weapons were stored at the Umatilla Ordnance Depot throughout the
Second World and Korean Wars. From 1962-1969 chemical weapons were
brought to the depot for storage, despite the protests of many Oregonians,
including then-governor, Tom McCall . As late as 1993, conventional
weapons were deployed from the depot to the Gulf War. Image courtesy
of Elmer Dodd Scrapbook, Hermiston Herald
flocked from around the nation to build the largest munitions depot
in the world, "right here in Hermiston," at a cost of
$35 million. World
records were set for pouring concrete - 24 igloos, using 9,000 pounds
of concrete, were built in one day on September 24, 1941.
Umatilla grew too, providing housing and services to workers. Nearly
everyone in town knew someone or had a family member working at
the army installation. On October 14, 1941, the Umatilla Ordnance
Depot opened, and less than two weeks later the first rail cars
brought shipments of bombs from Ogden, Utah, for storage.