An Inside Look: Historical Treasures of the Ordnance Corps

By Vicky Ford and Aungel TerrangiJanuary 13, 2021

James H. Blankenship Jr., former director of the Ordnance Training Support Facility, presents the Model 1857 12-pounder Napoleon Cannon in the video series - Ordnance TSF: An Inside Look.
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – James H. Blankenship Jr., former director of the Ordnance Training Support Facility, presents the Model 1857 12-pounder Napoleon Cannon in the video series - Ordnance TSF: An Inside Look. (Photo Credit: Aungel Terrangi) VIEW ORIGINAL
Maj. Gen. Kurt Ryan, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4 (Logistics), U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and 39th Chief of Ordnance highlights the evolution of the Model 1863 Allin Converted Musket in the video series - Ordnance TSF: An Inside Look. The musket was donated to the facility by Maj. Gen. Ryan’s mother-in-law.
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. Kurt Ryan, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4 (Logistics), U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and 39th Chief of Ordnance highlights the evolution of the Model 1863 Allin Converted Musket in the video series - Ordnance TSF: An Inside Look. The musket was donated to the facility by Maj. Gen. Ryan’s mother-in-law. (Photo Credit: Aungel Terrangi) VIEW ORIGINAL
Tim Gilhool, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command Historian discusses the history of the M551 Sheridan Tank in the video series - Ordnance TSF: An Inside Look.
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Tim Gilhool, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command Historian discusses the history of the M551 Sheridan Tank in the video series - Ordnance TSF: An Inside Look. (Photo Credit: Aungel Terrangi) VIEW ORIGINAL
Master Sgt. Aaron Boling, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Assistant Commandant (EOD) presenting the 1986 Security Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robot in the video series - Ordnance TSF: An Inside Look.
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Master Sgt. Aaron Boling, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Assistant Commandant (EOD) presenting the 1986 Security Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robot in the video series - Ordnance TSF: An Inside Look. (Photo Credit: Aungel Terrangi) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEE, Va. – The U.S. Army Ordnance School recently initiated a video series highlighting the historical artifacts housed in the Ordnance Training Support Facility at Fort Lee.

Since the initial developmental stages, Soldiers, family members, and friends Army-wide have expressed great interest in visiting the TSF. However, it is currently not funded for public access.

Aware of the public’s interest, Brig. Gen. Michelle M.T. Letcher, Chief of Ordnance and Ordnance School Commandant, started the Ordnance TSF: An Inside Look video series.

“The video series is a simple way to share the unique treasures housed at the TSF with an interested public,” said Letcher.

Letcher and Command Sgt. Maj. Petra M. Casarez, Command Sergeant Major of the Ordnance Corps, initiated the series with a presentation of the improvised hedgerow cutter, a field-expedient modification by Ordnance Soldiers in a combat zone during World War II.

New videos are added to the series bi-monthly. The series will highlight a wide range of artifacts from small arms and research materials to macro artifacts like the Civil War Era 12-pounder Napoleon Cannon and the World War II Era railguns known as Anzio Annie and Atomic Annie. The latter are so large, they were placed on the completed foundation, and the facility was built around them.

The videos feature civilian and military presenters of all ranks. Some are professional historians -- others are lovers of history or have a personal connection to the artifacts they present.

Timothy Gilhool, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command Historian, said he was grateful for the opportunity to present several artifacts. “My dad worked on the M551 Sheridan as a draftee in the 1960s. It was a genuine honor and privilege to help tell some of the rich history of these artifacts,” said Gilhool.

Master Sgt. Roylonn Boling, Office of the EOD Commandant, also contributed to the video series.

“The EOD Career Field has a unique relationship with the history of ordnance items used from many years in the past,” said Boling. “It isn’t uncommon for an EOD team to respond to ordnance items dating back to the Civil War Era. These items are still dangerous and pose unique research projects for our Soldiers, allowing them to delve into the past.”

To date, the video series has featured 9 of the TSF's more than 14,000 artifacts, including the Ford 3-Ton Tank, the 1986 Security Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robot, and a post-civil war musket recently donated to the collection.

Upcoming videos will highlight:

  • U.S. Prototype FT17 Tank
  • Coehorn and 13-inch seacoast mortars
  • WWII Type II Japanese bomb (fin)
  • Winchester 1897 Trench Broom
  • COL Kane Bomb Disposal Journal Scrapbook
  • U.S. Automatic Browning Rifle
  • M1 Thompson Submachinegun
  • WWII Jeep
  • 75mm PACK Howitzer

Those interested in nominating a specific artifact for inclusion in the series can email a request to the U.S. Army Ordnance School at  usarmy.lee.tradoc.mbx.scoe-od-ask-the-chief@mail.mil.

The videos are published on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @USAODCorps. To view the video series playlist, please visit https://www.youtube.com/usaods.