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RG0825.AM:  Cornhusker Ordnance Plant (Grand Island, Nebraska)

Scrapbooks, 1942-1944 and 1949-1960

Grand Island, Hall County, Nebraska:  Munitions plant

Size:  Two volumes on one microfilm reel; and one volume


The construction of the Cornhusker Ordnance Plant, also known as the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant, began on March 24, 1942. The plant eventually sprawled over a twenty square mile area at its location five miles west of Grand Island.

Cornhusker Ordnance Plant workers poured the first bomb on November 11, 1942, and loading operations continued until August 16, 1945, the day after Japan surrendered. During World War II, plant workers were employed mainly in the loading of 260 lb and 90 lb fragmentation bombs, l000 lb and 2000 lb general demolition bombs, and 105 mm high explosive artillery shells.

As Grand Island’s largest and most diverse industry during World War II, some 15,000 were employed at the Cornhusker Ordnance Plant during the Nov. 1942-Aug. 1945 period. At its peak, the Plant employed 4229 workers.

After the war, the plant went through a decontamination process and it was placed in standby condition. In the 1950s, the Silas Mason Company used the plant for rocket manufacture. During the Korean and Vietnam wars, 500 lb and 750 lb bombs were assembled there for the Army Air Corps and Air Force.

In the later twentieth century, the Plant was on layaway status, although it was used as an Air Force satellite ground support station during 1978-1982. For most of the rest of the 1980s, the plant and the grounds were leased to private operators on a bid basis.


This collection consists of one reel of microfilm containing two scrapbooks dating from 1942-1944 and 1949-1960. The material relates to the history of the Cornhusker Ordnance Plant. Included are newspaper clippings, photographs, publicity materials, and advertisements that document activities at the Plant. These items also provide information on production of munitions, fundraising campaigns, safety operations, accommodations for workers, military inspections, visits of dignitaries, and social events for employees. The original Volume 2 (1952-1960) was added to the collection at a later date.

See the photo component for related images.  See the Library for the newspaper, The coplanter: Employees of the Cornhusker Ordnance Plant, 1942-1945, on microfilm (Film 623.4 T15c).


Reel 1 (#23,906)


  1. 1942-1944; 1949-1951

  2. 1952-1960


Subject headings:



Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant (Grand Island, Nebraska)

Grand Island (Nebraska)

Hall County (Nebraska)

Munitions — Nebraska

World War, 1939-1945 — Equipment and supplies


Revised TMM       12-06-2006