5. Naval Ammunition Depot, Hastings, Nebraska

1409 54 miles from the Center of the USA
The largest of the Navy’s WWII inland ammunition depots, this facility covered nearly 50,000 acres, employed 10,000 people, and had 2,200 buildings, including weapons manufacturing plants and hundreds of ordnance storage igloos. It was built here to be far from the coasts, out of potential harm’s way, and to be equidistant from the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. It produced around 40% of the Navy’s munitions during the war. The Navy closed the facility in 1966, though reserve forces continue to train here.  Other tenants on site include a community college, and an industrial park, with some civilian ordnance-related production. The United States Department of Agriculture operates the Meat Animal Research Center here, and research cattle roam some of the grounds. Most of the buildings and storage igloos are still unused.