment were transferred to Building 145. The Case Repair and Cleaning Building, Building 106, was completed 31 January, 1943 and commissioned 16 March, 1943. The washing of bag charge tanks were started almost immediately, and in April work in case repair began.

On 31January,1943, construction of Building 107, the Tank Repair Building, was completed. Production started shortly after its

commissioning in July 1943. Production consisted of the servicing of all fleet-returned major caliber tanks received on the Depot, including reforming, testing, welding, soldering, cleaning, and painting. The first tanks to be repaired were 14" Mark 1 Mod. 1. The work crew numbered 22 men at the time and, because of the inexperience of workers, the repair of 15 tanks on an eight-hour shift constituted a good day's work. Production requirements expanded steadily, and a second shift was added 30 November, 1943. Continuous operation was then maintained on the repair of all medium caliber cartridges and powder tanks and all major caliber powder tanks.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

Personnel and equipment were added as production expanded until the number of employees, totaling 164, reached its peak in March 1945. Two months later, production reached it maximum with a monthly total of 54,605 medium and major caliber tanks repaired. It was a notable fact that production increased by more than 75% during the two years of the building's operation.


Key Leaders LCDR C.T. Wells - Pyrotechnics Plant Officer- C. Wells came to NAD Burns City shortly after the commissioning. He reported to Navy active duty on 14 November, 1941 and received five weeks training at the Naval Gun Factory, Washington, DC. He worked as a chemical engineer in civilian life for Union Producing Company, Shreveport, LA. He was a native of Texas and had his BS, MA, and PhD from the University of Texas.

Mr. William R. Morecock- Pyrotechnic Plant Head Civilian - William Morecock was a master mechanic and came to the Depot in July 1942, from the Naval Ordnance Plant, Baldwin, NY. He worked in Baldwin for 16 years. He came with much experience in pyrotechnics and was first assigned the task of buying the necessary machinery and other equipment for the Star Shell plant. He also assisted in laying out the buildings and bringing the plant into operation. Mr. Morecock played a large role in seeing that sufficient quantities of flares and star shells reach the fighting fronts. He was married and lived in Quarters J on the Depot.

Mr. Harry W. Goodbread- Star Shell Second Civilian -Harry Goodbread worked under Mr. Morecock since 1942. He came from the Naval Ordnance Plant, Baldwin, NY, where he had worked since 1919. He held the position of Quarterman, Ordnanceman and was in charge of the night shift. He came to NAD Burns City in April 1942. His career in ordnance started in WW I where he was involved in a number of campaigns as an ordnanceman. He was the civilian on the Depot with the longest civilian service career time. He married after coming to Crane and lived in Quarters Q on the Depot.

Miss Catherine Brand- Star Shell Sewing Room Supervisor - Catherine Brand arrived at NAD Burns City on 19 August, 1942. She was responsible for starting the sewing operations with 25 employees. She oversaw the layout and installation of the sewing equipment and tables and hired the first employees. Her workforce grew to 250 on day shift and 150 on night shift. The sewing room made parachutes for flares and star shells as well as silk power bags for large Navy guns. Before coming to Crane Miss Brand was a group supervisor at the Naval Ordnance Plant, Baldwin, NY, for 20 years. She learned to like almost everything about Indiana and planned to remain at NAD Crane. She lived in Odon with her sister and brother-in-law who were both employed in the Star Shell Area.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Mr. H. Baker - Quarterman Star Shell- Herschell Baker came to NAD Bums City on 30 March, 1942 as a machinist, third class. After helping set up the Star Shell machinery he worked in the Machine Shop until 21 June, 1943 when he was promoted to machine snapper and given charge of the tool room on night shift. Eight months later he advanced to night shift supervisor. Mr. Baker was a native of Oolitic and worked as a machinist for Indiana Limestone Company for nearly 20 years before coming to the Depot. He was married and with one child.

Mr. P. Rogers - Star Shell Quarterman Ordnanceman - Paul Rogers came to NAD Bums City on 2 November, 1942 from the Baldwin Naval Ordnance Plant in Baldwin, Long Island, NY. He came to set up the pyrotechnics plant and train workers in projectile assembly. As a supervisor of the projectile plant, he had charge of both the day and night shifts. During the peak war production he had more than 350 employees. Mr. Rogers was selected to move to Pittsburgh, PA, to instruct Army workers on Star Shell production. He was a native ofManhatten and before coming to the Depot he worked for the Great Northern Fur Corporation at Springfield, OH as a plant supervisor. From this position he was hired by the Baldwin Plant. He was married and lived in the Housing Project (Crane Village) with his wife and one child.

Mr. C. Moore - Star Shell Leadingman Ordnanceman - Charley Moore supervised the sub-assembly plant. He came to NAD Bums City on 2 November, 1942 with Mr. Paul Rogers from the Baldwin Naval Ordnance Plant, Baldwin, Long Island, NY. He assisted in the setup of the projectile and sub-assembly plants and trained workers. He was assigned supervision of the sub-assembly plant when production began. Mr. Moore lived in the Housing Project (Crane Village) with his wife and one child.

Mr. Samuel M. Morgan - Head of Material Purchasing for the Pyrotechnics Area - Samuel Morgan came to NAD Burns City on 9 February, 1942 as the 24th civilian employee hired. His first assignment was the establishment of the Sewing Room. He worked with Lt. W.F. Felber and B.E. Gallagher to hire the first 33 women. He also setup the Star Shell timekeeping system. He came to Crane after operating a shoe store in Bloomington, IN for a number of years. He was a long time resident of Bloomington. He was married and had five children.

From the after-action report:

The second production division in the Ordnance Department was the Pyrotechnics Plant. During the war, Pyrotechnics, the largest and best-equipped plant of its kind in the country, supplied the fleets of both the Atlantic and Pacific areas with most of their illuminating projectiles, parachute flares, and star shells. As the only manufacturing plant on the Depot, its operations, when at its peak, required the purchase of raw materials amounting to approximately $6,000,000 annually. With the exception of a few government-furnished items, such as the projectiles and chemicals, the contracts for all of these materials originated within the plant.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

It used approximately 340,000 yards of nylon or rayon flare cloth per month, 50,000 yards of cotton balloon cloth, over 150,000

pounds of steel, and 1,750,000 feet of aircraft cable. The ammunition produced, not including BuOrd expenditures, was valued at $10,000,000 annually. Early in 1941 construction was started on the 17 buildings comprising the Pyrotechnics Area, of which six were production buildings and six were magazines. The production buildings were completed in the following order: Bldg. 130 - Flare Fuse Assembly Magazine

15 Nov. 1941

Bldg. 124 - Projectile Assembly and Machine Shop

15 Feb. 1942

Bldg. 121- Cafeteria & Sewing Room

15 Mar. 1942

Bldg. 122 - Flare Assembly & Storage Plant

15 Apr. 1942

Bldg. 126 - 111uminant Bldg.

15 Jun. 1942

In April 1942, the Machine Shop was put into operation. The few machines, then installed, were used in tool work for the entire Depot and were equipped to turn out all types of metal parts needed in pyrotechnics production.

In May 1942, the Sewing Room started operations by making workers' uniforms for the civilian personnel on the Depot. In June 1942, work was done by the Sewing Room on Mark 4 flare parachutes and on a few 5" awnings for the Baldwin Naval Ordnance Plant. In November 1942, loading of the Mark 4 aircraft parachute flares began. This was the first production item to be completely manufactured at the Pyrotechnics Plant.


Brand 42

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

In the early part of December 1942, the installation of production machines in the Machine Shop was completed. Work in the manufacture of projectiles had been held up until certain types of screw machines had been received and installed. Accordingly, on 16 January, 1943, the first 5" illuminating projectiles came off the assembly line. By February the assembly line was in complete operation and production was fair.

Experimental work started at the same time that production began. Most of the naval experimental work on pyrotechnics was transferred to this plant, and extensive experiments were conducted. All experimental loads were tested at Jefferson and Dahlgren Proving Grounds.

One of the first and most important experimental projects dealt with a new type of load for the 5"/38 illuminating projectile. During the spring of 1943, all Star Shells in the Navy were found to be fault because of an inherent defect in the projectile design. Through test firing of experimental rounds at the Jefferson Proving Grounds and, with the results studied at the Pyrotechnics Plant, the defect was located. It was found that the projectile body collapsed under the rotating band to such an extent that the parachute and the star could not be properly ejected when the fuse functioned. In July the Depot presented a modified design which somewhat alleviated the results of the defect. On the basis of these results the Bureau of Ordnance made available a new method of heat treatment for the projectile body under the rotating head, which helped to correct the defect in the projectile.

As a result of this investigation, by 15 August, 1943, production in the plant was resumed with heat-treated projectiles loaded with newly developed lead. From that time forward, production kept increasing as the projectile bodies became available, although the need for projectile bodies limited production during the entire time of the operation of the plant.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

In July, 1943, two new designs for the 5"/38 illuminating projectile, the Mark 4 and the Mark 4 Mod 5, were developed. The Mark 4 Mod 5 was different from the Mark 4 in that it had a longer candle and larger awning. After the Mark 4 Mod 5 contents were approved by the Bureau of Ordnance, it was used in the loading of all 5" illuminating projectiles. The same design also was applied to the 3", 4", and 6" projectiles.

In April 1943, experimental and production work were started on the 6" illuminating projectiles, and in April 1944, on the window projectiles and the contents for the 5" illuminating rocket. As an experiment, 200 5" illuminating projectiles were loaded with simulated propaganda leaflets, but further work was not requested. Current experimental work in projectiles loading is on the contents of the 6"/47 Mark 38 projectile body.

Beginning with January 1945, all the experimental work for the development of the Navy's aircraft parachute flares was centered in the pyrotechnics plant. Prior to that time it had been conducted at both the Baldwin Naval Ordnance Plant and NAD Crane. The original production of aircraft parachute flares on the Depot was of the Mark 4 and Mark 5 flare types. These were made obsolete by the Mark 6 flare, developed at the Baldwin Ordnance Plant. After the Mark 6 was developed at this Depot and its component parts became sufficient, the Mark 6 was discontinued. There is, at present, a flare being developed which will far surpass the Mark 6 in candle power, burning time, ignition, and safety. This new flare will include a waterproof metal casing, a method of expelling contents with an expelling charge (delayed action), and a new type of center-tube ignition. To aid in experimental work and production control, the Depot maintains a complete laboratory for chemical and physical testing in the Pyrotechnics Area.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

The maximum number of civilian employees, including 450 women employed in the sewing room, was attained in December, 1944, with a total of 1,630. Operation was conducted with two shifts, night shifts having been started in all production buildings in June 1943. The night shifts were discontinued in the Flare Assembly and Illuminant Buildings in October 1943, but remained in the Illuminant Building in September 1944, when the supply of projectile bodies became sufficient.

The peak in production for projectiles was reached in January 1945, and for aircraft parachute flares in June 1945, while the peak of the plant's operation was in May 1945, when the following items were produced: 5"/38 illuminating projectiles (Nov)


5"/38 llluminating projectiles (Rework)


5"/25 llluminating projectiles (New)


5"/38 Window projectiles


6"/4 7 llluminating projectiles


Mark 6 Mod. 4 Aircraft parachute flares (New)


Mark 6 Mod. 4 Aircraft parachute flares (Rework)


Mark 6 Mod. 1 Aircraft parachute flares


Mark 8 Mod. 2 Aircraft parachute flares


During 1943, Pyrotechnics reworked 150,000 defective projectiles produced by other plants.

Some of the most serious difficulties encountered in the operation of the plant were as follows: The failure of projectiles body manufacturers to provide a sufficient quantity of bodies to meet the scheduled loading requirements established by the Bureau of Ordnance continually held up production. The projectile production during the entire war period was determined entirely on the availability of projectile bodies for loading. To augment the supply of projectiles available for loading, the plant set up a breakdown department, where projectiles with unserviceable contents were broken down for loading with serviceable contents. This rework program provided approximately 25% of the plant's total shell production.

Another difficulty resulted from the fact that one manufacturer would use the upper tolerance on the interual diameter of HE projectile and another used the lower diameter. This fact made it necessary, on many occasions, to machine parts to match individual manufacturer's bodies.

Since 1943, the organization of the Pyrotechnics Plant has remained essentially the same. An officer was placed in charge of each separate functional division, that is, development, production, administrative, inspection, and maintenance. Divisions were


The World War II Histocy ofNAD Crane

consolidated when not enough officers were available. With either an officer or a civilian in charge of the area, this organization would provide for better supervision and coordination of the various types of activities necessary for the proper operation and maintenance of the Pyrotechnics Plant. ffi&h Eglosiye Booster. Rocket Lomlina. and 3"/50 Area

The third production section in the Ordnance Department is the High Explosive, booster, Rocket Loading, and 3"/50 Area. Each division will be considered individually. Mine Fill

High Explosive Assembly was divided between Mine Filling A and Mine Filling B. The area was one of the earliest on the Depot to enter production, having commenced work on the Mark 6 depth charge in September 1942. At that time, 32 employees were working in the activity.




When production started, most of the buildings were ready for occupation and gradually were filled Dates of building completion are listed below:


Bldg. 151 - South Cooling Shed July 31, 1942; Bldg. 152 - South Pouring House Sept. 16, 1942; Bldg. 154 - South Box Emptying Sept. 15, 1942; Bldg. 155 - Inert Preparation July 31, 1942; Bldg. 156 - Office July 31, 1942; Bldg. 157 - N ortb. Pouring House Sept. 15, 1942; Bldg. 158 - North Magazine Sept 15, 1942; Bldg. 159 - North Box Emptying Sept 15. 1942

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

MINE FILLING B Bldg. 160 - North Cooling Shed July 31, 1942; Bldg. 165 - North Cooling Shed Sept. 15, 1942; Bldg. 166 - North Pouring House July 29, 1942; Bldg. 167 - North Magazine July 29, 1942; Bldg. 168 - North Box Emptying July 29, 1942; Bldg. 169 - Inert Preparation July 29, 1942; Bldg. 170 - Office Sept. 1, 1942; Bldg. 171- South Pouring House

July 29, 1942; Bldg. 172 - South

Magazine July 29, 1942; Bldg. 173- South Box Emptying July 29, 1942; Bldg. 174 - South Cooling Shed Sept. 15, 1942; Cavity Hot Melt Building - July 1945; Leak Test Building July 1945

The Mark 6 depth charge pouring continued during the fall and winter of 1942-43, and during this period production was enlarged to include the following types of ammunition, which are listed with the appropriate dates they were added to the assembly line: Aircraft depth bombs

Mark 17

Oct. 1942

Projectile charge ammunition


Nov. 1942


Mark6, 8

Jan. 1943

Aircraft depth bombs

Mark37, 38

Feb. 1943

lnapectora Maxine Marley, Beulah Harvey, Mayaell Lundy, and Mary Blackmore inspecting 3 /SO caaea and gaging primerâ&#x20AC;˘, moved by Clyde Thomas at Building 145. 47

which are beins r

The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

In May 1943, the first 3"/50 projectiles were loaded, and in December 1943, this production was transferred from Mine Fill B to

Building 146. The change was necessitated by the fact that there was no heat in Mine Fill B, which caused condensed moisture to freeze in the moving parts of the drilling machines. The pouring of Mark 7 depth charges and Mark 41 aircraft depth bombs began in July 1943.

In July 1943, the loading of rocket heads were inaugurated. The plant developed the use of plaster for inert rocket loading, and, in

the loading of rocket heads, developed its own formers and drilled its own cavities. The first rocket heads, 7.2 Mark 5, were loaded in October 1943, followed by rocket heads Mark 3 in November 1943. May 1944 also marked the loading of rocket heads 7.2 Mark 10. Loading procedures for the 5" rocket heads were initiated here, and Crane was the only Depot loading 5" rocket heads Mark 1 and 5 until October 1944, when the 5" Mark 6 replaced Mark 1 and 5. In the fall of 1944, when rocket loading was at its height, the plant reached its peak in production.

The loading of the Mark 12 demolition charges were initiated at Crane in February 1944. In the assembling of these charges, the plant also developed its own handling equipment.

On several occasions, when the demand for TNT loading was not great, the Mine Filling employees were utilized in other jobs. Two examples of this week are: (1) the refusing of 5"/36 projectiles with the VT fuses in Building 174 and (2) the unloading of cars of explosives in High Explosive Area.

In the spring of 1944, work was started on the conversion of the Mine Filling B Plant for the loading ofTorpex, HEX, and Amestel,

however, during the greater part of the conversion period, one pouring house had to be used for the filling of rocket heads. The critical nature of rocket production made the use of all available production space essential, and production topped the half million work during this period.

By July 1945, both the conversion of the Mine Filling B Plant and the construction of the Cavity Hot Melt and Leak Test Unit were completed. The Leak Test Unit was used for the testing of underwater explosive containers for leaks and for coating the inside walls of these containers with a heavy asphaltie material know as cavity hot melt. HEX loading at Mine Filling B was begun in July 1945, with the filling of Mark 54 aircraft depth bombs. In August 1945, the loading of Mark 36 Mod 2 mines was begun. This production had just started when the end of the war terminated all loading.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Total production figures for Mine Filling are impressive. Some are listed below: Total Peak Month Amount 4 "5 Rocket Heads


July, 1945


5" Rocket Heads


January, 1945


Dept charges


December, 1943


Projector charges


March, 1944


3"/50 Ammunition


September, 1943


Mine Filling, as a major production center of the Depot, employed 770 persons at the close of hostilities. The activity closed down completely with the coming of peace.

3"/50 Case FillinK Buildings 145 and 146, originally designed for 40 MM loading, were put into operation in December 1943, with the former used for the refusing of 5"/38 projectiles with the VT fuse while the latter was changed for 3"/50 projectile loading.


-~ 0409fao.1ttr111s

rn~HNEL LIMIT 15 ...


The World War II HistoryofNAD Crane

In March 1944, it was decided to transfer the cartridge and assembly ofloading 3"/50 ammunition to Building 145. This was the only item produced there until the summer of 1945, when a 5"/38 ammunition line was else in operation for a short time.

At the peak of production in the spring of 1945, 200 employees worked in this building and over two million 3"/50 charges were assembled in the 28 months of operation prior to the close of the war.

New methods reduced the employment needs 50% while doubling production. In the early months, 307 employees turned out 4,000 projectiles daily in Building 146. By the close of the war, 206 employees were producing 8,000 projectiles daily. Production figures for the area follow: P~akMgnth



Nov., 1943



Aug., 1944



Oct., 1944



Mar., 1945



Mar., 1945



Oct., 1944


3"/50 AA Flashless Ammunition 300,000

Jan., 1945


Total 40 MM Overhaul 3"/50 AA Projectiles 3"/50 Target Projectiles 3"/50 HC Projectiles 3"/50 AP 3"/50 AA Ammunition

3 "/50 HE Flashless Ammunition


3"/50 TIL Flashless Ammunition 61,500

During most of this period, projectiles were assembled in building 146, the finished ammunition in Building 145, and breakdown operations in Building 148. Since hostilities ceased, this activity has operated on a reduced scale pending further Bureau of Ordnance instructions.

Motor Assembly and Booster Rocket assembly started on the Depot in September 1943, in Building 136. Immediate difficulties arose over the building layout. The Motor Assembly Building was laid out and constructed prior to the time that any production flow methods were developed, with many problems resulting from this lack of planning.

Initial production operations were started with 80 employees. This number rose to 210 at the end of the war. During the two years from September 1943, through August 1945, over a million rockets were leaded on this Depot.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

These included the following types: 1"25 Rocket motor, Mark 1

2"25 Rocket motor, Mark 3

2"25 Rocket motor, Mark 9 tanked with the 4"5 rocket head, Mark 3 2"25 Rocket motor, Mark 11

2"25 Rocket motor, Mark 14

3 "25 Rocket motor, Mark 14-1

3 "5 Rocket head, Mark 15

5"0 Rocket motor, Mark 4-1

Twice during 1944 and 1945, production schedules were so heavy that a night shift was put in operation. Two shifts were used for a total of seven months.

The final production activity in this area was the Booster Loading. The loading of boosters were transferred from the Load and Fill Area in November of 1943 to the new Booster Loading, Building 138. Although this building was built for the sole purpose of loading boosters, it was poorly designed for quantity production. Instead of the operations being laid out as a production line basis where a continued flow of material could be had, the operations were divided up into individual cell operations necessitating larger quantities of explosives on hand in the cells, partial exposure of press operators to possible explosion during the pressing period, and unnecessary handling of TNT and loaded boosters. Modem automatic machinery and adequate ventilation to prevent toxic effects on the employees were not made available to the Depot. With no ventilation in the building many causes of toxic poisoning arose. At one time production was almost curtailed because of public sentiment against the "yellow powder".

Production figures for the building: Total

Peak Month


Mark 1-0


May, 1943




Dec., 1944


Mark 51


Sept., 1944


Mark 19


June, 1945




April, 1944


Mark 12


Feb., 1944




May, 1944


Tanking line for 4".5 barrage rockets , in Motor A bly Area. . .


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

Box-Production Ordnance Activities I Field Activities

Key Leaders Mr. R. E. Varnum- Quarterman in the Field- Roy Varnum came to NAD Burns City on 9 July, 1942 from NAD Hawthorne, NV where he worked as an ordnanceman. His first assignment was assist field supervisor in the Inert Area. In October 1942 he became the chief supervisor. After receiving training at Edgewood Arsenal and at NAD Hingham, MA he set up the palletizing on the Depot in 1943. He overcame considerable resistance to the palletizing from across the Depot but was able to prevail and palletizing has a highly successful program at Crane. He became the civilian assistant to LCDR John Danner, Inspectors Officer and later the General Field Supervisor. He established the chemical weapon handling civilian workers program. Mr. Vamum was an Army veteran serving in WW I and also served for eight years in the Coast Guard at the rank of machinist. He was a native of Essex, Massachusetts and had five sons.

Mr. M. Carlsen - Smokeless and Inert Area Field Lead Civilian - Merrill Carlsen arrived at NAD Bums City on 5 April, 1942 from the Navy Yard, Washington, DC where he worked as an ordnanaceman. He had previously worked at the Naval Powder Factory, Indian Head, MD. His first job on the Depot was crew leader and later was given charge of the Smokeless Area. Building 200 was added to his area of responsibility. Mr. Carlsen served in the Marines from 1934 to 1938 and spent two years aboard a Navy destroyer in Central and South American waters. He was a native of Earlville, IL and lived in Bedford with his wife and daughter.

Mr. C. Wilson - High Explosives Area Field Supervisor- Cloyd Wilson came to NAD Bums City on 11 May, 1942 starting as a field laborer. He served time as a checker and Hi Ex checker supervisor and crew dispatcher. He was assigned the Supervisor in the Hi Ex Area working out of Building 600. Mr. Wilson lived in West Baden where he worked in a garage before coming to the Depot.

Mr. R. Baker- Fleet Returns Labor Quarterman - Roland Baker came to NAD Bums City on 27 April, 1942. He began in the field at the "Hat Factory" and elsewhere before becoming a supervisor in Ordnance Stores. He became Fleet Returns Quarterman in September 1943. Prior to coming to the Depot Mr. Baker taught school at Oolitic this is also his home. He taught physical education and refereed basketball. He attended Central Normal College near Indianapolis. He lived with his wife and three girls.

From the after-action report: The principal function of Field activities consists of the handling and storage of ammunition, including the loading and unloading of cars and the maintenance of a physical inventory. The storage was made in four separate and distinct areas, Smokeless and Inert, High Explosive, Chemical Warfare, and Fleet Returns. Of the 1,771 magazines on the Depot 453 are smokeless, 154 inert, 90 fuse


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

and detonator, 20 black powder, 6 warhead, and 1,048 high explosives of which 92 were used for the storage of chemical warfare ammunition. An additional number consisting of 55 smokeless, 39 inert, and 31 fuse and detonator were under construction in August 1945.

Although the magazines were built at an unbelievable rapid rate, incoming shipments, at times, were so tremendous, that the magazines were filled almost before there was time to hang the metal doors and complete the earthen barricades.

Field Activities was the initial ordnance activity on the Depot. From an original crew of nine people, the number of civilian employees, by August 1945, had reached a total of 1,000 with an additional 650 blue jackets, handling an average of 3,000 cars per month.

On November 1941, prior to the commissioning of the Depot, the first ordnance building, the South ~

Transfer Depot, Building 600, was completed.


fllllli!llii!I i&lWilllU4/ .

Building 224, the building now used by the car blockers, had been put to use by the time of its completion 15 December, 1941. The first incoming shipment of depth charge mine arbors was stowed in it on the 25 November, 1941 by a crew of men working for the Maxon Construction Company. In January 1942, the Depot began to accept magazines and storehouses for use in stowage.




Building 600 Transfer Depot


I tl!Stt


The World War II History of NAD Crane

During December 1941, and January 1942, eight retired chief petty officers reported aboard in response to a circular letter sent then and these, plus one civilian, formed the first field crew. Since a Depot wage scale was set then in existence, they were placed on the payroll of the Maxon Construction Company. In addition, a crew of twelve men was leased by the Maxon Construction Company whenever needed. In the latter part of February 1942, a labor board with a civil service wage schedule for the hiring of civilian employees was established, and on 2 March 1942, the first group of newly hired workers reported. By the 1OApril, 1942, fifteen crews consisting of eleven men each, including a checker and a crew leader, were working in the field. Acting as crew leaders, petty officers assumed supervisory positions and were

magazines in the seven available trucks.

an important part of the difficult personnel training

In March and April shipments of powder began increasing, and a


guard was posted on every car of powder on the Depot. Officers on

Handling equipment and tools were practically nonexistent. Lumber for blocking and stowing was not only hard to obtain, but likewise, difficult to track to the buildings when and where needed. The first bridge plates, made by the men from two inch lumber

watch checked the incoming cars of powder which averaged two or three cars per day. Shipments of hand grenades, black powder, incendiary bombs, TNT, and explosive "D" had started arriving for stowage in the High Explosive Area. A few primers, detonators, and 20MM fuses were stowed in the Fuse and Detonator Area.

and hand trucks, were carried from building to

As a result of the lack of stowage space, a number of different items

building. Many of the magazines and storehouses

were stowed together in one magazine. Frequently only two or three

were without roads, as the men walked from building

magazines were available for cars carrying twelve or fifteen different

to building carrying hand trucks, tools, and hand-

items. Although the different calibers of powder and ammunition

made bridge plates. The field crews and transfer-

were kept separate in the Smokeless Area, they were not always in

depot workers were taken to the vicinity of the

adjacent magazines.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

From January until May the field organization functioned as one unit with the crews working in the areas where they were needed. Likewise, the young officers worked from day to day on whatever activity appeared to be the most urgent. Approximately eight crews, with 15 men to a crew, were assigned to each area, and as the work load increased, additional crews were added. In June 1942, a car blockers organization was established with headquarters at Building 224. The supervisor was directly responsible to the Ammunition Officer. The function of this organization was to block all cars for shipment. Prior to this time each field crew blocked the cars which they loaded.

High Emlosive Area When the Field Activities were broken down into separate operational areas, in July 1942, approximately eight crews with 15 men to a crew, including a leader and a checker, were assigned to the High Explosive Area. As the number of magazines increased and shipments became heavier, the number of crews increased, making it necessary to instigate three eight-hour shifts. Supervision of the crews was handled by supervisors traveling in pick-up trucks equipped with two-way radios; this greatly increased the efficiency by permitting a constant check between the field areas and the depots. In order to handle the accelerated flow of ammunition components and finished ammunition between the production plants and the magazines, two transfer crews were formed. These transfer crews served Buildings 104, 105, 138, 198, and LGL shipments to Building 200, and supplied boosters to Mine Filling A and B. In June 1943, the Fuse and Detonator area was organized as a separate unit within the High Explosive Area, with three crews operating from Building 600 servicing the area. In March 1944, two additional transfer depots, Buildings 66 and 69, were commissioned. They greatly improved the operational efficiency of the area by better apportioning the work load and reducing the distance between the magazines and the transfer depots. In August 1945, at the peak of activity in the field, 12 civilian field crews, including 151 men, and 21 blue jacket crews, three of which were assigned to handle chemical warfare ammunition, were assigned to the area. With the exception of Chemical Warfare, the crews operated throughout the entire area's 1,200 magazines with crew's assignments made at Building 600, the area headquarters. The different types of explosives handled at the three depots were as follows: Bldg. 600 - Rockets, bombs, depth charges, TNT, tetryl, explosive "D", Demolition charges. Bldg. 66 - Rockets, bombs, depth charges, magnesium. Bldg 69 - Fuses, detonators, black powder.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

Chemical Warfare Area

A group of magazines and a decontamination station, located south of Building 600, made up the chemical Warfare Area. Although a part of the High Explosive Area, this area operated semi-independently, since the work of unloading, stowing, and servicing of chemical warfare material required trained personnel. The first chemical warfare item, 155/MM mustard gas shells, arrived on the Depot in the winter of 1942 and was stowed by untrained civilian personnel. To afford trained personnel, necessary for the handling of mustard gas munitions, civilians were sent to the Chemical Warfare School at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. In June 1943, 24 enlisted men arrived on the Depot and became the first enlisted toxic gas handlers in the area. Shortly after this,

more trained men were added to the chemical warfare group. Incoming shipments of gas munitions dropped shortly thereafter, and most of these men were transferred to NAD, Hawthorne. In November 1944, the arrival of25 cars of Marine ammunition brought the "toxic gas handlers" back into the area. They were reassigned from their jobs of taking ammunition inventory, dropping fuses, and other miscellaneous work and returned to the duties for which they had been trained.

At this time, the Decontamination Station or "change House", as it was commonly called, was placed in operation. It was completed in the fall of 1943, but had been used very little, though equipped with showers, lockers, and stocks of protective clothing, technical tools, and a small one drawer chemistry "lab" for mixing gas detector solutions. In January 1945, the Bureau of Ordnance sent word that NAD, Crane would be a major stowage point for chemical warfare munitions. Accordingly, 80 high explosive magazines were allocated for the stowage of toxic gas.

The fact that cars arrived in large numbers on one or two days a month created some difficulty in operations. This was necessary, however, because of the security details of Army personnel escorting these shipments. Another difficulty was inadequate unloading space. Since no transfer depot was available for the purpose, the siding R-73 was used. This caused many items to be handled in a slow and clumsy manner. The greatest volume was handled in March 1945, with the biggest part of the load being 30,000 115-lb. mustard gas bombs. Magazine space thereby became critical in the allocated groups, so two additional groups were added, bringing the total of magazines containing varied items of gas to 92.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

In addition to handling and stowage, the maintenance of chemical munitions was a big task. It included a daily inspection of each chemical warfare magazine, the detection and disposal ofleaking gas, and the venting of 155-lb. bombs. The venting was done on a production line basis within the barricade of the magazines.

The increased work load brought more officer personnel to the Depot but failed to bring more technically trained enlisted men. However, additional men were sent to Edgewood Arsenal in the spring of 1945 which increased the complement to 39 trained enlisted men.

Fleet Returns Area The Fleet Returns Division, another section of the Field Activities, was originally called Salvage. The material consisted of all types of inert ammunition components, component containers, and explosive containers returned from the fleet. In September 1943, the Salvage Department became a separate field activity.

Material was first showed at Lot 592 and Lot R-106 near the Residential Area and next at R- 125 behind the Marine Stables. When incoming shipments became so heavy, it was necessary to open another stowage lot at R-19. From R-19 the Salvage activity moved to its first permanent stowage lot at R-302. Also, in an attempt to provide covered stowage, some material had been stowed all over the Depot in magazines and barns.

During this rush period seven diesel fork lifts, 35 trucks, and as many as 400 people were kept busy cleaning up and shipping out 15 million pounds of brass. After the initial burst of activity, the clean-up program continued with a personnel force of 200. Shipments increased until 50 cars of material per week were being unloaded and segregated at the close of the war.

Organization A number of the problems in Field Activities resulted from the lack of a central organization. A great deal of confusion had been caused by the Smokeless, Inert, Small Arms, Projectiles, High Explosive, Fleet Returns, and Chemical Warfare Areas operating as separate units.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Thus in March 1944, under the direction of the Ordnance Officer, all the areas in the field were organized into one operational unit with an officer in charge of all Field Activities. He was assisted by four other officers. As was hoped for, this reorganization resulted in a closer supervision, cleaner grounds, better stowage, and more accurate records.

Shippina= and Receivina= The first incoming shipment of ordnance material to reach the Depot was a carload of depth charge arbors, Mark 2, which arrived in November 1941. In addition to these, early incoming carload lot shipments included the new type helmet complete with liners and neck beads. These began arriving in the middle of January 1942. The first shipment of smokeless powder was received in April 1942. The first outgoing shipment consisted of3,500 of these helmets, which were shipped to Norfolk, Virginia in February 1942.

Beginning with the middle of April 1942, incoming shipments, which rapidly increased, consisted mainly of depth charge arbors, helmets, smokeless powder, tubes for 20 MK ammunition, empty 1,000 and 2,000 Lb. AP bombs, bomb trailers, empty three, five, and six inch projectiles, and a few tanks and cases. By October 1942, two girls, working on the preparation of shipping directives, were employed in the Ammunition Shipping Office.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

During August, September, and October 1944, shipping activity was at its height. Shipments included all types of gun ammunition, rockets, bombs, bulk explosives, small arms, and approximately 50 cars of ammunition per day, averaging 50,000 tons per month. By this time the number of employees in the Ammunition Shipping and Receiving Office had risen to 15.

During heayy shipping periods, a shortage of freight cars for the shipment of explosive material constituted a major difficulty. This was solved by adding another car classification, that of "Dangerous", to the two then in existence, at a meeting with the Bureau of Explosives Representative, Milwaukee RR Inspector, RR. Transportation Officer and the Shipping and Receiving Officer in February 1945.

Ammunition Stock Records The Ammunition Stock Records Section began functioning as a unit in March 1942, under the direction of the Ammunition Officer. In June 1942, a segregation of small arms and 20 to 40 MM ammunition was set up underthe direction of a junior officer, and in February 1943, when the number of civilian employees had risen to 18, a civilian head was appointed. By January 1945, peak employment was reached in Ammunition Records with a total of 67 civilians employed. The group occupied the entire control section of the Administration Building. At the beginning, records were kept in a loose leaf binder, each page being assigned to specific ammunition or components. The information was gathered and recorded in crude form due to inexperienced personnel. As training and educational programs were initiated, personnel became better informed and were able to improve their methods of recording. The first change in Ammunition Records was made during August 1942, at which time ammunition and components were better described and recorded. This change eliminated the loose leaf binder books and the recording done in files indexed as to type. Records were kept by mannfacturer, lot number, and Depot location, and a control sheet adopted to show the total balance of any type of ammunition or component on hand. A copy of the individual manufacturer, let, and location sheet was made and filed in its respective magazine folder. Under this method, the Ammunition Records Section was able to inform the Bureau of Ordnance and Depot personnel of the total quantity of any type of ammunition or component on hand by the manufacturer, lot, and location. It also was able to inform department heads where material was located in any particular magazine. This was the first attempt to control space and assign material to designated magazines. In late February 1943, it was discovered that expenditures of ammunition components to assembled rounds had never been made, although production had started seven to eight months previous. This necessitated another change in stock recording procedures in order to keep pace with material used and new assemblies made. A crude form was prepared weekly to expend components used to receive new assemblies on stock records. Its crudeness was due to the meager knowledge of ammunition assemblies.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

In May 1943, a stock records group was assigned to the Depot from the Bureau of Ordnance for the purpose of establishing the

ammunition stock recording system, now being used. This system was universally installed so that all continental and outsidecontinental depots were reporting to the Bureau of Ordnance in a like manner. This benefited both the Bureau of Ordnance in a like manner. This benefited both the Bureau and the depots to the extent of controlling the procurement of materials, the scheduling of production according to war requirements, and the scheduling for the issuance of ammunition between the depots and the fleet.

The system was installed on Kardex records, and reports mailed daily to the Bureau of Ordnance. These reports consisted of universal forms adopted for reporting material received, ammunition and components issued to other depots, ordnance plants, and consignees designated by the Bureau of Ordnance, expenditures of material to production assembly, receipt of new and reworked ammunition, depot job orders for scheduling production, and adjustment notices to cover errors in reporting receipts and expenditures to the Bureau. Through the Kardex system of ammunition stock recording, the control of incoming materials and ammunition to production and outgoing shipments was maintained by the Records Section. This stock control was the outstanding feature of this activity in that unserviceable, dangerous, or restricted materials and ammunition was not issued to production plants or permitted to leave the depot for issue to the fleet.

In March 1945, Space Control was joined with Ammunition Records, a change which greatly simplified and improved the functions

of the two departments. About this time Field Activities was organized into one control unit and a Field Activities Officer appointed. In connection with this reorganization of the field, the taking of inventories of ammunition was transferred from Ammunition

Records Section to Field Activities and the field checkers, likewise, were placed under field supervision. These changes eliminated some of the difficulties encountered in the maintenance and upkeep of day to day special reports made by the field checkers. These special reports were made upon the back of all the official documents, i.e., shipping, receiving, or transfer reports, which were the authority for the movement of all material within the Depot. These passed through the Space Control Section for approval and for building assignments, and transfer forms were typed by the Space Control Department. Early in 1943, about six transfers were typed daily, and during the frrst weeks of August 1945, the average had risen to 90 per day. Some of the outstanding features of the system were the abilities to designate the exact location of materials within the 1771 inert storehouses and magazines, to tell immediately the contents of an entire magazine, to give the amount of available space remaining within the magazine, and to show the location of the magazines on the Depot and the contents therein by large maps containing colored pins. At the peak of this activity, in the early spring of 1945, the personnel numbered 17 employees.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Magazine Inspection and Surveillance Key Leaders

Mr. A. Anderson - Plant Inspection Lead - Abraham "Ham" Anderson arrived at NAD Burns City in November 1942. He was assigned as the supervisor to Star Shell inspectors and served in this position until January 1944 when he left the Depot to work for Williams Engineering Company in Indianapolis. He returned to NAD Crane in April 1945 and was assigned as the assistant lead for Plant Inspectors. Mr. Anderson is married with two children and lived in Avoca.

From the after-action report:

The Surveillance test Building was one of the frrst buildings constructed in the Industrial Area. It was completed and the keys turned over by Naval Construction to the Ammunition Officer in December 1941. The Surveillance Test activity started on 2 March, 1942, with a complement of two civilian personnel under the direction of a naval officer. In March 1942, magazine inspection dealt with only two high explosive, three fuse and detonator, and seven smokeless powder magazines. Magazine construction was in full swing, and it was apparent that the Surveillance Test activity soon would need trained magazine inspectors.

How to affect the training of these future inspectors with the limited number of magazines and transportation facilities available (one truck assigned to the department) presented a problem which was met by the selection of two likely candidates from the field crew and training them for thirty days on magazine inspection. At the end of that time, they returned to their field jobs and two training replacements selected. By June 1942, magazine construction had progressed to the point where these four men were employed full time. They formed two inspection crews, one for smokeless powder and one for high explosive magazines. Since the smokeless powder magazines were not accessible by truck, the motor car was adopted as the best means of transportation. Two pick-ups were used in the High Explosive Area. A zoning of magazines was set up in early 1944 and remained throughout the Depot's wartime operation. It consisted of ten inspection zones, six in the Smokeless Powder Area and four in the High Explosive Area. With six crew operatiog in the Smokeless Powder Area and four in High Explosive, the same system provided for the inspection of the 453 smokeless powder magazines every other day and the 1164 high explosive magazines every third day. Although the frrst tests were started on smokeless powder during the first week in March, the Surveillance Test laboratory work in March 1942, was devoted chiefly to the preparation of equipment and the procurement of supplies. Records were set up at that time


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

but some difficulty was encountered in getting the necessary information, due largely to the changing of forms and personnel caused by the rapid expansion of the Ammunition Records Section. Constant checking and individual contact were necessary to insure adequate information. The Surveillance Test laboratory was given custody of the magazine locks and a locksmith was hired. His work soon expanded into care of all Depot locks. The locks presented some difficulty during the winter months. They froze and had to be thawed before the magazines could be opened, causing many delays and allowing the inspection work. It was suggested that metal covers be placed on all magazines locks, but more pressing needs in other fields of the Depot's ammunition activity prevented its accomplishment. The pick-up of powder samples was first done with a jeep, which was replaced by an autorailer in the spring of 1943. A second autorailer was procured soon after and the two remained the transportation unit for powder pick-up.

The work load of Surveillance Test was directly proportioual to the magazine stowage facilities. By early 1944, it was evident that the increased work of the laboratory could not be efficiently handled in the limited space available. Since the Surveillance Test Building, completed in 1944, was designed for a much smaller depot, it may readily be seen that the subsequent expansion in magazine stowage facilities far exceeded the proportionate space of the laboratory. The peak of the Surveillance Test activity was reached in the spring of 1945, and the number of personnel totaled 68. Ordnance Engineering The Ordnance Engineering Department was set up on a small scale in February 1945. Located in a room in the Pyrotechnics Administration Building, its personnel consisted of four men, working under the supervision of the Pyrotechnics Officer. In May 1945, the department was expanded and an Ordnance Engineering Officer was assigned. The department than comprised two

groups: namely, the Production Engineering Section, consisting of the origiual four plus five additional employees, and the Mechanical and Development Engineering Section. This latter section was composed of employees that had been working on the Depot in what was known as the Depot Drafting Room, located in the Pyrotechnics Administration Building. The duties of the production engineer section were:

I. To make a study of all production plants with the objective of improving production, efficiency, and quality. 2. To rearrange, if necessary, layouts of production plants for future efficiency. 3. To investigate, engineer, and develop any problem within the Ordnance Department. This included pyrotechnics, field operations, and gun and rocket ammunition assemblies. 4. To be responsible for the record keeping of all existing ordnance material on the Depot including the stowage of excess equipment.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

The duties of the Mechanical and Development Engineering Section were: 1. To design any equipment necessary that would aid in improving production, efficiency, and quality. 2. To develop any new ordnance items that may be directed by the Bureau of Ordnance. 3. To be responsible for the maintenance of Bureau of Ordnance drawings and specifications on aircraft parachute flares. These embraced all the original drawings and sketches, including those drawn at this Depot and those drawn at the Baldwin Naval ordnance Plant.

Battery Shop

The Battery Ship was organized in November 1942, and 17 men were hired to do the necessary work. Its headquarters was Building 36, and it functioned as a repair shop for batteries and industrial trucks. There were 17 Ford and magazine industrial trucks in use at that time.

Repair work was heavy, due to the accidents of inexperienced personnel handling the trucks. In order to reduce the accident rate, an operators' school was established, and the three day course offered produced an appreciable reduction in truck casualties.

The increased use of palletizing in stowage in the early part of 1944 brought the need of greater facilities, so a parts department and store room were established to facilitate repair. The combined fork trucks, magazine trucks, and transporters totaled 80 by July 1944, and the employee total of the shop grew to 68 men on three shifts. The increased quantity of equipment made better control of building allocation necessary. Applications were drawn up to be presented by all potential users, and a dispatch board was placed in Building 36, so that the locations were always at hand.

Togpedo Shop

The commissioning of Building 34 occurred in May 1942, which was the start of the Torpedo Shop, whose chief functions were the inspection and storage of incoming torpedoes. During the period from May to September of that year, 251Mark7 torpedoes of various mods were cleaned, counted with preservative components, and placed in a storage racks.

During the latter half of 1942, a program was inaugurated to train civilian personnel in the operation of breakdown, overhaul, and assembling of torpedoes in anticipation of an extensive repair program. The Mark 7 Mode 1 torpedoes were used for training purposes.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

During 1943, Mark 5, Mark 9, and Mark 13 torpedoes were received, serviced, and stowed in addition to the Mark 7 and Mods. In November 1943, work started on the installation of the high pressure piping for the air compressor and all the test fixtures necessary for a complete torpedo work shop. This was completed in July 1944. In January of that year, 50 enlisted men were assigned to the Depot from the Newport Torpedo Station to assist in the overhaul and repair. In the summer and early fall, the reconditioning program gathered momentum, and the first outgoing shipments were made.

During the above period, Building 38 was constructed and allotted to the Torpedo Division, and Building 37, then under construction, was also to be used by this activity. An additional workshop was set up in the former building in April 1945.

Between the fall of 1944 and the summer of 1945, the Mark 7 and Mark 9 torpedoes were scrapped, and the parts salvaged for use in the Mark 10 Mod 3. Following this, work was started on the overhaul of the Mark 15 torpedo. Alterations and modifications were made in accordance with the NAVORD ORDALTS.

The peak in personnel was 85 as of June 1945. 2,500 torpedoes were

on hand in stowage, and 2,000 torpedoes were expected for overhaul. No experimental work was performed, and the size of the activity precluded organizational difficulties.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Chapter 4: SUPPLY DEPARTMENT Key personnel: LCDR L.R. Corbin - Supply Officer - L. Corbin USN Supply Corps, arrived at NAD Burns City before the commissioning in December 1941. LCDR Corbin established the Supply Department. He oversaw all hiring, the creation of all storage facilities, receipt and issuance of wartime material, creation of inventory systems, and eventually took control of storage of all ordnance and pyro in addition to the inert storage. LCDR Corbin was overcome by medical issues in the winter of 1944 and transferred to the hospital at Great Lakes in March.

CAPT H.J. McManus - Supply Officer - Hugh J. McManus USN Supply Corps, officer in charge of Supply Department at NAD Crane, received promotion to Captain in 10 May, 1945. CAPT McManus had 32 years of continuous Naval services at the time of his promotion. He was born in San Antonio, TX, on 6 October, 1891, and he enlisted in the Navy in 1912. He was promoted to Acting Pay Clerk in 1916, to temporary Ensign in 1917 and to temporary Lieutenant (JG) in 1918. On 9 September, 1921, he was confirmed in that grade and since then has earned each of his promotions by conscientious service. CAPT McManus came to Crane in June 1944, succeeding CDR L.R. Corbin, who was detached from NAD Crane due to declining health. Prior to his duty at Crane he served as XO forthe Supply Department at the New York Navy Yard, which employed 5,500 people and was one of the largest Naval Supply Departments in the country. Previously, he had served on the Naval Supply Depot at Balboa, Canal Zone, Panama. At the time, then CDR McManus, reported to NAD Crane where about 200 people were employed in the Supply and Accounting Department. He oversaw the separation of the Supply and Accounting into separate departments in September 1944. The Supply Department then merged with Ordnance Stores. The force at the time of his promotion numbered over 1,100.

Mr. J. W. Cochrane - Supply Department Chief Clerk- John Cochrane arrived at NAD Burns City before the commissioning in December 1940. He worked for 22 months with the Construction Department. The Navy Department sent Mr. Cochrane to serve as an auditor under CDR W.B. Short. He transferred to the Supply Department in September 1942 becoming the Chief Clerk. He was responsible for overseeing department projects and progress, but also was involved with civilian personnel issues. Before coming to Crane, Mr. Cochrane worked in various Washington, DC, departments.

Mr. C.L. Robinson - Incoming Stores Lead Civilian Supply Department- Clinton Robinson came to NAD Bums City on 5 November, 1942, from the War Department at Charlestown, IN. His first job was over the Purchase Section. From there he was supervisor of the Requisition and Order Section and then Chief of Ordnance Stores before becoming the Incoming Stores Lead Civilian. In November 1945, he replaced Mr. John Cochrane as Supply Chief Clerk. Mr. Robinson was in the Civil Service starting in 1935 in the Personnel Section of the Ag Department before working for the War Department at Charlestown. He worked for Indiana Limestone Company in Bedford where he lived. He had a wife, two boys, and a girl.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

Mr. F. M. Baker - Chief Clerk of Disbursing Department- Felix Baker arrived at NAD Burns City in February 1942 from Quonset Point, RI. He served in the Supply Department in Disbursing and moved into the new Disbursing Department when it separated. He departed from NAD Crane on 14 September, 1945, to become the Chief Clerk for the Supply Department of the Naval Ordnance Plant in Indianapolis. Mr. Baker was an Owensboro, KY native and served from 1936 to 1939 in the Navy as a storekeeper. He married Mrs. Anna E. Baker, who worked for the NAD Crane Labor Board since April 1942. They were residents of Bloomington before their move to Indianapolis. From the after-action renort

The Supply Department was organized in December 1941, with the assignment of civil service employees to the Purchasing and Procurement Division. The Incoming and Outgoing Stores Division was setup on January 1942, and the following month a Chief Clerk arrived to set up the Disbursing Office and established a weekly payroll system. In rapid succession, the Stock Upkeep, Public Voucher, and Inspection Report Sections were established. By May 1942, the rapidly growing department was in critical straits for labor, with stores arriving at too rapid a rate for the limited personnel to handle. Assistance was secured from the construction companies and the Public Works Program; both, of which, released a number of key employees to supply. Five months subsequent to the Depot commissioning, the department was handling four main operations, namely, procurement, accounting, disbursing, and limited storage ofNSA material. In these early months of the war, procurement of materials was made difficult because of the security of information concerning the rate of expansion and ultimate size of the Depot. Inadequate office and storage space posed another problem, and Supply activities were located wherever available offices could be found. This diffusion hindered effective centralized control of functions.

By the fall of 1942, the Supply Department faced problems in reorganization and expansion. The Navy Department failed to provide adequate advance information on developmental plans, and maintenance of proper stock levels was difficult. In November, the Pyrotechnics Plant submitted material requirements for production, which substantially increased the purchasing and procurement problems. In the summer of 1943, the functions of the department included purchasing, LOL receiving, NSA and APA Stock Control, invoicing and dispatching of shipments, disbursing, and accounting. During this period, the Ordnance Department had control of Ordnance Stores, which included carload receiving, storage, shipping, and stock control of inert Ordnance material. This work was under the supervision of officers with general ordnance school training, and a few, in addition, had a Supply Corps school background. In March 1943, the General Inspector's Office of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, in an inspection report covering the Supply Department, reco=ended that the Supply Officer assume the above functions and control of material stored under the Ordnance Stores Section.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

The Commanding Officer, by endorsement to this inspection report, requested that storage of this material and kindred functions be kept under the cognizance of trained ordnance officers, and the solution that evolved placed the receiving, storing, and shipping of all ordnance material under the Ordnance Department, with these functions being performed in the individual buildings where material was stored. No centralized receiving and shipping areas existed. The Supply Department was given the paper work in the division of control. The divided setup produced a great deal of confusion. Much extra work and effort were required in an attempt to correlate the material and its related paper work and to follow up discrepancies that appeared between supposed receipts and shipments, and actual handling. Receiving reports were barely sufficient to permit accomplishing of bills oflading. Stock control records were delinquent, and there was no way of balancing totals against the records kept by the Ordnance Stores group. This duplication continued throughout 1943 and most of 1944. In the interest of increased efficiency, the Supply Officer was assigned control of the entire situation in September 1944. During 1943 when production outputs of all manufacturers of war materials were rapidly increasing, the need for stowage facilities to store materials pending continental and overcome needs became apparent. Consequently, activities such as Crane were allocated the duty of receiving materials directly from production lines and building up reserves to maintain adequate stocks for redistribution to secondary naval, and ultimately, using activities. As production schedules were met and naval expansion continued, available inert storage space rapidly became insufficient to assimilate incoming shipments in a manner conducive to the stowage of materials where they could be easily located, handled, and inventoried. Personnel trained in stowing wholesale quantities of diverse ordnance materials were, like storage space, at a premium. During 1943, warehouse construction at Crane was speeded, but receipts were constantly ahead of capacity. Commencing in early 1944, accommodation of additional incoming materials meant splitting similar classes and types of materials and storing the same in widely scattered warehouses, palletizing these stores beyond efficient handling levels, and creating confusion that resulted, inevitably, in poor inventories, manifold difficulties in maintaining an adequate material locator system, insufficient material handling conditions, and wide variances between the balances on hand as reflected by Stock Control records and the actual quantity of an item that could be found. In addition to the decentralization of Ordnance Stores Control and the lack in stowage space, the problem of revising the payroll system to meet the needs of expanded personnel had to be solved early in 1944. A system of pay numbers to identify shop, office, and warehouse employees was instituted.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane



- -


.;- ¡ [!Li

--64 .. -

..- .. ..-

By June 1944, the need for reorganization to insure another operation caused the institution of a concerted program to solve outstanding difficulties. The problem of Ordnance Stores duplication was eliminated by the consolidation of that section into the Supply Department. The scattering of Supply activities was reduced when the department moved into a special office building (64) for its exclusive use. Construction of additional warehouses was rushed to meet storage requirements. The crucial need in this respect was supported by the tonnage receipts listed: September, 1943 - 38,627; January, 1944 - 43,076; April, 1944 - 52,235; June, 1944 - 63,859; September, 1944 - 76,971; January, 1945 -71,235; March, 1945 - 67,618; June, 1945 - 66,907; August, 1945 - 92,257; September, 1945 - 69,807. Foundations of four ordnance warehouses (A-D), covering a total of 400,000 square feet, were laid in December 1944. The first of these sorely needed buildings was completed in late April 1945, the fourth in early August,1945. The proposing need for these warehouses was indicated by the fact that materials were moved into them before their completion in order to relieve the strain on existing storage capacity. Even now, these buildings are filled to an average of75% of their usable capacity. Employment at the time ofreorganization in June 1944 was 200. This passed 1,000 in December 1944 and was at 1,285 on V-J Day. All of the difficulties facing the department, in June 1944, were alleviated in whole or in part by the end of the war.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

The Purchasing Division had one clerk in January 1942, to perform all purchasing functions. By the end of 1944, 25 people in this group were processing the following papers monthly: 200 Orders under TPS contacts, 25 Bureau requisitions, 100 Surplus material orders, 50 Clothing and Small Stores requisitions, 675 Purchase Orders under $500, 100 Contracts, 1,900 Price requests and 350 Requests for bids.

The Receiving Section was divided into two parts. The first unit was concerned primarily with the physical receipt of stores, and the other with the processing of the prime papers resulting from the receipt of stores. The unit concerned with the physical receipt of stores was largely decentralized. -- LOL shipments were received at Warehouse 2, and carload shipments were spotted to the proper area. Loading checkers were stationed at these points to supervise the preparation of Material Received Reports, which were forwarded to the Receiving Warehouses for screening. From there they were sent to the other receiving unit for processing. The workload handled by this activity were judged by the following statistics on incoming shipments:

CL Freight August, 1944


December, 1944


March, 1945


May, 1945 June, 1945

1759 1962

I 69


LCL Truck

















25 23

861 687

284 347

254 299



The World War II History of NAD Crane

Incoming shipments remained at a high level to October 1, 1945. In August, 2,251 incoming carloads were handled, equaling previous high months. In September 1945, carloads exceeded the total for May 1945. Many carloads of explosives and inert material in route to coastal destinations at the cessation of hostilities were diverted to Crane and this fact accounted for the high receipts. A further indication of the work volume of the Receiving Section was the tabulation of paperwork handled in selected months: January





Pubic Voucher Invoices

Inspection Reports

Bills of Lading


























*Includes Ordnance Invoices

Haphazard and incomplete preparation of receiving reports, aggravated by inadequate storage facilities and insufficient personnel, often caused material to be stored in warehouses for many months before being broken down and stocked against shipping papers. When discrepancies were discovered in the shipment upon breaking it down, the difficulties in rechecking the material after such a lapse of time were obvious. 70

The World War II History of NAD Crane

Less than carload receiving facilities were also inadequate. Available car loading space was constantly overtaxed during peak receiving periods, thereby making segregation and checking of each shipment difficult and often subject to inaccuracies. Space for inspecting incoming material, as to quality and setting the same aside for delivery, had also been unavailable. Experienced technical personnel needed to perform this inspection while the material was processed through receiving had, likewise, been unobtainable. This situation necessitated release of material to the requisitioning Depot activity before inspection, time engendering possible controversy, and prolonged investigation in the event that the ultimate receiving activity discovered concealed damage or that the material did not, otherwise, fit specifications as ordered. Receiving of carload material at inert warehouses, where personnel was not permanently stationed, often resulted in material being unloaded without a receiving report being prepared, as Incoming Stores did not control the personnel unloading the car. A compromise arrangement for receiving was also affected. One section in the new warehouse "A" was set aside for receiving gun and mount equipment and spare parts by personnel experienced in, and familiar with, this type of material. Heavy equipment and materials received in other buildings were still received and checked by Storage personnel in each building, but was closely supervised through weekly checkups to insure that receiver's reports were properly prepared prior to being forwarded to the Supply Office. Also, checkers were sent out from the less than a carload receiving building to areas not assigned permanent employees. This procedure insured that material delivered to these locations was properly checked in, discrepancies or damage noted, and the receiver's report properly forwarded. Adequate space for receiving, checking, and inspecting less than a carload incoming shipment was still inadequate, but, with restowing of materials, it was expected that necessary space would be available before the end of 1945. Additional difficulties originating outside the Deport contributed to receiving problems, as well. For instance, many items received carried manufacturer's numbers or no identifying numbers or nomenclature at all. This fact made their identification, preparation of a receiver's report, and eventual posting to stock records a long, tedious, and often impossible task.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

Various Navy contractors were allocated different sets of drawing numbers by the Bureau of Ordnance (Naval Gun Factory) for identical parts, a plan which also added to the confusion in receiving and identifying material. Advanced information was often received after the incoming shipment, thereby nullifying its usefulness. Bureau of Ordnance shipment orders and other shipping authorities were often too general to be of use in checking the items received against the material ordered shipped. A typical example of this type of shipment order was one calling for shipment of gun spare parts which ordered shipment of "20 MIM spare parts manufactured under contract NORD


A special deficiency in the Ordnance Stores system which had multiplied the problems of receiving ordnance stores had been the lack of a standard stock system for ordnance equipment and spare parts. This had been a serious drawback to activities handling such materials in identifying, checking, classifying ordnance material by types, properly storing, and readily drawing such material from stock when to be issued and shipped. Until the inauguration of the stock status plan and reporting system affected by Joint Bureau of Ordnance Bureau of Supplies and Accounts letter of 9 February, 1945, no coordination of the myriad drawing and sketch numbers into a practical system in which various items could at least be cross-referenced was evolved. The above plan seeked, through monthly reporting of items carried by types, to classify all ordnance material and spare parts, and to consolidate under one drawing and part number all identical material now carried under numerous drawings, sketches, and manufacturer's local numbers.

Another unit of the department in the Stock Control Section, consisting of 40 civilians at the close of hostilities, which maintained a Kardex file of 68,000 items of stock carried in Supply Warehouses. Truck and tractor parts, technical ordnance spares, advance base and infantry equipment, and gun mounts comprise 60,000 items. The other 8,000 items consisted largely of NSA and APA consumable supplies.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

A physical inventory of approximately 90 different classes of stock was inaugurated in August 1944, with 73 enlisted men assigned to the warehouses for inventory purposes. Fourteen enlisted men and seven civilians were assigned to the office to post inventory figures on the stock card and to make balance adjustments. Approximately 6,000 inventory tags were posted monthly during the war period, and progress reports were submitted quarterly to the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts. An International Business Machine Section, named by one

Chief Pay Clerk, ten enlisted men, and nine WAVES, maintained a perpetual inventory of 1,400 items of 20 MM and torpedo spares. Reports of "J" components were prepared and forwarded to the Bureau of Ordnance weekly.

The Shipping Section, staffed by 24 Civil Service employees, prepared ammunition invoices, bills of lading, and cleared outgoing shipments with the ODT and ICC during war months. During 1944, records were kept on 607,175 tons of outgoing stores, and 18,555 loaded cars were shipped. This was a monthly average of 50,578 tons and 1,546 cars. When this was compared with the statistics of the closing months of the war, the decline could be noted. TonsAmm.

Tons Ord.


July, 1945





August, 1945









September, 1945

Cars Out


Shipments, at that time, were on a current basis with some specific items being diverted to commercial firms to provide necessary materials for reconversion. Notable among shipments scheduled for the first quarter of 1946 had been the transfer of strippable file materials to other government activities, as well as the Navy, and redistribution of automotive equipments. As demobilizations increased, crating and forwarding of household effects were becoming a more important facet in outgoing Stores Group operations. During the war, the Shipping Section maintained telegraphic communication with the CMSP&P railroad to facilitate the spotting of inbound shipments. This service was located in the Shipping Section in order to be in close contact with the Ammunition Storage and Handling Department.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

The fuel situation had been another problem handled by Supply. Fuel oil storage facilities were limited to approximately a ten-day supply, with an average of 100,000 gallons consumed monthly. In addition, approximately 300,000 gallons of fuel oil were used for power plants and heating during each of the final months of the war and 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel were required to operate locomotives and busses monthly. Storage capacities were 81,000 gallons of gasoline, 70,000 gallons of fuel oil, and 63,000 gallons of diesel fuel oil. In spite of this limited capacity, production and service were maintained by a close control of consumption data and delivery schedules. A Survey and Sales Division was set up in 1944 to arrange for the disposal of scrap metal, textiles, paper, and surplus used hand tools. Three civilians assisted an Officer in Charge, and material was sold on a sealed-bid basis. The bidders were notified of the availability of the types and quantities of scrap to be sold through a sales catalogue issued by this division. In December 1944, 70 carloads and ten truckloads of waste material, totaling more than 2,500 tons, were collected on the Depot and sold to various manufacturers and dealers. This total included 64 carloads of 5,634,155 pounds of scrap metal, both ferrous and noferrous, seven carloads or 110,000 pounds of waste paper and cardboard boxes, and two carloads and ten truckloads or 7,726 pounds of salvaged wooden boxes and packing cases. The Accounting Division was one of the earliest in the Supply Department, and rapidly expanded with the rest of the Depot. It occupied a separate building with the Disbursing Division. Until June of 1945, the Disbursing Section took care of payrolls, but at that time, the Accounting Officer assumed control of the civilian payroll, with the Disbursing Office handling military payroll.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

At the peak of employment, 9,600 per diem and 750 1YB employees were carried on the civilian rolls. In June 1945, time cards were changed from a daily to a weekly basis for the preparation of labor rolls, in order to reduce the overtime necessary in payroll preparation. Statements of earnings, timekeeper's manuals, and timekeeper's classes initiated by the Accounting Officer resulted in a substantial reduction in payroll adjustments.

The peacetime curtailment caused the workload of the Accounting Department to decline considerably. Resignations and releases reduced the payroll and postponed personnel reductions.

The Commissary Store, which was typical of the Depot E m p I o y e e s in Administration Building hurriedly punch time clock at four o'clock in order to catch rides to surrounding towns .

expansion, opened for business in May 1943. The store opened with a reach-in icebox, rough wooden shelves, and occupied 600 square feet. In June 1944, the store was moved to a half

basement in the Personnel Building with an area of 3,000 square feet, a neat display case, and a check-out system for groceries, using one cash register. By March,1944, sales averaged $300 per day. Increasing business warranted the building of a separate structure to house the enterprise, and this was ready for occupancy in April 1945. The enlarged facilities included one freezer, two chill refrigerators, adequate storage for dry stores, new fixtures, two checking-out counters, a gasoline service station, and a parking lot. During May 1945, sales averaged $600 daily, and a $12,000 inventory of900 items had a one and one-halftimes monthly turnover rate. Because of the remoteness of the Depot, dry stores were ordered three months in advance to maintain stock levels. The Commissary operated its own pick-up service for fresh food between the Depot and adjacent markets. Accelerated transfers of military personnel and their dependents to new duty or civilian life were reflected by a 35% reduction in sales since V-J Day. Cessation of canned goods rationing and reduction in points on certain meats, plus newly released stocks of various commodities previously in short supply, now provided patrons with a wide choice of foods.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

The World War II History of NAD Crane

Official U. S. Navy Photoirraph

Scene at the USO ahow "Step Lively," preaented at Naval Barracka April 27.

A final supply problem had been the assuring of supplies for the enlisted people at the Naval Barracks. When the mess was first established, it was difficult to procure sufficient fresh food because of the inability of local contractors to furnish requirements. It was necessary in the early months to obtain fresh provisions from the Army at George Field, Lawrenceville, Illinois, and some 60 miles distance. Dry stores were procured from Great Lakes Naval Training Station, and the Naval Supply Depot in Norfolk. The complement of over 1,200 at the Naval Barracks made this an extensive activity. Frequent outgoing drafts of enlisted personnel caused a perceptible variance in the number of rations consumed on the general mess. While these fluctuations would presumably continue, it had been proposed to decommission the Naval Barracks on 1January,1946, thereby closing the general mess. Previous to V-J Day, food conservation utilizing fresh fruits, meats, and vegetables was in full effect. The elimination of rationing of some items and the reduction of points on virtually all canned goods now permited a more elaborate and balanced menu. However, conservation measures were still employed in the preparation and serving of all foods. Vital changes in all phases of Supply had taken place since the surrender of Japan. The number of orders for procurement of materials had decreased by 35%. Contracts totaling $2,524,000 were terminated between August 15 and September 1. Negotiated contracts decreased from 125 per month to 5. Personnel decreased from 1,285 on V-J Day to 1,049 on September 30. Solicitation of employees from outside agencies and other sources had virtually stopped, and the limited labor supply required was obtained from the ranks of returning veterans and by transfer from other departments. Retention lists had been prepared, but the need for discharging employees had been unnecessary, thus far, because of resignations of personnel returning to school, views of released veterans going home, and the flow of other individuals to peacetime commercial employment.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

The cessation of hostilities gave Supply the opportunity to survey the stowage situation. New warehouses had been completed and were now in full operation. Warehouse "A" contained the central receiving and identification areas for all gun spare parts received. Adjacent to this receiving area, a preservation unit was being installed under the supervision of an officer attached to the Container Section, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts. Other sections of this warehouse were being used for bulk storage of gun spare parts. Extensive relocation of materials by type and binning of breakdown materials was under way in Warehouse "B". Warehouse "C' was receiving and stowing torpedo spare parts, air compressor equipment, and installing bins for automotive materials. Small arms and infantry equipment had been moved from Warehouse 41 to Warehouse "D", the last of the new warehouses to be completed. This building was also being used for temporary storage of strapping. Re-stowage of guns and mounts was in progress in warehouses 40 and 41, with the dehumidified section of the latter building, which formerly housed small arms and infantry equipment, being made available for additional incoming gun sights, directors, and optical equipment. The Storage Section of Warehouse 64 had been cleared of binned items and was now utilized for preparation ofLOL shipments, crating of household effects and storage and handling of excess tires.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Two open storage areas totaling 25 acres, adjacent to Building 40 and 2040 had been rocked for storage of mobile equipment. Other outside areas were being prepared pending receipt of additional torpedo tubes. Two yards were not in full operation for receiving pallets returned from plants having terminated their contracts with the government. NAD, Crane, was now the central storage and issuing point for strippable film under the cognizance of the Bureau of Ordnance, and a comprehensive supply of preservation equipment and materials being accumulated. Automotive maintenance was well under way with an average of 40 cars per day being serviced, and measures were being taken to increase this rate, as Crane had been designated the central receiving Depot for all used mobile equipment returned from the east and west coasts.

In the following paragraphs, each of the major problems confronting the department at the close of the war are presented. Office Space

Since the Supply Department was first organized, insufficient office space had repeatedly caused confusion and unhealthy crowding of Supply Department personnel and office equipment. This resulted in a high sickness rate during the late fall and winter months and decreased output of work, as premium space could not be sacrificed for partitioned sections. Also, the total space required and available had not been sufficient to permit locating all groups of Supply into one building. Consequently, satisfactory supervision, communication, and undistributed working conditions had not been realized.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

A solution to this problem was sought in September 1944, by moving the Supply Department from Building 5 to Building 64 and assimilating the Ordnance Stores Section into the Supply department. Even this move and consolidation did not provide adequate space as Accounting, Disbursing, and Dispatch Section of Outgoing Stores Group were located in separate buildings. While Crane's role as major reserve source of Ordnance spare parts expanded and additional functions necessitated more personnel and equipment, the 25,000 square feet of office floor space in Building 64 rapidly became ever congested. This area was poorly ventilated with no exhaust fans for carrying off foul air, and opening of windows in fall and winter brought protests from persons working near them. Use of Building 64 for office space had also been complicated by inadequate female rest room facilities per capita employed, and by past insufficient drinking, lavatory, and fire water supply. This insufficiency resulted from the elevated location of Building 64 and consequent pumping pressure difficulties, due to loading plant cooling water requirements and fire water pressure reserves necessitating diversion of the available water supply to loading plants which were located on low ground. In summer time, this water scarcity had necessitated inauguration of water rationing. This situation had not been overcome by additional water treatment and stowage facilities. Request for additional adequate office space was made early in 1944, but building priorities for other Depot structures, such as loading plants and projectile production lines prohibited local construction of such space with station labor. Further requests were made to the Navy Department in July 1945, for funds to permit conversion of warehouse areas in Building 64 into office space. This wartime priority prevented undertaking of this conversion. Communications

The widely scattered location of Supply buildings repeatedly emphasized the necessity for ample, rapid communications, particularly telephones and a teletalk system. Inability to procure supplies of critical telephone cable and to install sufficient lines to all Supply areas caused prolonged delays. Less satisfactory measures, such as driving to an area instead of being able to call it, were employed. Eventual provision of additional motor vehicles, a limited teletalk system, and messenger service, mitigated these pronounced difficulties in areas previously developed. Currently, though, the four newly constructed warehouses erected in a hereto now undeveloped area were served by a total of only two telephone lines and four extensions. The significance of these buildings was for receiving, storing, and shipping of ordnance spare parts handled on this Depot, which justified additional telephone lines for wartime operation.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Procurement Procurement and delivery of materials at this Depot were restricted since June 1944, by section 1000 of the S&A Manual, requiring purchases over $500 to be processed through designated naval activities, principally naval purchasing offices. Because of the specialized types of raw and semi-finished materials procured for production at Crane, direct negotiation with the ultimate supplier had been found to be vitally essential. Crane was granted authority to initiate purchases over $500 for all materials except automotive, material handling equipment, and standard stock items by BuGenda ltr L4-3/NT1-15/(SPR)U-3(20) of August 1945.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

Chapter 5: Other Departments - Personnel Relations Department Key


LT W.E. Bashaw - February 1942 to June 1943 - Established Personnel Relations Department LCDR H.E. Neal- July 1943 to May 1944- Personnel Relations Department LT L.C. Ash-June 1944 to December 1945-Personnel Relations Department B.E. Gallagher - 1941 to 1945 - Established and Oversaw the Labor Board From the after-action report

The first employees to perform duties in ordnance were hired during December 1941. As there was no provision at that time for carrying Civil Service employees on the rolls of ordnance, these employees were paid from construction funds. During February 1942, all ordnance employees were transferred to the Civil Service rolls, thus becoming the first Civil Service per diem workers at this activity. Considerable discussion centered around the adoption of a wage scale for this locality. The Civil Service Commission representative was in favor of using the pay scale adopted for the Ninth Naval District. This pay scale was higher than prevailing rates in this co=unity, an area growing largely dependent upon small farms and WPA for subsistence with the steady decline of the stone industry. It was finally decided to utilize the pay scale adopted in the Ninth Naval District with the understanding that all applicants would be employed as laborers or helpers until such time as the Co=anding Officer saw fit to promote them to the skilled ratings. The depressed wage scales were in keeping with a general policy of avoiding competition in the labor market with private enterprise, but this policy failed to secure the best qualified personnel to serve as a nucleus for supervision. This was a distinct handicap in the developmental area. The command sought to fill the gap in experienced supervision with ex-Chiefs of the Navy. A program oflow wage rates and infrequent promotions was instituted, in order to conform to the policy of non-competition with industry and to keep the costs of production at an absolute minimum. The above stated program made necessary certain deviations from adopted Civil Service rating procedures, and, as a consequence, Civil Service guidelines could not be used to any great extent in the determination of future policies of up-grading or promoting these employees. This wage attitude was in effect, and the Labor Board was handling employment and assignment problems when the Personnel Department was organized in April 1942. At that time a Yeoman 3/c was assigned to this division to set up an efficiency rating system in accordance with Civil Service standards. Incomplete instructions and too frequent miss-assignment of personnel obstructed this purpose. Conscientious supervisors had difficulty in properly assessing


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

employee value in accordance with non-specific guides. Efficiency ratings were made at weekly intervals during the early period and supervisors rotated twice monthly. This rapid change made a fair evaluation of an employee's worth to the Depot improbable. An additional handicap was the widely prevalent opinion that less than excellent efficiency ratings would not be considered for

promotions. This further decreased impartial value of the ratings during this period. Unfortunately, there was enough truth in this general belief to hinder efforts of re-education. This unfortunate situation was not fully alleviated until the Navy issued new instructions covering per diem efficiency ratings in June 1945.

Labor Board staff, left to right, B. E. Gallagher, A. E. Barker, B. Galloway , V. Weaver, B . Connon, M. Harker, H., A . Burke, M.

Sea.le•, P. Faulk, P. Lapping, H. Mitchell.







Opal O'Neil, Orrad& Flynn and Paul Ryan diaplay IBM alieet containing 1aaH:1 of 16 and 17-year-olda who are working on the Depot during the aum• • r ncation. The liat contain• 670 namea.

Dora Jackson, receptioniat, greet· ing new employee•.

During the month of May 1942, a Lieutenant was assigned as Personnel Officer, and two civilian employees were added to the staff. One of the first tasks confronting this group was developing a system of records which would supply information pertaining to employees after their assignment to duty. The Labor Board retained the application form, after processing the applications, and assignments to given jobs were made by the timekeeping supervisor, then an employee of the Ordnance Department. No provision was made for continuous work records and employees transferred from one activity to another largely at their own discretion, which led to confusion in the Timekeeping Department and, consequently, loss of pay to many employees.

The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

At the request of the Commanding Officer, the Personnel Department inaugurated a testing program for all classes of employees. This program was not intended to interfere with Civil Service test administered to determine eligibility, and served as a post employment placement aid. After consultation with industrial psychologists at the Universities of Purdue and lllinois, it was decided to use a general information test along with certain aptitude and trade tests. The Personnel Inventory by Dr. Conderlie was chosen as a general information test because of the short time involved in administering and, also, because the test had been used successfully in various industrial situations. However, no norms were available for heterogeneous groups, such as were to be tested at this activity. Therefore, it was necessary to collect data on one thousand persons, determine the standard deviations, and arrive at a standard or median score. The value of this test was open to question, since testing facilities were inadequate and the low scores seemed to indicate that this test was not valid below the high school level. The Mechanical Comprehension Test by Bennett was also used as one of the examinations given all applicants. This test seemed more nearly to reflect the general intelligence of employees who had been out of school for some time or who had but very little education. Since the average educational attainment of all employees was slightly below the eighth grade level, this test tnight have been substituted successfully for the Personnel Inventory. Efficient personnel administration was hampered by duplication of function with the Labor Board and by insufficient delegation of authority to the department, which prevented overall planning. Other difficulties that arose during the organization of the Personnel Relations Department were handled at the various levels of administration. Two examples were transfers and absenteeism. In the former case, written transfer request forms were put in use to be presented by the employee to his supervisor and officer-in-Charge before Personnel shifted his work station. Absenteeism was attacked during this period by stringent leave regulations. This method not only failed to achieve its purpose, but also increased absence without permission and sick leave; it likewise engendered much ill will among the labor force due to inconsistent interpretation by individual supervisors. Further personnel difficulty followed in the wake of a general eight-cent-an-hour increase on July l, 1942, which was in keeping with rising prevailing rates. A Civil Service employment recruitment announcement at the same time said, "Employees will be eligible for promotion on thirty days after employment." The two became associated in the pubic mind, and hundreds of new employees felt they had been tnisled at the time of employment. Every effort was made to discourage this thinking, but the idea remained to the detriment of management-employee understanding. The training activities, during the early period of organization, were limited to conference with officers and supervisors in order to clarify directives which had been issued. More effort was expended on training supervisors in the use of the efficiency rating system than on any other phase of the policy except, perhaps, promotions.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Many conferences resulted from group grievances brought about by the misunderstanding and confusion as to the policy in effect at that particular time. In summarizing the accomplishments of the Personnel Department up to December of 1942, at which time approximately 2,500 employees were on the rolls, lack of guidance and planning characterized the development of this department. Little authority was granted and responsibility was limited. Policy changes might have come from any source and were frequently brought to the attention of the Personnel Department by an employee. The period beginning January 1943, introduced many new problems. Hiring of employees was greatly accelerated as new plants were placed in commission and the work load in storage and shipping of ammunition increased. The problem of recruiting personnel became acute, not because of a scarcity of labor in this locality but, rather, because of the reputation the Depot had acquired. Officers and members of the Labor Board were assigned duty as recruiters and were able, in many instances, to correct misunderstandings existing in the surrounding communities. Through hiring of school boys under 18 (both part-time and full-time), women, and persons having physical disabilities, it was possible to provide sufficient manpower for all activities in operation. The hiring procedure was further complicated by expansion of the Ordnance Office, necessitating the moving of the Labor Board from the Administration Building into one end of the main cafeteria, approximately one mile from the Dispensary and Personnel Office. Thus, it became necessary for an employee, hiring as a laborer, to apply at the Labor Board, step at the Security Office for a badge, walk the one mile to the Dispensary, and then across the street to the Personnel Office. The average time for hiring-in was approximately two days, which was at the expense of the employee. Applicants for skilled positions had an even more difficult procedure to follow, as they had to first report to the Labor Board, then to the Personnel Office, to the hand of the activity requisitioning such employees, back to the Personnel Office, and then to the Labor Board. At this time, they followed the procedure for laborers. Frequently, such employees were requested to wait for long periods of time in order that the Commanding Officer might have an opportunity to approve the rating requested, since the Personnel Office had authority to pass on applicants to and including the rate of a Helper General only. Resignations reached such proportions that it was thought desirable to hire an exit interviewer and secure statements from employees pertaining to their reasons for resigning. Information thus obtained indicated that failure to provide a schedule for promotions was the most frequent complaint. Many employees, who intended to resign, later consented to transfer to more desirable work. As information concerning this practice became prevalent, it became increasingly difficult to secure employees for outside tasks or work in disagreeable explosives, and equally difficult to keep them there. The total number of transfers for the year of 1943 to 1944 approximated the total number of accessions; however, some of these transfers were granted in order to start new activities rather than at the request of the employees seeking more attractive work.


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Periodic plant shut-down, due to a lack of components, added to the number of transfers and to the dissatisfaction of the employees. The larger percentage of employees leaving the Depot did not pass through the exit interviewer, but merely went home and failed to come back. As a result of this practice, it was extremely difficult to get an accurate on-board figure of total employment at any one time. There was no advantage to the employee in reporting to the exit interviewer, in as much as most releases were given with prejudice and fifteen days annual leave withheld upon termination, until this practice was discontinued by the Navy Department. Knowing of this practice, employees who intended to resign would endeavor to use all accrued leave before disapproving. Absenteeism not concerned with termination of employment was reasonably low during this period. Merit cards were issued to employees with perfect attendance records for six months and for one year periods. The publicity and privileges granted holders of these cards encouraged good attendance. A much more ambitious training undertaking was started in the summer of 1943. Few of the ordnance men, or persons oflower ratings, working with ordnance, had ever acquired any previous experience in working with explosives. In order to overcome this defective background, it was decided to organize a training course for ordnance men. This course was designed to furnish information concerning all phases of Naval Ordnance. It required assembling a manual from such course material as the ordnance pamphlets and tests on Naval Ordnance. In addition to this material, those supervisors who were experienced in ordnance work contributed from their knowledge such information as safety precautions and techniques of loading ammunition. In order to better acquaint ordnance trainees with various plants and operations on the Depot, the first three months of their training was devoted to actual work, for a specified length of time, in each activity. Supervisors were called upon to make this time as profitable as possible for trainees. At the end of the three months time on the job training, the trainees, who had been originally selected by their supervisor and officer in charge, returned to their original assignment and started the part-time classroom training. This phase consisted of studying the ordnance manual and various other reference materials in addition to laboratory work carried on in the classroom. Classes convened twice weekly for periods not exceeding two hours, and were under the supervision of an ordnance man trained in teaching techniques. Three one hour written examinations were administered in addition to short quizzes. At the end of three months of such training, ordnance trainees were given a final examination covering practical information presented during the course. Final grades were determined on the basis of efficiency ratings given during the on-the-job training, hour examination grades, and the final examination grade. These trainees who successfully passed the course were presented with a diploma and a letter of congratulation from the Commanding Officer. Training groups were usually composed of not more than 25 trainees, and all courses were held on Government time. This course was made a prerequisite for promotion to supervisory positions.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane



A third training device, instituted in 1943, was a bi-weekly meeting of all civilian supervisors and officers, if they wished to attend. The Executive Officer presided over these conferences and explained any new directives that had been issued since the previous meeting. This method intended to improve relations between civilian employees and the Navy, but was still inadequate because of the size of the groups in attendance. Very few questions were asked, and thus there was no guarantee that correct interpretations were placed on all statements issued.

In summarizing all activities in the Personnel Department during this period, a great amount of work had been accomplished as employment was brought up to the 5,000 level. However, the Personnel Department, along with the rest of the Depot, still suffered from a lack of organization and fixing of responsibility with delegated authority. Additional personnel had been secured to handle the personnel workload, but such personnel were not trained in any phase of personnel work and, at best, were not entirely satisfactory. Most personnel positions were filled by recent graduates from high school who could not be expected to understand fully the importance of their positions. Increases in production requirements brought about a critical shortage in manpower in the early fall of 1944. In cooperation with the Civil Service Commission representatives and United States Employment Office personnel, the Depot furnished a caravan,

The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

presenting a display of ordnance equipment and munitions manufactured at this activity, which was taken on tours within a 35 mile radius. A great amount of interest on the part of local communities led to an increase in the number of employees reporting for work. This necessitated accelerating the hiring procedure which, while difficult because of the separate location of the activities involved, was improved by furnishing a bus to carry employees from the Labor Board to the Medical Department and then to the Personnel Building. Bottlenecks, such as administering Mechanic Learner assembly tests for women employees, were eliminated since the crucial score had already been lowered to a point where all women applicants who could sign their name were considered eligible. As a further effort to clarify and unify personnel policy, the Position Classification Field Office of Cincinnati was requested to conduct a survey of per annum positions, which was started in the early part of 1945. The year of 1944 ended with employee morale at the highest point in the history of the Depot. Employees were assured fair treatment. The reputation of the Depot in the surrounding communities was greatly improved. The stress on organization and fixing of responsibility brought to light weak spots in Depot organization and paved the way for future changes in personnel. Following a change of Personnel Relations Officers in the early part of 1945, a concerted effort was made to provide an organization by which the Personnel Relations Department might function more satisfactorily than heretofore. The Department at that time had grown to include 11 officers and 115 civilian personnel. The organization chart, furnished by the Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel, provided the framework around which the unit was organized. Following the assignment of definite duties and responsibilities to each officer, civilian section heads were appointed, in each instance, to be responsible, under the officer in charge, for the work of their section. All necessary authority was delegated for freedom of action, and initiative was encouraged, both on the part of officers and civilians, in coping with problem as they occurred. The organization of the Personnel Relations Department was somewhat complicated by the workload, which increased in proportion to the accelerated hiring rate. Processing of applicants was greatly improved by consolidating, into one building, the Personnel and Security Departments. This change was soon followed by bringing the Labor Board into the same building, eliminating the waste of time and confusion that had characterized operations prior to this date. In order to maintain the flow of new personnel into the Depot, it became necessary to engage actively in direct recruiting. To aid in this task, as well as to further improve public relations, a Public Relations Director was added to the staff. Various officer and civilian members of the department also assisted in recruiting personnel by spending one or two days each week at the local United States Employment Offices, where they explained the type of work performed and the qualifications. A special effort was made to specify jobs that could be filled by physically handicapped or female applicants. The training program benefited greatly by the full-time assignment of an officer, with an adequate staff, to promote training that had not previously been undertaken.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

While supervisors and employee representatives were learning about Civil Service rules and regulations as well as Depot and Navy policies, the Indoctrination Program for new employees was instituted. This program required two full-time trainers, and provided each employee with eight hour instruction. Incentive movies and a tour of the Depot helped to break the routine of instruction in Civil Service rules, Depot activities, and Depot policies. Other operating departments cooperated by sending a representative who explained the important functions of the activity he represented. Demonstrations in the use of fire extinguishers were presented by a number of the Depot Fire Department. A Medical Officer explained the functions of the Depot Medical Department and added pertinent information designed to assist the employee in becoming acclimated to work in various kinds of explosives. The Security Department furnished a representative to explain the functions of the civilian police force and orders dealing with security measures. The employee payroll allotment plan for bond sales was explained by a number of the bond committee. In order to make more rapid and accurate dissemination of information from the Commanding Officer to the individual workman possible, the Training Section was given the task of educating approximately 30 supervisors in the techniques of conference leadership. The State Vocational Training Division cooperated by sending a trainer to this Depot, and conferences of two hours duration were held, twice weekly, over a period of approximately two months. The supervisors taking part in this training expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to learn how to hold a successful conference and reported a vast improvement in conferences within their departments following this training. Adding to the various employee services at this time was the establishment of an Employee's Cooperative Association, whose purpose was to promote the welfare and morale of Depot employees. This group took over the active management of the main cafeteria and numerous sub-cafeterias throughout the Depot. In addition to the cafeterias, the Employees' Cooperative Association was responsible for securing an employees' garage where minor repairs to employees' cars might be made, thus aiding in individual transportation problems. The Personnel Relations Department was given the responsibility for the operation of the Depot Plant Transportation Committee and officer personnel, which had been operating under the supervision of the Station Secretary. As this group was well organized, and its procedures defined clearly, the addition of this service created no additional problems. The establishment of a Branch Bank in the cafeteria and a Mobile Banking Unit aided employees in cashing checks and carrying on other banking functions. Through the local Bank Manager, it was possible to secure drivers' licenses and license plates for Depot employees. Before personnel could be secured for an Employees' Counseling Program, the termination of the war made necessary an all-out effort to prepare retention lists and arrange for the orderly reduction of Depot personnel.

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Safety Department Key personnel:

W.C. Hale - Safety Engineer-Mr. Hale began work at NAD Burns City in January 1941 for the Maxon Construction Company. In December 1942 he transferred to civil service and became a depot employee. He was a key leader in standing up the Safety Department. He was also instrumental in starting and leading the early Bursts and Duds newsletter with Percy Donham. The first edition was published on February 16, 1943. He left NAD Crane in May 1945. From the after-action report

The Crane Naval Ammunition Depot Safety Department was organized in December 1942 with one Safety Engineer in charge of the department. It gradually grew in personnel until it reached its peak in the later part of 1944 when there were approximately 28 people in the department. The first full time Safety Officer was appointed in September 1944. Previous to this time, an officer with collateral duties held the position. This was the Station Secretary, who also handled Security and the Fire Department at varying times. The Safety Officer had, under his supervision, a Safety Engineer, Assistant Safety Engineer, ten Safety inspectors, six office employees, a compensation clerk, safety equipment and store clerk and assistants, a highway sign maintenance crew, and a poster display man. At first the efforts of the Safety Department were directed mostly toward the elimination of physical hazards and the adoption of proper use of personnel protective equipment. As time went on, and statistics were compiled, it became clear that approximately 60% of all injuries were the result of unsafe practices of personnel. Therefore, the Safety Department stressed safety training to the employees. Through the supervisors and foremen, regular safety meetings were held and motion pictures, promoting necessary precautions, were shown regularly to all employees. The Department concerned itself with the proper placement of minors and physically handicapped persons working closely with the medical department, studying the findings of the industrial medical officer, assisted in fire prevention, transportation facilities and operations, and all industrial operations.

Safety Engineer Mâ&#x20AC;˘rion F. Maud-

lin and his vehicle,

Munitions worker at the Star Shell JOE TABOR One of Georre Tumoy'o bul




The World War II History ofNAD Crane

In November of 1943, the safety equipment and shoe store was organized. All safety equipment such as powder shoes, spark-proof tools, respirators, goggles, etc., were purchased by the Safety Department and issued to the various activities as needed. Since its inception in December 1942, the safety Department made remarkable progress in the reduction of injuries to its employees. This statement is substantiated by the following frequency and severity rates by year: Frequency Rate

Severity Rate

Year 1943



Year 1944





Year 1945 (Jan. through Oct.)

For the month of July 1945, the Depot experienced next to the lowest frequency rate in its history, 5.44. During that same month the severity rate of0.02 was the lowest in its history. During this month there was an average of9,513 employees working a total of 2,016,756 man-hours with only 34 days lost due to injuries.

First Lieutenant's Department Key personnel: LCDR G.F. Stobel- Maintenance Department and Roads and Grounds Officer - LCDR Gordon F. Strobel reported to NAD Burns City before the commissioning on 24 November, 1941. He capably led the Depot in the Maintenance Area for almost four years and longer than any other officer during the war. When he detached for a special four month tour in Japan he was the Roads and Grounds Officer. He served as Maintenance Officer putting into operation the water treatment and sewage disposal plants as well as the early industrial shops. He also took charge of early maintenance of roads, railroads, water, and sewer lines. The First Lieutenant's Department grew out of the former Maintenance Department. LCDR Strobel was a native of New York City, NY and

had prior experience as in Civil Engineering after graduating from Columbia University with a B.S. degree in 1939 working for New York City on vehicular tunnels, subways, foundations, and drydocks. He also served as Assistant to the Chief Engineer at Seneca Ordnance Depot before entering the Navy in August 1941.

LCDR B. Altman - First Lieutenant's Department - Benjamin Altman reported to NAD Crane on September 1944 after serving two and a half years at Naval Ordnance Plant (NOP) Baldwin, NY as an Engineering Maintenance officer and six months with the Amphibious Forces, Atlantic Fleet, as CO of a ship repair unit. LCDR Altman was a native of Boston and studied marine engineering at MIT, leaving there in 1918 for duty as an engineer with the US Army Transport Service. He later studied electricity at the Franklin Institute. He entered the employment of the Boston Elevated Railway in 1923, and was on leave from his duties as head of Power Department division. His was a specialist in automatic sub-station and electrical supervisory control systems.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

LCDR C.B. Thorn Jr. - Officer in Charge of Water Treatment and Sewage Disposal - LCDR Charles Thom arrived at NAD

Burns City in July 1942. This was his first duty station. His first job was Officer in Charge of Electric and Plumbing Shops as well as Fire Department and water supply. In February 1943, he was assigned Major Caliber Loading for a year. In February 1944 he took over water and sewage. LCDR Thom was a native of Louisiana. He graduated from Tulane University in 1935 with a B.E. in engineering. He did graduate work at Heidleberg University in Germany and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He met his wife in Indiana and had one daughter. He detached from NAD Crane on 14 November, 1945, for an assignment in Japan.

From the after-action renort

The functions of the First Lieutenant's Department encompassed the operation and maintenance of public works, buildings and structures, roads and grounds, water and sewerage systems, power, heating, lighting, security equipment, and communication channels. Also, included was the preservation of the orderly and trim appearance of the station and the maintenance of the Crane Housing Project. The history of the department could best be summed up as the gradual absorption of hitherto independent Depot agencies into an evolving plan of departmental organization. The culmination of this evolution was the reorganization of the Office of First Lieutenant in the fall of 1944, which centralized the authority over, and control of, the agencies necessary to accomplish the above enumerated purposes. In order to best understand this process of consolidation, it was necessary to trace the development of each division of the department separately up to the time of general assimilation. In each case, the officer in charge reported directly to the commanding officer until early 1944, at which time the need for departmental segregation in an expanding base became evident. At that time the commanding officer created the Office of First Lieutenant, the responsibilities of which were assumed by the Ordnance Officer in addition to his other duties. This temporary measure served until the fall of 1944, when an officer, experienced in the functional problems of such an organization, reported for duty. Water Supply and Sewerage were among the first service functions to be developed on the Depot. Lake Greenwood was the sourse of water supply, and the Maxon Construction Company built and operated the necessary plants to treat, pump, and store water. By March of 1942, the water treatment and pumping facilities had a capacity of 360,000 gallons daily, and the storage capacity was 200,000 gallons. The Navy assumed control of all water facilities in March of 1942, and inaugurated an expansion program to meet rapidly growing needs. By the late summer of 1942, water production was doubled and storage capacities were increased 50%.


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Because of continually enlarging consumption requirements, water production soared to the present peak of 1,400,000 gallons daily with storage provisions for 1,126,000 gallons. As originally installed, the distribution system consisted of approximately 50 miles of transit water mains. New construction had increased this to 70%. At no time during the wartime operation of the Depot did water shortages hamper ammunition production. Only in the late summer of 1945 was consumption ahead of water production and rationing of water deemed essential. This record was obtained inspite of the difficulty in securing labor and materials for required expansion. A second service function in the early operation of the Depot was the division of Building, Roads, and Grounds, whose small staff had the responsibility of maintaining the, then, few miles of completed roadways. There was early difficulty in obtaining necessary machinery. Few purchases being insufficient, equipment was borrowed from the Officer-in-charge of Construction and later retained on a transfer basis. Satisfying machinery requirements continued to be a problem to the end of the war. The original plans of the Depot made little provision for the proper stabilization of roadbeds, truck beds, and magazine cover fills in an area where the soil was highly erodible. Overcoming the adverse effects of this erosion became a major problem of this division. The natural erodibility was aggravated by the removal of top soil in construction work and by continued and unexpected heavy rainfall. Soil erosion curbs were undertaken, the most important of which was seeding. This program did not attain notable success until 1945, when seeding and mulching were combined.

Ralph Graves: "The fine grading, fertilizing, seeding, and mulching ofthe earth cover on high explosive and smokeless magazines were done by WPA workers. They also planted myrtle and honeysuckle on the slopes ofthe magazines. WPA workers also installed sandstone wing-walls on magazines and in earth buildings which was required to prevent soil erosion. They landscaped, fine grated, fertilized, seeded, mulched, and planted shrubbery in all the residential and industrial areas. They transported and placed 6 inch layered topsoil in the industrial area for lawns. They also pared a 20 foot strip around the Depot perimeter for the building of the 46 inch farm type fence. All the line posts and corner posts were procured from the Morgan-Monroe State Forest. They used hand tools such as crosscut saws and posthole diggers. At that time they did not have earth augers powered by tractors. ,,


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All unclassified activities, such as the operation of a new mill, central scrap salvage and refuse disposal yard, operation of a coal mine, janitor service for the buildings, maintenance of quarters and boathouse and lake patrol, were incorporated into Roads and Grounds during the period of Depot development. The national coal strike in 1943 forced the division into coal production in order to alleviate the acute shortage of solid fuel which developed at the Deport. A strip mine was opened on the base, and multiple shift operations produced 2,500 tons of mined, crushed, and graded coal in the short space of five weeks. These mining activities were a great aid in preventing curtailment or cessation of ammunition production. Ralph Graves: "At the time of land acquisition, there was a Woodland Saddle Club located at the site of now Farmhouse 1 and west of there on Highway 45 just down the hill was a gas station. The golf course first was operated as a nursery company called the Garrett Nursery. The Depot later made an aircraft landing strip (Hl61) of it before the golf course was built. Also at the site of the golf course, Roads and Grounds Division ofPublic Works striped thousands of tons of coal on that land which was used in Buildings 115 and 64 for heating the boilers. The Fred Toon house, located in a section of 15 and 45, is now called Quarters Y. This farmhouse was moved up the hill. At that time there was a filling station located on Highway 45 just east ofBuilding 120. Also at this location there was a sawmill called Harp Sawmill. Quarters X was the Land Acquisition Office. "

I Headquarter& for Roadt and Groundâ&#x20AC;˘ diviâ&#x20AC;˘ion of the Firtt Lieutenut Department, thowing (from left to right) machinery shed, main office, cin bin, road oil h .. nk d c ane cro w w&re ho

A third service activity that began in the early days of the Depot and eventually became a part of the First Lieutenant's Department was the Industrial Shops. Its purpose was the provision of emergency repair and breakdown of production equipment and the manufacture of special ammunition loading tools for production plants. The latter function became increasingly important because of delay in the filling of tool orders by manufacturers stamped with war commitments. The organization, in early 1942, consisted of20 employees, and the shops included were Carpenter, Blacksmith, Paint, Plumbing, Electric, Sheet metal, Machine, and Print. Tools and equipment were difficult to obtain in the first four months of operation. Most of the equipment was ordered after the declaration of war, and because of conflict of priorities, delivery was mainly in the second half of 1942. However, purchases of machines and hand tools were sufficient to ensure limited operations at an early date. Growth of this activity was indicated by the amount of floor space occupied. An original 7 ,500 square feet reached 28,000 with the construction of a new Industrial Shop Building. A new addition in the spring of 1945 raised the space used to 58,000 square feet. The personnel went up from 20 in 1942 to 175 in June of 1944. Shortly after the close of the war, 325 were employed by the Industrial Shops.


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u. s.

Nn:v PhotaaRPh•

New bu1 depot now under con1truction at tbe Star Shell parking lot.

Commiuary now almo•t completed, located midway between laundry and

Trailer Camp.

Interior view, Industrial Machine Shop.

One of the most important services rendered by the Industrial Shops was the manufacture of loading tools for the ammunition plants. In the first two years, tools were made from rough sketches and even verbal instructions. Reworking was often necessary. In July of 1943, an officer with a background in industrial design reported aboard, and orders were channeled through him, thus making detailed and accurate plans available. The final phase of this development was reached when an Ordnance Engineering Section was set up to handle necessary designs and prints for the entire Ordnance Department. Prior to March of 1944, maintenance operations in the loading plants were decentralized with disappointing results. The First Lieutenant set up a Plant Maintenance and Boiler Operations Section to handle the problem. In the interest of greater coordination, Plant Maintenance was assimilated by the Industrial Shops in January of 1945. One of the most serious problems confronting the Industrial Shops had been the scarcity of skilled labor and experienced supervision. Training was necessary, and programs, similar to apprentice instruction, were set up. Results had been highly satisfactory.

In the beginning, the Bureau of Yards and Tools and Docks provided all the electrical service required and operated the equipment. In early 1942, the Depot assumed control and the Electrical Shop became a section in the Industrial Shops Division. Due to its increasing responsibilities, a separate division was created in the winter of 1943. It was integrated into the first Lieutenant's Department in the organizational evolution.

The original organization in the early part of 1942 consisted of approximately 13 civilian electricians charged with the operation of all electrical facilities, which included Depot telephone and fire alarm system, primary power distribution system, all refrigeration equipment, electrical maintenance of diesel locomotives, radio communications system, battery storage and overhaul, and building interior electrical circuits and equipment.


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Originally, the Depot telephone system consisted of a 200-line automatic dial central station and 20 miles of distribution system. At the cessation of hostilities, the system had expanded to a 600-line automatic dial central station plus a 200 manual line station and approximately 70 miles of telephone cable. In addition, there have been 20 miles of lead cable installed for direct teletalk interdepartmental communications. Because of the size and rapid expansion of the Depot, communication difficulties were almost always present. In order to relieve this condition and to provide faster between-office communication, teletalk systems were installed. This system had its limitations because of the excessive installation costs between distant offices. Another difficulty encountered was the inability of surrounding community telephone exchanges to handle the long distance call traffic as desired. Efforts were made to secure a direct connection between the Depot and Washington, but the franchise committee prevented bids. Due to the transaction size of the Depot, it was realized early in 1942 that two-way radio communications facilities for field crews and headquarters, for security patrolling, and for the operation of railroads, would be an absolute necessity and clearly increase efficiency of operations. Consequently, an initial installation of two radio towers with attendant fixed master stations and 13 mobile units were installed. The gradual expansion of these facilities resulted in an installation of an additional tower and approximately eight fixed stations and 50 mobile stations. 96

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The basic power distribution system installed in 1941 adequately served requirements through the peak of war production and may point to being the prime exception to the many changes that were forced by Depot expansion. The development of the service functions of this activity was shown by the rise of power consumption: June, 1942


January, 1945

1,376,144 KWH

January, 1943


July, 1945

1,080,480 KWH

January, 1944


The distribution system was expanded from approximately 50 miles of primary lines at the time the Navy Maintenance Force took over, to over 100 miles of primary power lines and six miles of underground lines in the fall of 1945. Nearly all the expansion in the power system was installed by Depot forces. In the early part of 1944, the organization known as Building Maintenance and Improvements, which was originally a part of the Roads and Grounds Division, was expanded and assigned more specific duties. These duties were primarily in connection with construction of many facilities which, for various reasons, were not considered a part of the Bureau of Yards and Docks construction program. This organization was primarily established to meet the emergency demand for housing for approximately 1,200 men, crews for LST Craft about to be commissioned. In the short space of 30 days, a former WPA Camp located within the Depot boundaries was practically rebuilt for this service. The record attained in this emergency project established the desirability and necessity of maintaining an organization flexible enough to specialize in construction work not heretofore within the scope of the organizations previously described. Numerous structures were modified and altered to meet fluctuating demands of production.

Up to the fall of 1944, the organizations and activities described above functioned more or less independently of one another, and it was recognized that maximum efficiency had not been attained. Because of the interest of officers-in-charge of the various activities and the civilian supervisors, centralization and consolidation under one head became the key note. Coincidental with this belief, a War Manpower Commission survey conducted by the Navy Department recommended the establishment of the Office of First Lieutenant. In September 1944, this recommendation became a fact, and all of the aforementioned activities plus Automotive Transportation Operation and Maintenance and Railroad Operation and Maintenance were consolidated under this agent.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Truck Transportation office building remodeled and redecorated by ttaff in their spare time. Chief T. L. Ludlow, extreme right, and members of bluejacket Transportation crew, who have done an excellent job during the laat year.

Left to right, behind sign, Jack Grubb, Clarence Owens,

Merle Lowrey, Jeu McHargue, Otis Wright, William Brown; by front steps,

Mn. Freida Hoffner, Miu Marjorie Wilson, Mra. Beulab Tish, Lt. J. J. Baffa, Officer in Charge, and Earl Schwab, Supervisor.

Within the short space of three months, a procedure for assigning and performing required work was set up, a system of records was created, and a broad overall authority clearly established. The establishment of the Office of First Lieutenant with adequate authority to make major decisions and recommendations resulted in the closer examination of all projects submitted by the various activities of the Depot, establishment of a project priority system, elimination of unnecessary projects, and the proper execution of all projects through the properly planned and coordinated efforts of all subdivisions. Upon the assignment of a Transportation Officer to the Depot, the railroad and automotive facilities were put under a separate head. At approximately the same time, early 1945, an Inspection Department was established to carry out inspection of all structures and utilities and to coordinate major construction work undertaken by the Department.

Transportation Department The Transportation Department, which included the Railroad and Motor Vehicle Divisions, was not organized as a separate department until January 1945. Prior to that time both sections of this activity had been a part of the First Lieutenant's Department.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Motor Vehicle Operations and the assignment of motor vehicles to individuals had been a function of the Ammunition Officer. This wide decentralization of all transportation activities led to many problems difficult of solution because of lack of proper coordination. In January 1945, a Transportation Officer was appointed, and all Depot transportation facilities and maintenance thereof were placed under his cognizance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Transportation Officer was designated as Ordnance Officer with Transportation as a secondary responsibility; the pressure of his more important duties as Ordnance Officer made it extremely difficult for him to maintain active supervision over the Transportation Department. At about this time, nevertheless, a program was initiated to insure better control and more effective utilization of all transportation facilities. In late April 1945, the Ordnance Officer was relieved of his collateral duties in Transportation by a new Transportation Officer. The Department was then reorganized, and a more centralized control of all facilities was established.

Motor vehicles Diyision The rapid expansion of the Depot brought an early need for an expansion of a Motor Vehicle division. This was organized in early 1942 with less than 30 vehicles. In that month, vehicle mileage was 78,000; these figures grew progressively until there were 820 vehicles on July 7, 1945, with a total monthly mileage of 860,000. These statistics emphasized the importance of the Motor Vehicles division to a smoothly functioning Depot. Civilians were first employed by this activity in March 1942. During the first few months the principal difficulty was that of spare parts procurement. There was no one with sufficient experience in purchasing to know the types and quantities of spare parts necessary. After some trouble, a qualified man was borrowed from the Maxon Construction Company until such a person could be employed by the Navy. Until the garage was fully equipped, it was necessary to send motors off the Depot for overhaul, thereby keeping vitally needed equipment out of operation for long periods of time. Increased facilities, including a complete machine shop, prepared this department to handle all types of repair and overhaul. As a result, this Depot had the exceptionally low record of an average of only 0.5% equipment not available for use because of breakdown. The greatest improvement was the bus service organized during the first months of 1945. Prior to this, the only intra-Depot buses were: (1) hourly service to the Housing Project; (2) lunch runs; (3) Personnel service for new employees; (4) hourly tours of the area.


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

The length of time between trips in the last service made it impracticable for persons required to make frequent official trips. Consequently, any person without an assigned vehicle made these trips by taxi. In September 1943, a survey of taxi trips was completed with the intention of creating bus service to all points warranting regular transportation. Unfortunately, bus equipment was insufficient to handle the proposed service. Since the assignment of new bus equipment to this activity, bus runs were made to all key buildings on the station. Periodic surveys of passengers advised the supervisors of changes in requirements. This increased service decreased taxi trips from an average of 100-125 to 10-15 a day. While the actual figures were not available, it was known that this represented a great reduction in mileage. Off -Depot bus service to Bloomington, Indiana, and Washington, Indiana, was established in 1942. The number ofliberty runs fluctuated constantly as the number of military personnel stationed here varied. The shopping service for both military and civilians residing at Crane originally ran only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1100. As the number of prospective passengers increased, this service was expanded to two buses daily with an additional bus on Saturday. For over a year no fare was charged on these buses. In late 1943, in order to prevent unfair competition with privately owned bus lines, the standard charge of 1¢ per mile was made to civilians. Military personnel continued to ride free until December 1944, at which time a board of officers was named to decide upon the fare. They, reluctant to place any charge at all on liberty runs, arbitrarily set the rate at somewhat less than 2¢ per mile.

Railroad Division The Maxon Construction Company turned the Depot Railroad over to the Navy in May 1942. During the first year, operation was made difficult by inadequate trackage and power. The railroad had been laid out to handle approximately ten incoming cars and ten outgoing cars each day. The rail was planned for 30 to 45-ton diesel electric locomotives with a maximum speed often miles per hour. Yet by the winter of 1943-44 they were handling as many as 240 loads per day. Cold weather had caused the flaws in the relaid rail to become brittle, and, under stress of such overloading, the rail cracked, further hampering the strained operations. In order to cope with increased incoming loads, plans were drawn up for classification yards and a double treat "Y" at Navy Junction. Until the completion of this work in 1944, it was necessary to store and switch cars on tracks serving Depot buildings, thereby seriously decreasing rail accessibility. In many cases short additional tracks for storage were laid to break bottlenecks. Heavy traffic necessitated a change to 115-ton, 1,000 h.p. diesel locomotives. The 60-lb. rail could not carry the increased load; several times curves were shoved out of line and maintenance generally became excessive. In June 1945, the laying 100-lb. rail was started. The completion of this work on principal tracks had a greatly expedited service and increased the margin of safety.

One of the principal objections to work on this Depot was the difficulty of finding satisfactory home-to-work transportation. When it became evident that private cars and busses would not prove adequate, an agreement was made between the Navy and the Milwaukee Railroad for the Milwaukee to carry personnel from Bedford to Blankenship and from Terre Haute to Navy Junction.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

These trains were not at the receiving points by Depot locomotives which brought the passenger cars into the Depot. Various intraDepot passenger runs were also maintained during the morning and evening rush hours in order to relieve excessive pressure on motor transportation. Crane's development as a production and stowage center was illustrated by comparative railroad figures. In June 1943, there were 120 miles of standard gage track on the Depot, with 20 additional miles under construction. There were 127 government-owned freight cars of varying types and eight government-owned passenger cars allocated to the base. By August 1945, increases placed the track mileage at 165 with 15 miles under construction. Two hundred fifty- five freight cars of different types, none being passenger coaches, were in use. All of these were government-owned. In the same period, the number of train crewmen rose from 55 to 98.

Medical Department Key personnel:

CDR/CAPT B.M. Summers- 1943 to June 1944-Established the Medical Department and served as first Medical Doctor CDR M.W. Arnold-July 1944toNovember1945 -Medical Department Medical Doctor From the after-action report When the Depot was commissioned in December 1941, one medical officer and two hospital corpsmen were assigned to duty here. The medical building was completed in March 1942 and the department assumed the responsibility of pre-employment physicians, sanitation inspection, and industrial medicine. At this time a large part of the workers on the Depot were employed by the construction company which had its own physician.

Medical Dispensary 1943 Building #12 Front & Rear Views


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

The toxicity of the various production ingredients used on the Depot necessitated regular health examinations as well as the preemployment physical. Webster tests on urine, hemoglobin checks, blood counts, and continued consultation service on toxicological problems formed a large part of the work of the Dispensary in 1942. As the number of civilian employees in the various plants increased, it was quite apparent that industrial medicine and hygiene would have to be an important part of the Dispensary's activities. Although a specialist in this field was assigned in the summer of 1942, the growth of the Depot and its activities continued so rapidly that he was not able to devote the amount of time that was considered desirable to the activities of his specialty. The problem of efficient medical care brought the requirement of sub-dispensaries and two were established. One of these was near the Crane gate and one in the Pyrotechnics Area. To assist in this, two nurses were allocated to the Depot in January 1943. The growth of the Depot meant a rise in service. This work load was taken care of by seven nurses, two physicians, and members of the hospital corps. Service was extended when a mobile X-ray unit was brought upon the station late in 1943. At that time, there were two ambulances assigned to the activity. Additional sub-dispensaries were started in early 1944 in the Load and Fill Area and the 40 MM Area. Until March 1944, dental cases were sent to the Naval Training School in Bloomington. The military complement passed 500 in the first few months of 1944, and in March, the first dental officer reported aboard. In October 1944, an additional dental officer was assigned because of the added increase in complement. On September 11, 1944, the first Board of Medical Survey was established, and there has been a board functioning continuously since then. When the Crane Housing project was taken over in December 1944, the navy had additional medical obligations. Members of the Depot Dispensary staff held evening office hours there on their own time to furnish adequate care for employees and their families residing there.

The main dispensary was expanded in the first months of 1945 with the addition of extra wings, garage facilities, and additional equipment. In addition, medical services were made available at the Mary Towns, PhM2c, left, and Cecelia Malek, PhM3c, setting up for operation at Main Dispensary.

Naval Barracks. By the close of the war, there were 110 beds available in the dispensary.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

By June of 1945, 3,190 pre-employment examinations were given in a single month. In addition to this, 13,157 laboratory tests were administered and 735 X-ray pictures were taken. At the close of hostilities, the Medical Department consisted of five medical doctors, 11 Navy nurses, two dental officers, and two hospital corps officers. There were, in addition, 63 corpsmen and nine waves

in attendance.

Security Department Key personnel: Maj. P.C. Marmion - November 1940 to October 1944- Maj. Marmion established and led the Marine Corps Security Detachment. The Marine Security Detachment started with 24 Marines on 24 July, 1941. During the war the number of Marines averaged 300. From July 1942 until 21 June, 1945, a Mounted Marine Detachment existed at the Mule Barn with 48 men. In addition to providing Depot security, the Marines were also responsible for providing security for classified shipments to and from the Depot across the entire US. Details of four Marines would travel with shipments on train and truck. LtCol H.R. Hull-Marine Corps Security Detachment-LtCol Huff relieved Maj. Paul C. Marmion on 29 October, 1944, as commanding officer. He was a graduate of the Naval Academy in 1922. He saw service in Haiti, Nicaragua, China, the Philippines, and the South Pacific. He was part of a Special Service Squadron in Central America and served aboard ship in the Asiatic Fleet.

From the after-action report The Security Department was established in May 1942, to protect the Depot from sabotage and maintain order. The dual purposes were carried out by a civilian police force in conjunction with marines stationed at the activity.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

The original complement of the Depot police force was ten men including a chief of police, but this was soon found to be inadequate to insure the necessary protection required by an expanding base. In October of 1943, the force was increased to 150 men. The following July, the Naval Ammunition Depot police were enrolled in the United States Coast Guard Reserve and, for the duration of the war, functioned as a quasi-military organization. The peak complement was reached in the summer of 1945, and included one chief of police, four lieutenants, 11 sergeants, 20 corporals, and 150 police. The bulk of these were veterans of one of the two world wars.

.-·::;:-:.. _;;-~~-~·=-~:-:~~~,~~~-·-:· -_:-~-~~-::"?-.,,"'-<-<;:'. ~-,'.'-~;::,. . .;.,,-;t--· - ·:--·< :·--- ~~-:=-'.~- -;

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The coast Guard Police were stationed at the gates, controlled traffic, assisted the Marine Corps in patrolling the station, and contributed to the security of the station. They were disbanded at the end of November 1945 when their security services were no longer required.

Ralph Graves: "Chief Harvey lived in Farmhouse 5 near the Bloomington Gate, and ChiefHarvey was Captain Oberlin's bosonsmate. LT LeTurgis, the Assistant Coast Guard Police Chief, lived in Farmhouse 4, near the Bums City Gate. The dog trainer was Griff Sims, who was in the Marine Corp. After he got out of the Marine Corp, he remained as dog trainer at the same location. Quarters WI and W2 were built by station forces to house the two Coast Guard Chiefs and their families. They were assigned here as dog trainers. " The Marine Corps also formed part of the security force of the station during the war just closed. Since 28 November, 1945, the marines took full responsibility for the security of the base. The first 24 marines arrived on the station in July 1941, and were quartered at the former WPA Camp. Because of the poor living facilities and the gradual growth of the Depot, the need for permanent marine housing quarters became apparent. Construction commenced on a barracks in December, but the partially completed structure was destroyed by fire in January 1942. Work was started immediately on the present barracks, which was completed in April 1942.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Ralph Graves: "Another barracks building was the US Marine Corp barracks, Building 13, built in 1942. It served as headquarters for the US Marine Corp which was on security duty from 1942 to 1959. Motorized patrols provided security along the roads, buildings, highways, and production plants. Horses and mules were kept at the stable next door, now the Print Shop, Building 18. Activities soon outgrew the space in Building 18; the horses and mules were moved to Building 1936 on Mule Barn Hill near the Crane gate. Mounted Marine detachment barracks were constructed adjacent to building 1936 which was built in 1935 and demolished in 1968. The mounted marine facility was a group offour buildings including stables, barracks, mess hall, boiler room, and provided quarters for 48 Marines. The buildings had previously been used by the Resettlement Administration, a division of the Land Utilization Project when building Lake Greenwood. The WPA also used Building 193 6 as an office. Security for inaccessible areas along the parameter boundary fence line were patrolled by Marines riding 49 horses and 6 mules. The location of the barracks was at the present site ofBuilding 2916, the Electronic Radio Test building on a slope near the Crane gate that has been nicknamed the Mule Barn Hill. That is because in addition to Building 1936, there were 3 other stables where the horses and Marine patrol mounts were located."

Marine Corps Barracks Building #13


The World War II History of NAD Crane

Duties of the Marine Corps on the Depot encompassed the following points: 1.

To provide, in cooperation with all other security agencies, for the internal security of the Depot by establishment of a supervised system of sentinels, patrols, and guard in accordance with a pre-arranged plan based on calculated risks.


To provide a trained striking force for combat against civil disorder or riots on a 24-hom basis.


To provide a fire-fighting force for the purpose of combating fires on and adjacent to the Depot on a 24-hour basis.


To provide, in cooperation with other agencies, for uninterrupted production by constant vigilance against theft or destruction of property or damage to installations by sabotage.


To maintain and operate the administrative functions for the proper care of personnel, animals, and equipment assigned to the Marine Barracks.


To maintain liaison with all other federal, state, county, and municipal security and law enforcing agencies.


To provide an emergency force and a plan for its employment in case of disaster.


To provide armed guard convoys for the purpose of escorting classified materials over the railroads and by truck within the continental limits of the United States.

In order to promote the above purposes, a system of sentries was established to provide for the protection of all main installations and

areas under a calculated risk program, and installations considered vital were protected on a 24-hour basis by means of a single sentry or a group of men. Among those considered vital were the lake dam, the transformer station, the railroad tunnel, and buildings in which classified materials were stowed. These were usually protected by a group of men at which places sentry or cossack posts were established. Many of the sentry posts were maintained on a sunset to sunset basis at night while others were Armed guard convoys, whose duty was assigned to the Marine Barracks and, during the period of the war until the present date, 289 armed guard missions were performed.


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

An armed guard consisted of one officer and four enlisted men. The duties of an armed guard convoy were specifically designated in

its orders, and concerned the safe escort of classified materials from one point to another in the United States, usually by railroad. Headquarters, Marine Corps, undertook the coordination of this duty and the allocation of the duties among the various Marine posts involved. Orders came frequently, suddenly, and sometimes without advance warning, which involved rapid movement and constant readiness. Armed guard convoys usually traveled in a caboose on freight trains provided by the company and kept the material convoyed under strict surveillance during the trip. Food and meal tickets were provided to the convoys, and they prepared the food in the caboose with equipment provided by the Quartermaster of the Marine Barracks. Convoys from this command traveled over most all of the railroads of the country and to numerous initial shipping points and destinations. As a result of armed guard convoys from these barracks, no sabotage or accident occurred during the entire period, to materials convoyed. On many occasions only two to three marine officers remained at this station, the remainder being on a convoy. Many hardships were suffered by men and officers assigned to these convoys, but no delays in passage of these materials were permitted. The original Marine quota for the base was set at 170 men, who were to perform the above listed security services. Personnel totals during the Depot wartime history follow: 1942 - 189 men; 1943 - 200 men; 1944 - 260 men; and 1945- 234 men (9 month average). The Marine turnover was extremely high, and, during the year 1945, the turnover rate was 300%. This presented an urgent need for retraining and reorientation programs. Good communications, which were a vital need for successful security protection, had always been maintained without serious interruption.

Gym Construction


The World War II Histoiy ofNAD Crane

In addition to the telegraph and telephone services available, a two way voice radio was maintained between all vital stations and patrolling vehicles, as well as between the barracks and the Indiana State Police. Most of the marines assigned to the station had overseas duty, and an adequate program ofrecreation and sports was maintained to preserve their morale. A gymnasium and auditorium were maintained, as well as a swimming pool and post exchange, library, and tennis courts. Movies were offered nightly, and fishing was permitted in the lake on the Depot.

Naval Barracks Key personnel:

LCDR J.Moran -August 1944 to September 1945 - Commanding Officer (CO) of the Naval Barracks Crane- James Moran came to Crane in June 1944 from Yorktown, VA, where he was the CO of the Naval Barracks. He spent 45 of his 59 years in the Navy advancing from apprentice "boy" on a sailing vessel to his present rank. He served his first cruise in the China station, and was in Shanghai during the Russo-Japanese War. A veteran of three wars, Spanish American, WW I, and WW II, LCDR Moran he served on practically every type of vessel afloat including the battleship Connecticut under "Fighting Bob Evans". He detached from the Naval Barracks 4 September, 1945, and headed to Portsmouth, VA, his home. He had been receiving treatment at Great Lakes Naval Hospital for several months before his detachment. His orders were to continue treatment in Portsmouth. He was then called in front of a retirement board in Washington, DC. The Naval Barracks was the home of the Bluejackets and was established in August 1944. The Naval Barracks became necessary when NAD Crane was unable to attract enough civilian labor to fill the wartime needs for production and support. The average number of Bluejackets on board Crane was 1,200 with a peak of 1,367. In total 3,305 personnel cycled through during the war. The Barracks was constructed from cabins/buildings of closed WPA camps in southern Indiana plus from the NYA camp used in the Whitewater Project. The Barracks was located near the Bum City Gate and functioned as a separate command from NAD Crane. The Bluejackets filled a wide variety of roles from production, construction, support services, and roads & grounds. The establishment of the Barracks drove many services being established at Crane to support those being housed such as food services, transportation, entertainment, ships service store, and a host of others. The Barracks also had a positive financial impact on the businesses in the Housing Project (Crane Village), Washington, IN and Bloomington, IN. Many of the entertainment functions during 1944 and 1945 were hosted at the Barrack's Recreation Hall.


The World War II History of NAD Crane

From the after-action report

In order to alleviate the manpower shortage, naval enlisted personnel were brought to the Depot in September 1944. Temporary quarters constructed for them offered limited housing facilities, and the inadequate structures were in need of replacement. Ralph Graves: "Another barracks building was what they called a Navy barracks built in 1942 near Burns City, Gate No. 2, at the present location of the Cranewood picnic area and demolished in 1950. Transportation and housing for laborers became a serious problem, and in May 1942 construction of the barracks to house 1,000 WPA workers was begun. It included beds, furniture, cooking and messing equipment. The only cost to those who worked here to use the facility was their food, because Franklin D. Roosevelt abolished the WPA program on 5 December, 1942. No WPA worker ever occupied this camp. It was then used as a Navy barracks consisting of 19 buildings, including 24 ft x 48 ft barracks buildings, a galley, and a mess hall I 00 ft by 200 ft, 2 bath houses 40 ft by 60 ft each, a recreation hall I 00 ft by 200 ft, a twin boiler house and a sewage disposal plant. These buildings were constructed from prefabricated panels salvaged from abandoned CCC Camps in English, Worthington, and Bedford. The barracks were used by the Navy as temporary quarters for officers and enlisted men arrivingfrom basic training at Great Lakes, Illinois. As soon as the boat crews were organized they were transported 80 miles south to Evansville where they boarded their newly fitted Landing Ship Tanks (LST). These were ships built at the ship yards on the Ohio River. "




The World War II History ofNAD Crane

The enlisted men were used principally in the field to assist in stowage and the loading and unloading of shipments. One crew was assigned to Plant Inspection at the close of the war. Numerical growth at tht time is listed below: September, 1944 - 426

October, 1944 - 1,222

February, 1945 - 1,306

June, 1945 - 1,257

August, 1945 - 1, 139

October, 1945 - 1,246

The sudden and rapid influx of men presented a major problem for the Naval Barracks Personnel Office. The assignment of quarters and the provision of necessary living conveniences were provided only after strenuous effort after the arrival of the Battalion as its use had not been previously contemplated. The Supply Department set up a crew mess and purchased the necessary food and materials. An auditorium was constructed in which frequent dances and movies were held to sustain military morale. A ship's service, barber shop, small stores, and library were instituted and in operation at the close of hostilities. There was low morale in the Battalion in the early stages as the men were being used for unskilled labor in a shore base isolated from attractive liberty facilities. However, a liberal leave policy and a high standard mess greatly alleviated this situation.

Recreation Building Crane Naval Barracks


The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Quarter Deck at Building #1

Official U. S. Navy Photoirrapb

Clyde Lucaâ&#x20AC;˘ Band entertaining Depot peraonnel in



January 12.

The contribution of enlisted labor to the ultimate success of this activity cannot be minimized, since it eliminated the absenteeism problem in an important part of the organization and made available well disciplined crews.

Ralph Graves: "Another barracks building was the Wave Barracks building, Building 58, built in 1943 and demolished in 1968. It was just outside the Crane gate. It was first built as an employment office and later used as housing for enlisted women reserves for the Marine Corp. Following their training at Camp LeJuene, 55 women were assigned to typing and secretary work throughout this Center during World War IL

Enlisted WAVES at Barracks Outside Crane Gate


Wave officer personnel lived at the Women's Officer Quarters, Building 2681, in the residential area."

The World War II History ofNAD Crane

Housing Project Key personnel:

Mark Trout - Housing Project Administrator From the after-action report

Since a majority of the employees had long distances to travel to and from work, housing facilities adjacent to the activity became desirable. The Federal Pubic Housing authority started the construction of a low cost housing project a mile from the Depot in 1943, and plans were drawn up calling for 250 temporary and 350 permanent units. Material shortages and the urgent need for units ready for occupancy caused the plans to be altered to 250 temporary and 30 flat top units. Construction was poor and conditions in the Housing Project were of a frontier nature. When units were ready for rental in the summer of 1943, few families were willing to occupy the units. By the fall of 1944, the unsightly conditions and the faulty administration of the Crane Housing Project became an obstacle to the smooth running of the Depot. It was necessary to stabilize a labor market, which would only be made available by bringing additional workers from areas where daily commutation and,

current production schedules were to be met. The Housing Project was only one-third occupied, as at the Commanding Officer's request, the jurisdiction and title were transferred from the Federal Housing Authority to the Navy Department effective 1 December, 1944.

Ralph Graves: "Crane Village Apartments were one story multiple family apartment units with flat roofs located on the south side of the village. Heat was famished by coal fired warm morning type heating stoves and coalfired kitchen ranges. Steam heat and electric kitchen ranges were added in 1946. Originally, the village contained 350 temporary apartments. There were 61 flat roof structures, 250 dwelling units, and 156 cottage type houses, some ofthem duplex. The cottages were built in one and two family living units located on the north side of Crane. All flat top apartment buildings were demolished in 1954. The land and cottage type residences were transferredfrom federal to private ownership 1 July, 1964. " 112

The World War II History of NAD Crane

Under the present Navy Administration, the Bureau of Yards and Docks was the sponsor of the Project with the Commanding Officer as the local administrator. After the change in administration, occupancy increased to 100% at the close of the war, with a waiting list of200. In spite of the outback following the cessation of hostilities, occupancy remained near 100%. A decision on the need for the Navy's control of this housing was more than justified in that the employees were now interested in settling their families adjacent to their place of employment. Improvement in utility services and the paving of streets were important steps toward making this a permanent home site. When the housing shortage was most critical in 1944 and 1945, a trailer camp of700 units was started on the station under Navy management. This was fully occupied at the close of the war. Present plans called for its evacuation by 1January,1946, and the removal of the remaining families to the Crane Housing Project. Ralph Graves: "A trailer camp also furnished housing for personnel who worked on the Center. It was built in 1942 and demolished in 1953. A total of 110 government furnished mobile homes were located 100 yards north of the commissary Store for use by married enlisted personnel and civilians working on this Center. Water and sewage lines were not connected to each individual trailer. Restroom and laundry facilities were located in separate prefabricated mobile structures. The camp was abandoned when housing became available at the Crane Village Apartments in 1943 and 1944.

Administration Building, housing Fire Dept., Community Hall, Nursery, and Housing Office.



Crane Village Post Office Opening Ceremony

The World War II History of NAD Crane

View of Trailer Camp, 'consisting of 200 units, located near Industrial Area.

Authors' Notes and Conclusion: The Wartime History of Crane, after action report, contains additional material, including lessons learned and evaluation of lines of command and interface with political leaders, which was not included in this text in order to give this book a more historical slant. The efforts of the Naval and Marine Corps officers, enlisted Sailors and Marines, civilian employees, and contractors from November 1940 through the end of World War II were extraordinary. Creating a naval ammunition depot from wooded hills and farm lands, when most of the workers had never worked for the Navy or in ordnance production prior to arriving at NAD Burns City/Crane, boggles the mind. The leadership had to be outstanding, and the drive of the workers had to be 100% focused. In the end, a substantial facility was created, and it has stood for 75 years. The people, both documented and undocumented in this text, were responsible for Crane and served as the cornerstone for all that followed. As the wars, including the Cold War, Korean, Vietnam, Gulf War, Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Iraqi Freedom, and the peacetime drew down, these facilities, infrastructure, and spirit met the Nation's requirements. For it is with a well set cornerstone that a solid foundation is formed on which an enduring structure can be built.


The World War II History of NAD Crane  

Naval Support Activity Crane is located approximately 25 miles southwest of Bloomington, Indiana. NSA Crane was originally established in 1...

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