Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…


Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant begins production

October 18th, 1942

On this day in 1942, the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant, also called the Longhorn Ordnance Works, began producing munitions on a 8,500-acre site beside Caddo Lake at Karnack, Harrison County. In December 1941, following the entry of the United States into World War II, the Monsanto Chemical Company selected the site for a facility for the manufacture of explosives. By August 15, 1945, the plant had turned out 414,805,500 pounds of TNT. The factory continued to play a role in defense production through the Cold War years, primarily by manufacturing solid-fuel rocket motors and various pyrotechnic devices. In 1990 the Environmental Protection Agency added the heavily-contaminated site to the National Priorities List. The army subsequently closed the facility and began large-scale cleanup efforts. Much of the property is now managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

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