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.