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.
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.