Information on:

Hawthorne - Hawthorne Ordnance Museum

925 East Street

History :

On September 15, 1930, the Secretary of the Navy commissioned the U. S. Naval Ammunition Depot at Hawthorne, Nevada. This did not happen by accident, but two accidents were significant to the process. Four years earlier in July of 1926, during the same week that a fire destroyed the Hawthorne business district, the Navy’s principle ammunition depot in Lake Denmark, New Jersey blew up, destroying the town and killing over 50 people and injuring hundreds more.

After the war the depot focus shifted toward demilitarization and renovation projects and other conventional weapons loading and testing. In 1977 the Department of Defense put all ammunition and production under command of the Army and the Naval Ammunition Depot became the Army Ammunition Depot. In 1980 the Depot was contracted out to a private corporation, later becoming Day Zimmermann Hawthorne Corporation.

The Western Area Demilitarization Facility

Under the developing cloud of the Second World War, the Naval Ammunition Depot at Hawthorne began operation as a storage facility, with 72 military personnel and 90 civilian employees accepting the first load of ammunition. Known as the “World’s Largest Ammunition Depot” its boundaries cover 237 square miles.
During World War II Hawthorne’s facilities and personnel were greatly expanded. The workload included cast loading of bombs, torpedo and guided missile warheads, depth charges and mines, propellant loading and assembly of gun cartridges. Peak employment of 5,625 civilian and military employees was reached in August 1945.

Today the depot can safely and efficiently dispose of outdated and unserviceable ammunition using the latest technology. The Western Area Demilitarization Facility (WADF) was completed by the Navy and transferred to the Army early in 1980 This state-of-the-art facility provides an environmentally safe and friendly, processing plant built specifically to recycle and reclaim metal parts and explosives.


DJ Hildebrandt

Thursday, May 3, 2018
Friendly staff! Great museum! Lots of inventory! I went with a few other buddies and it was a great stop, loved chatting with the staff and seeing all the historic things there.

Martin Jones

Thursday, March 15, 2018
Most awesome Military Museum I've ever been to. They have a tank you can climb into that have guns you can handle it's Hands-On it's awesome. And they sell ammo cans to raise funds for the museum.

Andy Hans

Friday, April 27, 2018
Great place. Took tons of pictures. Climbed inside a tank.

Steve Ger

Monday, April 23, 2018
I have drove by here countless times. Finally stopped in, I was amazed at the museum. I will see it again!

Heather Hodge

Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017
If you ever find yourself passing through Hawthorne you should definitely check this place out! The older gentleman that were here we're friendly to talk to and very knowledgeable about the artillery and was able to tell us some pretty neat information!

Hawthorne Ordnance Museum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media