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The World War II Ordnance Department's Government-Owned Contractor-Operated (GOCO) Industrial Facilities: Holston Ordnance Works Historic Investigation.

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Final rept. 1995-Aug 96,

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This report documents the construction and operation of Holston Ordnance Works, now known as the Holston Army Ammunition Plant Holston AAP, Kingsport, Tennessee. The research was initiated by Geo-Marine, Inc. GMI, in the spring and summer of 1995, and was continued by New South Associates in September and October of the same year. Holston Ordnance Works was a critically important installation in the Ordnance Departments government-owned contractor-operated GOCO industrial program during World War II. It contributed to the war effort by producing most of the explosive RDX and Composition B a mixture of RDX and TNT used by the Western Allies. These explosives went directly into the war effort and were vitally important to Allied victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. Later, they were used in the aerial war over both Germany and Japan. Due to the experimental and highly technical nature of the facility, Holston Ordnance Works was closely associated with its contractor, perhaps more so than most other Ordnance facilities. The operating contractor in this case was the Tennessee Eastman Corporation TEC. Now known as the Eastman Chemical Company, TEC was then a subsidiary of the Eastman Kodak Company, based in Rochester, New York. Located in Kingsport long before the war, TEC was familiar with the manufacture of acetic acid and acetic anhydride, both essential to the making of RDX. This connection led to Kingsport as the site for Holston, with Tennessee Eastman selected to run it. Due to the unique nature of this facility, Holston was divided into two parts. Area A, close to the original TEC manufacturing plant, produced and refined the acetic acid and acetic anhydride needed for the production of RDX. These were then shipped over to Area B, a few miles away, where the RDX was manufactured and combined with TNT to form Composition B, the final product of the

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Ammunition and Explosives

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