Kingsbury Ordnance Plant
The United States War Department chose LaPorte County as one of the sites for a munitions plant during World War II. It was called the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant (KOP).
There were several reasons LaPorte was chosen as a site for this munitions plant. It was far enough away from both coasts to escape invasion or bombing. Additionally, three railroads served the area, there were thousands of people available to work, there was enough land available for the plant, and there was an adequate water supply.
Approximately 13,454 acres were acquired for the plant.
The KOP was built between 1940 and 1941. The first shell was completed in 1941. KOP produced millions of shells from 20 mm to 105 mm.
There was a peak number of 20,785 employees in May 1942.
When the war ended in August 1945, the plant began the process of closing down. Beginning in 1951, it was used again during the Korean War.
In 1959, the United States government closed KOP and sold it. Part of the land is now the Kingsbury State Fish & Wildlife Area and other areas are used for industry.
This information was obtained from the following sources:
LaPorte-Now & Then, 1982-1832. [LaPorte: n.p., 1982.] 67-68.
Vogel, William P. Kingsbury, A Venture in Teamwork. New York: Todd & Brown, 1946.