On 2 May 2019, the Mississippi River at Locks and Dam 15 at the lower end of Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) reached a record flood stage of 22.7 feet. (Shown, a photo of the Old Moline Locks at the upper end of RIA.)
The original design for the airborne transport and artillery system was a multi-functional weapons platform. The aircraft could provide both close-air-support and field artillery support.
Members of Weapons Command (WECOM), including military and civilian observers, watch a test of the armored personnel carrier fitted with a flame projection system. This picture was taken at the Kingsbury Hardlot on Rock island Arsenal.


The ASC History Office exists to preserve the history of the command and its installations. The office collects documents pertaining to almost every facet of the command including its ammunition plants, depots, forward commands, Army Prepositioned Stocks program, staff and directorate offices.

As the senior command at Rock Island Arsenal, the ASC History Office also fulfills the role of the installation historical section.  The office team provides community outreach in the form of educational briefings, tours, and support.  The office works to tell the Army story, build esprit de corps within the organization and the installation, and provide local history in the context of the Army's history in the region.

Periodically, the History Office conducts oral history interviews. These conversations capture the thoughts and spoken words of commanders and employees throughout the command. Their contributions provide a "live" perspective to the operations and missions being conducted at ASC. Additionally, the office writes organizational histories, supports leader training, and advises the Commander on all matters of historical importance to the organization.


The Rock Island Arsenal was established on 12 July 1862 by an act of Congress. Despite RIA being established on this date, the history of the U.S. military footprint in this region spans much longer. 2022 marks 160 years since this act passed, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share the grand and rich history that has made Rock Island Arsenal the apple of the Quad Cities, a national treasure, and how it's earned the right to say that it has produced readiness since 1862.

June in Rock Island Arsenal History

7 JUN 1871 BVT BG Thomas J. Rodman dies in Quarters One at Rock Island Arsenal.
14 JUN 1871 Rock Island is cited as a government reservation by Congress.
23 JUN 1873 Construction of Building 104 is completed.
2 JUN 1876 Construction of Building 102 is completed, it will house the RIA Museum from 1905 to 1942.
29 JUN 1882 Construction of Building 68 is completed.
11 JUN 1907 William H. Taft visits RIA, during this visit he will sign the charter for the Golf Club.
12 JUN 1917 Funds are appropriated for construction of the Savanna Proving Grounds.
17 JUN 1917 Nellie Cue becomes RIA's first forelady.
1 JUN 1919 The new expanded hydro-electric power plant begins operations.
5 JUN 1920 The last of 100 Mark VIII Tanks is assembled, an order completed in 286 days.

Prominent Figures at Rock Island

Rock Island Arsenal, and Arsenal Island has many storied individuals that have graced its history. Some were just simply passing through, while others lived and worked on the island. From the establishment of the Arsenal in 1862 to present, this installation has been known for its familial legacy and generational workforce. Everyone contributed and continues to contribute a significant amount to the history of Rock Island Arsenal. The list of the greatest influencers could easily fill an entire book, but instead we will look at a few of the most prominent individuals from Fort Armstrong through the Interwar.



Date Time Title Location
13 JUL 2022 2:00 PM CDT [RIA@160 Series] The Establishment of Rock Island Arsenal Rock Island Library, Main
13 JUL 2022 6:00 PM CDT [RIA@160 Series] The Establishment of Rock Island Arsenal Davenport Public Library, Main
13 JUL 2022 6:00 PM CDT [RIA@160 Series] The Establishment of Rock Island Arsenal Online Program
13 AUG 2022 10:00 AM CDT Quarters One Historic Tour Rock Island Arsenal, Quarters One


      Online Lecture       In-Person Lecture       Tour


U.S. Army Sustainment Command
1 Rock Island Arsenal
Rock Island, Illinois, 61299-6500
Command Historian 309.782.5046
Assistant Historian 309.782.2178
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