Club administrative assistant Ann Arwood looks at the 155 mm howitzer which has joined the Officers and Civilians Club.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- An imposing piece of heavy artillery has joined the Officers and Civilians Club.

A 155 mm howitzer was moved to the parking lot in front of the club from its former location in front of what used to be the headquarters building for the 832nd Ordnance Battalion. The battalion is leaving within the next year for Fort Lee, Va.

"We decided to downsize," 832nd's Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Johnson said of the headquarters move from building 3458 on Aerobee Road to building 3301.

The artillery piece was going to be turned in as excess property but the Garrison intervened. "We decided we wanted to keep it," Garrison's Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Cooper said.

"I was really excited to see it get here," Robert Schumann, general manager of the Officers and Civilians Club, said.

"It was built in 1944," said Schumann, a history buff. "I'm pretty sure it saw action in Korea. It was built in Rock Island Ordnance Depot. It was going to end up somewhere rusting in a scrap yard, in a stock yard. I just hated to see that happen. Now it's found a home at the ROCC."

Administrative assistant Ann Arwood confirmed her boss' enthusiasm with the club's new permanent display.

"Robert's big on stuff like this. He's a history buff, he really is," she said. "He's going to get a concrete pad for it, get it anchored, to make sure nobody takes it from us. He's real excited about it."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16