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South Charleston Industrial Park (Formerly Naval Ordnance Plant)

Created by Kyle Warmack on August 31st 2017, 3:06:19 pm.

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Constructed during World War I to house a naval ordnance plant, this massive facility near the banks of the Kanawha River in South Charleston has been home to a variety of industries over the past century. Construction of the original facility began in 1917, but only a small number of gun forgings were completed in time for World War I. Put into a state of hibernation by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, the plant was reopened and expanded in 1939 and contributed significantly to the Navy Department's efforts to produce weapons in the second World War. At its peak of production, the Ordnance Plant employed 11,000 workers in around-the-clock shifts. The plant built over 130,000 gun barrels for U.S. warships along with Tiny Tim rockets, armor plate, and many other items that aided the Allied war effort. During the 1960s, manufacturer FMC purchased the plant from the Navy and used it to build over 15,000 M113 armored personnel carriers and related vehicles. The facility is now home to several shipping and manufacturing companies.