A Visit to Hawthorne Ordnance Museum

Hawthorne, Nevada is home to the Hawthorne Army Depot, an ammunition staging area during World War II and the largest ammunition storage site in the world.

On September 15, 1930, the Secretary of the Navy commissioned the U.S. Navy Ammunition Depot at Hawthorne, Nevada. This did not happen by accident, but an accident caused it to happen. Four years earlier, July 1926, during the same week that a fire destroyed the Hawthorne business district, the Navy’s principal ammunition depot in Lake Denmark, NJ blew up, destroying the town and killing over 50 people and injuring hundreds more. The Hawthorne Ordnance Museum commemorates the history of the Ammunition Depot and it’s mission in defending the freedom of our country.

The Small, locally-run museum celebrating all things military, focusing on ammunition from the past and the area’s munitions history. The folks who staff the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum are friendly and enthusiastic about their collection. My favorite parts were the old newspaper front pages on important historical dates, and the drone helicopter on loan from its manufacturer.

Hawthorne Ordnance Museum commemorates the thousands of Military, Civil Service and Civilian Corporate Personnel that have made significant, and even the ultimate contribution in defending the Freedom of this Great Nation.

The coolest thing I found there was a U.S. Navy’s QH-50 DASH Weapon System (Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter) built and managed by the Gyrodyne Company of New York. It was the Military’s first UAV from what the volunteer at the museum told me.  They also have a helicopter under restoration outside. It sure looked like a Piasecki H-25 “HUP”.

I was traveling from Las Vegas to Reno, Nevada and thought I’d drive this region of the country for the first time. I was surprised when I stopped in Hawthorne for gas and stumbled on this little museum on Main Street U.S.A!! If your ever in the area..stop by for an hour or two. They sure will appreciate it.



Dave Budd

Hi..I'm Dave. Webmaster here at Photorecon. The boss also laughs and says I'm the Chief Photographer. I live in Las Vegas and I cover most of the West Coast events with Joe. I do most of the upkeep of the site.

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