1950's Depot History


After WWII, Letterkennians had hardly become adjusted to the idea that the war was over when they found themselves caught up in the new missions of peace. Even before these missions became official, combat vehicles began rolling into the Depot for storage. An enormous amount of ammunition was returned from overseas, some of which was unserviceable and had to be destroyed.

 

At the time of the Korean War, July 1950, Letterkenny Ordnance Depot was in better condition to meet the emergency than back in WWII. However, the gears had to shift from peacetime drive to high war-time production and the workforce swelled to 6,500 persons, with as many as 50 new employees coming each day. Letterkenny's mission of receiving, processing, storing and shipping vehicles was strong.

 

The 1950s were a time of growth as new technologies in electronics and guided missile maintenance increased the Depot's workload. Employees were trained in these fields and began working on NIKE missile components in 1953. Letterkenny became a pilot depot for the implementation of the Depot Command Management System and SPEEDEX (System-wide Project for Electronic Equipment at Depots Extended).

 

In 1946 an experimental, long-term project for de-humidified storage tanks, built to "can" or preserve vehicles was initiated. With the new demands for ordnance materiel, the process was tested and deemed a success as vehicle after vehicle came out of the 169 petroleum storage tanks— all in excellent condition.

 

In 1955, Major Item Supply Management Agency (MISMA), which provided control functions on a worldwide basis, became a tenant of Letterkenny. It evolved into the U.S. Army Depot System Command, Letterkenny’s immediate higher headquarters.

 

Letterkenny became a permanent military installation on July 1, 1954.