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San Jacinto Ordnance Depot

Carter Barcus General Entry

San Jacinto Ordnance Depot was a World War II facility located on a 4,954-acre reservation on the Houston Ship Channel fifteen miles south of Houston. Its functions were to receive, store, and inspect all classes of ammunition (other than smoke) destined for shipment through its docks or through the New Orleans port and to receive, inspect, recondition, and store ammunition received from posts, camps, stations, and overseas theaters of operations. Captains of the ports of Houston and Galveston objected to the location of an ammunition depot so close to manufacturing plants, shipyards, and an oil refinery, but the United States Coast Guard approved the project. The first commanding officer arrived at the installation on November 21, 1941; on June 1, 1942, the depot received its first shipment of four cars of propellant charges. The first commercial vessel was loaded at San Jacinto on September 7, 1944. The depot supplied both the army and the navy; by December 31, 1945, it had received over 329,000,000 pounds of ammunition and had shipped over 208,000,000 pounds. The San Jacinto Ordnance Depot continued to ship army and navy supplies between 1945 and 1950, but plans had been made for phasing out activities as soon as the decreasing need for war materials would allow. With the involvement of the United States in the Korean conflict, the need for the depot and its services again arose, and phasing out was postponed. In 1959 the depot was declared surplus, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers took custody. In October 1964 all facilities of the San Jacinto Ordnance Depot were sold to the Houston Channel Industrial Corporation for somewhat more than ten million dollars.

Time Periods:

  • World War II

Places:

  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Carter Barcus, “San Jacinto Ordnance Depot,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 11, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/san-jacinto-ordnance-depot.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

1976
August 4, 2020

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

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