Earle Naval Ammunition Depot
|Type||238 Navy Base|
|Historical Name of Location||Colts Neck, New Jersey, United States|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseIn Apr 1943, cargo ship El Estero was in the process of loading munitions at the long finger pier of the New York Port of Embarkation's Caven Point Terminal off Jersey City, New Jersey, United States when she suffered a boiler flashback. At that point, she had taken on 1,365 tons of munitions. In addition to the explosives on board, there were also a great quantity of explosives on the dock. Although the fire grew out of control, she was able to be pushed away from the docks and sunk near Robbins Reef Light. To the relief of all nearby, including the population of the city of New York, the explosives aboard and dockside were not detonated.
ww2dbaseTo avoid such an incident from occurring again, it was decided that munitions for the New York Port of Embarkation were to be handled further from the population center. The selection board chose Sandy Hook Bay to the south, in a rural area on the coast of New Jersey. It was decided to name the new ammunition depot after WW1-era Bureau of Ordnance chief Rear Admiral Ralph Earle. Construction for Naval Ammunition Depot Earle began in Aug 1943, and it was commissioned into service in Dec 1943, although work continued on the the road and railway network, which connected the 10,000-acre (40-square-kilometer) main ammunition depot area situated 15 miles inland and the waterfront and pier areas. The depot's 2-mile (3-kilometer) finger pier was considered one of the world's longest; a concrete platform in the middle of the pier housed several buildings. This naval depot continued to develop after WW2. It was renamed Naval Weapons Station Earle in 1974.
Last Major Update: Feb 2020
Earle Naval Ammunition Depot Interactive Map
Earle Naval Ammunition Depot Timeline
|2 Aug 1943||Construction for Naval Ammunition Depot Earle began in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States.|
|13 Dec 1943||Naval Ammunition Depot Earle in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States was commissioned into service.|
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|WW2-Era Place Name||Colts Neck, New Jersey, United States|
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944
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