Calling Up The Ordnance One Last Time
The heavy guns were mobilized one more time, when 60 tanks and heavy guns were moved from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds to the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum on the campus of Ordinance at Fort Lee.The new Ordnance Museum will house hundreds of priceless and rare ordinance pieces from around the world. Some pieces are thought to be the only survivor of it's kind in the world, many others are examples of just two or three survivors.
Museum Director Dr. Joseph T. Rainer explained that this move was phase one with at least two more phases being planned as restorations are completed. Restoration is being contracted to EDSI Inc. whose access to a computer operated plasma torch is hoped to speed up the restoration process. Only fully restored artifacts will be moved to the new museum.
The museum is looking for a building to temporarily store restored pieces to keep them from deteriorating before they can be moved to their new permanent home. Until then, the newly restored pieces will be coated with a heavy protective coating since they will be housed outdoors until other arrangements can be made.
Dr. Trainer extends special thanks to the Transportation and BRAC office and commented that "those crane operators are amazing to watch." Additionally, the APG folks "who made it all happen", and numerous individuals were recognised by Dr. Rainer for their service to this massive undertaking. They include, Gene Schrenk, Director of Logistics; Toni Probst, Installation Transportation Officer; Gregory Mullins, John Antel, Jeff Crawford and Jim Hardy of the Ordinance Mechanical Maintanenece
If the restoration process continues at a brisk pace, phase III is scheduled to be completed by December 15, 2011. The APG facility remains open so ordinance junkies can still get their fix until these stalwarts of two World Wars and other conflicts complete their move. The new facilities will be on the Fort Lee campus near the site of the Women’s Army Corp and the Quartermaster’s Museums.
Museum hours are 8AM to 4:30 PM daily except major holidays.