Green River News issue, Green River Ordnance Plant – April 21, 1944, 8 pages

Source: Loaned from Private Collection to scan









Green River Ordnance Plant (GROP) history – Wikipedia, & NIU collection (DeKalb, IL)

Green River Ordnance Plant

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Green River Ordnance Plant is located in Illinois

Green River Ordnance Plant

Location in Illinois

The Green River Ordnance Plant, also known as the Green River Arsenal, was a large munitions factory complex between Dixon and Amboy in Lee County, Illinois.

It was rapidly constructed in 1942 and just as quickly shut down in 1945. Stewart-Warner Corporation operated the complex to produce rocket-propelled bazooka ammunition, artillery shells, naval shells, bombs, rifle grenades, fuses and rockets for use during World War II. [1]

It lies on the south side of U.S. Highway 30


And from a large collection of materials at Northern Illinois University:


The Green River Ordnance Plant construction was completed on December 15, 1942,

occupying approximately 8,000 acres in Amboy and Marion Townships in Lee County. Though

the site was located only a mile or so outside of Amboy, the address for the GROP was Dixon,

Illinois because it was thought that the Amboy Post Office could not handle the large amount of

mail that was anticipated. The Plant was created by Federal Government War Department to

serve as Illinois’ largest industrial contribution to World War II and became the leader in

munitions production for the nation. At one time the plant provided jobs for 4500 employees,

both men and women. By July 1944, the number of women employees nearly double that of the

men employees. Employees were active in creating baseball teams, a band, an orchestra, and

various group events to create community at the plant. Friendships were forged and employees

met and were married. It took only two months for the government to be prepared to begin

construction on the plant. Production building were called “lines” that were used to produce

various munitions. The Green River Ordnance Plant, like other surrounding Illinois ordnance

plants, was constructed for a single purpose only and quickly shut down after V-J Day in August


And from

Duane Paulsen has written a sixty-page book, published in 1995. Dixon Public Library received a grant for the project of gathering information from newspaper microfilm and interviews with people who worked at the plant.  The title is “Memories of the Green River Ordnance Plant, 1942-1945” by Duane Paulsen.

Additional facts to those listed above are in an article on the Illinois Valley Living website.


Rockford, IL and several other Illinois cities also had ordnance plants. Rockford Public Library is not in possession of any newsletters or newspapers produced by the Rockford ordnance plant.


“War Wives Find Much in Common” – April 1944

Source: The Green River News, employee newspaper of The Green River Ordnance Plant (GROP), Dixon, IL, April 7, 1944

Ladies’ Bowling Team, 1944, GROP – Apr. 7, 1944 Green River News

Source: The Green River News, employee newspaper of the Green River Ordnance Plant (GROP), April 7, 1944, page 4

Lyle Meyers, W. E. Brian, April 7, 1944 – The Green River News

Source:  The Green River News, employee newspaper of The Green River Ordnance Plant, (GROP), Dixon, Illinois. April 7, 1944, page 3

GROP women guards and Smith & Wessons – 1944

Source: The Green River News, employee newspaper of The Green River Ordnance Plant, (GROP), Dixon IL, 5/5/1944

“S-W Corp., operators of GROP, Contribute $17400 to war fund of Red Cross” – 1944

Source: The Green River NEws, employee newspaper of the Green River Ordnance Plant, Dixon, Illinois, March 10, 1944

On loan from private collection

“Local War Products at Front in 48 Hours” – 1944

Source:  Rockford Register-Republic Sept. 7, 1944

Androck Wire

by 1939 the Washburn Co. had recovered from poor business of depression years. Sales had risen from an all time low in 1932 to the previous high point of 1929. March 1940 Boston Ordinance Dist of the War Dept surveyed Worcester plant among the first, small hardware items for use in constructing Army cantonments. Manufactured wire clamps for gas masks, wire handles for ammunition boxes procurement of raw materials for manufacture most pressing problem by 1942. September 1942, over 94% of people in Rockford division were participating in War Bonds Drive. Received Minute man Flag for cooperation in this drive

Source: Androck Wire March 1956