Letterkenny Army Depot, PA Image 1
    Letterkenny Army Depot, PA Image 2

    Letterkenny Army Depot, PA History

    "You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics." - Dwight D. Eisenhower, General of the Army, Supreme Commander Allied Forces Europe in World War II

    Established in 1941 at the onset of WWII, Letterkenny was one of twelve ordnance depots assigned with the mission of stockpiling war material. At first the depot was simply a collection of barns and farmhouses, in a remote location of Pennsylvania, selected for proximity to rail lines, the industrial centers of the US in the Great Lakes states, and the ports of the Eastern Seaboard. The depot was rapidly constructed - logistics centers being the foundation of operations - and Letterkenny Army Depot soon became one of the largest depots in the U.S, and became known in service as the "Springboard of Invasion," with 798 underground igloos, 12 above-ground magazines, 17 warehouses, and 21,000 acres for the housing and shipment of ammunition, trucks, and combat equipment. More than 3 million tons of supplies transshipped through Letterkenny Depot, feeding the wartime Army's seemingly endless requirements for more supplies, faster.

    After the war, the flow of supplies reversed, and Letterkenny Depot had the task of taking and storing millions of tons of supplies, both from the still operating production centers and from returning forces. High in priority were thousands of active shells and other munitions, some of which were serviceable, and others not. All equipment stockpiled needed to be inspected, secured and safetied, and what was not useful tagged for disassembly and in some cases destroyed.

    Despite an excellent performance of a necessary duty Letterkenny was not confirmed as a permanent military installation until 1954. From the 1950's onward, the depot evolved to keep up with current events and technological advancements. Its mission expanded to include maintenance, supply, and ammunition, missile maintenance and air defense, and overhaul of artillery, tactical vehicles, and tanks. During the 1980's, the depot was the biggest repair center for the HAWK system, as well as the Center for Technical Excellence. Presently Letterkenny Army Depot is the Army's Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for Air Defense and Tactical Missile Ground Support Equipment, Mobile Electric Power Generation Equipment, and Patriot Missile Recertification.