Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yorktown Mine Depot Images

Torpedo warhead assembly-Each warhead contained 710 pounds of the explosive called
Torpex. The explosive was powerful enough to crack a ship in half with a single torpedo.
A World War II-era yearbook of the Yorktown Mine Depot (now called Yorktown Naval Weapons Station) was recently donated to the museum. The book has several previously unseen images of the Depot's important (and extremely dangerous) work of assembling torpedoes and mines for use by the U.S. Navy. The Depot was also one of the largest employers of African Americans in the region, many of whom (as shown here) worked in the ordnance department.

Workers pour hot, liquefied Torpex into the torpedo warheads.
The vats behind the warheads were used to make
the effective, but very dangerous explosive.

USS Big Chief (IX-101) alongside the Depot's piers offloading empty warhead casings.
Women workers assemble Mk 18 torpedoes at the Depot.

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