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Natsios Young Architects

31 May 2002
Source: Colors maps and photos:; black and white photos: TerraServer by USGS 13 March 1995.

Naval Weapons Station Earle:
Naval Weapons Station Earle's history began in 1943, when a pressing need developed for an Ammunition Depot in the greater New York area to support the war effort. A board was established to locate a suitable site, and chose Earle's present location in New Jersey because it offered many advantages. The location provided ships with a safe and operationally advantageous port to take on ammunition, and it also had access to commercial rail facilities with lines coming from the west, where the majority of ammunition shipments originated. The rural location of the site also allowed for minimal dislocation of the local population.

On Aug. 2, 1943, construction began on what was to be Naval Ammunition Depot Earle, named after Rear Admiral Ralph Earle, the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance during World War One. The depot was commissioned on Dec. 13, 1943. There was still a long way to go to complete N.A.D. Earle. That work included building the military road and railway connecting main-side complex, the waterfront complex and the pier.

The pier stretches 2.2 miles into the Sandy Hook bay and comprises 2.9 miles of pier/trestle surface area. Earle continued to develop after World War II, keeping pace with the changing needs of the Navy. In 1974, Earle's name was officially changed to Naval Weapons Station Earle. The Station is divided into two sections: Main-side, located in Colts Neck, and the Waterfront Area, on Sandy Hook Bay, located in the Leonardo section of Middletown. Both areas are connected by Normandy road, a 15-mile military road and rail line.