By U.S. ArmyApril 11, 2019
In 1950, Rock Island Arsenal dedicated Memorial Field in memory of employees of Rock Island Arsenal who died while serving with the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. Thirty-one ordnance systems are exhibited at Memorial Field, with emphasis on systems used by the U.S. Armed Forces. Many of the artillery pieces are products of Rock Island Arsenal.
Memorial Field was established in 1950 with a handful of artifacts. The original arrangement consisted of a few rocket launchers, towed howitzers, and guns. Most of these original pieces remain on display today.
As the mission of Rock Island Arsenal evolved and more products were developed, more items began to fill in gaps at Memorial Field. The Honest John and Little John weapon systems were added sometime in the 1980s after being relocated to the field from Fort Armstrong. Other experimental weapons, such as the XM70E2 and the XM123 were added sometime in the 1960s or 1970s.
Featured items on display include an M4 Sherman tank which was used during the Battle of the Bulge; the M22 Locust Tank; and the T131 Gun of the M65 Atomic Cannon ("Atomic Annie").